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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 05:26 PM   #21
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by Will Work 4 Beer
Yeah, but you have to a) live in a state with a top public university and b) be able to get them into it; in-state competition at say, UC Berkeley, is pretty fierce. Paying out-of-state tuition to a public university is not much cheaper than a private school.

You also need to look at the overall opportunity cost. Some of the biggest expenses in a college education are more or less fixed: room&board, going to school vs. working. So if going away to private school costs:

($30K x 4) + ($25Kx4 for not working) + $(10K room/board x 4) = $260K

public school should cost about:
($7.5K X 4) + ($25Kx 4$ for not working) + ($10K room/board x 4) = $170K

I think you can pick up most of the delta in the first 5 years, if not sooner.

Another point is, that $30k is just the sticker price. You may be able to get state aid/merit/athletic scholarships to cover the rest. We had to do a few "show-downs" with the financial aid office, but we got a "discount" of about 50% of sticker price, and my parents and I split the rest. So it would have cost my parents the same if not more to send me to state U.
Sure, if you don't have a good state school in your state, you go out of state. Pay the price for a year, establish residency (hire a lawyer if you need to). The next three years will be at the lower in-state rate. I don't know how much more competitive prestigious state schools are than prestigious private schools. Prestigious schools are competitive, period. Sure UC Berkeley is competitive, but isn't Stanford too?

You make a good point re: opportunity cost. But what average college-bound high school grad has an opportunity cost of $25k for 9 months (since they can work in the summer, right?). I don't know what the average state school tuition is now, but my local state universities, it is a little over half the price you have indicated (it is more like $4k/yr). I'd guess the on-campus room and board at your average private school is more than the on-campus room and board at a public school (higher expectations, nicer facilities at private schools). Here's the comparison I have:

So if going away to private school costs:

($30K x 4) + ($10.5Kx4 for not working) + $(10K room/board x 4) = $202K

public school should cost about:
($5K X 4) + ($10.5Kx 4$ for not working) + ($9K room/board x 4) = $98K


Private school will "cost" about twice as much as public school. That $104,000 price differential is pretty substantial in my book, and it would require quite a bit more time than five years to make up the difference. 10 years? 20? Never? Why not go to a public U, then use that $104,000 as a down payment on your first house.

In my experience, I haven't seen a big difference in earning potential between public and private university educated workers, at least not to the degree WW4B has alluded. Unless you are comparing a Harvard grad to a Middle Southwestern Podunk University grad.

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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 05:34 PM   #22
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by azanon
In no way, form or fashion do I think they have an edge on me.* *In fact, I would think my masters from a mediocre private college trumps their service academy degree, and probably would in the eyes of most people.*
I think we'll have to suspend judgment until everyone has dropped & given 20 multiple times and then gone on an overnight hike with 50-pound packs while people are screaming in their faces. You know, the military version of workplace stress.

Oh, you mean academically!
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 06:10 PM   #23
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
Don't mistake an outlier for the median. For the average college student contemplating the future, the best choice is the school and degree that allows them to have the highest certainty of the highest income doing what they want to do for the lowest college tuition investment. Very, very few of us become mega-wealthy CEOs. Millions of us become accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc. I'd rather bank on the steady work than the moonshot, myself.
Not looking at outliers, but your point is well taken. As TMND pointed out, the vast majority of wealthy people never experienced much higher education than high school but started a business early. The combination of not carrying a huge debt load, getting a 4-5 year head start on their peers, and earning their own money with their own business rather than slaving for someone else was simply too much of an advantage for the well heeled, well educated peers to overcome.

I guess if the student isnt paying for the degree, doesnt have the motivation to start a business or jump in making money, and/or has no idea what to do with themselves, there isnt much downside (for them) to enjoying the ivy league education.

If I were the dad paying for the education, unless I was loaded to the gills with money, some shopping for value is warranted. If I've doubled my portfolio by the time Gabe hits 18, he can pick any school he wants. If we're still treading water, he can go to any UC school he wants to.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 06:20 PM   #24
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

I think pedigree can matter, but as Cut-Throat said - a good student can do well almost anywhere. * There are also advantages to being a superstar at a less competitive school rather than just another student at an elite one.

I started out my undergrad career at an elite school (think- *top 5). *Absolutely hated the atmosphere and the education I was getting (money was not an issue because of financial aid). *So, I transferred to a top state school that was well respected *in my field and had a much better time - I challenged myself, took courses that were are on a par with what I was getting at the elite school, and was a standout student who had lots of research and internship opportunities. *

Had job offers up the wazoo when I graduated ( although it didn't hurt that it was the height of the tech boom) and after 3 years in the workforce my public u diploma was good enough to get me into a master's program at an elite private university with a full scholarship. *I'll admit the name brand on my grad degree has probably opened *some doors, but no one even asks about my undergrad degree anymore.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #25
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

I think in order to make a valid comparison you have to use percentages, not just total numbers, because the total number of people who did NOT graduate from an upper-level school is much higher than the number of those who did.* What PERCENTAGE of upper-level grads became wealthy/CEOs versus the PERCENTAGE of non-grads who became wealthy/CEOs?
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-19-2005, 09:19 PM   #26
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

I had read a study a while back, that asserted the "predigree school" was only good for your first job. After that your job performance became the issue. If your a brain at school but screw everything up at work what good are you. Conversely if your an idiot at school, but a whiz at work who cares about your degree.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 12:34 AM   #27
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by lets-retire
I had read a study a while back, that asserted the "predigree school" was only good for your first job.* After that your job performance became the issue.* If your a brain at school but screw everything up at work what good are you.* Conversely if your an idiot at school, but a whiz at work who cares about your degree.
That's probably true to some extent. But the pedigree turkeys often start out in high level, high paying positions and never loose ground. The hard working mutt may pass them up eventually, but it can take longer.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 08:21 AM   #28
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by lets-retire
I had read a study a while back, that asserted the "predigree school" was only good for your first job.* After that your job performance became the issue.* If your a brain at school but screw everything up at work what good are you.* Conversely if your an idiot at school, but a whiz at work who cares about your degree.
Yes and no. In the legal profession, where you received your degree matters -- throughout your career. We call it the "Harvard Dispensation". Here's an excerpt from a message posted on a legal message board describing it:

Quote:
The Order -- A Primer -- Part V

All large firms engage in the tawdry practice of granting what has come to be known in the business as the "Harvard Dispensation." This catch-all term covers many other law schools besides Harvard and has numerous permutations, but boils down essentially to this: When times are lean and the associate ranks a little unwieldy and uneven, the pruning shears are pulled out of the Firm's closets (you know, that closet at the firm where you put your empty briefcase and the overcoat your mom bought you in college) and some gentle clipping and house keeping is accomplished. Some Spring Cleaning. Some market-based structural employment. Some nudges along the way.

Underperforming associate with vague laziness -- booted. Entitled mental case too uneven to present to clients -- clipped. Hermitic manic-depressive disrupting the ranks and living on borrowed time -- given the Talk. Protected Class senior associate with 1.5 years of bad reviews papered in the file and the approval/go-ahead of the head of the Labor and Employment section of the firm -- the Heisman. Perfectly acceptable, hard-working associate who happened to get into it with the wrong partner -- see ya.

But wait a minute, you may ask. Who is that over there? Yea, that guy/gal, over there in that office. The one with the aloof disposition. Aren't they the first to leave most nights? Didn't he/she only bill 1800 for the last few years? How come they are still here, you are heard to inquire.

Well, the simple answer to that question is that he/she went to Harvard, don't you see. Look on their wall -- see that? All of that Latin lettering on that diploma? That's right -- Harvard. You see, that is worth a lot and firms take notice. If you are smart you may need to bill some hours eventually, but right now you can coast on that sheepskin for a few years at least. The Harvard Dispensation.

Most partners are only a few months out of law school mentally, even if they graduated 20 years ago. They still remember their feelings of inferiority in the presence of that Harvard guy or gal. So when the time comes for a clerk to visit the firm or spend a summer, these partners enter a Geek Shangri Law of no compare. Wow, they say to themselves, we must really be a great firm to attract someone from Harvard. And if that is true, I must be pretty damn good myself, because take a look at this office right now -- I am behind the desk with the resume in my hand asking the questions, and that Harvard Law chucklehead is sitting across from me. Look at him! He is sitting there right now listening to my bullshit, and I went to Texas Tech Law School. Damn, that is awesome. I am awesome.

Years pass, and that clerk has long become an associate and entered the flow of the section. And when it comes time to trim the fat, merit goes aside and Harvard Boy or Harvard Girl doesn't have a whole lot to worry about.

Maybe those big law school loans are worth the money it took to buy the Harvard Dispensation.
Now, I'm not saying that someone without a pedigree can't make it in the legal profession. But a pedigree certainly makes it much, much easier to enter closer to the top, rather than spend 10-15 years working your way up to that level....
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:00 AM   #29
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

I'm surprised to see this discussion on this board.

In my experience, accumulating wealth has been primarily a function of spending habits and time. To my knowledge there is no University that prepares students for a 10 to 20 year career, then early retirement.

Over the course of a traditional 40-year career, sure, maybe starting one rung higher on the corporate ladder will get you a few rungs higher near the end.

From an early retirement point of view, we retire when we have enough money, the ladder is irrelevant.

It seems to me that buying in to the whole "successful career through superior education" is the flip side of the coin. The other side of the coin is American-style consumerism. They go hand-in-hand. Do the best you can so you can afford the best there is. I say there's more to life than that. We must simply be willing to reject the earn-spend treadmill that our society promotes, and substitute a lifestyle that is far more rewarding.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:19 AM   #30
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Pedigrees do matter, especially in the legal and medical professions.* An MBA from a top business school is also a must if you want to reach the highest levels of established companies.
Absolutely agree. Many residency programs post online where their staff and residents did undergard and med school training. You think a competitive program at a competitive school wants to list...Podunk state U after any name? Same with larger, big name hospitals. Esp. the more competitive fields(read > money making). Makes a huge difference. Could compensate for the big name school by publishing lots of articles, be a Rhode's scholar, nominated for the Nobel prize...but the prestige alma mater automatically gives the grad an adv.
Of course perseverence, hard work, endurance, grunt work, motivation, sweating blood will help in any field...
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:23 AM   #31
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by slepyhed
Over the course of a traditional 40-year career, sure, maybe starting one rung higher on the corporate ladder will get you a few rungs higher near the end.

From an early retirement point of view, we retire when we have enough money, the ladder is irrelevant.
I believe the ladder is very relevant. *Winding up a few rungs higher in the end is likely to provide much more money, and hence allow an earlier retirement. *
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:34 AM   #32
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

You mean my degrees from Jefferson Community College and UT Dallas aren't pedigree
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:39 AM   #33
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by Patrick
I believe the ladder is very relevant. *Winding up a few rungs higher in the end is likely to provide much more money, and hence allow an earlier retirement. *
I can't agree more. *
I did my share of ladder rung climbing until I reached the political level where my personality and refusal to kiss butt prevented me from going any higher. *I stopped at a good level and the income and fringes allowed me to live a nice life-style while saving a good chunk for retirement. *I could not have saved as much if I had not been at the salary level I was in while still having the things we wanted to buy for the long term (second home, ATVs, snowmobiles, etc.). *

My first ER allowed me to change companies, change jobs, change location and work in a far less stressful job for only a 20% reduction in pay. *I have turned down two promotions already because I don't want the additional crap responsibility for the minor $$ they would give me for this "promotion". *

In my business, the school name only helps at the highest levels (Wharton, Kellog etc.) *The major middle to upper middle management groups are all mutts but well paid ones. *If you want the Golden Jobs, you have to fit the mold and the "right" school for your MBA is one way there as is being in Marketing or Finance. *
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 12:10 PM   #34
 
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

Right, we got onto this track when I expressed my regret at not having considered more lower cost alternatives for my daughter's college.

Good points on both sides of this issue. I can say anecdotally that my prestige name college got me my original job in the computer industry, a job that led to the work that let me retire early (combined with being a good saver). But I might have done just as well with a non-prestige U.



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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 12:18 PM   #35
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

If I am fortunate enough to have children focused that early in life to be qualified for a prestigeous school, and one of these expensive universities is the best for what they want to do, I will count my blessings and pay the bill. I think you should be congratulated T-Al.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 12:25 PM   #36
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Originally Posted by Laurence
If I am fortunate enough to have children focused that early in life to be qualified for a prestigeous school, and one of these expensive universities is the best for what they want to do, I will count my blessings and pay the bill. I think you should be congratulated T-Al.
I might want to go back to school if you're open to adoption.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 01:20 PM   #37
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

no kidding, If I have a wealthy parent like t-al paying, I say champaign and caviar dreams all the way and only the best school. If paying for myself, an excellent state school all the way.
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-20-2005, 11:55 PM   #38
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

The Expert has spoken.* The answer is .......... maybe.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/20/pf/e...pert/index.htm
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-21-2005, 02:47 PM   #39
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

Well, my approach would be similar to T-Als. I really value education for both mental and career development. And connections can count too. Although I expect to retire in the next year or two if my younger son (currently a jr in high school) could get into Stanford or CALTECH I would be happy to keep working. Now this is not likely to happen to my (no kidding) Mohawk haired rock drummer son. I do not push the kid but I will stand behind him. Really, what else do I want to spend my money on?

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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement
Old 09-21-2005, 05:20 PM   #40
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Re: Five ways to prevent retirement

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Although I expect to retire in the next year or two if my younger son (currently a jr in high school) could get into Satnford or CALTECH I would be happy to keep working. Now this is not likely to happen to my (no kidding) Mohawk haired rock drummer son.
Have you seen Billy Gates' high school photos?

Oh, wait, maybe that's not such a good example either...

Before either one of you gets discouraged about the prospects of matriculating at a school with other Mohawk-haired rock drummers, you might want to read Loren Pope's book. Our 12-year-old enjoyed the heck out of it.
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