Personal Investment Chatter

For those of you with kids, curious how much you're saving for college tuition? I'm putting away $800/month/kid into 529s but still not sure whether it will be enough, hard to find good info.

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My financial advisor says the relative benefits max out at $300/month/kid. Basically that the $$ can be saved more effectively in other ways past that - so we’ve got $300/month for each of our 3 kids going to a 529. It’s not enough to cover private university for 4 years, but my POV is that they either don’t need to go to a super expensive school, or I don’t need to pay for 100% of it. They can take out loans for part or, ideally, get some sort of merit scholarship 🙏

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Slight digression, but I tend to agree with the above perspective. Whole life makes no sense for 99% of us. Universal or Variable life makes no sense for 90% of us. Just look at what’s in these plans for the agent (min of 80% of year 1 premiums) to see why they push these plans so hard. The whole “borrow from yourself” argument is so misplaced.

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How old were your kids when you started? For our son, we started when he was born with $200/month - and the projected numbers give him around 250000 when he starts school - which seems like a good start - also - our mortgage will end when he is 15 which means our free cash flow will go up a lot to help him out as well.

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Deloitte1 - mostly in fidelity index funds more around 7-8% average

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$250k "a good start" 😥

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My son is 1, 17 years from now, my bet is that a good school will use all of it - if not, I will happily pay the tax and withdraw the money

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That’s Ferrari money if your kid can get a scholarship

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funnylikesmart
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We started heavy right away. Like a few grand to get a nice little principle. Then a couple hundred per month. I’m an associate, for context, so “heavily” is a bit different for me than the Partner above 🙃 She’s 2.5 now and we’ve gone to just $66 per month. Have just shy of $10,000 in it. Planning on another kid, so will probably start contributing to one soon. You just open it up in your name and transfer it to them when they’re born. In this sense, it’s never too early to start. Pro tip: for the first few birthdays, Christmases and other appropriate holidays, ask for contributions to their 529 instead of gifts. Sure, kids love toys .... but they often get stuff you wouldn’t buy, would break, etc., and the growth of a $25 contribution over 18 years will far exceed the $25 they’d spend on some junk toy, or that you could buy yourself.

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Sounds like you’re doing well with the college funds For others’ benefit (and possibly yours), I want to point out I was a manager and sole bread winner when our first was born and we started saving for college. We prioritized it over other things, such as expensive cars or vacations or a big house. Now I love feeling secure about kids’ college funds and helping them get started with more than I had

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A few thoughts for you from my experience: 1) in what type of schools do you see your kids? What’s the four year total cost there? Eg, Ivy schools cost about $65-70 K per year all in now. 2) I’ve seen guidance like “a third-a third-a third.” A third of the spend comes from savings, a third from current income, and a third from financial aid and loans. What is your preference? I’d rather not pay from current income and I do not want my kids to get loans. I’m fortunate I can afford that. On the other hand, Even if you can afford it, having kids take out a loan could help them see college differently 3) I’ve saved $10K per kid per year similar to your current rate but started in 2006. Got lucky with market timing after 2008 and the bull market has helped a lot. I am probably done with my 13 year olds savings (already shifted to 70% bonds mix) and my 8 year old is about half way there Hopefully this helps.

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Agree with D1. We will have plenty money to pay for college outright. But I think I want them to value their college education and not let them know up front we'll pay. Don't want them to have a freeloading mentality with a full ride from mommy and daddy.

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My kid is 5 and we have been putting $1100/mo into her 529 since she was born. We have the money now and we both work in advertising, so who knows where we will be in five years. I wanted to frontload as much as we could afford in case our earnings take a turn for the worst.

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Started at birth and stopped when each hit $100K. First one applies next year with about $120K 529 and we’re pushing 2-year community college and 2-year state school. Otherwise we’ll need to pitch in from income. We’re not going to fill out FAFSA and will hope for merit scholarships.

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I’ve heard it both ways. The advice I’m following says income more than $250K or assets more than $1M (probably most consulting fishes with college-aged kids) no value and not filling it out signals you’ll be financing the bulk of the education. A friend was told it was required and he ignored it and his kid got a merit scholarship offer anyway.

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Baby on the way! We’re planning to put $30k in initially once he’s born, then $250 a month. According to the Virginia 529 site’s calculation, that should cover 4 years of state school.

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Congrats! VA allows for 4k state deduction annually. Consider lower initial, and higher monthly to reach 4k per year.

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Is your kid a left handed pitcher?

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$1000/mo per kid.

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It also depends on where you live, in Cleveland where I am, DayCare isn’t 1000/month - but on the coastal cities, I can see it being much higher

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My kids are 2 and 4 - we started right away with our daughter but were a little late to the party with our son (who is older). Unfortunately we'll be paying our mortgage while they're in college unless circumstances change between now and then so we're hoping to not have to pay much (or anything) in tuition when they're in school.

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Where are you investing?

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I'm doing advisor guided 529 accounts for both with target date funds (they start out more aggressive and become more conservative the closer you get to the kids being 18.) At least in New York, where I live, there are state tax benefits to contributing in that you can take I believe up to a $10k deduction on your state tax return for 529 contributions. That might be why contributing more doesn't necessarily make sense, though the tax free growth seems like a benefit in and of itself. And my financial assumptions are all based on both kids going to an expensive private school with no athletic or merit scholarship (so most expensive scenario, effectively.)

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The market for NFL kickers is hotter than ever! Start lining up some field goals for your kids ASAP!!

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I just got this in my email

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