Author Topic: How much do you put away for college each month?  (Read 9184 times)

Vindicated

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2017, 11:28:50 AM »
Side note question - I haven't put a lot of research into the financial aid situation.  Several co-workers are saying that I'll be essentially forced to pay for my 3 kids college.  Is that true?

What I've been hearing is that we most likely will not qualify for financial aid, and that if they want student loans, they will be private and i'll be forced to co-sign.  True?

Of course I'm hoping they'll have scholorships and all that - but if not I'm troubled by having to consider being on the hook for all of their college costs.

I think your coworkers are likely talking about this in the instance that you would cosign for your child's loans.  I don't think that's necessary.  My parents didn't cosign any of mine.

As far as FinAid goes, I'd be surprised if any Mustachian qualifies, but student loans are separate entities.

Either way, if you've got a while until your kids head to college, this may all be meaningless speculation, as the landscape will undoubtedly change in the next decade.
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69mach351

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #51 on: February 03, 2017, 02:34:09 PM »
My wife and I have mixed feelings.  I think we should help the kids as much as possible and she thinks that they need to be primarily responsible.  I do see the value of them having skin in the game. 

I read an article years back about a dad that would take whatever spare change he has in his pocket at the end of the day, and put it in their kids' college fund.  It may not seem like a lot, but it adds up over time when invested halfway decently.  I started doing that, as well as a few bucks here and there.  Grandparents have contributed a bit. The kids are still over a decade away from school, but have about $5-6k.  By the time they hit that point (hopefully well before) our house will be paid off, so we will be able to help a little more as well.

If people are interested in this method, but don't use cash often, you could use Acorns.  I've been using it for a year now, and have saved ~$1000.  Although, I keep pulling the money out of it to pay off debt.  Eventually I'll let it grow there, or pull it out to put it into my Son's 529.
  I looked into Acorns, but they did not work with my bank and doing it manually doesn't really differentiate it from any other service, so I let it be.  I like the concept though.

Pigeon

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2017, 06:12:11 PM »
Side note question - I haven't put a lot of research into the financial aid situation.  Several co-workers are saying that I'll be essentially forced to pay for my 3 kids college.  Is that true?

What I've been hearing is that we most likely will not qualify for financial aid, and that if they want student loans, they will be private and i'll be forced to co-sign.  True?

Of course I'm hoping they'll have scholorships and all that - but if not I'm troubled by having to consider being on the hook for all of their college costs.
That will depend very much on your financial situation.  You can google for information about the FAFSA, and what counts and doesn't count as being "available" for your child's tuition.  It gives a number called the estimated family contribution or EFC.  It depends on your kid, their grades, their interests, their demographics, where they apply. 

In general, if your kids have great grades and test scores, they will get more financial aid from less competitive schools, who will want to attract them.  Some schools offer financial aid (some of which may be loans) to bridge the gap between what the sticker price is and what the EFC is.  There is very little merit aid in our state system unless you meet very specific criteria.

I've got one in college.  Most of my friends were shocked when they found out what the FAFSA calculates their "estimated family contribution" should be.   

velvethammer

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2017, 07:29:09 AM »
$100 per month for each kid (which we started around age 3 months), supplemented by occasional lump sums deposited from credit card rewards, tax refunds, or bonuses from work.  Our plan is to be able to fund tuition and books for 4 years to an in-state school.  They will be expected to have jobs for spending money, and for living expenses if they choose to live away from home.  As long as they are working and earning good grades, they will have the option of living at home for free while attending school.

AeroEngineer

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2017, 11:03:19 PM »
$550/month per kid into 529 account.  Two kids - ages 4 and 5. Our basic target is to have 250K in each account by age 22 (realizing they would be spending it during college, but I like simple math).

One of the greatest gifts our parents gave us was a fully funded education- to the best schools we could get into.  We want our kids to have that opportunity as well.  As for having skin in the game, it is our job as parents to ensure they understand their future is dependent on them taking advantage of the opportunity we will give them.

If it works out that they don't need/use that money, then it will keep rolling in the 529 for their kids.   

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2017, 12:36:19 AM »
$550/month per kid into 529 account.  Two kids - ages 4 and 5. Our basic target is to have 250K in each account by age 22 (realizing they would be spending it during college, but I like simple math).

One of the greatest gifts our parents gave us was a fully funded education- to the best schools we could get into.  We want our kids to have that opportunity as well.  As for having skin in the game, it is our job as parents to ensure they understand their future is dependent on them taking advantage of the opportunity we will give them.

If it works out that they don't need/use that money, then it will keep rolling in the 529 for their kids.   
Wow... That's pretty generous.
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firelight

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2017, 04:09:55 AM »
We did $10k as soon as kid was born and have invested it in vtsax. By calculations, it should grow to 20k by the time kid hits college age. But since there are too many unknowns (kid might go to college outside US, kid might go the nontraditional route) we decided not to invest anymore. We plan to do the same for future kids as well.

Also we'll fully fund undergrad for kids. Grad school, I'm hoping they come to US and get scholarship/use their 529s.

radram

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2017, 06:00:24 AM »
We did $10k as soon as kid was born and have invested it in vtsax. By calculations, it should grow to 20k by the time kid hits college age. But since there are too many unknowns (kid might go to college outside US, kid might go the nontraditional route) we decided not to invest anymore. We plan to do the same for future kids as well.

Also we'll fully fund undergrad for kids. Grad school, I'm hoping they come to US and get scholarship/use their 529s.

You expect 4% growth for 18 years? That sounds a little low to me.

WinterSkies

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2017, 01:41:58 PM »
Enough to max out the matching on our Registered Education Savings Plan (we're in Ontario, Canada). About $210 a month (that's our contribution monthly, with extras periodically from relatives etc).

It takes most of his (tax-free) Child Care benefit to contribute this amount, and I think it's enough to give him a good start without paying for absolutely everything.

That's what we're doing too (Manitoba) - tossing the Child Care benefit into an RESP for our kids and letting the government provide a 20% return on the money that we already got from them :)  We're putting in $275/child each month, as we have room from previous years to catch up on, but once we're caught up we will only contribute enough to get the government match.

My philosophy is that while I will support my children in their post-secondary schooling, I won't be paying their full education costs because it is an opportunity for them to learn about how to manage their finances.  I went into a four year degree with enough savings to pay for one year.  The rest was paid for through a combination of employment income and a student line of credit.  I'm still reaping the rewards of that LoC a decade later with my excellent credit rating (due to having to pay monthly interest payments all the way through).  It also forced me to budget for debt repayment once I got out of school.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #59 on: February 16, 2017, 12:20:07 AM »
We did $10k as soon as kid was born and have invested it in vtsax. By calculations, it should grow to 20k by the time kid hits college age. But since there are too many unknowns (kid might go to college outside US, kid might go the nontraditional route) we decided not to invest anymore. We plan to do the same for future kids as well.

Also we'll fully fund undergrad for kids. Grad school, I'm hoping they come to US and get scholarship/use their 529s.

You expect 4% growth for 18 years? That sounds a little low to me.
I hope that's low!
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LoganRivera

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #60 on: February 16, 2017, 01:46:42 AM »
Till now, I haven't started savings for my children. But now, after seeing all yours posts I think I should have started the savings a few years back.

jkitiara

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #61 on: February 16, 2017, 11:44:34 AM »
A friend convinced me to start a 529 when my son was born last year so "that other family members could contribute." So I did and then my husband and I looked around at our family members...

When we stopped laughing we realized that it will make a great teaching tool through our son's life. Like the small amounts he gets at birthdays or whatever, he can put 25% into the 529 and he will see how much it adds up for schooling. He will help pay for it this way, plus working, plus any loans/scholarships.

That said, I also put in $50 a month, the minimum amount required to do automatic deposits. It's a pretty minor sacrifice for a pretty big payoff as the returns add up over 17 yrs. We do not get any tax benefit in California. We have no intention of fully funding our kids schooling, but if we can afford it at the time we will. Since my husband is self employed, we put mass amounts ($28k or more) into his SEP IRA every year and will pull from there if we are FIRE and feel it is necessary 17 yrs from now.

And like everyone says, maybe I'll use it for myself to get a master's once I'm retired, just for funsies :)

nvmama

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #62 on: February 20, 2017, 07:25:15 AM »
I've recently have been considering opening 529 plans for my 3 kids (9,6,18 months).  MA just started for 2017 allowing a tax deduction for $1000 for single, $2000 for married for contributions.  So far it's only going to be a deduction for 4 years.  Am thinking of taking advantage  of this while we can.  Any one familiar with MA 529 plans?
Other than doing this, we are not  saving for the kids college, for all the reasons already noted by others.  They each have an savings accounts for any money they may receive as gifts, which never more then $50 to $100 max.  Just recently I opened a vanguard account in my name for each of them and put some of their money in it invested in an index etf.  When they are older and need it I'll transfer it back to them. They don't have much but I figured in the long run it will be a better return then just sitting in the bank.

Drole

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2017, 10:51:17 AM »
Basically $0.  The cost/benefit isn't there anymore.  If my kid really wants to be something that REQUIRES a degree/license, etc, then we'll figure it out.  But to me, the cost of universities now makes it a scam.  I have much greater interest in showing my kid how to make money, entrepreneurial activities and the benefits of working for yourself. etc etc.

ChiefMomOfficer

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2017, 03:57:48 AM »
I do $300 per month for three kids, plus $10k per year lump sum divided between them. My goal is to fully fund four years at our flagship state university tuition, room and board. Any difference from going out of state or to a private school will need to be made up through work, scholarships, grants, or loans. My kids are 13, 9, and 1 and so far I'm on track to meet that goal. Every year I check the cost of attendance at the state flagship university and adjust the plan as needed.

As some others have mentioned, part of the plan is to free up cash flow by having the mortgage paid off before my 13 year old heads off to college. So the savings plus cash flow will be used to fund college for the three.

Also, Slate-WA, your friends are right that you could need to co-sign loans for your kids to attend certain schools. If your income is high, and your EFC (expected family contribution) is high, your kids can only get limited loans on their own. I think it's about $30-$35k total now?  If they want to go to a school that costs more, and your EFC says you can "afford" it (notice how that's in quotes), then their only option will be private loans that you co-sign. The government sees paying for college as part of a parents responsibility, and it doesn't care if a parent has decided that they won't pay. The parents income and assets will count against the child for the purposes of calculating aid.
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dcozad999

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2017, 10:34:21 AM »
I do $50 per pay period for each kid. Also dump in $200 for birthdays and sometimes Christmas, and grandma will dump some in on holidays as well.

Started my oldest's at 1.5 years-old and at 5.5 he now has a little over $8000. I started the 8 month old's at birth and she already has over $1100.

I'll keep it that way for the near future. Like many on here are saying, no one knows what's going to happen with college costs in the next 10-15 years. I just can't see myself pushing one of my kids into an undergrad program that will cost over $100k. That just seems ludicrous to me.

This is a little off topic, but I looked up the local IBEW apprenticeship program the other day and oh how I wish I would have gone that route. They don't make nearly what I do today, but you can start at 18-19 and are making decent money a few years later (link below). I didn't really get my professional career started until I was 28.

http://www.topekaelectricaljatc.com/current_apprentice_information





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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2017, 01:04:38 PM »
Side note question - I haven't put a lot of research into the financial aid situation.  Several co-workers are saying that I'll be essentially forced to pay for my 3 kids college.  Is that true?

What I've been hearing is that we most likely will not qualify for financial aid, and that if they want student loans, they will be private and i'll be forced to co-sign.  True?

Of course I'm hoping they'll have scholorships and all that - but if not I'm troubled by having to consider being on the hook for all of their college costs.

I can tell you from personal experience it's probably true if you have any sort of savings and median income in the US.  My parents made 55k a year, mostly my fathers pension and disability, had ZERO savings, credit card debt and lived in a state where their property taxes alone were 7k a year.  Financial aid told me they should be responsible for 80% of my college tuition on their household salary.  They could barely pay their bills, the idea of paying 80% of my college tuition was out of the question. 

The only thing I was offered was subsidized student loans of 4-8k depending on year that they had to cosign for.  The other loans I had to take out were all private (state program but private loans NJCLASS) and they had to cosign for all of those as well to the tune of close to six figures.  I qualified for work study one year, but made more waiting tables so turned it down.  I qualified for minimal scholarships as I wasn't very sports or arts inclined and didn't care enough about school in High school to have a 4.0 (I was a solid B+ student just never studied).

After I got my first job, and made a year of on time payments while living on my own, I was able to refinance the loans to my name only and remove my parents as cosigners which was a condition of their cosigning for me.  Best thing my parents ever did force me to choose a major that I had VERY little interest or knowledge in, but that they knew I could get an actual job with.

So yea, if they aren't rockstar students, or have skill in an under served sport, you will probably be on the hook for a chunk of their costs through cosigning.  Make sure your kids are reliable.  My niece asked my parents to cosign hers, my parents knew how her mother was (bankrupt 4 times) and said no.  The other grandmother cosigned and is paying that price as my niece took 130k out for a nutrition degree...so yea, at 25k salary a year can't pay the loans, or even the interest on the loans.  DH and I routinely get collectors calling OUR house across the country, looking for her and the grandmother.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #67 on: February 24, 2017, 11:54:01 PM »
Till now, I haven't started savings for my children. But now, after seeing all yours posts I think I should have started the savings a few years back.
Maybe they'll be athletes or rock stars or marry young? College isn't for everyone. :D
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Teachstache

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #68 on: February 25, 2017, 08:01:41 AM »
$100 per month for each kid (which we started around age 3 months), supplemented by occasional lump sums deposited from credit card rewards, tax refunds, or bonuses from work.  Our plan is to be able to fund tuition and books for 4 years to an in-state school.  They will be expected to have jobs for spending money, and for living expenses if they choose to live away from home.  As long as they are working and earning good grades, they will have the option of living at home for free while attending school.

Very similar to us. Our son just turned 2. We are contributing $300 per month to a 529 with state income tax advantages. We live in a college town with no plans to move elsewhere. Plan is to pay for tuition at a 4 year state school. He can live at home for free or he can pay for living costs on his own if he wants to move out on his own. Hopefully he will choose the free option to live at home.

JAYSLOL

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #69 on: February 26, 2017, 10:48:26 PM »
(In Canada) I put $200 a month into an RESP for our kid, have been since (her) birth.  The government adds $40 to our contribution each month.  I figure it will add up to at least $60k by the time she turns 18 which is more than enough for a local college or university, if she needs more than that she is going to need to get a scholarship or use some of her own money from working.

MrsPB

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #70 on: February 27, 2017, 06:27:43 PM »
(In Canada) I put $200 a month into an RESP for our kid, have been since (her) birth.  The government adds $40 to our contribution each month.  I figure it will add up to at least $60k by the time she turns 18 which is more than enough for a local college or university, if she needs more than that she is going to need to get a scholarship or use some of her own money from working.

We do the same for our two little ones, works out to a little over $400/month total, but gotta love that 20% government grant!

Jesstache

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #71 on: February 27, 2017, 10:31:26 PM »
We have 2 kids aged 3 and nearly 6.  We put $400 each, $800 total per month in ibonds and have been since about 2 years before the oldest was born.  Interest earned on ibonds is tax free if used for education.  It also doesn't have to be used for education at all if they choose another path or if, as we suspect, Grandma and/or Auntie has a fund going for them as well (they will be the only grandchildren on my husband's side).  We also have a couple of rental properties that will be completely paid off long before they start college that we can tap the cash flow or equity in order to help pay for college if need be.

JAYSLOL

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2017, 01:19:59 AM »
(In Canada) I put $200 a month into an RESP for our kid, have been since (her) birth.  The government adds $40 to our contribution each month.  I figure it will add up to at least $60k by the time she turns 18 which is more than enough for a local college or university, if she needs more than that she is going to need to get a scholarship or use some of her own money from working.

We do the same for our two little ones, works out to a little over $400/month total, but gotta love that 20% government grant!

Not to mention that what I put in before the 20% match is just basically coming straight out of the UCCB we get, so yeah, no complaints here!  :)

boarder42

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2017, 11:45:31 AM »
We have 2 kids aged 3 and nearly 6.  We put $400 each, $800 total per month in ibonds and have been since about 2 years before the oldest was born.  Interest earned on ibonds is tax free if used for education.  It also doesn't have to be used for education at all if they choose another path or if, as we suspect, Grandma and/or Auntie has a fund going for them as well (they will be the only grandchildren on my husband's side).  We also have a couple of rental properties that will be completely paid off long before they start college that we can tap the cash flow or equity in order to help pay for college if need be.

this is insane ... youre losing a lot of returns putting 800 a month towards that IMO.  why not in the stock market.  who cares about the taxes when you make piles more. than that small interest.
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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2017, 03:20:06 PM »
None.

They can pay their own way by going to getting scholarships, or going to community college and working full-time, or by starting a business instead.
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jkitiara

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #75 on: March 05, 2017, 05:43:14 PM »
Of course, now that I told my husband I started a 529 for our baby, he thinks we should put in more. I disagree, mostly because I think kiddo can either figure out the rest by then, or we should be so well off that we can help out just out of pocket. But I also tried to explain how I'd rather pump that money into our IRAs and we could pull it out if we wanted to. So help me get the laws straight. If we use:
529--no taxes, no penalty
SEP IRA--pay taxes on all money taken out, but no penalty
Traditional IRA--pay taxes on all money taken out, but no penalty
Roth IRA--no taxes, no penalty
401k--no taxes, no penalty, you take the money out as a loan and pay back with interest (which you keep)

We have all of the account above, all with various amounts in them. My husband is no longer at the company he got the 401k from but it was so large he didn't have to move it so he didn't bother (I want to change this some day)
Is that all correct? What would be the smartest to draw from?

Again, not planning to, but if we are FIRE without using those accounts at that point in our lives it might make sense.

crredding

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2017, 06:16:30 PM »
We have three kids 6, 4 and 2 and we are putting in ZERO.  My priority is to ensure that our retirement is covered and we will not be dependent on our children as we age.  We also prioritized having one SAHP and have decided to homeschool them.  The plan is to expose them to as much as we can at an early age so they have a good idea what they want to do in terms of career/job and how to be self sufficient once they turn 18 or earlier.

If it seems like they will be going the college route then we will structure our income to minimize it so that we minimize the expected family contribution (EFC), if we are not FIRE yet.  We will also guide them to earn as many college credits before they even go via AP classes or CLEP.  Have them apply for as many scholarships and work study as possible and if it is still not fully covered then we might cash flow some of it with full-time or part-time work between the wife and I.

Just like retirement we do not plan to follow the standard plan of saving and paying full price for their college education if they want to go that route.

We have almost the exact same life situation and the exact same plan. Virtual high five!

Jesstache

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2017, 12:18:13 AM »
We have 2 kids aged 3 and nearly 6.  We put $400 each, $800 total per month in ibonds and have been since about 2 years before the oldest was born.  Interest earned on ibonds is tax free if used for education.  It also doesn't have to be used for education at all if they choose another path or if, as we suspect, Grandma and/or Auntie has a fund going for them as well (they will be the only grandchildren on my husband's side).  We also have a couple of rental properties that will be completely paid off long before they start college that we can tap the cash flow or equity in order to help pay for college if need be.

this is insane ... youre losing a lot of returns putting 800 a month towards that IMO.  why not in the stock market.  who cares about the taxes when you make piles more. than that small interest.

Well... diversification for one thing, I suppose.  This obviously isn't our whole investment picture.  What if I told you the ibond "fund" total represents about 3% of our total net worth today?  We did decide to use about half of the ibond fund as part of the down payment on a rental house investment a couple of years ago with the idea that we could sell the house to (easily) fund college in 12-15 years.  Who knows, we may do that again with more of the bonds if an excellent buying opportunity comes along again.

FWIW, we chose this particular course of action (ibonds as an emergency fund, turned college fund if we never needed it) pre-mustachian when we were both employed at the same company in risky independent contractor positions around the 2009 time frame.  We were already investing heavily in the stock market and this was a compromise on not just having a large emergency fund sitting in cash (what hubby wanted) that we wanted easily accessible in case of extended layoff without risk of losing principal or eroding due to (predicted at that time) runaway inflation.  I have actually brought up the idea of changing this particular part of our investment plan recently with my semi?-mustachian hubby but he likes things the way they are.  He is more risk averse than I am and I can respect that. 

AmberTheCat

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2017, 06:23:26 AM »
^^^ to slate-wa who asked about loans -- the feds are being smart with student loans. They will allow a kid to only take out around $27K in four years; freshman year starting around $5500 and going up to around $7K senior year.  Any more than that is a parent-plus loan; co-signed by parents. 

When you hear of kids with massive student loan debt, its the PARENTS who enabled this and co-signed and are on the hook as well. 

We have two in college now. the hardest part is paying for the living expenses. 1 kid is at a small college and its mandatory to stay in the dorms and pay for food plans; around $10K per year. No options at this school. Other kid lives in a frat; between them we pay $19K for R&B. R&B is pricey everywhere.

please know that there are very very few "full-ride" scholarships that will pay for your kid's R&B at college. Schools don't need to pay for that; and they make a little $ on R&B. The full-ride scholarships are often for elite athletes, and tippy top academic kids going to colleges that have lower rankings, trying to "buy" higher rankings by attracting the super smart kids.

State colleges think that a kid can work and contribute $3K per year and have a loan around 6$K = about $9k/yr.  Above that it's on the parents. Usually the best FINANCIAL option is to live at home, and attend local Community or State College. But that's not always the best choice for the kid of course (eg: daughter is going into a field that is not offered anywhere around us).  There is no way i believe college will ever be free for all.

Just keep saving! and if your kid is smart, get test prep. 
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 06:44:34 AM by AmberTheCat »
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Laura33

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #79 on: March 09, 2017, 08:24:50 PM »
We started with maybe $100/mo in Vanguard before I ever got pregnant, then started a 529 in the state we were in at the time.  Caveat that we had no debt (except mortgage) and maxed out retirement options before investing a cent toward college.  Then we moved to a state with a $2500/kid tax deduction, so we started off with one account for each kid at I think $250/mo (we rounded up).  Then a few years ago I realized the tax deduction is per parent, per kid, so we opened two more 529s in my name.  So as of today, it is a total of $1K/mo, with $10K of that being tax deductible; I think the accounts are around $140K for our oldest and $100K for the youngest.  We also continued the Vanguard -- that way it's there if we need it, but easily accessible for us if we don't.

Education is a big deal in our family; it was the path to the MC/UMC on both sides, and my mom and stepdad were both professors.  But the financial world has changed -- back in the day, my SLAC was $10K/yr, including room and board; now it's almost $65K.  Meanwhile, the merit scholarship I got has gone from $2K to $2750, and the max federal loan went from $2500 to I think maybe $5k.  So the delta just at my alma mater has gone from around $5K to $55K.

I am also not assuming *any* aid -- it is just not realistic.  We will certainly look at cheaper schools, but DD has some challenges that make "fit" and environment really important to me.  Which means either save a buttload of money or tell her to take out giganto loans.  And given that DD wants to go to med school and is going to be on the hook for that to the tune of six figures, I'd rather her not go into that already owing six figures of debt that can't even be discharged in bankruptcy.

All of which leads me back to:  we are preparing to spend a lot more money on higher ed than many people here, and I am ok with that.
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FLBiker

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2017, 06:44:10 AM »
tl;dr: $0

DD is only 2, but so far we haven't put anything away specifically for college, and I'm not sure that we will.  We've got 457s, though, which we'll have access to assuming we're no longer working (or at least no longer working in our current jobs).  Plus, my dad has started a 529 for her (and his other grand kids) and she's got about $24000 in there.  He's close to retirement, so I'm not sure how many more contributions there will be, but that's a nice start.

Fundamentally, though, DW and I aren't in favor of spending a ton of money on education.  I went to a fancy liberal arts school because my dad worked there and I got free tuition.  She went to a good state university on scholarships and pre-paid tuition.  We've opted out of pre-paid because 1) it's state specific and 2) they keep adding "fees" that your pre-payment doesn't cover (here in FL).

For grad school, I was fully funded and DW worked and got some loans.  As a university employee (faculty administrator) I don't really subscribe to the idea that everyone should get a bachelor's degree, particularly in a liberal art (and I say this as an English major).  And I absolutely advise against grad degrees without a very clear (and realistic) professional goal.  When DD is old enough, we'll encourage her to consider a variety of options -- if scholarships are available to her (here in FL we have "Bright Futures" based on a combo of grades and test scores) and if she's interested in a major with decent job prospects, then a four year college might be a good option.  If she doesn't, I'd recommend doing the first two years at community college, if she really wanted a 4 year degree.  And I absolutely expect us to have enough of a stash to help out (or fully pay for) college should we want to.  But we aren't so dead set on doing it that having college-specific accounts is a priority.

I went to school and got an English degree because going to school was "normal" and English was what I liked.  I don't think either of these were necessarily good decisions (although it worked out fine).  And they definitely weren't a good reason to spend a bunch of money.

Irishmam

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #81 on: March 24, 2017, 12:11:45 PM »

"Basically $0.  The cost/benefit isn't there anymore.  If my kid really wants to be something that REQUIRES a degree/license, etc, then we'll figure it out.  But to me, the cost of universities now makes it a scam. "
DS#2 is a High School senior- touring some of these beautiful facilities illustrates why the COA is between $68 and $71,000. How can they justify that? It's a scam and I hope it topples soon.

ltt

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #82 on: March 25, 2017, 06:28:23 AM »
We have four kids.  One is now a freshman in college and another will start this Fall.  Way back when, we put in about $100 per month.  Things really do change over the years.  One is attending a private university and received some very nice scholarships.  We used some of the money we had invested for him, sold some stock, he worked, and used some of our dividends.  We do not want him to take on any more debt his remaining three years.  So, it will be done with a mix of the money we invested for his college, dividends we receive on other investments for our retirement, our income tax refund, the education tax credit, and him working.

Our other son plans to attend a community college--he does not want to go 4 years, just 2 years.  We also saved about $100 per month over the years--and actually stopped contributing to it a few years ago.  The money we invested for him over the years will pay for him to attend 2 years at a community college.  He is planning on living at home the first year, which will also cut way down on expenses.  He also has been working part-time and we will ask him to contribute some of his earnings. 

Our other 2 younger children also want to attend a community college.  Same thing--we've just been putting $100 away for each of them.

I really think as children get a little older, say age 8-10, you really know their strengths and if they would be a good fit for a 4-year college.  We have always "promoted" education, but there are lots of options out there for those kids who do not want to attend a 4-year college.  Also, there are lots of kids out there who want to go, but either they or their parents have no plan on how to pay and so what happens is the massive amounts of debt we are seeing in our culture. 

Eric222

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #83 on: March 25, 2017, 07:57:49 AM »
I'm putting in $200/mo*2 kids - I've got a separate 529 for each of them.

After I'm done paying down debt, I'll still have ~10 years until my first reaches college.  Then I'll up contributions so I can get closer to the expected cost of a public university. 

I plan on offering my kids the same deal my father offered me:  I have enough set aside for four years at a public state school.  If you go to a more expensive school, you pay for it.  If you get scholarships, you get the money. 

Despite the divorce agreement stipulating that we'll each pay 50/50 for college, I'm not counting on her to have anything to contribute - and it is important to me that I'm able to offer my kids what my father offered me.
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ZMonet

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #84 on: April 03, 2017, 12:01:32 PM »
We have 2 kids aged 3 and nearly 6.  We put $400 each, $800 total per month in ibonds and have been since about 2 years before the oldest was born.  Interest earned on ibonds is tax free if used for education. 

Similarly to you, we invested in iBonds for some diversity and it is just a very small part of our investments.  One thing I'd point out is that the tax free interest for education gets phased out at certain incomes, so you might want to keep that in mind.

Goldielocks

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2017, 11:24:17 AM »
We have 2 kids aged 3 and nearly 6.  We put $400 each, $800 total per month in ibonds and have been since about 2 years before the oldest was born.  Interest earned on ibonds is tax free if used for education.  It also doesn't have to be used for education at all if they choose another path or if, as we suspect, Grandma and/or Auntie has a fund going for them as well (they will be the only grandchildren on my husband's side).  We also have a couple of rental properties that will be completely paid off long before they start college that we can tap the cash flow or equity in order to help pay for college if need be.

this is insane ... youre losing a lot of returns putting 800 a month towards that IMO.  why not in the stock market.  who cares about the taxes when you make piles more. than that small interest.

This is a great point at ages 2 and 4....   doesn't really matter when they are 15, though.   The reduction of risk for less money starts to matter a lot when you are close to pulling out the money.

Goldielocks

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2017, 11:33:16 AM »
Reading some of the huge savings goals that people have is a real shocker to me.

But, as I get to the point where my DD is applying for schools for next year, I realize that what she doesn't use, I get to keep for my use, or hold for her for another use (house, start a business, gap year of travel) at my discretion.   

As long as we structure how we pull the saved money out of the RESP,  that is!

gooki

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Re: How much do you put away for college each month?
« Reply #87 on: April 13, 2017, 02:07:46 AM »
$0.

If we think it's worth helping out at the time, we will dip into our stash.
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