Author Topic: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer  (Read 29280 times)

scrubbyfish

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #100 on: October 27, 2015, 07:55:28 AM »
...statistics say I wone be here to see them off to college.  My wife just isn't very good with managing money so I handle everything.  So I want to get a college savings plan setup now so that if something were to happen to me, the boys would at least have something setup for college.  Lord knows that if something happens to me, my wife is going to be a mess and won't be able to deal with setting up a college savings plan.

So, we're all saying "college savings are not super important, so don't worry about those." You're saying you want to save for college regardless. So, it sounds like we need to explore the belief that "college savings are important."

We understand you want the best for your boys. We're mere strangers, and even we want the best for them...and your wife, and you. The question is, what has you believing college savings are "the best for" any person, or even a high priority?

Any one of us may or may not be there when our kids reach college age, but that doesn't make college funds important. Something else does for you. Do you believe your wife will "blow" any money that's not locked into a college fund? Do you believe people don't "make it" without college? Or that people cannot succeed in college if they are also supporting themselves throughout it or taking loans? Has your wife indicated that she would not allow college kids to live at home?

If you can sort out and resolve the underlying belief, this "need" may dissipate.

My own beliefs, based on what I've seen in me and my peers, is that post-secondary is, for most people, a waste of time, energy, and money. People get excellent jobs and happy lives without it, and college is a guarantee of nothing. This is why I don't prioritize it. I do have a college fund for my kid, but only because the government gives an excellent immediate return (grant) on what I put in and because, with his disabilities, I have options to roll it into a disability fund. But I'm not specifically saving for college, because I really don't believe in it (unless one has oodles of cash to spare).

Acg

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Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #101 on: October 27, 2015, 08:13:05 AM »
My top priorities would be:
1. Set up a will, list of passwords, etc
2. Keep a decent emergency fund on hand (at least 30k)
3. Invest any surplus where it is accessible
4. Once your wife is ready (may take several months), your wife could start to slowly work from home a few hours a week if her mom can help out.

Already have the first 3 done.  My wife just needs time for #4 to happen...

Acg

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #102 on: October 27, 2015, 08:24:59 AM »
...statistics say I wone be here to see them off to college.  My wife just isn't very good with managing money so I handle everything.  So I want to get a college savings plan setup now so that if something were to happen to me, the boys would at least have something setup for college.  Lord knows that if something happens to me, my wife is going to be a mess and won't be able to deal with setting up a college savings plan.

So, we're all saying "college savings are not super important, so don't worry about those." You're saying you want to save for college regardless. So, it sounds like we need to explore the belief that "college savings are important."

We understand you want the best for your boys. We're mere strangers, and even we want the best for them...and your wife, and you. The question is, what has you believing college savings are "the best for" any person, or even a high priority?

Any one of us may or may not be there when our kids reach college age, but that doesn't make college funds important. Something else does for you. Do you believe your wife will "blow" any money that's not locked into a college fund? Do you believe people don't "make it" without college? Or that people cannot succeed in college if they are also supporting themselves throughout it or taking loans? Has your wife indicated that she would not allow college kids to live at home?

If you can sort out and resolve the underlying belief, this "need" may dissipate.

My own beliefs, based on what I've seen in me and my peers, is that post-secondary is, for most people, a waste of time, energy, and money. People get excellent jobs and happy lives without it, and college is a guarantee of nothing. This is why I don't prioritize it. I do have a college fund for my kid, but only because the government gives an excellent immediate return (grant) on what I put in and because, with his disabilities, I have options to roll it into a disability fund. But I'm not specifically saving for college, because I really don't believe in it (unless one has oodles of cash to spare).

I get what you're saying but this is important to me.  A couple of other things:

My wife works in education and I think it's very likely that they will go onto some kind of post-secondary school as a result of her influence.  Also, we only plan on paying for part of their education (50% at the very most, not likely that much) so in the event that one of them doesn't goto some kind of post secondary school, we could always just change the beneficiary to the other son.  The odds of neither of them going to college are extremely low so I don't really see much of a risk of us not using the funds.

I know you'll probably have something to say about this but I graduated undergrad with over $100k in debt.  I've since paid all of that off but it has definitely left a scar.  I don't want my boys to have that same kind of stress in their life.  I literally couldn't sleep for a couple years back when it was really bad and couldn't see a way out of it.  I dont want that for them.



Dee18

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #103 on: October 27, 2015, 09:11:27 AM »
+1 for setting up a trust for your boys, and designating a trustee other than your wife if you think that would be best for her and the boys.  I am a single parent and having a trust established for my daughter gave me great peace of mind.  As another suggested, your children would receive support from social security if you die while they are minors, as would your wife.  You might find the amount to be reassuring.  For a friend of mine, it was $4,000 per month in combination. 

For you to incur $100,000 in debt, you must have gone to a private college.  My daughter is currently at a private college, but only because she has a full tuition scholarship.  There are many, many ways to fund college including your wife working for a college, attending a state university, attending a private college with generous merit scholarships, and financial aid. Setting up a modest college fund for each boy and writing them a letter about your hopes for them and how they can achieve them may meet your goal better than just setting aside more money.

Goldielocks

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #104 on: October 27, 2015, 10:06:57 AM »
When I look back at the toddler and baby years, we saved only 1 to 5% of income, net of car loan.

It can be hard, even without twins and medical focus.   So don't over stress and think you are doing anything wrong.

After 6 to 8 months, with your help and great child care help, your wife should be able to recover nearly all income. Assuming you are the parent on call for any kid urgency, not her


Food. .. I live where fresh veg are expensive 8 months of the year. Frozen veg are your friend for time and cost, assuming g you need to eat a lot of vegetables.   I also bought an electric grill when kids were small, and learned about frozen chicken that went straight from a frozen 10 lb bulk box to the grill. Cook. Done. The frozen bulk box is individually frozen and 40% cheaper here, on sale, than fresh. Huge savings vs 6.99 per lb fresh.

Lastly, the weekend prep mentioned previously for homemade GF goods to eat during the week. You can cook a week of rice to have on hand, etc.

Good luck sorting this out!   

And remember that statistics only look at old data and old medical tech for old results.

Matumba

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #105 on: October 27, 2015, 10:14:57 AM »
Wow, you have a great attitude.
My first thought is that 70k will outright buy a house in some parts of the nation. I know you need to be in NYC right now, but what about later in life? Since there's a pretty good chance that your wife will be a single parent at some point, owning a house outright in a low COL area might make that a lot easier. Another thought would be what she would want her life to look like at that point. Does her current career make enough money to support her and at least two kids? Maybe she would like to work from home or work part time. Switching careers now could make a huge difference in what life would be like later for her and your children. And if you live much longer than predicted, it only gets better because you get to spend more time with her and your family.
And I actually think your food budget is pretty reasonable considering your dietary restrictions. Eating out is pretty high though, and cutting that would help. I also wouldn't sweat the taxi rides. The eating out is definitely your low hanging fruit. Having a chronic or terminal illness is one of the best reasons to buy time I've ever heard.
I don't mean to derail the thread,  but could you please name these parts of the US where you can buy a house for 70k? Preferably safe place with nice weather and relatively low taxes.

TheInsuranceMan

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #106 on: October 27, 2015, 12:16:05 PM »
Wow, you have a great attitude.
My first thought is that 70k will outright buy a house in some parts of the nation. I know you need to be in NYC right now, but what about later in life? Since there's a pretty good chance that your wife will be a single parent at some point, owning a house outright in a low COL area might make that a lot easier. Another thought would be what she would want her life to look like at that point. Does her current career make enough money to support her and at least two kids? Maybe she would like to work from home or work part time. Switching careers now could make a huge difference in what life would be like later for her and your children. And if you live much longer than predicted, it only gets better because you get to spend more time with her and your family.
And I actually think your food budget is pretty reasonable considering your dietary restrictions. Eating out is pretty high though, and cutting that would help. I also wouldn't sweat the taxi rides. The eating out is definitely your low hanging fruit. Having a chronic or terminal illness is one of the best reasons to buy time I've ever heard.
I don't mean to derail the thread,  but could you please name these parts of the US where you can buy a house for 70k? Preferably safe place with nice weather and relatively low taxes.

Small towns in the midwest.  Hell, in my town, there is a house that is for sale for under 40k.  Two story even, and move in ready.  That is pretty common for small towns in the midwest, plus, you get to see and feel all 4 seasons that mother nature gives us :).

boarder42

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #107 on: November 06, 2015, 06:15:19 PM »
i think it would be more important to give your kids educational videos of you to show them how to not accrue 100k in debt.  or spend 100k on college ... i mean thats a but load of money on an education.  there are scholarships for everything now adays.  apply and get them. work while you're in school.  dont spend 100k on an education.. tell them to be engineers and get degrees from state schools.  IN STATE schools.  all more valuable IMO than a fund specifically for college. 

have the videos played by your lawyer as part of your will at certain ages in your kids life to teach them how to manage money properly and not graduate with 100k in debt.  i never lost my dad but i lost a close cousin when i was going thru college and i would have paid attention to videos like this had he left them for me.

Acg

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #108 on: January 08, 2016, 01:45:06 PM »
So we want to buy a house in a couple years but we want to put enough down so that my wife is able to pay the mortgage solely on her income in the case that something were to happen to me and she couldn't depend on my income.  So we've determined that we need to save another $140k. We don't live very frugally right now and I was wondering what tips you guys had for changes we could make to increase or savings?  Thanks.

eliza

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #109 on: January 08, 2016, 09:52:16 PM »
Glad to see you checking back in and doing well.   Your story has been very inspirational. 

Perhaps if you could do a quick overview of your current situation (assets, liabilities, budget) people will be able to chime in with specific, helpful information.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #110 on: January 08, 2016, 09:55:18 PM »
Cut yourself a little slack, this is a crazy time with 3 mo old twins and your main priority should be getting enough sleep. Period.  The college plans can wait a little bit.

As for food: when my ex and I were in med school with crazy hours, we would make one big dish on Sunday and eat it for the next 4-5 days.  You could freeze portions and get more variety. Slow cooker recipes are another good approach to save time and energy.






pbkmaine

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #111 on: January 08, 2016, 10:01:07 PM »
For food that's organic, dairy and gluten free, I think soups and stews are your friends. Think crockpot. What about a huge pot of chili, frozen into individual portions? Or hearty chicken rice soup?

lhamo

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #112 on: January 09, 2016, 07:17:20 AM »
If you feel up to it, you might try posting a case study -- once you get all your numbers out there, people are pretty brutal (in a tough love kind of way) about helping to identify possible areas to cut.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #113 on: January 09, 2016, 07:49:12 AM »
+1 to crockpot cooking with cheap cheap staples like lentils, canned tomatoes, and celery/carrots/onions (look up lentil soup recipes in google and just pick one with a simple ingredient list and strong reviews - can't go wrong). we have a 3mo old at home right now and the crockpot has been a lifesaver. I just throw all the uncooked ingredients in when the baby is resting after her early morning feed, and then 8 hours later we have dinner ready. a big plus: a large crockpot will easily make 6 meals for 2 adults (even a breastfeeding mama), and you can just pull the ceramic insert out, cover it, and pop it in the fridge to hold the leftovers. only dishes are the 2 bowls and spoons!