Author Topic: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!  (Read 1255725 times)

lhamo

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7100 on: August 15, 2023, 09:53:57 AM »
n=1 here and this is anecdata, but I'm going to share just in case it is helpful to people re: college decision making.

If you want your kids to go to college and you don't want to spend a huge part of your stash on it you need to do the same things you are doing to plan the rest of your financial FIRE journey -- research, understand how the system works, and plan.

Understand how the FAFSA works.  It uses prior prior year tax data.  So, if you can manufacture low on paper income in your kid's sophomore year, you may give yourself a boost in terms of financial aid options.  If you income is low enough or if you are on certain programs in that year (Medicaid and free student lunch being the big ones), you will probably get a $0 EFC.  Maybe the kids sophomore year is a good one to take a sabbatical or trial FIRE run to bring your income down.

If you have substantial assets that you do not want to spend on college costs, alert your kids NOW that you will not be able to finance an education for them at any school that uses the CSS profile to assess for financial aid.  Unless your income is below the stated cutoff for the schools they are interested in for need based aid.  This can be surprisingly high at some schools -- used to hover around 50-60k at a lot of places, but now may be up to 100k plus. 

Look into regional university tuition discount programs -- WUE is the one for the western US.  If you apply to a participating out of state school via WUE, you pay only 150% of the in-state tution.  This would have made going to the schools in Oregon, California and Colorado that DD liked feasible for the first year (she was also offered nice recruitment scholarships to OSU and Colorado State)

Understand how your state flagship schools handle financial aid.  Based on our EFC of $0, our daughter is getting essentially a full ride at our state flagship.  Part of her award is a work study offer, but I see that as a plus.  Loans were not a part of her package there. 

Does your kid want to go to an out of state public?  As FIREd folk, you have more flexibility to move/establish residency there.  I would have considered moving to either Oregon or Colorado if DD had wanted to go to the schools there that accepted her. 

HIghly recommend the book Who Gets In and Why to better understand how merit aid works, especially if you are considering private institutions for your kids.  You will have much better chances of getting a strong merit aid award at less competitive schools.

Dicey

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7101 on: August 15, 2023, 11:38:45 AM »
n=1 here and this is anecdata, but I'm going to share just in case it is helpful to people re: college decision making.

If you want your kids to go to college and you don't want to spend a huge part of your stash on it you need to do the same things you are doing to plan the rest of your financial FIRE journey -- research, understand how the system works, and plan.

Understand how the FAFSA works.  It uses prior prior year tax data.  So, if you can manufacture low on paper income in your kid's sophomore year, you may give yourself a boost in terms of financial aid options.  If you income is low enough or if you are on certain programs in that year (Medicaid and free student lunch being the big ones), you will probably get a $0 EFC.  Maybe the kids sophomore year is a good one to take a sabbatical or trial FIRE run to bring your income down.

If you have substantial assets that you do not want to spend on college costs, alert your kids NOW that you will not be able to finance an education for them at any school that uses the CSS profile to assess for financial aid.  Unless your income is below the stated cutoff for the schools they are interested in for need based aid.  This can be surprisingly high at some schools -- used to hover around 50-60k at a lot of places, but now may be up to 100k plus. 

Look into regional university tuition discount programs -- WUE is the one for the western US.  If you apply to a participating out of state school via WUE, you pay only 150% of the in-state tution.  This would have made going to the schools in Oregon, California and Colorado that DD liked feasible for the first year (she was also offered nice recruitment scholarships to OSU and Colorado State)

Understand how your state flagship schools handle financial aid.  Based on our EFC of $0, our daughter is getting essentially a full ride at our state flagship.  Part of her award is a work study offer, but I see that as a plus.  Loans were not a part of her package there. 

Does your kid want to go to an out of state public?  As FIREd folk, you have more flexibility to move/establish residency there.  I would have considered moving to either Oregon or Colorado if DD had wanted to go to the schools there that accepted her. 

HIghly recommend the book Who Gets In and Why to better understand how merit aid works, especially if you are considering private institutions for your kids.  You will have much better chances of getting a strong merit aid award at less competitive schools.
This is exactly what I was talking about! There are tons of ways to hack education costs. Mustachianism for the win!

Anecdata: My friend's twins did AA's at a JC, then finished their degrees at USC. Their brother got into West Point. My cousin's kid went to Brown on an athletic scholarship. They also got their Master's in one year, by utilizing another Brown perk. Another cousin graduated Med School, then joined the Air  Force. They were a Major within five years, then eventually retired as a full-bird Colonel. Another got into a Maritime Academy.

All of these people earned gold-plated credentials for way below average cost.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7102 on: August 15, 2023, 12:13:22 PM »
I too believe my choice to retire early should not penalize our kids with a higher EFC. We have a firehose of cash coming in right now, so it's hard not to work OMY to fund what would otherwise cost our kids substantially more time. We're almost done funding the the oldest's account and we'll tweak it in ~5 years if needed, depending on how the market is doing.

There are ways to hack educational costs, but usually it's a tradeoff. College is about more than just a piece of paper, it's also about learning, instilling a love for learning, building connections and relationships (friendships to jobs), etc. Some of the ways to reduce costs compromise these other goals. I've had community college courses, good state university courses, and courses at a top 10 school. The quality of education improved substantially for each level up. Knowing this, I'm not a fan of encouraging my kid to take a scholarship at a state school if they don't want to go there. Many top schools don't allow athletic scholarships (and that's a dicey strategy to employ anyways). My family has a military background, and knowing what I do, I'm not comfortable encouraging them to go into the military for the free education. We earn more at our current jobs than we would we tried to get a job at a university for the free tuition. Etc. But it's not mustachian, so I don't usually advertise our plans to fund most if not all of college. That all said, yes, I'm looking into how to reduce our income to lower our costs for FAFSA, but 1) some places use CSS, and 2) we'd need to manage to keep the income low for 7 years.

*waves hi*
I've been lurking here for ages, finally posted.

FireLane

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7103 on: August 15, 2023, 12:18:02 PM »
On the subject of college hacking, New York's Excelsior scholarship pays full tuition at a SUNY or CUNY school for in-state families who earn $125,000 or less.

When the time comes, I'm going to strongly hint to my son that he should take advantage of this. (Although who knows what the college landscape will look like in 10+ years...)

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7104 on: August 15, 2023, 12:23:19 PM »
Small rant time -
I'm just a casual observer, but one would think it would have been possible, especially during and after Covid, to reduce the price of college.  My kids just missed the year or two of Pandemic at-home learning, but this should have been a catalyst for colleges to find cost-cutting opportunities.  There is no doubt in my mind that colleges should be able to leverage technology to continue to provide a high quality education for a lower price.

Once again, America 'does it differently' than other countries and relies on the free market to set prices.  And once again, the consumer is faced with walking in to a 'supermarket' where we want the best product but have no idea what it will cost or how the prices are set, let alone what is the best value.  To complicate it further, things are dependent on which state you just happen to live in, so it's really hard to walk up and down all the aisles in the market and compare.  For the wealthy and well-connected, this supermarket works just fine, but for the casual Joe it's a nightmare.  Other countries have a more socialist approach to higher education, similar to health care.  And just like health care, the American system which worked at one point has now spiraled out of control.  I wonder if we'll ever get Federal action along the lines of an 'Affordable Education Act', given how massive student debt has become?

I've got to completely disagree that America relies on the free market to set prices for college.  The free market would have in no way have led to college being as expensive as it is today.  In no other sector can someone with no income, no assets, no history of credit, etc etc borrow and actually be encouraged to borrow six figures completely unsecured, which leads to millions of people having six figures to spend whereever.  I think colleges could have and probably did find a lot of cost cutting opportunities, but given everyone has access to six figures of borrowing, and no competing college lowered their price, why would they lower their price? 

farmecologist

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7105 on: August 15, 2023, 12:28:06 PM »
n=1 here and this is anecdata, but I'm going to share just in case it is helpful to people re: college decision making.

If you want your kids to go to college and you don't want to spend a huge part of your stash on it you need to do the same things you are doing to plan the rest of your financial FIRE journey -- research, understand how the system works, and plan.

Understand how the FAFSA works.  It uses prior prior year tax data.  So, if you can manufacture low on paper income in your kid's sophomore year, you may give yourself a boost in terms of financial aid options.  If you income is low enough or if you are on certain programs in that year (Medicaid and free student lunch being the big ones), you will probably get a $0 EFC.  Maybe the kids sophomore year is a good one to take a sabbatical or trial FIRE run to bring your income down.

If you have substantial assets that you do not want to spend on college costs, alert your kids NOW that you will not be able to finance an education for them at any school that uses the CSS profile to assess for financial aid.  Unless your income is below the stated cutoff for the schools they are interested in for need based aid.  This can be surprisingly high at some schools -- used to hover around 50-60k at a lot of places, but now may be up to 100k plus. 

Look into regional university tuition discount programs -- WUE is the one for the western US.  If you apply to a participating out of state school via WUE, you pay only 150% of the in-state tution.  This would have made going to the schools in Oregon, California and Colorado that DD liked feasible for the first year (she was also offered nice recruitment scholarships to OSU and Colorado State)

Understand how your state flagship schools handle financial aid.  Based on our EFC of $0, our daughter is getting essentially a full ride at our state flagship.  Part of her award is a work study offer, but I see that as a plus.  Loans were not a part of her package there. 

Does your kid want to go to an out of state public?  As FIREd folk, you have more flexibility to move/establish residency there.  I would have considered moving to either Oregon or Colorado if DD had wanted to go to the schools there that accepted her. 

HIghly recommend the book Who Gets In and Why to better understand how merit aid works, especially if you are considering private institutions for your kids.  You will have much better chances of getting a strong merit aid award at less competitive schools.

I like the thinking there, and trust me...we thought of nearly everything you mentioned.  However, the vast majority of people are not going to "take a sabbatical" or "trial FIRE" to lower their income, even the majority of people here on MMM.  Personally, I'll gladly take the year of income vs. no income to possibly save a few bucks on college tuition.

However, you do have a point in that if you are already FIRE'd, it would be fairly easy to manufacture low income to arrive at a low ( or even zero ) EFC.  Heck, many FIREd folks are already manufacturing low income to be eligible for ACA credits.   I'd wager that most folks are not FIREd with college aged kids though.

I still maintain that FAFSA is an extremely flawed system.   Like I mentioned before, in many cases the parents won't ( or claim the can't ) pay their EFC.  That puts the student in a very bad situation.  This happens all the time...
   

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7106 on: August 15, 2023, 12:42:38 PM »
My original plan was to FIRE before the kids went to college and have low income, but that is very much having the tail wag the dog.  If you can make more money working than what you save on tuition (which is the case for a lot of jobs, not the least of which the firehose of income jobs many of us have had) then it's really hard to use tuition saving as justification to forego income.  On paper, the numbers make no sense. 

Of course, if you are FI and hate your job, then an excuse like saving big money on tuition sweetens the deal.  Once you're not comparing apples to apples (i.e. if you have FIRE'd or have sabbatical), then the tuition savings looks really savvy.

Louise

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7107 on: August 15, 2023, 01:17:59 PM »
But I would never want them to make tough educational decisions or work a lot to pay for school and then inherit $2M (each) when we die. That just doesnít make sense to me.
I got to go off to college and it was a wonderful experience. I'd like my child to have the same. I agree it doesn't make sense to deny that and inherit money later.
I am absolutely not suggesting that children can't(or shouldn't) "go off to college", I'm questioning the amount of $$$$$ many parents, especially mustachian ones, seem to feel obligated to spend.

Yes, I agree. I was thinking more along the lines of we have amassed a large sum of money (see thread title, lol) and I can't imagine telling DD that she has to go to community college and live at home, but then inherit a huge sum years later. That doesn't make sense to me, especially because I loved going away to college and would like her to have the same experience. Back in the day, my family had a low EFC, so I received Pell grants, worked a lot, had a few academic scholarships, and took out some loans. Back when I was 18, it would have been hard because the nearest college was 40 minutes away in an economically depressed city. I'm not sure it would have been easy to get started on my own with no car and no job. Instead, I might have just joined the military or tried to get a job in one of the factories, I don't know.

Louise

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7108 on: August 15, 2023, 01:23:24 PM »
My original plan was to FIRE before the kids went to college and have low income, but that is very much having the tail wag the dog.  If you can make more money working than what you save on tuition (which is the case for a lot of jobs, not the least of which the firehose of income jobs many of us have had) then it's really hard to use tuition saving as justification to forego income.  On paper, the numbers make no sense. 

Of course, if you are FI and hate your job, then an excuse like saving big money on tuition sweetens the deal.  Once you're not comparing apples to apples (i.e. if you have FIRE'd or have sabbatical), then the tuition savings looks really savvy.

I haven't worked in years, but my spouse loves his job and loves working. I told him he should think about retiring for good in 2025 (DD's FAFSA year), but I'm not sure he will go for that. I'd really like our family to have more time together before our child leaves.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7109 on: August 15, 2023, 01:28:54 PM »
My original plan was to FIRE before the kids went to college and have low income, but that is very much having the tail wag the dog.  If you can make more money working than what you save on tuition (which is the case for a lot of jobs, not the least of which the firehose of income jobs many of us have had) then it's really hard to use tuition saving as justification to forego income.  On paper, the numbers make no sense. 

Of course, if you are FI and hate your job, then an excuse like saving big money on tuition sweetens the deal.  Once you're not comparing apples to apples (i.e. if you have FIRE'd or have sabbatical), then the tuition savings looks really savvy.

I haven't worked in years, but my spouse loves his job and loves working. I told him he should think about retiring for good in 2025 (DD's FAFSA year), but I'm not sure he will go for that. I'd really like our family to have more time together before our child leaves.

That was another wrinkle in my plan, after 10 years of being a SAHP, DW decided she wanted to get her teacher certificate and become a full time teacher.  We'd still likely get a good FAFSA subsidy / EFC with her making $30 - 40k, but it does complicate things.

BeanCounter

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7110 on: August 15, 2023, 06:11:25 PM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

Zamboni

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7111 on: August 15, 2023, 06:43:59 PM »
Not technically if it is all tied up in retirement accounts, but if the money is in taxable accounts, then yes. Also, many schools have supplemental aid applications that are much more detailed than the FAFSA. I don't actually know what the formula is, though. I was surprised we received as much aid for our kids as we initially did as we are pretty high income in my opinion. If they had gone in state, though, I don't think we qualified for anything at our local state schools.

lhamo

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7112 on: August 15, 2023, 08:47:09 PM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

CSS Profile, which many private schools use, looks more deeply at actual financial details.

If you are on the road to FIRE it is pretty easy to game the FAFSA if you understand how it works and plan ahead.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7113 on: August 15, 2023, 09:03:56 PM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

And when the new FAFSA rules take effect in a year or two, there will be even more ways to game the system be "exempt from asset reporting".

BeanCounter

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7114 on: August 16, 2023, 05:32:55 AM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

And when the new FAFSA rules take effect in a year or two, there will be even more ways to game the system be "exempt from asset reporting".

What makes you think that? According to what I just read on the new form assets are not reported for parents with AGI less than $60k AND does not file tax forms A,B,D,E, F or H. So anyone filing a schedule D will have to report brokerage account balances.
At least thatís how I read it now that Iím digging into the upcoming changes to the FAFSA. This is all still new to me.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7115 on: August 16, 2023, 06:52:32 AM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

And when the new FAFSA rules take effect in a year or two, there will be even more ways to game the system be "exempt from asset reporting".

What makes you think that? According to what I just read on the new form assets are not reported for parents with AGI less than $60k AND does not file tax forms A,B,D,E, F or H. So anyone filing a schedule D will have to report brokerage account balances.
At least thatís how I read it now that Iím digging into the upcoming changes to the FAFSA. This is all still new to me.

Also, not to make anyone feel bad or anything, but grants and scholarships are intended for students that need the economic support.  I always felt a little off 'gaming the system', even if the system is incredibly flawed...  Plenty of FIRE adherents do it, and even go on to boast about it (Mad FIentist...), so it is very much a personal decision.

The bigger question on a lot of this FIRE stuff is if the US is ever going to figure out how to treat people with assets similar to people with income.  The game is certainly rigged to favor being investment rich and income poor.  Other countries have implemented things like a wealth tax, so there is precedent, just not political will or a dire enough national deficit problem, yet...  But politicians are chipping away around the edges.  You never know when things will suddenly shift.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7116 on: August 16, 2023, 07:30:45 AM »

I've got to completely disagree that America relies on the free market to set prices for college.  The free market would have in no way have led to college being as expensive as it is today.  ...

When Mrs Fredbear started as a professor some 30+ years ago, the administrative structure was Professor - Department Chair - Dean.  Now there are about 8 layers between Professor and Dean.  Colleges claim these tiers have been instituted to comply with federal mandates and regulations.  Perhaps that is true; none of these titles (adjunct, assistant, associate, assistant to the adjunct...) seem as if a free market would have generated them.  The people in these jobs make 6 figures, not based on their scientific accomplishments.  Much of the enormous advance in college prices is administrative bloat, which, ensconced, self-protects.

farmecologist

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7117 on: August 16, 2023, 07:38:23 AM »

I've got to completely disagree that America relies on the free market to set prices for college.  The free market would have in no way have led to college being as expensive as it is today.  ...

When Mrs Fredbear started as a professor some 30+ years ago, the administrative structure was Professor - Department Chair - Dean.  Now there are about 8 layers between Professor and Dean.  Colleges claim these tiers have been instituted to comply with federal mandates and regulations.  Perhaps that is true; none of these titles (adjunct, assistant, associate, assistant to the adjunct...) seem as if a free market would have generated them.  The people in these jobs make 6 figures, not based on their scientific accomplishments.  Much of the enormous advance in college prices is administrative bloat, which, ensconced, self-protects.

Sounds exactly like my large megacorp.  My wife works for a large 'nonprofit' medical organization and yep...same thing.  The "administrative fat" in both cases is astonishingly large...but ironically is even larger in the 'nonprofit'!

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7118 on: August 16, 2023, 08:33:05 AM »
Small rant time -
I'm just a casual observer, but one would think it would have been possible, especially during and after Covid, to reduce the price of college.  My kids just missed the year or two of Pandemic at-home learning, but this should have been a catalyst for colleges to find cost-cutting opportunities.  There is no doubt in my mind that colleges should be able to leverage technology to continue to provide a high quality education for a lower price.

Once again, America 'does it differently' than other countries and relies on the free market to set prices.  And once again, the consumer is faced with walking in to a 'supermarket' where we want the best product but have no idea what it will cost or how the prices are set, let alone what is the best value.  To complicate it further, things are dependent on which state you just happen to live in, so it's really hard to walk up and down all the aisles in the market and compare.  For the wealthy and well-connected, this supermarket works just fine, but for the casual Joe it's a nightmare.  Other countries have a more socialist approach to higher education, similar to health care.  And just like health care, the American system which worked at one point has now spiraled out of control.  I wonder if we'll ever get Federal action along the lines of an 'Affordable Education Act', given how massive student debt has become?

I've got to completely disagree that America relies on the free market to set prices for college.  The free market would have in no way have led to college being as expensive as it is today.  In no other sector can someone with no income, no assets, no history of credit, etc etc borrow and actually be encouraged to borrow six figures completely unsecured, which leads to millions of people having six figures to spend whereever.  I think colleges could have and probably did find a lot of cost cutting opportunities, but given everyone has access to six figures of borrowing, and no competing college lowered their price, why would they lower their price?

I can both agree and disagree with your statement.  I lived through the "before time" of college finance and through the change and into the "after time".  College costs followed directly the amounts that the federal government allowed for student loan borrowing.  I can remember going to my local bank before every year start and taking out a Federal student loan.  This was strictly limited for everyone.  College costs were set by what students could borrow.  So as an example, my top, private Northeast region technical university cost me $4000 back in the early 80's per semester.  Then Reagan opened the flood gates on student loans, removing all limits.  That same college added a full level of Deans over the existing Deans, directly under the president.  Lots of buildings were built.  The college president makes over a Million dollars.  My son went there for his undergrad engineering degree, like I did.  When he finished, full boat cost (what I paid) was $73k per year.  When I graduated in the mid 80's, I made my entire 4 year cost in about 13 months of working.  For him to do that, he'd have to have started at about $225k a year.  Well, that ain't gonna happen until he's been an engineer for 25 years outside of the Bay area, silly high priced places.

If the Fed were to again set max borrowing at a reasonable level again, guess what?  Colleges would drop their costs.  I know exactly how my alma mater sets it's costs.  It surveys about a dozen similar colleges....technical private top but not MIT level colleges.  Then they plop their cost right exactly in the middle of all of them.  It has nothing to do with actual cost. 

And  when I get calls from alumnae association people looking for donations, I respond "I'm happy to give you what I was given, paying my own way through college nearly 40 years ago.  Zip.  Goodbye.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7119 on: August 16, 2023, 12:53:42 PM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

And when the new FAFSA rules take effect in a year or two, there will be even more ways to game the system be "exempt from asset reporting".

What makes you think that? According to what I just read on the new form assets are not reported for parents with AGI less than $60k AND does not file tax forms A,B,D,E, F or H. So anyone filing a schedule D will have to report brokerage account balances.
At least thatís how I read it now that Iím digging into the upcoming changes to the FAFSA. This is all still new to me.

What makes me think that is that when FAFSA simplification passed, I sat down and read through the entire law very carefully several times.  At that time I had two kids in college going to FAFSA schools.

As I've said before - and everyone should doublecheck for themselves and not rely on SGOTI - there are multiple ways to be exempt from asset reporting.  One may be what you mention - AGI low enough and not filing certain forms - although that may be old FAFSA and not new FAFSA; I'm not sure.  Another is if anyone in the FAFSA family receives benefits from a federal means tested benefit such as Medicaid.  A third - which doesn't seem to be well known and is based on my careful reading of the law - but I might be wrong and I might have misread the law - is if the family has an SAI of $0, which they can get by having an AGI under 175%/225% of FPL.  My notes say "Auto zero SAI also qualifies us for SNT under Section 479(b)(2)(A) via 473(b)" and those are references to the applicable sections of federal law if anyone wants to doublecheck.

I mention doublechecking several times because my kids are now post-FAFSA so it doesn't matter to me any more and I therefore have stopped keeping up on all the changes.  Also, Congress keeps tweaking FAFSA Simplification, and the Department of Education is being slow to roll things out.  Therefore a lot of what you'll read on the web about FAFSA is either out of date, incomplete, or just not written yet.  I feel badly for parents of HS juniors and seniors trying to navigate this stuff.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7120 on: August 16, 2023, 05:52:31 PM »
Well Iím confused. If Iíve got say $4M in investments (taxable and retirement accounts) doesnít that show up on the FAFSA and make your dependents ineligible for college aid regardless of what you AGI is?

No.  There is a whole other thread about this, but in short if you qualify for certain programs (Medicaid and free school lunch being the primary ones) due to low taxable income that means your assets are not considered in the FAFSA calculations. 

And when the new FAFSA rules take effect in a year or two, there will be even more ways to game the system be "exempt from asset reporting".

What makes you think that? According to what I just read on the new form assets are not reported for parents with AGI less than $60k AND does not file tax forms A,B,D,E, F or H. So anyone filing a schedule D will have to report brokerage account balances.
At least thatís how I read it now that Iím digging into the upcoming changes to the FAFSA. This is all still new to me.

What makes me think that is that when FAFSA simplification passed, I sat down and read through the entire law very carefully several times.  At that time I had two kids in college going to FAFSA schools.

As I've said before - and everyone should doublecheck for themselves and not rely on SGOTI - there are multiple ways to be exempt from asset reporting.  One may be what you mention - AGI low enough and not filing certain forms - although that may be old FAFSA and not new FAFSA; I'm not sure.  Another is if anyone in the FAFSA family receives benefits from a federal means tested benefit such as Medicaid.  A third - which doesn't seem to be well known and is based on my careful reading of the law - but I might be wrong and I might have misread the law - is if the family has an SAI of $0, which they can get by having an AGI under 175%/225% of FPL.  My notes say "Auto zero SAI also qualifies us for SNT under Section 479(b)(2)(A) via 473(b)" and those are references to the applicable sections of federal law if anyone wants to doublecheck.

I mention doublechecking several times because my kids are now post-FAFSA so it doesn't matter to me any more and I therefore have stopped keeping up on all the changes.  Also, Congress keeps tweaking FAFSA Simplification, and the Department of Education is being slow to roll things out.  Therefore a lot of what you'll read on the web about FAFSA is either out of date, incomplete, or just not written yet.  I feel badly for parents of HS juniors and seniors trying to navigate this stuff.
@secondcor521
thanks for the clarification! I will research more. My first child just started his freshman year of high school so we are just starting to consider things like this.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7121 on: August 17, 2023, 07:21:21 AM »
I feel good about my current investment portfolio/plans for the long run so have been looking at cleaning up any other items that need attention.  One is our wills, which is the basic give the money to the spouse or after both gone split among the 3 kids, and who is to be their guardians until adulthood.  They are finishing college, high school and middle school now so a guardian is not gonna be a part of this for much longer. 

Since we made this will many years ago our net worth has significantly increased and I'm wondering if I should create some kind of trust to distribute the assets in pieces instead of all one lump sum.  (I guess it has just occurred to me that these kids would each become a millionare if we passed today, and I'm not sure even what I would have done with $1M at say 24 years old.....I sure have made some money mistakes in my life and was glad they happened back when I didnt have much...).  I don't want to set up anything elaborate or very controlling, but I sure see the advantage to splitting this into a couple/few pieces.  Anyone do this or have thoughts on why they didn't?  Who should hold/distribute the money since there will be very simple terms (maybe a law firm I get to draw this up?)

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7122 on: August 17, 2023, 07:57:18 AM »
I feel good about my current investment portfolio/plans for the long run so have been looking at cleaning up any other items that need attention.  One is our wills, which is the basic give the money to the spouse or after both gone split among the 3 kids, and who is to be their guardians until adulthood.  They are finishing college, high school and middle school now so a guardian is not gonna be a part of this for much longer. 

Since we made this will many years ago our net worth has significantly increased and I'm wondering if I should create some kind of trust to distribute the assets in pieces instead of all one lump sum.  (I guess it has just occurred to me that these kids would each become a millionare if we passed today, and I'm not sure even what I would have done with $1M at say 24 years old.....I sure have made some money mistakes in my life and was glad they happened back when I didnt have much...).  I don't want to set up anything elaborate or very controlling, but I sure see the advantage to splitting this into a couple/few pieces.  Anyone do this or have thoughts on why they didn't?  Who should hold/distribute the money since there will be very simple terms (maybe a law firm I get to draw this up?)

You can create what's called a testamentary trust.  All that means is that it is a trust set up by your will.  So the trustee of those trusts would be named, and the terms of distribution would be outlined.  A common approach is separate but equal trusts for each kid, with HEMS distributions plus 1/3 at 25, 30, and 35 or whatever ages you like.

Any estate planning attorney will have boilerplate language for this kind of thing and would just drop it into your will.

The trustee could be the same person as the executor.  Any bank or investment firm can hold the assets in a trust account.  The trustee would be the person making the distributions from the trust to the kids (or to the college or doctor or whatever).

My current will is that way, but my next will (which I'm working on) will have that stuff ripped out.  Two reasons:  simplicity for my trustee, and my kids are all mature enough in their 20s to handle it.  On the other hand, I might leave it in as there are some estate tax avoidance benefits to my kids to leave it in trust rather than outright.

One thing with these kinds of trusts is that they have to file their own tax return and pay taxes differently.  So that's an additional thing to consider.  You can take a look at IRS Form 1041 to see the kind of return they file and how the rules are similar but different.  In particular trust tax brackets are more aggressive.

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7123 on: August 17, 2023, 08:29:15 AM »
I feel good about my current investment portfolio/plans for the long run so have been looking at cleaning up any other items that need attention.  One is our wills, which is the basic give the money to the spouse or after both gone split among the 3 kids, and who is to be their guardians until adulthood.  They are finishing college, high school and middle school now so a guardian is not gonna be a part of this for much longer. 

Since we made this will many years ago our net worth has significantly increased and I'm wondering if I should create some kind of trust to distribute the assets in pieces instead of all one lump sum.  (I guess it has just occurred to me that these kids would each become a millionare if we passed today, and I'm not sure even what I would have done with $1M at say 24 years old.....I sure have made some money mistakes in my life and was glad they happened back when I didnt have much...).  I don't want to set up anything elaborate or very controlling, but I sure see the advantage to splitting this into a couple/few pieces.  Anyone do this or have thoughts on why they didn't?  Who should hold/distribute the money since there will be very simple terms (maybe a law firm I get to draw this up?)

You can create what's called a testamentary trust.  All that means is that it is a trust set up by your will.  So the trustee of those trusts would be named, and the terms of distribution would be outlined.  A common approach is separate but equal trusts for each kid, with HEMS distributions plus 1/3 at 25, 30, and 35 or whatever ages you like.

Any estate planning attorney will have boilerplate language for this kind of thing and would just drop it into your will.

The trustee could be the same person as the executor.  Any bank or investment firm can hold the assets in a trust account.  The trustee would be the person making the distributions from the trust to the kids (or to the college or doctor or whatever).

My current will is that way, but my next will (which I'm working on) will have that stuff ripped out.  Two reasons:  simplicity for my trustee, and my kids are all mature enough in their 20s to handle it.  On the other hand, I might leave it in as there are some estate tax avoidance benefits to my kids to leave it in trust rather than outright.

One thing with these kinds of trusts is that they have to file their own tax return and pay taxes differently.  So that's an additional thing to consider.  You can take a look at IRS Form 1041 to see the kind of return they file and how the rules are similar but different.  In particular trust tax brackets are more aggressive.

Thanks, that's very helpful.  My youngest is actually the smartest/best with money/investing (I'm sure he'll be managing my money someday), so obviously I hope and expect for any of this to be moot as I'm sure I'd remove it all in 15 years and expect both my wife and myself to still be around at that point ;-)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2023, 08:30:58 AM by Much Fishing to Do »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7124 on: August 17, 2023, 05:00:43 PM »
This just isn't anywhere near attainable anymore.  Our kids attend the same state university that we did.  Unfortunately, summer jobs are literally a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of college.  Summer jobs allow our kids to pay a portion of their living expenses, and part of their rent, but that's about it.   Fortunately, we set up 529 accounts when they were young in anticipation, but the amount we have in there still doesn't cover everything....not even close.  And like I said...they attend a state university...not some even more obscenely priced private college.

State schools where I am are $35k per year all in, if my kids could make that in a summer they wouldn't need college.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7125 on: August 17, 2023, 05:06:30 PM »
So,.......college costs a lot more,........kids can't get jobs that pay enough to pay the tuition,........banks charge high interest rates to these kids to go to school & I guess even bankruptcy won't get them out of it.    But the system certainly isn't rigged it's just a natural progression of a Capitalist economy,........right.

Actually no, colleges and universities are either non-profit or government controlled, loans are provided by the government, and by law those loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.    Because of this colleges spend an inordinate amount of money on new buildings, higher salaries, and a crap ton of mid level administrators just like the federal government.   So pretty much the opposite of capitalism because there is no need to be accountable to budgets or ROI as the money keeps rolling in.   

catccc

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7126 on: August 17, 2023, 05:11:30 PM »
There are definitely for-profit colleges, too.

2sk22

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7127 on: August 18, 2023, 02:17:08 AM »
This just isn't anywhere near attainable anymore.  Our kids attend the same state university that we did.  Unfortunately, summer jobs are literally a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of college.  Summer jobs allow our kids to pay a portion of their living expenses, and part of their rent, but that's about it.   Fortunately, we set up 529 accounts when they were young in anticipation, but the amount we have in there still doesn't cover everything....not even close.  And like I said...they attend a state university...not some even more obscenely priced private college.

State schools where I am are $35k per year all in, if my kids could make that in a summer they wouldn't need college.

It's still possible to make enough to cover a big part of the expenses, at least in some cases. My younger daughter, who is a math major, made about $20k this past summer as an intern in a tech company. Incidentally, she does attend a state school but not in our state. We pay out-of-state tuition which is still a bargain compared to many private schools.


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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7128 on: August 18, 2023, 02:34:16 AM »
One thing I noticed is alot of people in the 2-4M+ do have pensions which is awesome. I was never fortunate enough to have an opportunity for one but was self employed most my life.

Another thing that is amazing is to see so many people talk about there numbers still swelling. Granted I have been retired now for 9 years and I have a lot of nice things and am always busy doing things but I I have stayed in my budget and I have pretty much the same as I have had since the market had its run up. I guess thats a win in some regards but otherwise things are the same. I am right at 2.4 with a paid of house worth another 1.3M and then some. Like Dicey my wife still works because she loves her job and has off seemingly all the time but she makes didly but gets health insurance for us and still contributes to the max on to get her match on 401k and puts money in our HSA. I will take odd cash jobs here an there because we have an RV and have begone traveling alot around the country. These also are expensive times as we have 2 out of college and 1 in and our last one going next year. Even though we had the money saved in 529's there is always extra costs seemingly. So maybe hanging flat is ok. Kudos to you younger folks that have had the discipline to really save and yes you should enjoy life along the way.

itchyfeet

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7129 on: August 18, 2023, 03:25:47 AM »
Never a dull week.

I had a new boss start a couple of weeks ago, and on a short, informal call this week, he told me that he would be changing the structure, and subject to clearance with HQ, I wouldnít have a job going forward. He doesnít even know me. His decision is purely based on job title and not what I do, but whatever.

I went through a range of emotions, starting with shock and then anger. Once I calmed down I started to consider that maybe my redundancy might be more profitable than my resignation, which was imminent anyways.

I checked my employment contract and it is not favourable as it provides that I can be terminated at any time with 3 months pay in lieu of notice.

I do wonder whether I can leverage my way to something more favourable, but not really sure how to exit in a professional way but still squeeze the lemon for what I can. Colleagues who have fought their termination in the past have had their reputations dragged through the mud.

I am considering whether to get legal advice to find some avenues to exert some pressure on the organisation, but maybe given that any settlement would be a drop in the ocean relative to my net worth I should just leave quietly without resistance. I definitely wont be able to negotiate a large severance. At best it might be an extra couple of months pay, which might be 0.5%-1.0% of my stash.

Any Australian HR law experts here?

Ps: there is still the chance that HQ blocks my terminationÖ. We will see iif there is any loyalty in the company.

Then I will be back to resigningÖ. 😂

pecunia

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7130 on: August 18, 2023, 06:51:31 AM »
Never a dull week.

I had a new boss start a couple of weeks ago, and on a short, informal call this week, he told me that he would be changing the structure, and subject to clearance with HQ, I wouldnít have a job going forward. He doesnít even know me. His decision is purely based on job title and not what I do, but whatever.

I went through a range of emotions, starting with shock and then anger. Once I calmed down I started to consider that maybe my redundancy might be more profitable than my resignation, which was imminent anyways.

I checked my employment contract and it is not favourable as it provides that I can be terminated at any time with 3 months pay in lieu of notice.

I do wonder whether I can leverage my way to something more favourable, but not really sure how to exit in a professional way but still squeeze the lemon for what I can. Colleagues who have fought their termination in the past have had their reputations dragged through the mud.

I am considering whether to get legal advice to find some avenues to exert some pressure on the organisation, but maybe given that any settlement would be a drop in the ocean relative to my net worth I should just leave quietly without resistance. I definitely wont be able to negotiate a large severance. At best it might be an extra couple of months pay, which might be 0.5%-1.0% of my stash.

Any Australian HR law experts here?

Ps: there is still the chance that HQ blocks my terminationÖ. We will see iif there is any loyalty in the company.

Then I will be back to resigningÖ. 😂

It sounds like Australia is like the US.  You are an "at will" employee.  Many people in the US don't realize their rights are very limited.

"At Will" - Essentially, this means that the law presumes you can quit your job, with or without notice, for any reason. Likewise, an employer may fire you, with or without notice or cause.


Much Fishing to Do

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7131 on: August 18, 2023, 07:06:03 AM »
Never a dull week.

I had a new boss start a couple of weeks ago, and on a short, informal call this week, he told me that he would be changing the structure, and subject to clearance with HQ, I wouldnít have a job going forward. He doesnít even know me. His decision is purely based on job title and not what I do, but whatever.

I went through a range of emotions, starting with shock and then anger. Once I calmed down I started to consider that maybe my redundancy might be more profitable than my resignation, which was imminent anyways.

I checked my employment contract and it is not favourable as it provides that I can be terminated at any time with 3 months pay in lieu of notice.

I do wonder whether I can leverage my way to something more favourable, but not really sure how to exit in a professional way but still squeeze the lemon for what I can. Colleagues who have fought their termination in the past have had their reputations dragged through the mud.

I am considering whether to get legal advice to find some avenues to exert some pressure on the organisation, but maybe given that any settlement would be a drop in the ocean relative to my net worth I should just leave quietly without resistance. I definitely wont be able to negotiate a large severance. At best it might be an extra couple of months pay, which might be 0.5%-1.0% of my stash.

Any Australian HR law experts here?

Ps: there is still the chance that HQ blocks my terminationÖ. We will see iif there is any loyalty in the company.

Then I will be back to resigningÖ. 😂

It sounds like Australia is like the US.  You are an "at will" employee.  Many people in the US don't realize their rights are very limited.

"At Will" - Essentially, this means that the law presumes you can quit your job, with or without notice, for any reason. Likewise, an employer may fire you, with or without notice or cause.

3 months pay for getting fired is much better than anything I ever had.  I'm at will and can be let go today, on the flip side I can also leave today if I want to!

secondcor521

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7132 on: August 18, 2023, 07:13:00 AM »
Never a dull week.

I had a new boss start a couple of weeks ago, and on a short, informal call this week, he told me that he would be changing the structure, and subject to clearance with HQ, I wouldnít have a job going forward. He doesnít even know me. His decision is purely based on job title and not what I do, but whatever.

I went through a range of emotions, starting with shock and then anger. Once I calmed down I started to consider that maybe my redundancy might be more profitable than my resignation, which was imminent anyways.

I checked my employment contract and it is not favourable as it provides that I can be terminated at any time with 3 months pay in lieu of notice.

I do wonder whether I can leverage my way to something more favourable, but not really sure how to exit in a professional way but still squeeze the lemon for what I can. Colleagues who have fought their termination in the past have had their reputations dragged through the mud.

I am considering whether to get legal advice to find some avenues to exert some pressure on the organisation, but maybe given that any settlement would be a drop in the ocean relative to my net worth I should just leave quietly without resistance. I definitely wont be able to negotiate a large severance. At best it might be an extra couple of months pay, which might be 0.5%-1.0% of my stash.

Any Australian HR law experts here?

Ps: there is still the chance that HQ blocks my terminationÖ. We will see iif there is any loyalty in the company.

Then I will be back to resigningÖ. 😂

Not an Australian HR law expert by any stretch.

One thing that would be on the easier side relatively speaking, but not actually easy, would be if you were over a certain age (40 in the US), you could threaten point out that it might be age discrimination.  Here, the company would probably roll over and offer a payment in lieu of a potential ADEA age discrimination lawsuit.  This would happen even though US employment generally is at will.

If it were me, I wouldn't go through the adversarial drag through the mud procedure just for 1%.  I'd probably just try to let it go and maybe hope to pick up some part time or project gigs somewhere else that would be more enjoyable.  But that's just me.  YMMV.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7133 on: August 18, 2023, 08:52:59 AM »
There are definitely for-profit colleges, too.

True, but they are a really small piece of the pie and really most have been proven out to be a money grab.....and where dies such money come from, the federal government through loans that are not dischargeable.  Until that is when borrowers start paying them back (or not as the case may be) and then the federal government does a hardship forgiveness based on the fact that the for-profit school misrepresented itself and did not meet expectations.....duh, no shit.   And yet the government keeps doing it.   

As another poster said, manage the student loan availability downward and costs, admin, fraud, waste will all go down in kind. 


farmecologist

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7134 on: August 18, 2023, 09:14:45 AM »
Never a dull week.

I had a new boss start a couple of weeks ago, and on a short, informal call this week, he told me that he would be changing the structure, and subject to clearance with HQ, I wouldnít have a job going forward. He doesnít even know me. His decision is purely based on job title and not what I do, but whatever.

I went through a range of emotions, starting with shock and then anger. Once I calmed down I started to consider that maybe my redundancy might be more profitable than my resignation, which was imminent anyways.

I checked my employment contract and it is not favourable as it provides that I can be terminated at any time with 3 months pay in lieu of notice.

I do wonder whether I can leverage my way to something more favourable, but not really sure how to exit in a professional way but still squeeze the lemon for what I can. Colleagues who have fought their termination in the past have had their reputations dragged through the mud.

I am considering whether to get legal advice to find some avenues to exert some pressure on the organisation, but maybe given that any settlement would be a drop in the ocean relative to my net worth I should just leave quietly without resistance. I definitely wont be able to negotiate a large severance. At best it might be an extra couple of months pay, which might be 0.5%-1.0% of my stash.

Any Australian HR law experts here?

Ps: there is still the chance that HQ blocks my terminationÖ. We will see iif there is any loyalty in the company.

Then I will be back to resigningÖ. 😂

It sounds like Australia is like the US.  You are an "at will" employee.  Many people in the US don't realize their rights are very limited.

"At Will" - Essentially, this means that the law presumes you can quit your job, with or without notice, for any reason. Likewise, an employer may fire you, with or without notice or cause.

3 months pay for getting fired is much better than anything I ever had.  I'm at will and can be let go today, on the flip side I can also leave today if I want to!

As someone that has worked for a tech megacorp for a long time and has somehow avoided yearly layoffs ( but probably not for much longer ), just take the 3 months and run.  They likely will make you sign a "no sue" document to be able to collect the severance.

These corporations have massive legal departments and have more time and resources than you have.  It just isn't worth fighting it.   I know those that have, and it certainly didn't turn out to be worth it.  The age discrimination argument never works because they select younger people to lay off as well....just enough so the percentages let them escape age discrimination lawsuits.  It sucks, but it is what it is...
 
« Last Edit: August 18, 2023, 09:17:27 AM by farmecologist »

Dicey

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7135 on: August 18, 2023, 02:48:36 PM »
One thing I noticed is alot of people in the 2-4M+ do have pensions which is awesome. I was never fortunate enough to have an opportunity for one but was self employed most my life.

Another thing that is amazing is to see so many people talk about there numbers still swelling. Granted I have been retired now for 9 years and I have a lot of nice things and am always busy doing things but I I have stayed in my budget and I have pretty much the same as I have had since the market had its run up. I guess thats a win in some regards but otherwise things are the same. I am right at 2.4 with a paid of house worth another 1.3M and then some. Like Dicey my wife still works because she loves her job and has off seemingly all the time but she makes didly but gets health insurance for us and still contributes to the max on to get her match on 401k and puts money in our HSA. I will take odd cash jobs here an there because we have an RV and have begone traveling alot around the country. These also are expensive times as we have 2 out of college and 1 in and our last one going next year. Even though we had the money saved in 529's there is always extra costs seemingly. So maybe hanging flat is ok. Kudos to you younger folks that have had the discipline to really save and yes you should enjoy life along the way.
Hey, SLO4, good to hear from you!! If you're cruising around in your RV (as we are), you should consider coming to the Magical Moab Meetup in October. A lot of cool mustachians will be there. There is no formal agenda, just a slew of amazing things to explore with other like-minded folks. The more, the merrier!

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/magical-moab-meetup-2023/


itchyfeet

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7136 on: August 19, 2023, 03:13:59 PM »

These corporations have massive legal departments and have more time and resources than you have.  It just isn't worth fighting it.   I know those that have, and it certainly didn't turn out to be worth it.  The age discrimination argument never works because they select younger people to lay off as well....just enough so the percentages let them escape age discrimination lawsuits.  It sucks, but it is what it is...

Thanks for all of the advice and words from experience.

Iíve given the situation more thought over the weekend and decided not to wait to be made redundant. Iíve decided I will just resign, and leave on my own terms. I was going to FIRE in March anyways.

I feel fairly certain that head office will block the local CEO, at least temporarily. They will also propose a relocation to me I suspect, so being punted could be a long and painful dialogue. I would be absolutely shocked if I walked in to the office in the next few weeks to find I was met with the HR director telling me to pack my box!

In resigning I will have to give 3 months notice, and will be obliged to work as opposed to being given 3 months pay in lieu of notice if terminated by the company, but I wonít be working up a sweat during these final 3 months and definitely wonít be getting on a plane for work. I hate work travel.

For me the benefit of resigning is mainly retaining a bit more control of the situation. This is important to me as I need to manage the lender for our new home construction. It is possible we will be forced to sell our current house and rent for a bit until the new house is built, if the bank freezes my credit once I donít have an income. Iíll take the time of the 3 months notice period to get on the front foot with the bank, rather than be placed in a pressure situation. Right at the moment seems a great time to be selling in my suburb.

I canít resign this week for work reasons I wonít disclose here, but Monday 28 August will be the day I give my FIRE notice.

Just writing that I will be retired in 3 months raises the stress levels. I still canít believe we have the financial capacity to never work again, even if I know it to be the case. Ill be retiring aged 51.

On the plus side, I was already lying in bed last night looking at the NBA draw for the coming season to see who we might be able to watch if we are spending next April mooching around NYC for the month. Somehow we have never visited NYC despite having travelled around 70 countries and I am very much looking forward to having the time for an extended visit that would never be feasible whilst we were working.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2023, 04:02:47 PM by itchyfeet »

pecunia

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7137 on: August 19, 2023, 04:43:03 PM »

These corporations have massive legal departments and have more time and resources than you have.  It just isn't worth fighting it.   I know those that have, and it certainly didn't turn out to be worth it.  The age discrimination argument never works because they select younger people to lay off as well....just enough so the percentages let them escape age discrimination lawsuits.  It sucks, but it is what it is...

Thanks for all of the advice and words from experience.

Iíve given the situation more thought over the weekend and decided not to wait to be made redundant. Iíve decided I will just resign, and leave on my own terms. I was going to FIRE in March anyways.

I feel fairly certain that head office will block the local CEO, at least temporarily. They will also propose a relocation to me I suspect, so being punted could be a long and painful dialogue. I would be absolutely shocked if I walked in to the office in the next few weeks to find I was met with the HR director telling me to pack my box!

In resigning I will have to give 3 months notice, and will be obliged to work as opposed to being given 3 months pay in lieu of notice if terminated by the company, but I wonít be working up a sweat during these final 3 months and definitely wonít be getting on a plane for work. I hate work travel.

For me the benefit of resigning is mainly retaining a bit more control of the situation. This is important to me as I need to manage the lender for our new home construction. It is possible we will be forced to sell our current house and rent for a bit until the new house is built, if the bank freezes my credit once I donít have an income. Iíll take the time of the 3 months notice period to get on the front foot with the bank, rather than be placed in a pressure situation. Right at the moment seems a great time to be selling in my suburb.

I canít resign this week for work reasons I wonít disclose here, but Monday 28 August will be the day I give my FIRE notice.

Just writing that I will be retired in 3 months raises the stress levels. I still canít believe we have the financial capacity to never work again, even if I know it to be the case. Ill be retiring aged 51.

On the plus side, I was already lying in bed last night looking at the NBA draw for the coming season to see who we might be able to watch if we are spending next April mooching around NYC for the month. Somehow we have never visited NYC despite having travelled around 70 countries and I am very much looking forward to having the time for an extended visit that would never be feasible whilst we were working.

Sometimes you lose benefits if you quit rather than being laid off.  I'm sure you have looked into this.

itchyfeet

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7138 on: August 19, 2023, 07:05:33 PM »
It is possible that I could be a little better off with a redundancy. Not sure.

However, whatever the amount is, it will be pretty inconsequential. If the stock market goes up 1% itíll probably be worth more to me.

What is more important to me is to leave in an organised way so I can focus fully on the next phase of my life.

farmecologist

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7139 on: August 19, 2023, 08:10:22 PM »
It is possible that I could be a little better off with a redundancy. Not sure.

However, whatever the amount is, it will be pretty inconsequential. If the stock market goes up 1% itíll probably be worth more to me.

What is more important to me is to leave in an organised way so I can focus fully on the next phase of my life.

Hmm..why don't you take the 3 months severance instead of resigning?   

At my company, most that get laid off take the severance package ( usually equivalent to 3 months of salary these days ), the severance sum is paid out in a lump sum, and then unemployment is collected ( which varies by state ).  Note that resigning could also nullify eligibility for unemployment, but the rules also vary by state.   Something to look into and think about.

This is in the USA though...not sure how it works in other countries.

Edit  - Fixed unintelligible sentence.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2023, 07:52:52 AM by farmecologist »

itchyfeet

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7140 on: August 19, 2023, 08:54:52 PM »
In Australia unemployment benefits are means tested. My assets and income will mean I am not eligible for any form of social security.

My current salary means I am not eligible to a redundancy payment and am not protected by unfair dismissal laws.

The law basically says I am rich enough to fend for myself. I guess we all agree on this, otherwise we wouldnít believe in the concept of financial independence.

farmecologist

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7141 on: August 21, 2023, 07:57:14 AM »
In Australia unemployment benefits are means tested. My assets and income will mean I am not eligible for any form of social security.

My current salary means I am not eligible to a redundancy payment and am not protected by unfair dismissal laws.

The law basically says I am rich enough to fend for myself. I guess we all agree on this, otherwise we wouldnít believe in the concept of financial independence.

Wow...that's a bummer!   I never would have thought USA unemployment laws are better than Australia.   However, it does vary tremendously by state. 

I'm from Minnesota, often cited for "one of the worst for state taxes"....but we do have great social programs, great parks, and uhh...cannabis was just legalized, etc...  It actually seems like the state cares about it's citizens.   Not perfect, of course, but FAR better than other states in that regard.  Daughter lives in North Carolina and it is horrendous there when I compare to Minnesota.  And NC isn't even anywhere near the bottom of the list.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2023, 12:09:28 PM by farmecologist »

deborah

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7142 on: August 21, 2023, 09:15:18 AM »
Australian unemployment laws are better. However, you need to understand that unemployment benefits are entirely from the government - they arenít related to your employment and they arenít created by you or your employer. They depend on whether you are currently employed or not. If you arenít employed, you are eligible for unemployment benefits depending upon your ability to keep yourself from destitution.

This is an entirely different concept.

If you have a large amount of savings, such as those in this thread, you can easily keep yourself from destitution, so you become eligible for unemployment benefits much later than others.

People can also privately insure for loss of income, which is effectively what US unemployment benefits appear to me to be - but I may be wrong.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2023, 09:24:03 AM by deborah »

Dancin'Dog

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7143 on: August 21, 2023, 11:22:11 AM »
We're the "rich bastards" that nobody's supposed to care about.  LOL!

pecunia

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7144 on: August 21, 2023, 04:38:25 PM »
In Australia unemployment benefits are means tested. My assets and income will mean I am not eligible for any form of social security.

My current salary means I am not eligible to a redundancy payment and am not protected by unfair dismissal laws.

The law basically says I am rich enough to fend for myself. I guess we all agree on this, otherwise we wouldnít believe in the concept of financial independence.

Wow...that's a bummer!   I never would have thought USA unemployment laws are better than Australia.   However, it does vary tremendously by state. 

I'm from Minnesota, often cited for "one of the worst for state taxes"....but we do have great social programs, great parks, and uhh...cannabis was just legalized, etc...  It actually seems like the state cares about it's citizens.   Not perfect, of course, but FAR better than other states in that regard.  Daughter lives in North Carolina and it is horrendous there when I compare to Minnesota.  And NC isn't even anywhere near the bottom of the list.

"Land of 10,000 taxes."  I used to live there.  It is a great state.  Maybe, I should move back.  Much better ice fishing than in North Carolina.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7145 on: August 23, 2023, 04:50:56 AM »
One thing I noticed is alot of people in the 2-4M+ do have pensions which is awesome. I was never fortunate enough to have an opportunity for one but was self employed most my life.

Another thing that is amazing is to see so many people talk about there numbers still swelling. Granted I have been retired now for 9 years and I have a lot of nice things and am always busy doing things but I I have stayed in my budget and I have pretty much the same as I have had since the market had its run up. I guess thats a win in some regards but otherwise things are the same. I am right at 2.4 with a paid of house worth another 1.3M and then some. Like Dicey my wife still works because she loves her job and has off seemingly all the time but she makes didly but gets health insurance for us and still contributes to the max on to get her match on 401k and puts money in our HSA. I will take odd cash jobs here an there because we have an RV and have begone traveling alot around the country. These also are expensive times as we have 2 out of college and 1 in and our last one going next year. Even though we had the money saved in 529's there is always extra costs seemingly. So maybe hanging flat is ok. Kudos to you younger folks that have had the discipline to really save and yes you should enjoy life along the way.
Hey, SLO4, good to hear from you!! If you're cruising around in your RV (as we are), you should consider coming to the Magical Moab Meetup in October. A lot of cool mustachians will be there. There is no formal agenda, just a slew of amazing things to explore with other like-minded folks. The more, the merrier!

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/magical-moab-meetup-2023/


Things for thought! I have never had a fall as busy as the one I have now however. Maybe next time!!! Although I am already booking for next year. Also planning on Backpacking any freetime I have to start the Appalachian in March/April.

itchyfeet

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7146 on: August 25, 2023, 03:53:46 AM »
I met with an employment lawyer today just to talk through things ahead of my ďnext stepsĒ meeting with the CEO on Monday. Was good to get a little guidance. Nothing earth shattering but i felt it was helpful to have an experienced ear to bounce thoughts off. Letís see if I can negotiate a good exit.

In other very sad news, last night I got a call from the brother of my best friend from high school and through my early 20s. Sadly it was to let me know my great friend had died a day earlier from aggressive cancer. I havenít seen him for around 10 years as life sent us in different directions in our late 20s, but still it has left me feeling a bit down. I wish the brother could have called a month ago. This is the second close friend from high school that has passed this year. Iím only 51 and they are starting to drop like flies. If I think back to my teens I probably had a group of friends of maybe 20 guys. 3 are already gone. 15% down.

The loss of my friend this week and the pending loss of my career next week feels like a heavy burden tonight. My mood is also causing fights with DW who is very stressed about me not bringing in an income any more. 😔
« Last Edit: August 25, 2023, 04:14:42 AM by itchyfeet »

Zamboni

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7147 on: August 25, 2023, 04:56:16 AM »
Please accept my condolences on the death of your friend. That is really terrible news.

Each day is a gift, and I hope you and DW can patch up the tiff and you can gently let her know how stressed you are and how you need her mental support through this right now regardless of what happens.

Dancin'Dog

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7148 on: August 25, 2023, 05:50:30 AM »
I met with an employment lawyer today just to talk through things ahead of my ďnext stepsĒ meeting with the CEO on Monday. Was good to get a little guidance. Nothing earth shattering but i felt it was helpful to have an experienced ear to bounce thoughts off. Letís see if I can negotiate a good exit.

In other very sad news, last night I got a call from the brother of my best friend from high school and through my early 20s. Sadly it was to let me know my great friend had died a day earlier from aggressive cancer. I havenít seen him for around 10 years as life sent us in different directions in our late 20s, but still it has left me feeling a bit down. I wish the brother could have called a month ago. This is the second close friend from high school that has passed this year. Iím only 51 and they are starting to drop like flies. If I think back to my teens I probably had a group of friends of maybe 20 guys. 3 are already gone. 15% down.

The loss of my friend this week and the pending loss of my career next week feels like a heavy burden tonight. My mood is also causing fights with DW who is very stressed about me not bringing in an income any more. 😔






Remind yourselves that you're a strong leader who has amassed an army of Ben Franklins that will protect you and your family.  You've both worked hard and made sacrifices for a good life and a comfortable future.  The future is now and you're still young enough to enjoy it together.  Today is a time to celebrate your achievements and a time to plan the wonderful things you will be doing together.  Get out the champagne.  Put the stress & fighting behind you.   

Ozlady

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Re: Race from $2M to $4M...and Beyond!
« Reply #7149 on: August 25, 2023, 06:55:07 AM »
Hi Itchy Feet

So sorry to hear of your friend's passing...

About your wife's worry about you not bringing in any more income, have you shared the numbers with her to reassure her?

It is a major change in both of your lives...and SHE is not YOU...she may need more time and effort to reconcile this new development in BOTH your lives...

Have you tried putting it in Words instead of Talking? sometimes that gives one time to reflect instead of going on the offensive...

All the best...

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!