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Stop saving for retirement?

Jimmy Higgins

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I'm still in the first half of the 40s and remember the good ole college days of studying compound interest. Save early and that compounding will pay off. And all things being equal, I think I'm in good shape having embraced the math from the start.

So I was pondering the lesson of the saving early... can you stop saving or reduce it in your 50s (earlier?)?

Benefits
  • instant raise
  • money for other stuff like college and vacation

Cons
  • no guarantee on rate of return over period of time
  • obviously don't want to risk things
  • can't control when the market is going to tank causing issues

Reducing in the 50s if things are aligned well almost seems like a thing to be done.
 

rousseau

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To me it pretty much comes down to what your goal is. I see a lot of people just vaguely interested in investing, but without a well-defined long-term goal (i.e. what dollar value do I need in retirement). How close you are on track to meeting that goal basically dictates what you do, or can do.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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The question is more about if you put the numbers into the coffer and they say, assuming a certain amount of growth, your planned retirement year, how long you want the money to last... if all of that is good, do you turn the contribution tap down or off at some point seeing the gain is going to diminish. Granted, if you are in your 50s, those dollars can be invested for 30 years still, and even 3% adds up to 2.4x after 30 years (staying ahead of inflation)!
 

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Plenty of advisors out there with investment vehicles to save for retirement. They ever tell you when you should stop. It's hardly in their interest to do so. Of course, a person's debts, family obligations, and intentions in retirement are unique to the individual. My big thing was in realizing the value of my time. When is it time to start enjoying what you've been saving all this time? For me, that started ten years ago in my mid forties. And I was content, happy even, living a frugal existence. My only luxury is quality food. No Giant Eagle or Acme goes into the temple. But that's me. Some people want to leave a big lump of money to their kid. I know those people. Some are seemingly addicted to watching their savings grow and can't spend it if they wanted to, the brown-baggers.

What floors me is folks who are well in to their sixties of even seventies and still have their retirement savings in stocks or aggressive mutual funds. Again, it's all relative to what money you have and what you feel comfortable playing with. A thousand dollars has different value to different people. But I wonder if some think the stock market never goes down or won't at just the wrong time for them. Still others (many) never seem to get started. I've heard a couple people make comments about needing to start saving for retirement... old people.

I've had and quit two jobs now since retiring from the navy in '08. If I work, fine. If not, that's fine too. I consider myself retired. If I work a job it's because I enjoy the work. When it's no longer enjoyable, I quit. And I just did less than a month ago. If something interesting comes along, fine. I'll work again. But for now, I'm looking forward to a summer of bike riding. Because that's what I was put here on this earth to do, enjoy myself.

I think a simple frugal life is best. I seem to sleep better and have more of an interest in maintaining my health when I'm not working.
 

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My retirement goal is to be able to retire, and live on the interest+SS and other residual income (I have a couple of small pensions that may be non-existent by the time I retire). So far, I'm on target to be able to retire 2-3 years early, live on the interest until full SS kicks in. We hope to be healthy enough to travel a fair amount when we retire so the base level won't probably keep up, but we will likely still have somewhere close to 7 figures to leave to trusts and some beneficiaries when we pass.

This all assumes that the markets are moderately stable, but does have a fair bit of buffer built in.

Unless you need the money now, or are struggling, I'd keep the 401K maxed at least, if I were you. This year, in additional to the standard deduction, we plan on making a one time contribution (we have until 4/15) to close to the max amount.

In about 5 years, we're scheduled to start moving into slightly more conservative funds. About every 3-5 years after that, we'll keep doing that until close to retirement.

I know a couple engineer who were close to retiring in ~2003 and their 401ks (and hence their potential income) about halved overnight....so they were still working for at least a couple more years.
 

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Being super conservative I decided to just find an investment company that I could trust and have a personal relationship with, and that ruled out all the big names. So I give them one percent a year but it's worth it to not have to worry about my investments. The one I found has been doing a super job and things look very good. Places like Merrill Lynch and UBS are crap, don't go there.

The only thing that kept me working to 65 was the cost of health care. We cashed in our life insurance policies because we just didn't need the coverage anymore, not because we needed the money.

We live modestly but aren't afraid to spend money. We definitely don't squeeze the nickel until the buffalo shits. Our advisor said that we can live off the interest until we're 92 years old. I plan on being dead long before that.

Don't gamble with money you cannot afford to lose. That would be my advice.
 

rousseau

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The question is more about if you put the numbers into the coffer and they say, assuming a certain amount of growth, your planned retirement year, how long you want the money to last... if all of that is good, do you turn the contribution tap down or off at some point seeing the gain is going to diminish. Granted, if you are in your 50s, those dollars can be invested for 30 years still, and even 3% adds up to 2.4x after 30 years (staying ahead of inflation)!

Would your strategy change if you weren't assuming a certain amount of growth, and instead knew with certainty the dollar figure you'd have by a certain time? It might be a misread of your situation, but that sounds like the point of uncertainty of where you're at now, or else maybe you'd just stop saving and not worry about it.

Is there a risk that your assumption about growth is incorrect? That's probably what I'd look at. Continuing to save would minimize the risk of that assumption.
 

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Key questions before you can plan properly:

(1) Do you have children or grandchildren you hope to endow? If you're a good earner, you might want to continue saving and give your descendants a good head start.

(2) What level of spending do you plan on in retirement? Do you hope for frequent holidays at expensive resorts? Or will you be satisfied with much cheaper entertainment?

(3) Do you own an expensive home? Do you plan to sell it, or to live in it through retirement?

(4) Would you consider moving to a lower-cost country? Some Americans economize by retiring to places like Costa Rica or Thailand.
 

Loren Pechtel

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If you stop saving in your 50s that means you needed to have saved more earlier in life. The least pain is from saving a basically fixed percentage of your income. Note, however, that the means of saving doesn't always have to be traditional retirement accounts. IRA? Our first savings plan was paying down the mortgage. The money is still there in the value of the house, it's not taxed, and it increases our future available income. It's not exactly liquid but it's cheaper than IRA earth withdrawal penalties and the only downside I see is it lacks the judgment shield of retirement accounts.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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If you stop saving in your 50s that means you needed to have saved more earlier in life.
Well, yeah, that is what the OP said.
The least pain is from saving a basically fixed percentage of your income. Note, however, that the means of saving doesn't always have to be traditional retirement accounts. IRA? Our first savings plan was paying down the mortgage.
I've been aggressive with that as well, hope to be done before 50.

I was more curious, is it crazy to stop saving for retirement in ones 50s if the numbers look good?
 

Loren Pechtel

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If you stop saving in your 50s that means you needed to have saved more earlier in life.
Well, yeah, that is what the OP said.
The least pain is from saving a basically fixed percentage of your income. Note, however, that the means of saving doesn't always have to be traditional retirement accounts. IRA? Our first savings plan was paying down the mortgage.
I've been aggressive with that as well, hope to be done before 50.

I was more curious, is it crazy to stop saving for retirement in ones 50s if the numbers look good?

The ideal situation is to maintain the same standard of living over your remaining life. If you have so much saved that saving more now means you'll live better in retirement than in your working years then I can see it making sense to save less.

Personally, however, I don't think we can reasonably predict our lifespan (actuarial tables assume medical science is static, something I find very unlikely to be true) and thus ideally we should budget our retirement savings to last forever (live only on the gains over inflation.)
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Personally, however, I don't think we can reasonably predict our lifespan (actuarial tables assume medical science is static, something I find very unlikely to be true) and thus ideally we should budget our retirement savings to last forever (live only on the gains over inflation.)
If the quality of life is not compromised then certainly do that. But common sense would seem to indicate that we are going to have only so many quality years. Of course that differs among individuals but some of us don't want to spend ten or twenty years in a home which we perceive as extending only death, not life.
 

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Personally, my retirement strategy is: own my own home, pay off my mortgage.

Because the money I throw at that will always appreciate faster and more ethically than the money I could throw at claiming ownership of the work of others.

I've multiplied my investment by about 1000% in the last 5 years, and paid nothing in taxes.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Personally, however, I don't think we can reasonably predict our lifespan (actuarial tables assume medical science is static, something I find very unlikely to be true) and thus ideally we should budget our retirement savings to last forever (live only on the gains over inflation.)
If the quality of life is not compromised then certainly do that. But common sense would seem to indicate that we are going to have only so many quality years. Of course that differs among individuals but some of us don't want to spend ten or twenty years in a home which we perceive as extending only death, not life.

There are already people walking around with lab-grown organs. So far it's only the simple stuff, but as time goes on they'll be able to do all of them. An awful lot of the body will be replaceable.

Personally, my retirement strategy is: own my own home, pay off my mortgage.

Because the money I throw at that will always appreciate faster and more ethically than the money I could throw at claiming ownership of the work of others.

I've multiplied my investment by about 1000% in the last 5 years, and paid nothing in taxes.

We haven't had anything like that sort of gain but I agree on the mortgage being the first investment.
 

crazyfingers

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When my dad die he had provided that my mom would be able to live off the income from his investments pretty much indefinitely given the cost of assisted living. My mom's medical situation is starting to look like she could need nursing home and extra services essentially doubling her costs which means she will likely be drawing down her principle. Instead of having a nearly sure lifetime supply of money, it could be gone in 10 years or less depending.

I think that things are too uncertain to just stop saving before one actually retires.
 

crazyfingers

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I also have a 401K rant. When I started contributing to my 401K in 1989, one benefit of a 401k was the expectation that the tax deferment would be a good thing. When retired I'd be making less money per year so would pay lower taxes on retirement. But the laws have changed such that when I start to withdraw from my 401k I will actually be required to withdraw a sum that is actually greater than my pre-bonus gross income. So my future taxes will actually be higher. WTF!
 

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You can stop saving if you have achieved your goals, or can confidently predict that your current retirement savings will get you to your target by the time you stop working.

I assume that I will be drawing 5% of my savings every year without touching my principal amount, which is a very conservative estimate based on the actual returns I have realized over the last 20 years. If you know/estimate how much money you want to draw each year in retirement, and multiply that by 20, that would be a good, conservative target.
 

Loren Pechtel

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You can stop saving if you have achieved your goals, or can confidently predict that your current retirement savings will get you to your target by the time you stop working.

I assume that I will be drawing 5% of my savings every year without touching my principal amount, which is a very conservative estimate based on the actual returns I have realized over the last 20 years. If you know/estimate how much money you want to draw each year in retirement, and multiply that by 20, that would be a good, conservative target.

That's not a safe level because you need to allow your principal to grow at the inflation rate or you will find your standard of living eroding over time.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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You can stop saving if you have achieved your goals, or can confidently predict that your current retirement savings will get you to your target by the time you stop working.

I assume that I will be drawing 5% of my savings every year without touching my principal amount, which is a very conservative estimate based on the actual returns I have realized over the last 20 years. If you know/estimate how much money you want to draw each year in retirement, and multiply that by 20, that would be a good, conservative target.

That's not a safe level because you need to allow your principal to grow at the inflation rate or you will find your standard of living eroding over time.

Lots of people downsize when they retire because they don't need a large house or a house at all anymore. I think we naturally lower our standard of living as we grow older, I certainly have, but it sure doesn't feel like I'm missing anything. It's all been a conscious decision to not want that or not need that and life becomes much simpler. It also becomes less costly because you just don't have the same outlays.

Unless inflation really takes off again like it has in the past I wouldn't be too concerned about maintaining a high standard of living. But if one is already living relatively modestly then yes, plan accordingly.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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I'm not planning on living large in retirement, but I presumed a decent percentage of my current salary just to help with presumptions. Also, assume 90 for end of life, if not me (males don't live long in my family, so not too conservative), my wife (mistress? :D) . I also assumed retirement at 62 and early FICA withdrawal because why the heck wait?! So I'm pressuring the numbers. I just need 6% annual growth, which is definitely in line with what I've seen.

I'm thinking, based on the number, to continue until as is until late 40's, then revisit and see how much I want to shift towards college and vacations while I'm still mobile.

It is just I hadn't heard about stopping saving before, but looking at the numbers, it really does seem to be a viable option, if you save hard enough early on.
 

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There are already people walking around with lab-grown organs. So far it's only the simple stuff, but as time goes on they'll be able to do all of them. An awful lot of the body will be replaceable.

Personally, my retirement strategy is: own my own home, pay off my mortgage.

Because the money I throw at that will always appreciate faster and more ethically than the money I could throw at claiming ownership of the work of others.

I've multiplied my investment by about 1000% in the last 5 years, and paid nothing in taxes.

We haven't had anything like that sort of gain but I agree on the mortgage being the first investment.

As to the math, gain is frontload biased on home purchases: I've put in little, and gained much.

Over time, appreciation will look differently, I am sure.

The mechanics of it are just so, that my total payments towards the mortgage are at this moment 10% of the appreciation of the property. It will asymptomatically approach normal appreciation of investment as I pay my mortgage down. That said, that's still a damn sight more than I would get even in a "risky" high yield fund.
 

Loren Pechtel

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You can stop saving if you have achieved your goals, or can confidently predict that your current retirement savings will get you to your target by the time you stop working.

I assume that I will be drawing 5% of my savings every year without touching my principal amount, which is a very conservative estimate based on the actual returns I have realized over the last 20 years. If you know/estimate how much money you want to draw each year in retirement, and multiply that by 20, that would be a good, conservative target.

That's not a safe level because you need to allow your principal to grow at the inflation rate or you will find your standard of living eroding over time.

Lots of people downsize when they retire because they don't need a large house or a house at all anymore. I think we naturally lower our standard of living as we grow older, I certainly have, but it sure doesn't feel like I'm missing anything. It's all been a conscious decision to not want that or not need that and life becomes much simpler. It also becomes less costly because you just don't have the same outlays.

Unless inflation really takes off again like it has in the past I wouldn't be too concerned about maintaining a high standard of living. But if one is already living relatively modestly then yes, plan accordingly.

That's a one-time step-down, though, inflation will still be an issue if you have a long life.
 

crazyfingers

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Or end up in assisted living or a nursing home due to mental or physical deterioration. Rent at assisted living can be around $7500/month. Nursing home is double. That's per person. Have a spouse and it can. Lose to double again.
 

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My thoughts? Do NOT quit saving for retirement. You simply do not know what the future will look like. For comparison, when I was about your age (guessing here), my husband and I thought $1M was more than enough to retire on, for both of us. Of course, we assumed a growth of 6-8% and frankly $60K was more than we were earning at the time, so including what we thought we might get from Social Security, we thought we'd be in grand shape.

Three times, the stock market plunged/corrected and we lost a great deal in our conservative porfolio, postponing that $1M mark we hoped to reach each time when we were very nearly there. That can also happen.

I'm not knocking $60K/year. At. All. But I know what my inlaws paid for a senior living apartment and for my MIL's nursing home. $60K would not have covered my mother in law's nursing home care/year. It would have left precious little after paying for the (very nice) senior living apartment where my father in law lived for about 4 years. Maybe enough to cover taxes. Maybe not. My inlaws did not move into senior living until well into their 80's. Their home was paid for, and they moved because it was too much house/becoming too difficult for my MIL who was rapidly losing mobility. They sold their home in a very upscale suburb of a major city for much more money than I will ever be able to sell my home for. My father in law had retired early. Near the end of his life, he was very much afraid of running out of money. If my mother in law had not predeceased him by a few years, he might well have done.



I also have experience looking for nursing homes for Medicaid patients. This is not a situation you (or your family on your behalf) wish to be in, believe me. It isn't that you are treated less well. It's just that, at least at the time when I was looking for my mother, nursing homes had X number of beds set aside for Medicaid patients. X was a small number, and usually filled at any place I was willing to let my mother stay---and by that time, a nursing home was really needed for her. You have fewer choices and the best homes fill their beds very, very quickly.

Whatever your employer, please consider maximizing your contribution to whatever retirement plan they may offer. I realize you have young children and you are probably looking ahead to funding their education. Yes, do that, to the extent that you possibly can BUT DO NOT SACRIFICE YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS FOR THEIR COLLEGE!!!!

I truly hope that the US takes its collective head out of its ass and starts to adequately fund post secondary education as well as it did 40+ years ago-or better. I truly hope that the US goes to a more sane way of handling medical care, end of life care, retirement care.

But you can always gift your children money after you reach 59.5 without incurring penalty.

More wisely even, you can start to think about what you want your life to look like in your 60's and 70's and 80's. So with that in mind, look at your home and think about how well your parents or your inlaws would be able to live in it today--and project out another 10-20 years. Think about whether you have a first floor bedroom/bath/laundry. Think about how accessible your home would be if you or your wife had mobility issues. How well can you reach your shelves? How well do you think you'll be able to in 20 years? 40 years? If you consider remodeling or purchasing a new home, think about these things. You want doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair, should the need arise. Ditto shower. Ditto kitchen. Think about flooring. Think about closets. Think about yard work. Sure, your kids might be close by and willing and able to mow lawns, clean windows, etc. Or maybe not.

Prepare for the worst case scenario. Take care of yourselves with an eye to preventing the worst case scenario.
 

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We made a decision to not save any money for kids’ college, but to instead put it all into retirement. That’s worked out pretty well, as we can help them with college from our retirement accounts, but if they had decided to avoid college, we wouldn’t have been able to use a college plan on us.

We’re over 50 and still saving, because as the kids do move out and go to college, (okay, when they are DONE with college - not there yet) we will be paying much less to live than we were when they were dependents. Kids ae expensive! So lifestyle maintains, and we are still putting way money for retirement (imminent < 3.5 years, basically, my husband plans to retire as soon as our youngest graduates college).

I agree with Toni’s points on how expensive elder housing can be. And while I’m personally hoping to not go into one, that’s real, and one needs to decide if one is okay with being broke while old.


Conversely, if you’re never going to have enough to help your long term care costs, and you know you’re going to be on medicaid, the idea of spending it on you for fun while you can still have fun is an idea with merit.

Toni’s arguments make sense for those with enough money to actually stay off medicaid and appreciate the money while infirm. But that doesn’t describe the majority of Americans; I don’t blame people for saying, “spend it while you can appreciate it!”
 

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Our kids are all self sufficient adults and have been on their own for some time.

What I have found is that budgets, like nature, abhors a vacuum and.....we had a lot of fixed costs that were not child related: mortgage (now paid), utilities, car insurance for our vehicles, cost of the vehicles! , property taxes are all independent from how many live here. Prior to the pandemic, we are out more than when kids lived here but not that much. We are no longer paying tuition for college—and that money has gone for home improvement projects that were postponed.

Biggest change is that I actually did retire early. I had a very long commute and it was just getting to me too much. Working a few more years was not going to make a big difference in our retirement—I ran the numbers a dozen different ways many different t times for a couple of years before turning in my papers. We had enough saved that if there was a health crisis or if my husband could not continue at his job, we’d be ok. Not great but OK. He planned to continue indefinitely which has been revised to another year or maybe a few more, depending on the day/week. The pandemic and other work issues have started to pile up and weigh him down. Next year may be his last year.

We’re still saving for retirement. And when I do our speculated budget fir our retirement years, I factor in shorter term savings to cover vacations, periodic home maintenance, unexpected expenses. We plan to always do savings. It just won’t be going into a retirement acct.

Now, given how low interest rates are, we are not planning to do what we would otherwise do and invest in CDs, etc. we’d lose more to inflation than we’d gain in interest. We’ll simply draw from our retirement earnings, trying to preserve the capital to hopefully go to our children when we die or to help pay for those expensive elder care situations that might arise.
 

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We made a decision to not save any money for kids’ college, but to instead put it all into retirement. That’s worked out pretty well, as we can help them with college from our retirement accounts, but if they had decided to avoid college, we wouldn’t have been able to use a college plan on us.

The situations aren't equal--the college plans have tax advantages. I do agree it's a big problem if the kids decide against college, though.
 

Toni

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We made a decision to not save any money for kids’ college, but to instead put it all into retirement. That’s worked out pretty well, as we can help them with college from our retirement accounts, but if they had decided to avoid college, we wouldn’t have been able to use a college plan on us.

The situations aren't equal--the college plans have tax advantages. I do agree it's a big problem if the kids decide against college, though.

Every financial expert I know or have read recommends to NOT sacrifice savings for retirement for your kids' college fund. And I agree. We have always lived modestly and have always saved for retirement, although I will absolutely confess that there have been times when it was a good thing that we could not raid the retirement account because I really would have done that. We paid for most of our kids' undergrad. Two of them took out small loans because they decided (initially--both ended up changing schools) to go to private schools and because they were not only children: we had other kids to feed/house/educate. Aside from those small loans, we/they paid for all of their undergrax degrees. One went to law school and my choice literally was to offer to help pay/pay outright for law school at the expense of our retirement fund or let him incur the debt which he could pay off by doing what he intended to do anyway: work as a public defender. It was with a heavy heart that I chose the latter because it simply would have been unwise for us to neglect saving for retirement and risk being a burden to any of our kids down the line. One can borrow to pay for education. It is difficult to borrow to fund retirement unless you do a reverse mortgage, which is generally a bad idea.

I absolutely 100% believe that as a nation, and even within my own state, we (taxpayers) do not sufficiently fund education, including post secondary education.

I also think that we should do a much, much, much better job of providing affordable and accessible high quality health care for all, no exceptions. That alone would remove a lot of insecurity as far as retirement goes.
 

Rhea

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We made a decision to not save any money for kids’ college, but to instead put it all into retirement. That’s worked out pretty well, as we can help them with college from our retirement accounts, but if they had decided to avoid college, we wouldn’t have been able to use a college plan on us.

The situations aren't equal--the college plans have tax advantages. I do agree it's a big problem if the kids decide against college, though.

Exactly. That makes it a huge gamble.
While the retirement money can be taken out with a penalty for other kinds of emergencies, the college fund can’t.
And in our situation, we do not need to take that gamble when the only payoff is lack of income tax on the money. As it turns out, we don’t have to borrow from retirement anyway, so while we may be paying a “premium” in paying our kids’ college with taxed money, we could not have known 20 years ago that they would go to college, that we would make too much money for scholarships, or that they would choose private schools. If we’d chosen to save that much back then, and they opted OUT of college, we would not have been able to recover the money without a 10% penalty
 

Toni

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We made a decision to not save any money for kids’ college, but to instead put it all into retirement. That’s worked out pretty well, as we can help them with college from our retirement accounts, but if they had decided to avoid college, we wouldn’t have been able to use a college plan on us.

The situations aren't equal--the college plans have tax advantages. I do agree it's a big problem if the kids decide against college, though.

Exactly. That makes it a huge gamble.
While the retirement money can be taken out with a penalty for other kinds of emergencies, the college fund can’t.
And in our situation, we do not need to take that gamble when the only payoff is lack of income tax on the money. As it turns out, we don’t have to borrow from retirement anyway, so while we may be paying a “premium” in paying our kids’ college with taxed money, we could not have known 20 years ago that they would go to college, that we would make too much money for scholarships, or that they would choose private schools. If we’d chosen to save that much back then, and they opted OUT of college, we would not have been able to recover the money without a 10% penalty

A note re: paying for college.

We were very upfront about how much we could pay for for each of our kids--and a few things we would never pay for (spring break trips). Two of our kids started out at private schools with the knowledge that it would involve some degree of loans that THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR, not us.

The other thing I learned rather by accident. At least some private colleges and universities will negotiate tuition rates/grants. That happened with one of our kids who had excellent GPA, test scores. They initially offered only a small amount of financial aid, basically work study which did not amount to much. We did the campus tour, visited financial aid and they were asking which other schools she was applying to. She mentioned a public in a neighboring state which has reciprocity with our state re: tuition, so it would have been effectively instate tuition for us, a bargain in comparison with the privates. We then left to do some activities and were to meet back at financial aid a couple of hours later. By magic, they had located a grant for her that dropped the price of attending to within a few hundred dollars of the public.

The other thing is that there are services which will pay the tuition/housing for you and you pay it off in 10 monthly payments--which can be really helpful because if you have multiple children, especially if more than one is in school at a time, or even if they are attending in sequence, it can be difficult to save up the cost of tuition plus housing upfront each year, especially for multiple students, even if you are quite frugal. Unfortunately, it's been some years so I can't recall the name offhand, but I do know that this was provided us through each school. I don't recall any interest being charged, either, which was nice.
 

Rhea

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Two of our kids started out at private schools with the knowledge that it would involve some degree of loans that THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR, not us.
We told ours that we would pay 100% for As, 75% for Bs and 50% for Cs. They will get a bill when they graduate and they will owe it to us.
The other thing I learned rather by accident. At least some private colleges and universities will negotiate tuition rates/grants.
We did that with both kids. Or, tried it with both kids. It worked for my son, but not for my daughter. (Odd because her grades were better! But it was different schools )Still, that helps.


The other thing is that there are services which will pay the tuition/housing for you and you pay it off in 10 monthly payments--which can be really helpful because if you have multiple children, especially if more than one is in school at a time, or even if they are attending in sequence, it can be difficult to save up the cost of tuition plus housing upfront each year, especially for multiple students, even if you are quite frugal.

Sounds like a nice plan. We are okay without - we live FAR below our means, so we are able to pay their tuition out of our paychecks - but good advice for those who need the extra time!
 

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We told ours that we would pay 100% for As, 75% for Bs and 50% for Cs. They will get a bill when they graduate and they will owe it to us.

We did that with both kids. Or, tried it with both kids. It worked for my son, but not for my daughter. (Odd because her grades were better! But it was different schools )Still, that helps.


The other thing is that there are services which will pay the tuition/housing for you and you pay it off in 10 monthly payments--which can be really helpful because if you have multiple children, especially if more than one is in school at a time, or even if they are attending in sequence, it can be difficult to save up the cost of tuition plus housing upfront each year, especially for multiple students, even if you are quite frugal.

Sounds like a nice plan. We are okay without - we live FAR below our means, so we are able to pay their tuition out of our paychecks - but good advice for those who need the extra time!

We had children at a really young age and while we lived very modestly, it was always going to be beyond our means to save tens of thousands of dollars per kid for college.
 

Rhea

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We had children at a really young age and while we lived very modestly, it was always going to be beyond our means to save tens of thousands of dollars per kid for college.

The cost of living here is extremely low. You can get a 3BR house on 2 acres for less than $100K, If you’re handy, a livable fixer-upper can be had for <$50K. Even if you want to live big, the McMansions are $300K. So it is possible to do a lot with that.
 

Toni

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We had children at a really young age and while we lived very modestly, it was always going to be beyond our means to save tens of thousands of dollars per kid for college.

The cost of living here is extremely low. You can get a 3BR house on 2 acres for less than $100K, If you’re handy, a livable fixer-upper can be had for <$50K. Even if you want to live big, the McMansions are $300K. So it is possible to do a lot with that.

Cost of housing is very low in my town but other basic necessities? Not so much. And it’s a very low wage town.
 
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