Paying for babie's future college

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Gardener
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Paying for babie's future college

Post by Gardener » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:28 am

I am looking to gain some clarity in deciding how to go about saving for daughter's college. Your advice is appreciated.

Quick relevant facts:

Ages wife and I- Early 30's
Gross Income- ~200k
Retirement Savings in Roth and 401k- ~330k
Retirement Contributions: Max out my 401k (wife limited to only 4k per year in hers)
Daughters Age- 7 Months
Residence: MD

Questions:

#1
If I save money for college in a traditional college savings account (which my understanding is must be saved for college related expenses), and she is fortunate enough to get academic/athletic scholarships, would all of that college money saved, go to waste?

#2
If I over save for her college, would that money above and beyond her needed college expenses go to waste?

#3
Are contributions to an out of state (say NV, CA, NY ESA plan), still deductible in my state of residence?

#4
If I move from my state of MD to another, how does that impact college savings both when contributing and withdrawing to pay for college?

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mrc
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by mrc » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:37 am

Lots of good intro information on 529 plans in general, and T Rowe's MD 529 plan in particular at T. Rowe's College Savings Plans site.

I wish Babie well!
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

staythecourse
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by staythecourse » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:13 am

Hoping folks will correct me for any inaccuracies.

1. Depends. If you are having more then one kid then the leftover money can be transferred to that child. If any is unused it can be transferred to nephew and niece or even used for yourselves if you want to go back for higher education in the future.
2. See answer above. Of course, any earnings money taken out for NONeducation uses (which are expanding by the year) is subject to a penalty and are taxed.
3. As far as I know no. Only your state will have one that is tax deductible if used.
4. No problem. The 529 plan is portable and can be used anywhere. The only thing is IF MD has a state deduction for contributions you, of course, when get it if you now live in TX for example. Then again, you could just use TX plan at that time for new contributions if they deduct for residents.

Good luck.

p.s. Don't overthink it. Just pick a low cost ER with good stewardship (state that is responsible). Then throw as much money in it as you can after taking care of your own retirement. Simple or as complex as that. :D
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

dogagility
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by dogagility » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:57 am

My two cents:
Determine (about) how much money it will cost to fund your daughter's education. Currently, 4 years at a state flagship will cost anywhere from 80K to 140K (depending upon the state). Private universities can be in a similar range all the way up to about 250K... some people are "full pay" and do pay this amount if their snowflake is admitted. At the low end is two years at community college while living at home followed by a "directional" public university... maybe 35K for four years. Onto these costs, add about 4.5%/year for inflation.

Many people attempt to save an amount equal to the cost of a state flagship. This goal can be adjusted as your daughter enters high school and you have more information on her educational aptitude/goals and grades/test scores.

There is a good online community (college confidential) if you'd like access to all the gory details of college entrance and funding.

My only hard and fast piece of advice is to start saving now.

Gardener
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by Gardener » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:00 am

OP here and thank you for the input.

Question

One more question. So, if I invest in the 529 and my daughter for whatever reason does not use a penny of it, can I make withdrawals out of the 529 for say me and my wife's living expenses? Would it then just be taxed at whatever rate we happen to be at that time?

My initial thoughts, and still evolving, is to perhaps take a non-traditional route. I'd appreciate anyone challenging or supporting the idea below, because I am by no means sold on it yet.

Alternative Idea:

Invest for her college in a separate taxable account in low cost index funds. The benefits to this would be more flexibility in that the funds could be spent on both college and non-college related things. Would not have to track receipts for college related vs. non-related. Also, it seems it would be simpler. Simply set up another taxable account in my Vanguard and have automatic payments from my checking account go monthly to this 'college fund account'.

My reasoning behind the idea is as follows. Of course, there is no guarantee my daughter will follow in our footsteps, my wife and I both had alternative methods of paying for college. We both went to community college for two years first, then on to in state schools, both attained scholarships, both worked part time positions, and I was in the military before, and so was able to use the GI bill to pay for most of my college and living expenses. My point in mentioning this is only to say I think there is a strong possibility that her college expenses could be covered through scholarships, working part time (which I think is important),and keeping her college expenses low (in state public, perhaps 2 years community college as well).

Thanks for any additional thoughts on this.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by DaftInvestor » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:31 am

Gardener wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:28 am
#1
If I save money for college in a traditional college savings account (which my understanding is must be saved for college related expenses), and she is fortunate enough to get academic/athletic scholarships, would all of that college money saved, go to waste?

#2
If I over save for her college, would that money above and beyond her needed college expenses go to waste?

#3
Are contributions to an out of state (say NV, CA, NY ESA plan), still deductible in my state of residence?

#4
If I move from my state of MD to another, how does that impact college savings both when contributing and withdrawing to pay for college?
#1: No. You can withdraw amounts equal to college scholarships without penalty.
#2: No. You can save it for another child or grandchild or withdraw it for other purposes. The penalty you will pay if not used on education is 10% but on EARNINGS only. In my mind this risk is greatly outweighed by the advantage of having 20 years of tax-free gains.
#3 Unsure - check your state tax code (sorry - not a MD resident).
#4: For withdrawing - there should be no impact. For contributing - you would have to compare laws in MD to the ones where you are moving to. You may lose (or gain) a state tax deduction when contributing but you will NOT lose the Federal and State tax savings on growth of you money (since these are universal in the US).

In my opinion - if you are maxing out other tax-advantaged savings (e.g. 401K) and you plan to pay for your child's college its a not brainer. How else will you get 20 years of tax-free growth?

scorcher31
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by scorcher31 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:27 am

You are comparable to me and my wifes situation op. You definitely can only use it on college expenses, but can divert to yourself/spouse or another child. So if you get a scholarship and have no way to take the money for college expenses there will be penalties. State tax being deductible depends on your state of residence. In my state none of them are state tax deductible. I'm actually debating if it is worth it for us to fund a 529 at all or just keep saving in our own taxable account and pay with out income/some of our own taxable account when the time comes.

SimplicityNow
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by SimplicityNow » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:41 am

There is no free lunch and no way to predict the future. If there were we'd have concrete answers for you.

The idea behind the tax benefit is to use the funds that grow tax deferred for education. As mentioned that can be for your present child, future children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces etc. If not then you pay for it in taxes and penalties.

Saving using taxable accounts reduces the benefit or tax free growth but you gain flexibility. Which is the best way? You'll know in 18 years!

You can use online calculators to determine the cost of future college expenses. I used them when my kids were toddlers and they were pretty accurate.

Personally I took the middle ground and used the 529 for about 50% of private college costs. The rest I payed/paying for out of taxable accounts and cash flow. One I payed full boat and the other got a sizable scholarship. You never know.

Best of luck!

OnTrack2020
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by OnTrack2020 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am

We chose taxable accounts. Our son, ended up choosing private versus public, had much more in the way of scholarships at a private versus public university. However, when all was said and done, the cost was pretty much the same as a public university has to spread the money around; therefore less in scholarships.

Another son chose a two-year community college in another town. He received a small outside scholarship.

Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.

We chose taxable because, for us, it is easier and should any of our children not go/be able to attend, we wanted the money to be used toward housing.

staythecourse
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by staythecourse » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.
Not to start a whole fight about it, but what type of decent jobs would be available with no college. Even now I think the numbers suggest 30% some percent LESS lifetime earnings without college, no? Going forward with automation and globalization of work I am not sure how many jobs will even be available let alone without a college degree. Seems like it is becoming the a prerequisite and not even a guarantee for a good paying career. STEM seems to bet the the deficit needing to be filled going forward and that, of course, needs a college degree.

Unless, one wants to be a vocational (plumber, electrician, etc...) then I would think college is a must. Even if one wanted to that the low hanging fruit is getting some sort of higher education on accounting and business admin. to start your own company. That takes education as well.

I may be wrong with everything above, but don't see an avenue for a good paying job with LESS education then many of their future competitors will have.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

JBTX
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by JBTX » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:24 am

Gardener wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:00 am
OP here and thank you for the input.

Question

One more question. So, if I invest in the 529 and my daughter for whatever reason does not use a penny of it, can I make withdrawals out of the 529 for say me and my wife's living expenses? Would it then just be taxed at whatever rate we happen to be at that time?

My initial thoughts, and still evolving, is to perhaps take a non-traditional route. I'd appreciate anyone challenging or supporting the idea below, because I am by no means sold on it yet.

Alternative Idea:

Invest for her college in a separate taxable account in low cost index funds. The benefits to this would be more flexibility in that the funds could be spent on both college and non-college related things. Would not have to track receipts for college related vs. non-related. Also, it seems it would be simpler. Simply set up another taxable account in my Vanguard and have automatic payments from my checking account go monthly to this 'college fund account'.

My reasoning behind the idea is as follows. Of course, there is no guarantee my daughter will follow in our footsteps, my wife and I both had alternative methods of paying for college. We both went to community college for two years first, then on to in state schools, both attained scholarships, both worked part time positions, and I was in the military before, and so was able to use the GI bill to pay for most of my college and living expenses. My point in mentioning this is only to say I think there is a strong possibility that her college expenses could be covered through scholarships, working part time (which I think is important),and keeping her college expenses low (in state public, perhaps 2 years community college as well).

Thanks for any additional thoughts on this.
If you pull the money out for non college expenses you will pay taxes and penalties.

Apparently if they have scholarship there is exception on penalties.

https://savingforcollege.com/articl ... -pay-bills

Your alternative is a viable one. What you are trading off is the taxes you will pay in a taxable account vs the expected value of the possibility of taxes and penalties if your child doesn’t go to college and you subsequently pull the money out. Also the fees on the 529s are going to be a little higher.

We started out putting some money in a 529 and a little bit in coverdell but after a few years stopped because it became apparent that one or both may not go to college. In our case now likely one will and one wont. I know my brother has some substantial sums in coverdells but his second may not go to college.

Seems to me a compromise is if you plan to have 2 kids, maybe fund for one.

If I’m in your shoes if you have ample liquidity I’d probably go ahead and start funding the 529. Then as things progress decide if you want to keep funding it. If you can also get a state tax exemption that is more reason to fund it.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:27 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.
Not to start a whole fight about it, but what type of decent jobs would be available with no college. Even now I think the numbers suggest 30% some percent LESS lifetime earnings without college, no? Going forward with automation and globalization of work I am not sure how many jobs will even be available let alone without a college degree. Seems like it is becoming the a prerequisite and not even a guarantee for a good paying career. STEM seems to bet the the deficit needing to be filled going forward and that, of course, needs a college degree.

Unless, one wants to be a vocational (plumber, electrician, etc...) then I would think college is a must. Even if one wanted to that the low hanging fruit is getting some sort of higher education on accounting and business admin. to start your own company. That takes education as well.

I may be wrong with everything above, but don't see an avenue for a good paying job with LESS education then many of their future competitors will have.

Good luck.
One could conversely argue that for a baby born today, very few STEM jobs will be available, and if you're not one of the very few, you'd be better off with a vocational job that can't easily be handled more quickly, cheaply, and with fewer errors by AI.

I'm not comfortable arguing against education, but sometimes I wonder.

JBTX
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by JBTX » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:30 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.
Not to start a whole fight about it, but what type of decent jobs would be available with no college. Even now I think the numbers suggest 30% some percent LESS lifetime earnings without college, no? Going forward with automation and globalization of work I am not sure how many jobs will even be available let alone without a college degree. Seems like it is becoming the a prerequisite and not even a guarantee for a good paying career. STEM seems to bet the the deficit needing to be filled going forward and that, of course, needs a college degree.

Unless, one wants to be a vocational (plumber, electrician, etc...) then I would think college is a must. Even if one wanted to that the low hanging fruit is getting some sort of higher education on accounting and business admin. to start your own company. That takes education as well.

I may be wrong with everything above, but don't see an avenue for a good paying job with LESS education then many of their future competitors will have.

Good luck.
Not every kid is cut out for college. Go to any high school and at least half of these kids are just going through the motions and don’t really care. Some of these kids have upper middle class families where parents went to college.

If a kid is smart and willing to work hard you don’t have to go to college. But the issue is most smart and hardworking kids do go to college.

This article states that kids from 24% of those families where both parents got college degrees did not go to
College immediately after high school. (Some May have eventually gone after a delay or military). The point of this is it isn’t as uncommon as some may think. So if you have 2 kids your odds exceed 1 in 3 and are approaching almost 1 in 2 that at least one of them won’t go, at least initially.

https://google.com/amp/s/theatl ... le/360532/
Last edited by JBTX on Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

staythecourse
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by staythecourse » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:40 am

JBTX wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:30 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.
Not to start a whole fight about it, but what type of decent jobs would be available with no college. Even now I think the numbers suggest 30% some percent LESS lifetime earnings without college, no? Going forward with automation and globalization of work I am not sure how many jobs will even be available let alone without a college degree. Seems like it is becoming the a prerequisite and not even a guarantee for a good paying career. STEM seems to bet the the deficit needing to be filled going forward and that, of course, needs a college degree.

Unless, one wants to be a vocational (plumber, electrician, etc...) then I would think college is a must. Even if one wanted to that the low hanging fruit is getting some sort of higher education on accounting and business admin. to start your own company. That takes education as well.

I may be wrong with everything above, but don't see an avenue for a good paying job with LESS education then many of their future competitors will have.

Good luck.
Not every kid is cut out for college. Go to any high school and at least half of these kids are just going through the motions and don’t really care. Some of these kids have upper middle class families where parents went to college.

If a kid is smart and willing to work hard you don’t have to go to college. But the issue is most smart and hardworking kids do go to college.
Wow. We will have to agree to disagree. The data is VERY clear that the higher education one has the higher lifetime earnings one has. Also, the chances of having less education and out earning those with higher education is significantly less. Can it be done, sure? Is there a good chance? No.

On a website where we discuss the significance of a measly 2-4 bips in ER and the importance of human capital to a young worker it doesn't make sense to think the BEST bang for your buck is not getting a good education. That means AT LEAST college.

Trust me, I designed and built our own house last year and can tell you tradesman are the WORST businessman I have ever seen. If ONE of them had any idea on how to run numbers and a business they would be significantly more successful. That takes education.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

JBTX
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by JBTX » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:47 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:40 am
JBTX wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:30 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:23 am
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Realistically, you won't really get an idea until around junior high if your child has the aptitude for college or even will want to go to college.
Not to start a whole fight about it, but what type of decent jobs would be available with no college. Even now I think the numbers suggest 30% some percent LESS lifetime earnings without college, no? Going forward with automation and globalization of work I am not sure how many jobs will even be available let alone without a college degree. Seems like it is becoming the a prerequisite and not even a guarantee for a good paying career. STEM seems to bet the the deficit needing to be filled going forward and that, of course, needs a college degree.

Unless, one wants to be a vocational (plumber, electrician, etc...) then I would think college is a must. Even if one wanted to that the low hanging fruit is getting some sort of higher education on accounting and business admin. to start your own company. That takes education as well.

I may be wrong with everything above, but don't see an avenue for a good paying job with LESS education then many of their future competitors will have.

Good luck.
Not every kid is cut out for college. Go to any high school and at least half of these kids are just going through the motions and don’t really care. Some of these kids have upper middle class families where parents went to college.

If a kid is smart and willing to work hard you don’t have to go to college. But the issue is most smart and hardworking kids do go to college.
Wow. We will have to agree to disagree. The data is VERY clear that the higher education one has the higher lifetime earnings one has. Also, the chances of having less education and out earning those with higher education is significantly less. Can it be done, sure? Is there a good chance? No.

On a website where we discuss the significance of a measly 2-4 bips in ER and the importance of human capital to a young worker it doesn't make sense to think the BEST bang for your buck is not getting a good education. That means AT LEAST college.

Trust me, I designed and built our own house last year and can tell you tradesman are the WORST businessman I have ever seen. If ONE of them had any idea on how to run numbers and a business they would be significantly more successful. That takes education.

Good luck.
I’m not sure we are disagreeing. We are arguing two different things. I agree if a kid is able he should get a college degree. I’m just saying a lot won’t and most of those don’t have the drive or aptitude to so.

I can think of occupations where people can make a very good living without college if they are smart and hardworking.

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Watty
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by Watty » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:09 am

A 529 can also be used for vocational school.

If the money in a 529 is not needed for your kid then it can also be kept to help pay for any future grandkids education. That might work out well if you kid does not end up with a high paying job which would allow them to help pay for their kids college.

staythecourse
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by staythecourse » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:24 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:09 am
A 529 can also be used for vocational school.

If the money in a 529 is not needed for your kid then it can also be kept to help pay for any future grandkids education. That might work out well if you kid does not end up with a high paying job which would allow them to help pay for their kids college.
Good points.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

KlangFool
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:29 am

OP,

1) What is your annual savings? 18K + 4K = 22K per year?

2) If you do not save enough for retirement, why do you worry about your kid's college education funding? Your kid can take a loan for a college education. You cannot take a loan for the retirement.

3) If your annual savings is high enough, why do you need to save for kid's college education? In 18 years, your retirement will be fully funded. Then, you just pay your kid's college education from your annual saving.

KlangFool

986racer
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by 986racer » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:01 pm

Similar to KlangFool’s suggestion. You still have lots of retirement funding space that could be used before funding the 529.

For instance, you could backdoor 11k into Roth IRAs. If necessary you could then use that money at college time to fund college.

If, after funding retirement more there is still room to save money, then the 529 is an excellent vehicle for doing that.

In terms of risks of 529s, you hit on the major points. Your child might not go to college (if you have more children the risk of all not going is slimmer) or you may get enough aid that you don’t need the 529 money. For the most part that’s not a catastrophe. The original basis can be pulled tax free and the gains would be ordinary income tax with a potential 10% penalty on those gains. If you can find some other valid use for the money, such as graduate school for the child or funding another child’s education or even your own vocational training, then it is all tax free.

986racer
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by 986racer » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:14 pm

One other thing though about KlangFools advice. I don’t advocate for not saving for college with the idea of being able to cash flow it 18 years from now. A lot can change in those 18 years in terms of income.

For instance your income may decrease enough where you can’t cash low but you are still above the financial aid amounts. That basically will force *someone* to be getting loans. Given that your child will likely not have a credit record, the only loans she will be getting are the Stafford loans, which don’t come anywhere near the cost of most schools. This means any remaining loans are coming from you.

As such, I agree with the need to save for college. The question is what vehicle to do it in. I’m a fan of maxing out the tax advantaged retirement savings and then putting as much as you can into the 529.

BTW. College costs are still going up about 4% per year. As such, figure that college will be twice as expensive as it is now when trying to calculate how much to save each year.

Nate79
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by Nate79 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:45 pm

Maryland has tax deduction for 529 contribution. I thinking can make a lot of sense to at least capture the state tax deduction as long as they offer some decent low ER index funds.

Gardener
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by Gardener » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:07 am

Edited to Add

We are also maxing out Roths 11k (5.5+5.5k). Our AGI still allows us to do this

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:30 pm

Gardener wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:07 am
Edited to Add

We are also maxing out Roths 11k (5.5+5.5k). Our AGI still allows us to do this
Even if your AGI did not permit you to do it, you could do a backdoor ROTH IRA contribution - all the major fund families know what it is, you can look it up on the wiki for a detailed explanation.

Here is what I suggest seeing that your child is only 7 months old (congrats! btw).
Look to fund 2 years of a 4 year undergrad flagship public university in a 529 plan. I would suggest if you are able, to contribute the bulk of it in years 1-7 to permit the magic of compounding to work best as most age based plans are equity heavy in years 1-12 before transitioning to a more conservative investment path. The remaining 2 years can be saved up in a traditional taxable account - say 70/30 or if you are aggressive; 80/20. Should your baby not receive any scholarships at all, you will have the money to pay full boat. Should your child receive scholarships, you won't have to worry about penalties since 2 years of full pay is in the taxable account. Should your baby receive a full ride to undergrad (it has happened before though odds are slim), then penalties are waived to the extent of 4 year cost of schooling but you will pay taxes on gains/interest in 529 plan. Should there be excess monies in taxable account, should view that as your spouse's supplemental retirement savings (18K max - 4k employee contribution permitted). Many ways to save for a goal, retirement, college, house, etc. the key is to start sooner rather than later. You can not predict what will happen to costs 18 years off, let alone 20 but you do know the cost today is substantial, the only way to tackle a substantial hill is to start slow and immediately. Your future self and baby will thank you.
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blevine
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Re: Paying for babie's future college

Post by blevine » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:51 pm

This is not an "all or nothing" decision.
At least put $2500/year/kid into the MD 529 so you get the state and federal tax benefits.
If you have maxed out 401k, maybe consider more than the $2500/year, maybe taxable instead.
Depends on your views on college. For me there was no question my kids were going to college from the day they were born
(right or wrong, that was my thinking).

It thought of this as a whole for my family. Had 2 kids, took the cost of 2 kids in-state public or 1 kid in private, which were comparable costs,
and decided that was my funding goal in a 529. If one kids gets into an Ivy, it's paid for. If both kids get into a to in-state public, paid.
If both kids get into top privates, I need more, which I ended up needing, and paying now out of my taxable savings. So I did a hybrid solution
to account for the variables of whether kids will or will not go to college. Tougher to do with one kid, but I would at least do the $2500/year/kid and set a goal of the cost of U of Maryland 4 year cost for each kid. To me this is a compromise between Ivy League and trade school, in terms of cost. You can't be too far off, will be a bit over or underfunded, maybe perfect.

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