Every parent wants a fully funded college savings plan for their child. There are very few parents out there that have no desire at all to save for their child’s college education. I bet that every parent wants to have a college savings account even if they cannot for some reason. One reason is you need to care for your own financial future first. But if you have the room, your kid will thank you (eventually).
We all want our children to have an easier go at life than we were afforded, right or wrong. Like the majority of millennials, I left college with a sizable amount of student loans. Debt that took me more than 10 years to pay off. Any amount of college savings my parents could have provided me would have significantly reduced my payback period. I want to fast track my child’s path to FI and a solid college savings plan is key.
What if I told you there was a way to contribute $10,000 less to your child’s 529 college savings plan while providing him or her the same amount in the end? Of course you’d want to take advantage of that opportunity if you could. Your child ends up with the same amount of money for college, and you have $10k more for your retirement. This isn’t a secret hack or pyramid scheme either. The idea came to me when I was reading about the concept of Coast FI in the financial independence community.
I wish I had a “back in my day college was the same price as a night at the movies, and I could work 4 hours a week at my part-time job to cover the tuition” type of college savings story to share here. Unfortunately I am a millennial, and college was already very expensive by the time I got there. I also voluntarily chose to attend a private university instead of one of the state schools I was offered scholarships for, and I’m sure that didn’t help.
Despite all of that, I found an unusual way to save a lot of money on my college expenses. I was able to convince my school of choice to give me a free MBA before I even took my first class. My college savings story is one I don’t hear enough about.
We had to fire our financial advisor. He was a nice guy and meant well I’m sure but he had to go. It started off great with a free financial plan and help rolling over old 401k plans. He even set up an IRA and a 529 College Savings Plan which, at the time, seemed like something a professional should do. We just didn’t know what we didn’t know. Once we realized exactly how much he would cost us in the end we decided to fire our financial advisor.