Friday, April 2, 2010

Money, Money, Money

Next to what I am going to do about dinner, how we'll pay for college is right up there among my biggest worries.

We've been conscientious, at least when we could be. We started saving for our teen even before there were 529s. A bequest, a bonus or so, a never spent cash wedding gift, and then later, some grandmother estate money, formed the foundation for the college fund. But in recent years there has been no inflow. And what was there wasn't doing so hot, either.

You can easily find costs of colleges on the individual school's websites. But for a quick, dirty and sickening glance, look at US News & World Report.

But remember. That's just tuition. The College Board does a simple breakout of all the categories of college costs.

A bit of wisdom from our financial planner helps keep me going -- you don't need all of the money at once, just a year at a time. Miracles can happen, right?


  1. I agree with your financial planner - you actually only have to pay for college a semester at a time. Our 529 savings plan automatically moved our investment to a less aggressive mix of stocks/bonds when our daughter (who is now a freshman in college) turned 18. The assumption being that you are ready to start spending it, so you want to protect it. We requested that it be moved back to the more aggressive portfolio where it had been doing well. We paid for freshman year with non-529 money and have had an additional year of good returns on her college money.

  2. C, good thinking and good point. Those 529s are sold with that safety mechanism of growing more conservative as college nears. But given the past two years and the need to play catch-up, it is wise to discuss with your financial planner whether a more aggressive portfolio makes sense.