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College is pricey, and for some retirees it comes down to a sensitive question of “Which is more important – funding my child/grandchild’s college education or my retirement?” According to collegedata.com, the annual budget for an in-state public college is $24,061 and $47,831 for a moderate private college. Multiply that by four years or so and that could take a huge chunk out of your retirement savings. Joe and Al give you the play-by-play on college costs and ways in which you could potentially lower those costs. Learn about 529 plans, Roth IRAs and other college savings vehicles in this episode of “Your Money, Your Wealth.”

Important Points

0:43 “We’re talking college planning, because what we’re seeing more and more of is that people are spending their overall retirement to put their kids through school”

3:46 “What Al and I are finding is that you’re dipping into the wrong area; you might be dipping in to your retirement accounts or you might be taking on huge amounts of debt to do this – you’re jeopardizing your retirement”

4:48 “Go into Google and type the name of the university, and also type in ‘net price calculator’…it will give you a good idea of the net cost”

6:52 “[True or false?] Distributions to a 529 account can disqualify my kids from receiving the American Opportunity Credit of $2,500. That is true (there’s no double-dipping)”

8:47 “When interest rates go down, bond prices go up”

9:52 “Look at a total return, don’t look at each individual asset class”

10:00 “Let’s get into saving because there are different vehicles you can save in. The two main methods are a Coverdell and a 529 plan”

11:13 “You can change the beneficiaries if you overfund it, but if you don’t it’s a 10% penalty coming out. It could be taxable to you as well so you want to make sure you don’t overfund the overall college savings plan”

11:33 “[With] the 529 plan, you can put in several hundred thousand dollars. The best thing about the 529 plan is it grows 100% tax-free to you (if you use it for qualified educational costs)”

15:37 “We recommend as you can imagine, to keep student loan debt to an absolute minimum”

16:32 “Take a look at all of your options, make sure you’re applying for scholarships, make sure you’re applying for grants, look at several different schools and get that net price to figure out how much it will cost. Then map it out to make sure you’re not jeopardizing every other financial goal you have”

22:09 “Each state has their own 529 plan”

About the Hosts

Joe Anderson

President

CFP®, AIF®

As President of Pure Financial Advisors, Joe Anderson has led the company to achieve over $2 billion in assets under management and has grown their client base to over 2,160 in just ten years of the...

Alan Clopine

CEO & CFO

CPA, AIF®

Alan Clopine is the CEO & CFO of Pure Financial Advisors. He currently shares the CEO role with Michael Fenison, the original founder of the company. Alan is primarily responsible for the day-to-day activities of...