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Financial Planning / Paying For College

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/well-i-am-certainly-no-expert-but-i-will-share-16582006.aspx

Subject:  Re: Confused on which way to go? Date:  1/29/2002  3:12 PM
Author:  2boysmom9800 Number:  4765 of 8174

Well, I am certainly no expert. But I will share with you my thinking on the subject. I have about the same household income and 2 children (1 & 4). I choose the 529 route. I like the fact that the money is in my control. I decided against the Coverdale ESA, due to the fact that I don't want the money in my children's name to take a trip to Europe or something. If they decide not to go to college, I get the trip to Europe, minus the 10% penalty on earnings. Also, I like the fact that if your child gets a scholarship, you get that amount of money back. Thirdly, the money can be used at almost any college, so I would not be locked into using only public colleges, in my state, like I would have been with a pre-paid tuition plan.

I chose T.Rowe Price, they do not charge an annual fee if you agree to monthly deductions, and they have a plan that will rebalance your portfolio each quarter until they get to college, so as not to put too much money at risk in the last years before college. (I haven't looked that closely at the other plans, but I would guess that they are all about the same)

In addition to the 529, I am dollar cost averaging money into DRIPs. I will dollar cost average cash out of them before college time comes. I will take out what I think I will need for my oldest son's freshman year 5 years before that freshman year, then taking out what I think I will need for his sophomore year 5 years before. Etc.

My reason for putting a part of the money into DRIPs is that I would like my children to get part time jobs, and pay part of their expenses, but I want to have the money available, if I think that they are in need of extra help. Also DRiPs are kind of a hobby for me, and I would like to see if I can get a better return than the mutual funds.

I don't really understand why you say that you want to have one account for the child that you have now, and any future children. I have two 529's, and I have my investment withdrawn from my checking acount every month, and If my eldest son does not use the money in his account it can always be passed along to the younger son, or money can even be passed to their cousins if something unforseen werer to happen, and I wanted to give the money to them.

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