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Author: BoxCarRidder4 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75540  
Subject: Map to the Future Date: 5/29/2007 4:11 PM
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Hi guys,

I am coming to you because I need help figuring out my financial planning. I will try to be as comprehensive as possible. I cam here because I am trying to plan for my retirement.

My income is not stable, and could continue for years or be gone within a few months. I am a 19 year old college student, and my income comes from online endeavors. I currently earn approximately $3,000 per month in profit. I am attending a public university so my tuition is about $8,000/yr and my housing is about $10,000. Other expenses such as food and books bring the total to around $22,000. This previous year it was all taken out in loans, but this next year I was planning on paying half and parents going to pay half. Here is my current financial outlook:
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Assets:
Janus Mutual Fund (JAMX) from GParents $3,100
Roth IRA $8,200
School Investment Club $2,000
Savings Account (.5% interest) $11,000
Checking Account $20,000

Liabilities:
Direct Student Loan (6.8% interest) $2,200
Parent PLUS Loan (7.8% interest) $18,000

Future Liabilities:
3 More Years of Undergrad *$70000
2 Years Grad School *$70000
* = estimated future expenses
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I am expected to pay back the $18000 that my parents loaned out for my last year's education and continue to pay ½ of future expenses and they will cover half as stated earlier.

With recent foreclosures, I can pick up a house appraised at $435k for $195k. I have been looking at this option but I cannot get rid of the feeling that I would be getting in over my head attempting to purchase the property and rent it out. Many uncertainties here but I do not know how to adequately assess everything here, I have only plugged numbers into different calculators and stared at numbers spewed out.

Before this house came into my thoughts last week, I was planning to forego paying off the loans and just attempt to cover future expenses, which is what the savings account is for. I am thinking I should get this set up elsewhere where the money can earn ~5% instead of the measly ½ percent. I was then planning to use a majority of my checking account money to open an Individual 401(k) since I am self-employed.

I have been thinking that if I do not attempt to purchase the house at all, which is probably a good idea, that it is worth paying the interest on my loans (much of which will be tax deductible) and getting my retirement nest moving. I should also be able to consolidate my loans after I am out of college for a lower rate, but I will have grad school (most likely) coming.

So there are many problems that I cannot seem to resolve on my own, the main being what to do with my money I have now. Education is my largest expense within the next five years, so I must decide whether it is better to continue to finance my costs with loans, or to just keep my money where I can access it and ladder CDs.

Obviously I want to purchase a primary residence house in the future, but this most likely won't happen until I am either in or out of graduate school, depending on where I go. This means it is probably 5+ years away, but still needs to be considered.

Thanks for your time, and if you have any questions just ask.

Will
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