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Financial Planning / Paying For College


Subject:  College Investment Strategy?? Date:  11/10/2001  12:27 AM
Author:  38ISERE Number:  4513 of 8509

Greetings -

I've been looking at annuities to accomplish a specific goal and have a strategy that I'm thinking of pursuing. Your gracious (even if tough-to-swallow) feedback would be greatly appreciated.

At 55-1/2, I've just received $150K that I've put in a mm while I decide how to invest it. I've no loans (house, consumer debt, nada) and have maxed out on IRA and SEP-IRA. We've already put the last child's college costs aside (he's a HS senior), though an older child may want to do grad school.

As our income in <$30K, we'd expected to qualify for financial aid, BUT that $150K will be counted as an asset to be included in the formula for "expected family contribution" UNLESS it's in an approved retirement vehicle.

1. Keep $25K liquid against older child's potential first year attendance at grad school;
2. Place $125 K in annuity for our own retirement. I would initially put the funds in a fixed (guaranteed minimum) interest (fee free)account. When I feel comfortable that the market has stabilized (not timing the bottom, but seeking a comfort level against my expectation that the market will see further declines in the next 6-9 months), I'll switch the funds to a low management-cost S&P-500 or Russell-3000 index-clone sub-account.
3. I do not need these funds for any forseeable expense and can wait until I'm 59-1/2. When I'm 59-1/2, I can re-evaluate my situation to decide if {1} I want a lump sum payout to invest where the future income/growth can qualify as capital gains or {2} wish to keep the annuity.
4. I examined at least a dozen annuity offerings; focused on Vanguard and TIAA-CREF; and have tentatively selected TIAA-CREF. TIAA-CREF advertises no commissioned agents, no withdrawal charges, no transfer fees, no sales charges, no contract fees and low expenses ($0 with fixed account; 0.37% with Russell-3000 clone). TIAA-CREF insurance death benefit guarantees my heirs the greater of (a) invested capital or (b) current value.

I hate it when novices such as myself toss around the phrase "due diligence" as if it were a magic incantation, but I have tied to examine this situation carefully.
Nonetheless, I invite any & all comments that might point out fallacies in my logic amd/or anuuity evaluation.

Thanking you all. 38ISERE

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