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Subject:  Re: Retirement, college, and Obamanomics Date:  12/31/2012  3:26 PM
Author:  JLC Number:  71146 of 100126

I'm curious what peoples' strategies or thoughts on college savings are, and how you are hedging for the future....

Here is my $0.02, FWIW.

With the political environment the way it is, it is very easy to feel like you're prosecuted for saving, planning, and achieving. Trust me, I know, I'm a 1%er. I've worked hard for what I've achieved and accumulated and I hate all the government handouts/confiscations of ALL types. But you'll have to put those feelings aside and try and look at things logically as possible.

#1 - save for your retirement first. IRAs, 401ks, and taxable accounts, max out the first 2 and then start on the 3rd. Having monies being treated differently tax wise can be a good thing. You won't have the best case scenario but you also won't have the worst. When it comes time to retire, you will have options which you won't have if you don't save.

#2 - you and your kids should read "The Millionaire Next Door". Basically getting rich is about working hard and primarily working for yourself. A college education is overblown except for two fields: medicine and law. Also, higher education is undergoing a change, online college. It is yet to be seen how this will play out and how those degrees are accepted but it is definitely a cheaper alternative.

#3 - is college necessary? If yes, and you've taken care of #1, then maybe you save a little for your kids college. There is nothing wrong with them working their way through school. Summer jobs and staying at home going to the local college/community college makes things cheaper. Don't forget scholarships, there are plenty. I'm not talking "covers everything free ride". There are plenty of $100, $500, $1000, etc given by banks, stores, societies, cobble a few together and you have a good sum. Your high school councilor should have a long list of available scholarships to apply for.

#4 - yes, student loans/forgiveness is the next financial bubble.

#5 - trying to guess what the laws will be like 5, 10, or 20 years from now will drive you nuts. Plan the best according to today's laws, then when they change, re-evaluate.

#6 - if you really want to give in to your conspiracy theories and imagine yourself as a Jew in the 1920-30s Germany, start saving some gold coins. A backpack of $250,000 weighs around 8 pounds at current prices. A trusty shot gun, some ammo, and some provisions and you can cross the border somewhere and start over.

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