No. of Recommendations: 44
Daryll40 writes:
I've been reading this thread and mostly have seen the "tough love" type of thinking with regard to paying for kids college. I have a different outlook.

My feeling is parents should contribute according to their ability. That means many things for many people. In my own situation, I have been fortunate in life and live pretty well. I view it as inappropriate to NOT pay for my kids college since I can do so without denting my long term financial health too much.

I'm with you. Everyone I know who espouses the "tough love" approach coincidentally is totally unprepared to adopt any other approach, if you get my drift. I always felt that it was my responsibility to at least provide the opportunity for my kids to achieve higher education. A college diploma today, in terms of it's role in facilitating the economic success of my offspring, is the rough equivalent of a high school diploma 50 years ago. In other words, that sheepskin is becoming more of a necessity than an option. I feel my kids have responsibilities as well, but I have assumed most of the financial ones. I wanted my kids to be able to pursue their educations unfettered by major financial worries when they should be concentrating on their studies and later when they are starting their families and careers.

My oldest daughter is a college freshman and her sister will follow in a couple of years. I do not have any education IRAs. I do not have a college fund. I also have no worries about funding their college educations. I followed a somewhat different path. When my girls were just a glimmer in their old man's eye, I bought two small rental properties and structured the financing to achieve payoff of each property coincident with the onset of college expenses. I required the girls to assist in the management, maintenance and repair of the properties for which they received a small salary. They were required to save a small portion of such monies and any other money they earned on their own, to help defray a portion of their spending money needs when in college.

The rent payments from the now free and clear properties are paying for 100% of their tuitions, books and fees. They provide most of their own spending money from their personal savings. My girls won't have to worry about finances while in college, or about paying off loans when they graduate. In the intervening years they have learned a thing a two about the value of work, real estate investing, property maintenance, repair and management. And when those educations and sheepskins are safely in hand, their old man, instead of being the proud owner of a depleted college fund/IRA will still own the properties, probably worth more than ever and still throwing off rental income.

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