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I've read your post here and on the house board, and I think you just need to play it cool. All of the priorities you state are important, and in the final analysis it's up to you to determine which ones to pursue in what order. I'm also just starting out and facing a myriad of choices, and it certainly seems daunting. A house is important to me, but the future tuition payments and retirement also weigh heavily. My only advice is to keep your debts low, and take advantage of the tax structure to pursue your goals--mortgage deduction on house, education IRA for tuition, 401k, 403b, or IRA/Roth IRA for your retirement. The choices are daunting, and it's easy to get hung up on the specifics--formulas to determine this, that or the other. Remember that the goal is financial security. There are many ways to get there, and while some of these may be Wise, there are many others that are Foolish.

You might like to take a look at the Consumer Reports Money Book, which covers a lot of topics related to investment planning, insurance and home ownership. The advice is pretty sage (not Wise), and it may give you some peace of mind.

Hope this helps.
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