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>> The education IRA scares me because if my child decides not to go to college (God forbid) the consequences are rather harsh.

Have you checked out the various programs offered by the states? California has a Goldenshare program where you essentially turn the money over to TIAA-CREF and they put it in funds that rotate through increasingly more conservative investments until it is time to start paying for college. Most of the states have similar programs, administered by different companies (Merrill-lynch, etc.)

>> p.s. Does anyone have a suggestion for a boy's name?

We have three boys. Look for a list of the most popular boy's names, and name him ANYTHING but one of those. There are four Nicholas' in our youngest's preschool class.

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