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Not Saving for College? Really?

Posted on the 18 May 2016 by Smallivy

boatdock2In a recent Money poll, it was revealed that 68% of people with college-bound children had saved less than $10,000 for college for their kids.  38% had saved absolutely nothing.  Really?

While some expenses, like crashing your car or ending up in the hospital with a heart attack may be difficult to predict, you can pretty much determine when your children are going to head off to the dorms from the time they’re born.  Yet millions of Americans who have no problem buying several $7 lattes per week, have smart phones with huge data plans, and buy a new car every few years have little to nothing saved for college when the time comes. Then their children take out loans, use them for everything from drinks out on Friday (and Thursday, and Wednesday nights) and vacations, take six or seven years to graduate, and we hear about how unfair it is that they owe a house when all is said and done.

Most middle class people would not take charity for their food or housing, but they’ll be first in line to apply for federal student aid and subsidized loans.  Now they can even get their loans forgiven in a few years if they do something like become a social worker or work at a non-profit.  Great, now we have Cornell graduates with $300,000 degrees doing social work and the taxpayers get to pay for it.  Excellent.

In fact, Money magazine and other publications tell how to set up your finances so you’ll get a lot of student aid.  Don’t put money in your student’s name.  Don’t save up for college.  People are seen as suckers if they actually pay for their kid’s college because everyone else is getting a free ride on their backs.  And maybe they are.

Well, maybe there is no stigma anymore with getting financial aid for college.  Maybe there is no stigma attached to getting your loans forgiven.  We’ll, I’m not accepting that.  If your family is making more than $80,000 per year, have two or fewer children, and you’re not paying for your children’s education, you’re stealing from those around you.  (Note I’m not talking about true scholarships earned for academics or sports that the student has earned through their own hard work, or discounts given by the schools.)  If you take out student loans, not going to the cheapest school you can, put non-college expenses on the loans, not hold a part-time or summer job during college,  and not get out as fast as you can and then you get those loans forgiven, you’re stealing.

It is time for people to stop taking money from their neighbors  and face up to their financial responsibilities.  Think that college costs too much?  Well – you’re right.  So complain to your state legislature about the ridiculous salaries college administrators get and stop the state university from building new buildings constantly.  Maybe high-speed WiFi should be reserved just for academics and not sexting and YouTube.  Costs can be trimmed if people demanded it.  It is time for middle class Americans to stop relying on charity when it comes to college.

Got an investing question? Please send it to [email protected] or leave in a comment.

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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment?

Contact me at [email protected]

Follow on Twitter to get news about new articles. @SmallIvy_SI

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.


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