Preparing for Your Children’s College Education While Saving for Early Retirement

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Saving for both early retirement and for your children’s college education is difficult. Each requires amassing a substantial amount of money in a relatively short period of time. For most people, those time periods for saving overlap. 

Saving money for college vs. retirementThis creates a challenge which may seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Many students and parents assume student loans are inevitable.

My wife and I are both first generation college graduates from middle to lower middle class families. We’ve each earned three college degrees with minimal student loan debt. 

Obtaining the skills to command a professional salary without the debt typically associated with those degrees was a complete game changer for us. We were able to get on the path to financial independence quickly, while many of our peers were drowning in debt. As a parent, this is an amazing gift to give your child if you can. 

I’ll share the framework my wife and I are using to enable our daughter to get off to a similar start. Our strategy is based on techniques we used to acquire our degrees combined with strategies of others featured in my book who have “hacked college.”

I’ll also share tactics that allowed us to confidently be done saving for our daughter’s education before I left my career when she was five years of age. 

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A Tale of Two Retirements: FIRE and Traditional

FIRE and traditional retirement are apples and oranges

A few years ago, I left my career as a physical therapist at age 41. I decided to pursue a completely different financially independent, retired early (FIRE) lifestyle. Around the same time, my parents asked me to go over their finances with them. … [Continue reading]

My Investment Portfolio: 2020

Stock certificates - 6

This time last year I wrote that I can't predict the future, but 2019 could be worse for the market. Well, I was dead wrong about the market, but right about the future!  So, in 2019, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained about 25% including … [Continue reading]

December 2019 Best of the Web

I put together this month's "Best of " post a little early and with a few more items than usual to help you start the new year (and decade!) off on the right foot. We start with news of new legislation out of Washington that will substantially … [Continue reading]

The Ghosts of Investments Past

Ghost of past investment mistakes

“I told you these were shadows of the things that have been.That they are what they are, do not blame me!"  -- The Ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. I frequently hear from readers haunted by past investments. … [Continue reading]

Divorce Proof Your Retirement

Examining the effects of divorce on retirement plans

A few months ago, divorce Attorney Ronan Blake sent me an email. He asked to write a guest post sharing his perspectives about how divorce can affect your finances and retirement plans. Understanding how divorce would affect your retirement is a … [Continue reading]

Pulling Your Retirement Levers

three levers

How does your retirement equation work? When you finally retire, does your financial life go on autopilot, subject to precise mathematical rules? Or, is the retirement equation more a guideline than prescription? So your financial life after … [Continue reading]

November 2019 Best of the Web

This month, we start with articles that reinforce timeless financial principles that are easy to forget. As we rush to meet year end deadlines, prepare for the holidays and start thinking about a new year, several articles explore the … [Continue reading]

Retirement Mindset Shift: Saver to Spender

mental shift of retirement

Tammy LaGorce recently wrote an excellent piece for the New York Times highlighting the difficulty retirees have spending down the retirement assets they worked so hard to accumulate. I hear this sentiment frequently in emails from readers. The … [Continue reading]

Should You Invest At Market Highs?

Market top?

A reader, “Joe,” recently wrote: I’ve been a traditional saver my whole life (55 yr old). Meaning I never informed myself on investing and put my savings directly into the bank. About a year ago I started to feel like leaving my job (I haven’t) … [Continue reading]

Maintaining a Small RV for Retirement Travel

Pleasure-Way Onion Valley

Ten years and almost 90,000 miles. It's been a decade now since we bought our trusty Pleasure-Way Excel TS Class B RV. Though the original purchase was a leap of faith, it's turned out to be one of the best we ever made. Our "van," as we call it, has … [Continue reading]

October 2019 Best of the Web

This month we have an excellent selection of articles and podcasts. For those of you struggling with your finances I hope you'll leave with both new information and inspiration. And for those of you firing on all cylinders financially, I have a … [Continue reading]

Manage Your Portfolio Like a Professional Investor

Money For the Rest Of Us Book

What does a professional portfolio manager have in common with an every day do-it-yourself investor? They should have a lot in common according to David Stein. Stein was a professional portfolio manager who managed billions of dollars for … [Continue reading]

How Does Home Ownership Fit Into An Investment Portfolio and Financial Plan?

Is House Investment

A great framework for developing positions and hypotheses is what Stanford professor Paul Saffo describes as strong opinions, weakly held. Using this approach, my ideas on home ownership have evolved over the years. Like most Americans, I … [Continue reading]

Summer Travels and Travails

Lone Pine

Ever since I started writing about retirement 8 years ago, I've stressed the importance of being active while you can, to minimize regret. Don’t defer your dreams. Case in point: I had hoped to spend this past summer trekking in the western … [Continue reading]

September 2019 Best of the Web

We have a collection of great articles and exciting blog news to share this month. There is a lot of angst about market bubbles and pending recessions, so we kick things off there. We also share some great resources for those grappling with … [Continue reading]

The Stages of Financial Independence

Approaching summit

I started reading this blog about five years ago, when I was literally asking myself the question "Can I Retire Yet?". I desperately wanted to escape a career that dominated my time and left me feeling burnt out. Reading this and other blogs was … [Continue reading]

Making the Transition From Spender to Saver to Achieve Financial Freedom

Today, I have an interview with Rob Berger of Retire Before Mom & Dad. I’ve gotten to know Rob through the blogging world over the past couple years. You may be familiar with Doughroller, the popular blog and podcast he started. He is now also … [Continue reading]

Because You Never Know


I spent the last week in Washington D.C. at FinCon, a conference for those who create digital content in the personal finance space. After long days, late nights, too much noise, and traveling cross country, I planned to take a week off from posting … [Continue reading]

Preparing for the Next Recession

downward arrow

A recession is coming. As long as the economy moves in cycles, a recession will always be coming. Right now there is more talk about a downturn than usual. You can't pick up a newspaper or click on a financial site without finding some discussion of … [Continue reading]

August 2019 Best of the Web

Each month we share the best resources we've found to help you save more, invest better, and retire sooner. Popular topics are building wealth, DIY investing, creating retirement income, managing risk, and limiting your tax burden to enable you … [Continue reading]