Ponte Vedra parents, Jerry and Elaine Simons, have been taking college tours with their current high school junior, George. They’ve become worried about how to balance paying for George’s education and not robbing their retirement savings in the process. They also want to take this as an opportunity to be better prepared for when their current 8th grader, Monica, looks to go to college.
Paying for College Educations • Jerry & Elaine Simons
Married and filing joint tax returns
Jerry income: $70,000/yr
(self-employed in staffing industry)
Elaine income: $135,000/yr
(vice president of local advertising agency)
2 kids—George (age 17), and Monica (age 12)
Total Assets = $283,265
Elaine’s 401(k) = $160,494
Jerry’s Brokerage Account = $87,048
Elaine’s 401(k) contribution = 5%
Jerry’s Traditional IRA contribution = $3,000
George's 529 Plan = $35,723
George wants to attend a big
Nothing is set aside for Monica yet
Mortgage Balance = $312,412
Total Net Worth = $613,252
Estimated Monthly Spending = $7,500
The Simons’ always assumed that their kids would attend the University of Florida since they both went there. Given that George, their eldest, is a talented student they assumed that he would achieve a good amount of scholarships and chose to follow in their parents’ footsteps and hopefully limiting college expenses.
After taking the summer to go and visit colleges George has come to his parents stating his desire to go to a university outside the state of Florida to a big-time football university. He in particular liked Clemson University and the University of Alabama. His parents now are wondering whether they can afford to send George somewhere other than in-state and whether they should purchase the Florida pre-paid plan for their youngest.
They want to take this time to assess what their options are and how they can help their kids pay for school while still maintaining their ability to retire around the age of 65.
In addition to planning for retirement and the college funding for their two children, the Simons’ had questions about other financial goals including:
Be able to travel annually to places they’ve never been (Starting when they retire)
Explore the ability to leave behind money for their children ($250K Each)
Be able to pay for their daughter’s wedding in the future
Important points that were hit on throughout the conversation:
Want to explore the multiple ways to be able to minimize taxes
Are fearful of what taxes will be like in the future due to the growing national deficit that they always hear about.
Jerry and Elaine have discussed all the different variables involving the financial future and feel that it is time to develop a comprehensive financial plan in order to be proactive in the decision-making process.