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Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

"I think if one needs the money to attend college (no other options), [Stafford loans are] a pretty good deal." There are always other options. And plenty of them. The loans just seem easier. Of the 2 1/2 million students who will be taking BA and MA degrees this year, only about 35% will...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

I just received the financial aid package for my son who is starting this fall. Besides his merit scholarship, he is offered a Stafford for $2750 per semester. I could pay full boat and have saved to do so, but my son will be taking the full amount in Staffords. I'm actually quite happy to see the ...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Income Based Repayment: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based Public Service Loan Forgiveness: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service Thanks for the links. I did not know about either program. I guess that tilts the decision ...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Make sure you check out the education tax credits docs from the IRS. You may be able to get up to $2500/year back via the AOC for the first 4 years if you pay the tuition from your bank account rather than from a 529. I am aware of this credit and will be eligible for it. That does bring up an inte...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

...despite the yearly variable nature of the loan. What does this mean? Are you referring to the fact that every year you're taking out a loan and the rate may be different every year? If so, that would be true of any loan unless I took out the whole amount I wished to borrow at one shot. For someo...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

You did fill out the FAFSA, correct? I did fill it out. My EFC is greater than the TCA, so we only qualify for unsubsidized Stafford loans. A large part of the reason the EFC is that high is I put a decent amount of money into the 529 plans. I don't regret that decision as I think the savings I got...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

Thanks for the replies. I like the idea of my kid having "skin in the game" as well. But assuming I don't need the Stafford loan, I can just have my kid take out a loan with me as the bank. Although I do like the idea of them knowing they owe to an external entity (not family). May seem mo...
by markcoop
Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?

I'm weighing various options to pay for my children's college educations. I do have a good chunk put away in 529 plans, but it may (probably) not cover the total cost. I'd be curious to hear opinions about whether unsubsidized Stafford loans are a good deal. The details: 1) Fixed rate loan, new loan...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsubsidized Fixed Rate Stafford Loans - a good deal?
Replies: 22
Views: 844

Re: $10K for College

If I understand it correctly, to max out the AOC credit, you need to pay $4K toward college. That $4K cannot come 529/coverdell funds or grants/financial aid. I believe financial aid in the form of loans don't impact this at all. So, I'd consider paying $4K for the fall and take the credit for 2014....
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $10K for College
Replies: 7
Views: 1114

Re: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage

I remember when I was younger, a percentage change was not a big deal. If I had $30K in saving, 10% was $3K and just didn't seem like that amount would make or break me. Yes I was able to buy what seemed like alot with $3K, but I had pay checks coming in and could quickly recover that amount. Now, a...
by markcoop
Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investment amount instead of allocation percentage
Replies: 21
Views: 1523

Re: Tough college choice

livesoft wrote:Which place has the best chance for an ideal son-in-law?


That's funny because my wife and I actually discussed it.
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

DanDav - I think the issues are more connected than you state. If my daughter learns better in smaller classes, then the size of the school (assuming it relates to the number of kids in classes) is a factor to how good an education she will get. But the main issue is as you state - Where will she ge...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

Some responses: 1) JamesSFO - I have always viewed college savings as one pot of money shared by all. If daughter 1 spends more than her share, and I feel I can't make up the difference out of my savings (clearly if they all cost this much I wouldn't be able to), than there will be loans that the ki...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

Thanks for all the responses. I showed this conversation to my daughter and I think she got alot out of it. A couple quick answers to some of the questions asked: 1) We visited both schools. She liked them both. Delaware would get the edge based on the visit. We plan to make round two of visits befo...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

... Delaware: 1) Cost: $157,014 ($67,278 more) ... I have 3 children and have saved $330,000 in college savings plans for them. ... One quick observation, you have 3 children but this would be about half of the savings. How does that work out for you and the other two children? Not trying to be a j...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

I think U of D will open more doors, it's name is more widely known at least regionally. Also had a bit of a reputation as a real party school, amongst other things. $40K for that school, though is a bit crazy, for $10K more you could go to Cornell. Oneonta, I know of one grad who majored in a gene...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

This is research that she should be doing. My son (starts college in the fall) has done the research and as a result, changed his intended major 3 times. First, every college will have a % of graduates who find a job in their field within the first 6 months/year. They'll also have average starting ...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Tough college choice

What school does you daughter wish to attend? She likes both schools. Probably prefers Delaware. To be honest, I don't know how much better one is considered over the other in the fashion world. My comment about Delaware being a better school with a bigger name was more meant in general. To me an i...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Tough college choice

My daughter is a senior in high school and we're trying to decide between two schools that offer a certain program. She wants to major in fashion merchandising and wants to go to a school that has a joint program with the Fashion Institute of Technology (she'd spend 1 year in NYC going to FIT). The ...
by markcoop
Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tough college choice
Replies: 54
Views: 4032

Re: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)

Today I am working on looking into Roth IRA accounts Why? You should first develop a plan for contributing enough to your 401k and possibly a deductible spousal TIRA so that your federal marginal rate drops from 30% to 15%. Then you need to consider you state tax situation. Some states favor tradit...
by markcoop
Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Single Income Family with 4 Children (so far)
Replies: 69
Views: 4677

Re: Tipping should be based on time not amount

One of my issues is that it's not always clear how much the person is making. When I get a massage or a hair cut, is it the owner doing the service? Do I then even need to tip? How about around Christmas time - Who's delivering the paper? Do I tip the garbage man? How do I tip the garbage man? I als...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping should be based on time not amount
Replies: 33
Views: 1935

Re: Is there a best way to prepare for the expense of colleg

I always felt that you need to make one assumption that clarifies the picture. For me that assumption was I will not qualify for needs based aid and any loan I may get won't be a great loan. Once I made that assumption, I no longer was concerned about hiding/spending/shifting money and it allowed me...
by markcoop
Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there a best way to prepare for the expense of college?
Replies: 31
Views: 1517

Re: Possible erroneous collection letter

Having had stuff like this happen to me many times (there's a guy with my same name and bad credit in the same county I live), I'd call the credit agency to clear up the confusion and tell them what you did. Since they associate some other person with the same last name with your address, you want t...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Possible erroneous collection letter
Replies: 20
Views: 1074

Re: Gap Year Between High School and College

My daughter is also 17 and considering doing a gap-type of year abroad. In her case, she's considering doing an organized program where part of the time will be spent studying (hopefully earning some transferable credits) and part of the time spent volunteering. She won't be making any money doing t...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gap Year Between High School and College
Replies: 6
Views: 752

Re: Cons to having a HELOC, assuming responsible use

One negative is when you go to refinance your mortgage. There may be extra costs associated with closing or subordinating the HELOC to the new mortgage. Also, some places have a fee when you close the HELOC.
by markcoop
Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cons to having a HELOC, assuming responsible use
Replies: 7
Views: 552

Re: Adding to 529 as child nears college

Do you get a state tax deduction?

I put money into the NY plan, but I use their income portfolio (50% TBM, 25%TIPS, 25% short term reserves) for "safe" money.
by markcoop
Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding to 529 as child nears college
Replies: 8
Views: 584

Re: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund

If only there was a promotion that'd cover 10% of my taxes due on my return, haha... Although the deal is good if you get a refund, I usually never get a refund. I think I messed up when I get a refund (gave the gov't the interst free loan). So, given my goal is not to get a refund, I was pissed of...
by markcoop
Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund
Replies: 19
Views: 2164

Re: Math with Wine is Hard: Traditional 401k vs Roth 401k

When my employer started offering a ROTH 401K a few years, I initially did it to be able to put more money into tax-advantaged space. But then I realized that I lost money because I was losing the child tax credit. I then switched back. One other point. Unlike a ROTH IRA, a ROTH 401K may be subject ...
by markcoop
Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Math with Wine is Hard: Traditional 401k vs Roth 401k
Replies: 35
Views: 2283

Re: 529 as part of AA question

Look into the treatment of 529's by colleges for financial aid. If you have money in the 529, you could lose financial aid. If the money is instead in your retirement account, you might qualify for aid. To put that remark into perspective, money in a 529 plan owned by the parent is considered a par...
by markcoop
Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 as part of AA question
Replies: 19
Views: 841

Re: 529 as part of AA question

Look into the treatment of 529's by colleges for financial aid. If you have money in the 529, you could lose financial aid. If the money is instead in your retirement account, you might qualify for aid. To put that remark into perspective, money in a 529 plan owned by the parent is considered a par...
by markcoop
Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 as part of AA question
Replies: 19
Views: 841

Re: 529 as part of AA question

I do both. I generally view my portfolio as a whole and track to meet my target AA as a whole. If my AA indicates I should buy more SV, the important thing is I buy more SV, not the location of the SV. At times, this does allow for anmore efficient portfolio. Of course, this may cause my buckets to ...
by markcoop
Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 as part of AA question
Replies: 19
Views: 841

Re: Paying for College while Retired -- FAFSA Strategies

Since little income is being currently generated, "hiding" the money in an insurance product for 8 years might get you more loans assuming the college doesnt have any additional paperwork/process. I own a Group Universal Life insurance policy through my work. It basically functions as ter...
by markcoop
Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying for College while Retired -- FAFSA Strategies
Replies: 50
Views: 2153

Re: Asset Allocation for Middle Age

I'm 47 and have basically been a buy and hold investor over the years. However, I like to nibble at the edges based on current valuations. So, if my AA has been 60-40 with 5% bands for rebalancing, I may be closer to 55% stock right now. I have also changed my allocation to be more conservative over...
by markcoop
Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation for Middle Age
Replies: 32
Views: 3969

Re: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?

Schools wanted the equivalent of our 2013 return which had to be submitted by February 1st at the financial aid form deadline. Basically, you do your taxes early and certify that the Form 1040 you send them is legit even if you have not filed the return with the IRS. You would not send the schools ...
by markcoop
Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?
Replies: 6
Views: 502

Re: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?

CG in 2013 would appear on 2013 tax returns, used in early 2014 for Finacial aid for 2014-2015 school year, so CG in 2013 affects 2014-2015 school year financial aid, but not 2015-2016 aid. Yes, which is part of my question. You do bring up a point I never really understood. I'm about to fill out a...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?
Replies: 6
Views: 502

GUL cash value account and financial aid

I own a Group Universal Life insurance policy through my work. It basically functions as term life insurance. However, I am allowed to put money into a cash value account. This account has earned 4% interest for the past 5 years. I've always wondered about how safe this money is being that it is not...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GUL cash value account and financial aid
Replies: 0
Views: 79

Re: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?

Thanks for the reply. I actually need the money now, hence the question. I don't have a strong feel whether it will or will not affect FA prospects. I can only assume it will. However, if I'm not really going to get any aid, then it doesn't matter. So, no really good way to know for sure. My reason ...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?
Replies: 6
Views: 502

Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?

I was planning on selling some stock. Generally, I would wait to the beginning of the year to push capital gains tax off a year. However, when I apply for financial aid in a couple of years from now, my 2014 tax return will be used. In a couple of years from now it will be the first point I have 2 k...
by markcoop
Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I sell stock this year or next (financial aid)?
Replies: 6
Views: 502

Re: HELOC

I have had a HELOC open for the past few years. I love it. To me, it's an extra $100K of security. In addition, it allows me to keep less money in my bank account because I know I can always dip into if I need to. In fact, my check overdraft goes into my HELOC.
by markcoop
Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC
Replies: 10
Views: 603

Re: Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?

UPDATE: NY does allow the deduction coming from another 529 plan or a Coverdell IRA. For this year, when I decided not to add any new money to the 529, this turned out to be a great option to get the state deduction. I ended up filling out the rollover form and mailed it in today. I have a small con...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?
Replies: 5
Views: 222

Re: Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?

Thanks. I called NY's 529 plan and they told me it is NYS deductible. I then took a look at the plan's disclosure statement and found the following: The DTF has also advised us that incoming rollover contributions from an account in a 529 plan outside of the Program to an Account that occur within 6...
by markcoop
Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?
Replies: 5
Views: 222

Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?

I have a Coverdell for my child and a 529 plan. I believe I can convert money from the Coverdell to the 529 but taking a distribution from the Coverdell and investing it in the 529 plan within the same year. Anyone know if one can get a state tax deduction for the money converted? I live in NY and t...
by markcoop
Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert from Coverdell to 529: state deduction allowed?
Replies: 5
Views: 222

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

Update: With a bit of further research, I just answered my own question. There is apparently a small print footnote #5 that "Efile fees do not apply to New York State returns." LINK DELETED by markcoop Just clicked on that link. That's a great price: $25.99 for TurboTax deluxe+state. That...
by markcoop
Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 28813

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

I just looked on Amazon and they sell TurboTax Deluxe and TurboTax Deluxe+State. However, it says it doesn't include an efile for the state, which seems odd.
by markcoop
Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 28813

Re: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?

Kevin M wrote:I've usually used Deluxe version, since I need the state return.


What does using the Deluxe version have to do with needing the state form? I assume you can use the Basic version and use the state as well.
by markcoop
Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2013 TurboTax: Which Product? New Rules?
Replies: 302
Views: 28813

Re: Simplicity

For me it's not the funds that are complicated, but the types of accounts. I have the following: 1) 401K 2) His ROTH IRA 3) Her ROTH IRA 4) His Inherited trad'l IRA 5) Her rollover trad'l IRA 6) Taxable 7) 529 plan (only one for simplicity for 3 kids) 8) 3 Education IRAs for 3 kids 9) 3 UGMAs for 3 ...
by markcoop
Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simplicity
Replies: 23
Views: 2424

Re: Allan Roth on Bonds: Right and Wrong

There are other alternatives as well. I would think I good stable value fund might be a good option these days. I use that instead of TBM in my 401k. For taxable accounts, my GUL has a cash account option that pays a minimum of 4% (and has so for as long as I've been in it for the past decade). I'm ...
by markcoop
Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth on Bonds: Right and Wrong
Replies: 30
Views: 2124

Re: Portfolio with IBM 401k Review Request

Funds to consider in this plan: 1. INTEREST INCOME FUND - This is a stable value fund. I use it instead of TBM. 2. SMALL-CAP VALUE IDX - No idea if you overload small value, but if you do, this is an excellent choice. 3. PIM COM REAL RET I - No idea if you want to have commodities, but it is availab...
by markcoop
Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio with IBM 401k Review Request
Replies: 5
Views: 702

Re: Financial aid first/last year

Thanks. It makes sense to do it by the school year, just wasn't sure if that's how it was done.
by markcoop
Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial aid first/last year
Replies: 5
Views: 401
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