Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

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tryingtogetahead
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Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by tryingtogetahead »

I know the arguments for public school and moving to neighborhoods with top notch public schools as an alternative to private school, but I am interested in understanding private school affordability. The top K-12 private school in my area costs $35,000 per year. Assuming you have 2 children, how much do you need to earn to afford that?
AlohaJoe
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by AlohaJoe »

I'd say you need to earn $70,000 plus whatever your other expenses are.

Seems straightforward to me.
todaysBob
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by todaysBob »

If your other life goals are on track, i.e mainly retirement and maybe Kids' college and you still have $70-75k left over those goals then you can afford private school! Nothing else required!
Kagord
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by Kagord »

I just have some advice, never say "I have to go to the john" in a Catholic school. That was a mistake that gave me some good old Nun paddling and a red arse, and washing the mouth out with soap for 1 hour. I was in 4th grade, and saying that's what my dad says didn't help. I don't think I've used it in that context since then, except this post, I guess I'm over it now.
devopscoder
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by devopscoder »

Kagord wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:37 am I just have some advice, never say "I have to go to the john" in a Catholic school. That was a mistake that gave me some good old Nun paddling and a red arse, and washing the mouth out with soap for 1 hour.
Why was this a big deal to the nuns? I don’t understand what is offensive about the word John.
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celia
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by celia »

You don't have to have any specific income. For example, maybe your parents will pay or you have a 529 that can be used. We continued paying for private (faith-based) schools when DH and I were both laid off since that was important to us. It was just part of our living expenses.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by RickBoglehead »

AlohaJoe wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:23 am I'd say you need to earn $70,000 plus whatever your other expenses are.

Seems straightforward to me.
This ^^^.
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lazydavid
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by lazydavid »

devopscoder wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:46 am
Kagord wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:37 am I just have some advice, never say "I have to go to the john" in a Catholic school. That was a mistake that gave me some good old Nun paddling and a red arse, and washing the mouth out with soap for 1 hour.
Why was this a big deal to the nuns? I don’t understand what is offensive about the word John.
Probably has something to do with John being the first of the Disciples.
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JonnyDVM
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by JonnyDVM »

As someone who lives in an area where private school tuition is similar, unless they have a significant trust fund I’ve concluded most people sending kids to these private schools just save less and work longer. If you want a strait number- I would throw out 600k+ gross income for that kind of tuition to not have a massive impact on ones finances and even at 600k that would be over 10% gross.
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kleiner
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by kleiner »

Thanks to some bad advice, I sent my older kid to private school in the 2000s. My wife and I were making about $250k per year at the time. By the time my younger kid got old enough for school, we concluded that $32k per year per child was unsustainable for us.

We then switched to the public schools and everything worked out very well. I was able to drastically increase our savings rate and was comfortably afford to send both kids to any college of their choice.

Quite apart from that, the kids in the private school were obnoxious and generally quite badly behaved.
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leeks
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by leeks »

JonnyDVM wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:07 am As someone who lives in an area where private school tuition is similar, unless they have a significant trust fund I’ve concluded most people sending kids to these private schools just save less and work longer. If you want a strait number- I would throw out 600k+ gross income for that kind of tuition to not have a massive impact on ones finances and even at 600k that would be over 10% gross.
I think that assumes the rest of the lifestyle - particularly housing - is very fancy and that a similar spending level is desired in retirement.

If the family can live on say $70K after tax (including a not-too-fancy house), then $140K after tax is needed for this school. So maybe $200K minimum needed before tax to even consider it? $300K and you could still save a lot or spend less frugally on other parts of life.

It is a trade-off of course of all the other things that money could do. It is for sure a "massive impact" on finances.

Another option is to move to an area where a "good" (whatever that means to you) private school is far cheaper.
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lthenderson
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by lthenderson »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:21 am I know the arguments for public school and moving to neighborhoods with top notch public schools as an alternative to private school, but I am interested in understanding private school affordability. The top K-12 private school in my area costs $35,000 per year. Assuming you have 2 children, how much do you need to earn to afford that?
Check with your state. Many states, mine included, have grant funding available to those who can't afford the tuition at a private school. Wealthy people donate money for the tax deduction and it is handed out based upon a formula. I'm on the school board of the private school my two kids attended and probably half the students get some grant money to reduce tuition.

FWIW, I live in a rural very poor part of the country and our full rate tuition is only about $3400 a year.
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by sureshoe »

tryingtogetahead wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:21 am I know the arguments for public school and moving to neighborhoods with top notch public schools as an alternative to private school, but I am interested in understanding private school affordability. The top K-12 private school in my area costs $35,000 per year. Assuming you have 2 children, how much do you need to earn to afford that?
Really depends on the lifestyle you want to live. I had 3 kids in daycare at once, at the peak of the expense my TOTAL bill was ~$32k (for all 3). Living in a $400k-ish house, 2 cars worth about $30k each. Maxing out 401ks/Roth/HSA/some529. Take a couple vacations each year for $7-15k total. Income at that time was around $300k/year then. I couldn't imagine going from $30k to $70k on that income. So, I would say you need to be closer to $400k/year minimum to live comfortably. If you want to sacrifice for the kids - have at it,

I have people who work for me who send their kids to Catholic school who I know make less and do it. They're just broke.

Also, bear in mind your kids (hopefully) do sports/activities. That's more money. And, it's more expensive in private schools.

Here's the other dirty secret of private schools. Your kids are going to make rich friends, and you're always to feel behind. It's much more fun being the most wealthy member of your social group, rather than being the person who needs to "keep up". In fact, it's one of the leading indicators of overall happiness in life. We have moved to a more expensive neighborhood, and it's just the same. All the sudden, I look like a jerk driving around in my 2009 beat up Pilot. We don't wear expensive clothes. Their kids are on "select" soccer teams that cost $1500/year. I coach my kids in rec leagues that cost $80/season.

I find it amusing, but a lot of people can't handle it.
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by livesoft »

Kagord wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:37 am I just have some advice, never say "I have to go to the john" in a Catholic school.
I have to go see a man about a horse.

You need to have the $70K plus the associated taxes which could be state+local income taxes + FICA + medicare. If your spouse has to go to work to pay for this, then it won't matter if you already pay the max FICA for yourself.

Added: Don't forget about transportation costs to/from school. In our area, public schools are walk-in or ride bikes, but school bus service is also provided. The private schools for us would require parents to provided transportation via themselves, car pooling, Uber, or something else. That can be a big time-sucking task.
Last edited by livesoft on Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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KlangFool
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

It is not the income. It is your annual savings after paying for private school education. That takes into account of all your other expenses.

If you can save enough to meet all your financial goals even after you paying for private school education, you can afford the private school education.

For example, if you save nothing now, how could you afford to pay for private school education? How does your income matters?

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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Having put my kids through both public and private schools, we learned quite a bit.

All the private schools we used had big downsides somewhere. For one school, math was much slower than public. On the good side, English and keyboarding skills exceeded public by an enormous amount.

Now that both our kids are done, we've come to the conclusion that if the kid doesn't have a serious learning disability (both ours did), there is no reason to pay for a private school. And to add, work with the school to try to get help paying for an appropriate school. We needed to use an attorney and pay lots of money to eventually get part payment and for the school to pay for transportation.
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by Wellfleet »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:09 am
And to add, work with the school to try to get help paying for an appropriate school. We needed to use an attorney and pay lots of money to eventually get part payment and for the school to pay for transportation.
I think you are talking about getting the public school to pay for disability services they cannot adequately provide themselves? Might be helpful to clarify for others.
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by KlangFool »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:09 am Having put my kids through both public and private schools, we learned quite a bit.

All the private schools we used had big downsides somewhere. For one school, math was much slower than public. On the good side, English and keyboarding skills exceeded public by an enormous amount.

Now that both our kids are done, we've come to the conclusion that if the kid doesn't have a serious learning disability (both ours did), there is no reason to pay for a private school. And to add, work with the school to try to get help paying for an appropriate school. We needed to use an attorney and pay lots of money to eventually get part payment and for the school to pay for transportation.
Jack FFR1846,

And, if your kids have special requirement, normal rule may not apply. I live in the richest county in the USA. The public school has special accommodation and program for autistic kids. So, some parents with Autistic kids move into this county just for the special program.

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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by fposte »

It's also worth considering whether there will be enrichment activities or school trips that aren't included in the tuition but still matter a lot to a child's full participation in the school. That's before even getting to whether it's a school where there will be pressure for your kid to keep up with their classmates' material wealth (it can genuinely result in shunning if they don't, which doesn't oblige you but should be something you're prepared for).
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celia
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by celia »

livesoft wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:50 am The private schools for us would require parents to provided transportation via themselves, car pooling, Uber, or something else. That can be a big time-sucking task.
We found dropping kids off at their schools fit right into our routine. Their private schools were just one main street over from the one I took to work anyway. It actually saved us time, since we could ask them questions to prep for that day's test while driving. And it also gave us guaranteed parent-child time alone each day on the way. When we picked up friends who needed rides, that also gave us a chance to know their friends.

Our schools included sports/club fees in with the tuition so no-one was able to say they couldn't afford it. And our kids had to participate in some after-school activities on campus since my ride home wasn't until 2 hours after school was out but I knew they were being supervised. There was also the option of taking the city bus, but they would then have to walk several blocks after they got off with a full (heavy) backpack.
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by lightheir »

As a native of super HCOL Norcal, and seeing what my neighbors do, I'd say that quite a few of them make a lot of financial sacrifices to send their kids to the expensive private schools here. For sure, they're not all just running around with $70-100K extra per year (I know this from conversations and gossip with various neighbors....)
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Re: Income req’d to afford pricey private school tuition?

Post by squirm »

You left out the most important thing! It doesn't matter what the reason for the spending is, you could say I want to dump $35k every year into xyz, fine. What are your expenses though?
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