Constant Chaos wrote:I commend the subject of the piece for realizing she needed to retrench. I have a parent living in a somewhat HCOL area (not anywhere near CA standards) in the Midwest who is desiring a better climate and much lower property taxes. We are grappling with the trade offs-- lower cost of living and warmer winters vs. being far away from friends and family as one ages and perhaps needs to rely on them more than ever.
I wish the article would have gone into more detail regarding Ms. Wolf's decision to move to a tiny town in Iowa. The climate change alone must be a shock. And all the maintenance required on a single family home, when she had been used to condo living! I am very curious why Ms. Wolf did not choose a condo in a somewhat more temperate state, closer to CA? Was there nothing in AZ, NM, NV etc?
There are also a zillion places in CA that are cheap. Move inland 100 miles and it is a vastly different property world than the costal regions. Might not be as cheap as Iowa. There could be a reason but she might have just gotten it into her head that this was the thing to do.
With stats, I always wonder about about the details. Are people holding auto debt and mortgages because they don't have the money or becasue it is the smart thing to do? I had auto debt for a while because it was .9%. And my dad decided not to pay off the mortgage because he could get a 3% mortgage when they moved to their retirement home. He choose to invest his prior house money. As far as student loans, I am guessing the growth is largely a result of starting from a small base. Yes there are some people making poor choices (lets go to law school at 50) but I doubt it is a ton of people.
It is always easy to come up with schemes to do things cheapier. It isn't always clear how applicable they are. Not to pick on a post
A prospective student could:
1) Stay at home for the first two years and attend the local junior college or community college.
2) Use public transportation to commute.
3) Actively seek financial aid and parlay very-good-to-excellent grades into financial aid at state school.
4) Transfer to state school that offers best financial aid and scholarship package. If best choice institution is close enough to home, continue living at home. Car may be purchased (or better, borrowed from parents), if car costs are less than on-campus living expenses.
5) If not, live on campus. Eat on campus. Do not own a car. Use weekends for study. Use public transportation or hitch ride with fellow students to get to/from home when home visits are needed.
6) Graduate in four years. Not five. Not six. Four. Graduate with high GPA.
1) Sure. But this might make graduating in 4 years hard. Getting credits to transfer and meet degree programs is hard. Remember the opportunity cost of not graduating might be 60k+/year
2) I would have had to walk 4 miles to get to the nearest public transit. Then it would have been a 1 hour ride to the community college. You can do the math on how much that would cost
3) Yes but how many kids does this apply to. Top 10-20%? Doesn't help the majority of kids who are average.
4) See 3. For top 5% or so kids this is an issue. Go to the good school that offers no money or the school that offers cash. For the average kid, nobody wants them enough to make good deals:)
5) You are looking at minor differences.
6) definitely. But as I said 1 makes this an issue.
But yeah school doesn't have to be crazy expensive. The state schools are ~80k in my state. That isn't a lot of money. Say 30k from working (other money for taxes/personal spending), 10k of tax credit and your graduating with 40k in debt. Get a job paying 15k more than one without a degree and it pays for itself in no time. Get any money from your parents/grants/... and it is even better. You need to go down the private school, 6 year plan, not working, grad school,... path to end up with crippling debt.