Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement?

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pilotaaron
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Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement?

Postby pilotaaron » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:15 am

I'm new to the forums but have read get rich slowly articles for a while now. I'd like to get some outside advice so here's my dilemma and background. I know its a little long but I feel it needs explaining as I think its atypical.

Do I pay my tuition out of pocket or take on more student loan debt and put the money ($6,000) towards retirement? I do not like debt but I'm not afraid of it if its an investment in myself towards future earnings or its to help grow my business. I see similar topics regarding paying tuition but its always geared towards a child's tuition...not their own. I see it as a huge difference because I reap the reward of the education.

Here's my background: not married, no kids, 30yrs old, 100% self started seasonal business at age 20, finished first round of undergrad at 23yrs old, and have returned to school to finish prerequisites to become a physician assistant. My goal is to do both; run my seasonal business and have a career as a PA. My business is profitable and allows me to focus on other goals during non summer months. The combo should lead to a handsome income.

Financials: I have built a 20k emergency fund (i.e. crap really hits the fan and have never touched), currently only $4500 saved for retirement (mutual fund and some individual stocks) and 20k to get me through until next summer business season which is plenty. Most of my money is wrapped into the assets of my business which is vast majority of my net worth and without going into details most would agree I'm in very good shape with my business. Because of my focus on having lots of equity in my business next year should be much more profitable as every year gets better. Personal debt: 95k mortgage, 50k student loans (bugs me!). I always pay debt payments ahead since my income is seasonal and I just don't have to worry about it or see bank accounts that are larger than what they actually are....so no major payments (mortgage, student loans, health insurance premiums, etc) until August 2013.

I feel I can comfortably do without $6,000 but not any more. So what do I do?....put it towards my tuition bill and have no added debt or put $6,000 towards retirement and take on more student debt at 6.8% rate?

Tightwad
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby Tightwad » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:54 pm

I'd pay it towards the tuition especially since you've stated you don't like debt. And 6.8% is a pretty high rate.

LeRainDrop
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby LeRainDrop » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:33 pm

Tightwad wrote:I'd pay it towards the tuition especially since you've stated you don't like debt. And 6.8% is a pretty high rate.

I agree with Tightwad. Getting to avoid 6.8% student loan debt is a good thing. And then your next money in can go to retirement :)

Kircheis
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby Kircheis » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:42 pm

I would pay the tuition. Avoiding the student loan would be like getting a guaranteed 6.8% return on your investment (easier said than done).

Arica
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby Arica » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:52 pm

Pay the tuition. SL's suck!

namesbond
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby namesbond » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:06 am

Do anything you can to keep down the Student Loans. 6.8% + inflation is ideal to get from index funds but not guaranteed. Unless you are certain the IRA will outperform the student debt. It will feel good to not have very much student debt aswell.

ssarah
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby ssarah » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:32 pm

Well, I'll be the dissenting opinion.

You could take whatever subsidized amount is offered you. You won't accrue any interest on it while you're in school and during the grace period. Then you can pay it in full if you care to.

I'm not sure I'd bother to do this personally but you could at least be earning interest on the amount for the year or years you're in school.

pilotaaron
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Re: Pay my own tuition or take more debt/save for retirement

Postby pilotaaron » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:29 pm

I decided to pay the tuition. I thought about theoretically taking the subsidized offering and paying down my unsubsidized loan amounts while still spending the 6k towards loans and the tuition difference. In the end it just wasn't worth the hassle and it was more the principle of no added loans going forward. I have more tuition payments coming in the future and I'll do my best to pay them outright. It'd be nice to see higher investment balances but like many responders said its like getting a 6.8% return. I'd be nice to have less debt when the education (and a job) is all said and done!


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