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 Post subject: Re: Buying house for family -- make sense?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:49 pm
Posts: 6
Similar situation here. Graduated with over $200k in debt (so did my wife), thanks to law school. I had a variety of loans up and down the interest scale. We have been hammering our loans as much as possible and cut them in half, but it has taken awhile.

Do yourself and your family a favor and get your financial house in order before you do anything else. I wouldn't even think about going in on a house until you have paid down your loans (or nearly eliminated them if all that's left are 3-4% loans). If your family gets in financial trouble, you will be in a better position to help them if you have knocked out your own debt. $160k is a lot, and it takes a LOT of salary to get rid of that, but you can do it.

For the 401(k) question -- totally common for legal employers not to match. It sucks. I didn't enroll in 401(k) for my first two years because the employer didn't match and we had loans as high as 7.5% interest. Now that I'm down to 3-4% interest loans, I've started putting into 401(k). I personally felt like it was more worthwhile to capture the gains on the loans than play risk in the market.

You may not feel stressed about your job now, but you are just starting off. This is not a pleasant field of work (long hours, feeling unappreciated, always on call, etc.) you are entering and you never know what you may want to do in a few years. Paying down your debt will give you (and your family, by extension) more freedom than you can imagine.

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