- The NY Times has been running good articles on saving for college, including some that talk about what to do if parents haven't saved for college, another that tracks declining support for state institutions, and a third that explains why rating institutions won't help lower costs. There was one recently (I can't find it now) that was shocked to realize that FAFSA (and CSS, the private version) counts everything as an asset, including retirement accounts, which are dangerously treated as funds to be tapped for college. (The unmentioned corollary is that neither FAFSA or CSS has any interest in listing debts, like car loans or mortgages--just assets.)
- How likely is it that there could be significant overlap between the academics saving for retirement (below) and those who, having had children in their mid-30s to 40s, are 18 years later confronting the realities of college costs? I think you know the answer to this one.
- Although students are applying for many more colleges than before (too many, says this article), part of the reason is that they want to play schools' financial package offers against one another once they're accepted. One piece of advice from one of the articles: if you play this game, make sure that the financial aid package is for more than a year. I've known parents who have steered students to the school with the best package of aid, only to have that aid dry up after the first year when it's tough to change.
- Over at The Chronicle, "Retire Already!" speaks to us from a land of sunshine and unicorns, where everyone has a million dollars saved up for retirement and the only factor keeping anyone 55+ from retiring is their selfish, limpet-like clinging to jobs. But here are two hypothetical scenarios for faculty members; which one sounds more like the people you know? (Both are purely hypothetical, based on what I've read at The Chronicle and on comments.)
- Golden Child graduates with a PhD at 28, immediately lands a tenure-track job, progresses up the ladder with raises every year and the expected promotions, has a lavish retirement package, and jets off to fabulous places (or like the writer above, accepts fabulous artist-in-residence residencies) when she retires at 65.
- Regular Person finished a PhD in her mid to late 30s, gets a TT job at 40-45, and goes through several years of no raises at all, not because of merit but because of the recession and flatlining funding. Promotions are forthcoming, but because of salary compression, she makes less as an associate than her new-minted assistant colleagues. She has 15- 20 years, until "Retire, Already!" says she should stop, to save up enough money, at 6% of her salary per year or whatever the retirement plan is, to last the rest of her life--say, 30 more years if she retires at 65.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Real world math
This is really in nicoleandmaggie's wheelhouse, not mine, but here goes. It's more of a link roundup than a post with a point.