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College Savings and Retirement Planning

December 5th, 2008 at 01:57 pm

So, I know i'm only 22 years old, but i'm already thinking about retirement. I've been reading "Smart Couples Finish Rich" By: David Bach, and it's really got me thinking alot on how I want to live my life when I'm retired. The only thing is that I don't really know much about IRA's. My father-in-law was telling me that our best bet is to get a Roth IRA, something about taxes being taken out now rather than later. Now, with me being a SAHM, my husband can open me a Spousal IRA. Don't really know much about that except we have to make enough money for him to open me one.

Anyway, on the other hand, College Savings for the munchkins. I've been thinking about opening a savings account for them next month that way when they're older, we can give them the money. I've been told by my mother-in-law that that I had to be careful about it. She said that by saving them some money, it can disqualify them for financial aid when it comes to college. Now, is this true? I don't understand why it would disqualify them for financial aid.

Also, another question that I have is College Funds. What is the difference between Coverdell and 529 Plans? What if I invest all this money for the schooling, and they decide they don't want to go to college? What happens to the money then?

UGH! Maybe I should just cross my fingers and hope the girls will have a free ride to college?