Last week, I highlighted the Circuit Playground, an inexpensive platform I use to engage my kids in programming. I wholeheartedly endorse the Playground for its simplicity and plethora of sensors. But what if you really want a screen, a feature the Playground is missing unless you attach a TFT Gizmo? If that’s what you’re looking… Continue reading Continuing the Search for STEM Toys
As Marc Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape put it, “software is eating the world”. I’m a big believer that any amount of coding experience will put you light years ahead of someone who has no experience, regardless of the work. Even a tiny exposure to coding demystifies the modern world. One of my favorite activities… Continue reading Searching For The Perfect STEM Toy
Last week, during my research on Virginia’s Tuition Track Portfolio option, I discovered that Virginia’s advisor-sold 529 plan is twelve times the size of Virginia’s direct-sold 529 plan! Not only that, it’s the biggest 529 plan in the nation. And it’s not even close! It’s 2.4 times the size of the runner up, New York’s… Continue reading Taking a peek at CollegeAmerica, Virginia’s advisor-sold 529
Like pension plans, prepaid tuition 529 plans are disappearing. Virginia closed its Prepaid529 plan to new enrollments on May 1, 2019, after facing pressure to lower the costs of prepaid tuition contracts, a move that allegedly would have threatened the health of the program. Frankly, the prepaid program was significantly smaller than the other two… Continue reading How does Virginia’s new Tuition Track Portfolio work?
We live in Northern Virginia and there are many government employees who frequently move their families to other areas of the country or world on two or three year stints, often cycling back into the area. This can make taxes and finances more complicated. In this post, I’ll walk through a hypothetical example of a… Continue reading Scenario: Partial Year Resident and 529s
This post is a followup to my Couch to 529, last month. The answer I’m searching for here is how to divide the $100k fairly between the education of many grandchildren. I explored something similar in Dividing a 529 Six Ways, but this time I’m throwing the hypothetical 24 grandchildren at it with a new… Continue reading Fairly Funding Multiple 529s
One of the “drawbacks” with my personal finance hobby is discovering new ways that I’ve financially messed up in the past. This week I discovered an HSA trick that I wish I had known when I paid off the remainder of my student loans in December 2019. My ignorance cost me $401. Terminating My Student… Continue reading Paying off Student Loans with a 529
I wish I’d started earlier taking advantage of 529 accounts. I’m running out of precious years of compounding. But what about the so-far untapped compounding for any future grandchildren? Using current assumptions, what would a plan to fund college-bound grandchildren look like? Comfortably on the Couch I can’t open 529s for grandkids that don’t yet… Continue reading Couch to 529
With my oldest finishing up her first year at the university, I started thinking about the alchemy of converting human capital (i.e. W-2, 1099-contracting, etc.) into investment capital. As I worked out a post, I started looking into the effect of college on increasing one’s human capital. Entering the Workforce Many people get jobs during… Continue reading Is College Worth It?
In my last post, I laid out my plan for contributing to my children’s college education and creating incentives for keeping the cost down without sacrificing the quality of their education. My final contribution goal (including a 3% inflation) came to $299,901. That’s significantly smaller than the original number of $413,264, but still pretty high.… Continue reading Playing 529 Catchup (Part 3)