Ep.68 – Listener Questions: Student Loans, Retirement Planning, 529 College Savings

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The questions from you guys continue to pour in, and at the current rate of taking one or two a week, we’re never going to clear out the inbox.

Hence today’s episode, one that’s devoted entirely to you guys and your questions! We’ll probably start doing this on a regular basis, maybe once a month or maybe more if you like it. So please let us know by sending a quick note or by leaving a comment in iTunes.

The first question on today’s episode comes from Britton in South Carolina. There’s cause for celebration as Britton and his wife just learned that a baby is coming! Woot woot! As a police officer and teacher it’s safe to say they’re not raking in the bucks. With a small savings account, and a small chunk of student loan debt remaining, does it make sense to beef up the savings or just get rid of the outstanding loan before the baby comes?

Next up was Alex calling from somewhere overseas. Alex is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Married, no kids, federal employee, making good money, and perhaps most significant, virtually zero expenses, including housing. With the goal of becoming financially independent at a young age, which approach should she be taking with her investments.

The final call comes from Allen in Dallas. Planning for college way down the road, Allen is wondering what’s the best strategy to fund a couple 529 plans for his two kids. These guys are in great shape. If all goes according to plan, college should be taken care of when the time comes.

Before wrapping up, we read a quick listener email regarding the absurd cost of college. It was prompted by our interview with New York Times reporter John Schwartz and his comment that when he went to college at the University of Texas in the 1970s it cost less than $200 a semester. And guess what people, he didn’t graduate with any debt! Amazing how that works.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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“Better Off” theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

For a recap of every episode, visit https://www.betterment.com/resources/topics/inside-betterment/better-off-podcast/