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I'm A Dad For The First Time!

edited November 2011 in Off-Topic
Don't know if anyone's noticed (hopefully someone missed me...) my absence as I haven't posted on this site for a number of months. Reason? My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world at 8.43 am on August 19 of this year. Alicia Maria weighed in at 5 lbs. and 9 oz. Cigars (not doughnuts) for all!!!!! : )


  • Outstanding !!! We have been blessed with seven children, and they are truly wonderful. Enjoy them while they are young, because before you know it, they will be teenagers and will prefer hanging with their peers than with you and your wife.

  • Congrats!
  • Poptart: Best wishes. There's nothing like that thrilling feeling, is there? You're a new dad. Wow. That's the BEST!
  • Reply to @johnN: also time to start that saving/new 403 acct/college funds for you new baby:)...
  • Congratulations!! I have one 529 account in Utah and one in West Virginia.
  • And here all this time I thought that you wuz a girl-type person. This certainly settles that question, for sure. Congratulations!
  • Reply to @Old_Joe: I did too.
  • edited November 2011
    Thanks to all! Alicia's already proven to be a very welcome transition into the next phase of life! We're VERY happy parents : )

    Thanks for the new savings/college account ideas, I'll follow-up!

    OJ & Scott - You both thought that I was female????? Don't quite know how to answer that comment... What led you to this conclusion?????

    I'm really glad that I'm a guy, I don't think that I could have put up with what my wife went through having a child.
  • "....And The Dude abides." ....from "The Big Lebowski."
  • Congratulations.
  • Reply to @johnN: I think you meant 529 college saving plans. 403(b) are tax deferred retirement accounts for state employees.
  • Reply to @PopTart: Congratulation! When things settle down, i.e. getting enough sleep and others, take the time to research on 529 college saving plans. This topic comes up frequently on this board and you will benefit from everyone's experience here.
  • Reply to @Sven: Correction to above post. 403(b) are retirement accounts for educational professionals, i.e. teachers.
  • edited November 2011
    Hi PopTart,

    Congratulations to all of you.
    And you thought time flew by how fast the clock seems to move now.

    Sven and others noted about a 529 plan or similar. Although none of us know how tax laws will be changed going forward, one should not expect existing plans or plans in place to be affected by law changes.

    Before I forget, I will also note that I have read suggestions to the affect of using Roth IRA (parents monies) as a funding tool in place of, or in conjuction with a 529. Both are tax sheltered relative to the earnings over the years. Regarding this method; is that there is currently very little flex once fund choices are set within a 529 plan; as per IRS code, one may only alter the investment choices once per calendar year. I have requested this be changed to perhaps 2 or 3 moves per year in letters to our senators and congressman. Obviously, with a Roth IRA; one may invest with complete flexibility as to moving monies and almost unlimited choices. Drawbacks for the ROTH vs 529 is using the ROTH for your child's education, which would draw down your retirement, too Also, one is currently able to fund about $13K/year to the 529 vs the lower limits on the ROTH. Anyone may add monies to a 529.

    I presume you still live in the A-squared area of MI. This will also allow you to use the Michigan Education Trust.

    We use both the M.E.T. and a 529. The M.E.T. is for tuition and fees; and the 529 to cover "all other"; although 529 monies may be used against any costs for higher education. One may choose to have only a 529 to cover everything. Also, under current tax codes, if there is reason to withdraw these monies and not use them for higher education; one may do so, with a penalty of 10%, payment of taxes on the monies and refunding of any tax credits used in prior years. I note this, as that one does not forfeit the monies; if the families plans change. Currently, a portion of the M.E.T. payment is a MI deductible tax credit.

    As education cost increases seem to be surpassed only by the increases in healthcare; I did some most simple calculations a number of years ago regarding the M.E.T. program and concluded roughly that: the monthly cost/payment to this Michigan program/contract was about the equivalent of an 8% annual return on one's money (taxable account/regular savings).
    The calculation was derived from the annual college costs increasing about 8%/year, the sooner the program is started, the lower the monthly payment and that the money was growing tax sheltered. A possible drawback to this program is that one does have a legal contract with the State that requires a monthly payment. A 529 also usually requires at least $25/month; but payments may also be stopped, if a financial situation presents itself.

    I will add/edit some other stuff here later; but will start with this calculator, which is the best I have found. I was going to set the link for Michigan State (smile), but will let you wander through the site for a look. At the top left, you may enter a particular school name, or if you choose a state from the dropdown list, an entire list of all schools in that state will be shown. Clicking upon any school will then present a list of items for that school, which includes the "cost" using various scenarios for the current and prior two years.


    ---MI 529 investment options

    ---UTAH 529 (customized option allows you to build your own portfolio from a list)

    Lastly, we use the Utah 529 plan at this time. The MI/TIAA-CREF plan was not to our liking at the time; but "they" were on the edge of being thrown out of the MI plan a few years ago and have since improved....lower fees, expanded choices, etc. Although when compared to the Utah plan, I still don't really like the MI 529.

    Lastly, SavingForCollege is a decent web site for some basic info. One must have a paid acct for all info; but one may learn some goodies from the site, regardless.

    Take care,

  • Reply to @catch22: There are downsides to M.E.T. (or other state equivalent). Due to current economic environment with the tuition rate rising much faster than market returns, the largest public university of the state of Illinois, Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is projecting serious difficulty meeting future obligation for those who are participating in their pre-paid college tuition plan. Several unexpected scenarios could play out but none of which are desirable.

  • Thanks again to all! Thanks also for the detailed financial plans, I'll look into them. Yes, we'll continue to live in A squared. It's where my wife and I both went to college and have jobs.

    We were as prepared as possible for our daughter. With that having been said (typed?), we're learning something new about babies every day. It's great! : )
  • Really have no idea, now that you ask. Maybe just because you are so polite and easy-going.:-))
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