Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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Homelandsagreatshow
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby Homelandsagreatshow » Wed May 29, 2013 2:04 pm

Having lived in Pittsburgh all of my life, know this:

Pittsburgh is technically the higher ranked of the two, but I would HIGHLY recommend going to the cheaper school in your case.

You're going to need to be in the top 5% to score a great job coming out of Pitt (and probably top 5% at best at Duquesne), so I would just go with cheapest. That said, with the exception of kids coming back from T-14 and maybe some of the better T30 schools, Pitt and Duquesne own Pittsburgh, so theres chances for jobs (although Pitt's abysmal 'employed at graduation' statistic wouldn't show that). This is all moot since you said you're guaranteed a job coming out (which I really hope is true, for your sake).

Honestly, I know a lot of people that have gone/are going to both schools, and the in Pittsburgh's case, I don't think you can overemphasize the importance of having parents/family that can help you get a job coming out of the schools. Maybe its just because I'm from a yuppie suburban area, but all of the people that I know who are getting/have solid jobs, have parents that are lawyers, and everyone else, with one or two exceptions is working menial jobs (starbucks, Banana Republic).

Honestly, I personally would be shocked if this isn't a troll, because if you graduated with a 3.94, and you settle for anything less than a full ride from both of these mediocre schools, then I honestly don't think it'll be possible to succeed in law school. The LSAT (contrary to popular opinion outside TLS) is without a doubt an EXTREMELY learnable test (especially getting from the 140s/50s to the 60s), and if a person can't at least get to a legitimate score, I'm not so sure they have a chance at succeeding in law school.

However, if you know you're guaranteed a job coming out, then I'd go with the cheaper option and DEFINITELY wouldn't take it out of your retirement savings, because when the ISH hits the fan (which in all likely cases it will), you need money and at least you can IBR or something with the loans.

Edit: it's probably just my suburban background, but this city seems horribly overpopulated with lawyers

NYstate
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby NYstate » Wed May 29, 2013 2:11 pm

SFSpartan wrote:Would be helpful to know if your husband has any retirement money (or if that was included in the 126k figure. Also, you mentioned step kids, so I'm presuming you are married). If there is something to fall back on, take out the retirement money. If not, take out the loans, recognizing that law school is a particularly risky decision for you because of your age. Also, recognize that you don't have enough saved to retire on (FWIW, I don't think you are financially reckless, but I do think you've probably had a string of crappy, low paying jobs).


OP is divorced, paying for half of one kids college expenses, living with her boyfriend and one other dependent. Her boyfriend has two kids she is helping raise. Read her posts. Lol. Not sure why I care.

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organnie
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby organnie » Wed May 29, 2013 2:25 pm

I'm leaning toward taking 20K a year in loans. Then I will be 60K in debt when I graduate. I'm estimating that I'll then need about 60K from my retirement funds.

abl
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby abl » Wed May 29, 2013 2:28 pm

Proposal:

Someone on this board with LSAT tutoring experience and past success should offer to tutor the OP. Here are some proposed terms:
* The tutoring is free if the OP improves by <5 points
* If the OP improves by 5-9 points, the tutor becomes entitled to 0.1% of the OP's annual gross earnings yearly over the next 10 years.
* If the OP improves by 10 or more points, the tutor becomes entitled to 0.5% of the OP's annual gross earnings yearly over the next 10 years.
* Both the tutor and the tutee must pursue this in good faith, enforced by a previously agreed-on third party (e.g., the tutor cannot require the tutee to do unreasonable amounts of work, and the tutee must generally make a reasonable effort to complete the work that is assigned).

This seems like a huge win-win. The OP gets 1-1 LSAT tutoring with a great tutor and only has to pay if her score increases fairly notably. A 5-9 point increase will likely get her scholarships in the 10s of thousands at one of the Pitt-area schools above what she currently has. A 10+ point increase could win her a full ride. There's a lot of incentive for an LSAT tutor here as well -- if improving from the 140s/50s--160s is really as possible as those on the board often describe it as being (and the OP certainly hasn't studied such that her potential is clearly tapped), the tutor has a pretty solid chance of getting paid very well -- 0.1% of even only a $30,000/year income amounts to $300, which is more than a pittance, and 0.5% of $30,000 is $1,500. There's also a substantial upside -- if the OP improves by 10 or more points and lands a job that averages $50,000/year over the 10-year period (say, starting at $45k and working up to $55k--certainly a feasible outcome), the tutor will get $2,500. If the OP hits the jackpot and gets biglaw or even midlaw, well, so does the tutor -- we're talking about the potential for $7,500 and up for what likely is not an onerous tutoring job.

Obviously, also, the OP and a tutor could agree on different terms. I don't have any tutoring experience so I'm not the right fit but I'm sure there's someone out there who's very confident that they can get the OP to jump by 10+ points without having to put more than ~30 hours of his or her own time into the endeavor tutoring.

20141023
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 12:23 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 12:44 pm

Nah, the OP's not nearly as self-righteous, nor has she judged anyone else for their reasons for attending school.

20141023
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 12:50 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 12:53 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Nah, the OP's not nearly as self-righteous, nor has she judged anyone else for their reasons for attending school.

I was mainly referring to the fact that both the OP and Elizabeth are about to take out federal loans that our tax dollars will likely end up paying for. Starting a new career on the tax payers' dime at the age of 50+ is not self-righteous... it is selfish.

Also, both Elizabeth and the OP did minimal study for the LSAT, which is 100% financially irresponsible.

Oh, relax. There are lots of younger folk taking out a LOT more money on the taxpayer's dime. Am I saying what the OP is doing is a great idea? No (though I don't think it's as terrible as all y'all do). But she's not somehow more morally culpable just because she's older.

Huey Freeman
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby Huey Freeman » Thu May 30, 2013 1:00 pm

Listen lady, you have a 3.94 GPA. You can attend some of the best schools in the country, for FREE, if you choose to put in a little more time studying for the LSAT.

Literally every point you increase get is worth thousands of dollars. It boggles my mind how people expect to do well on Law School exams when they can't put up the same level of dedicated studying for the LSAT.

It's a learnable test. You can do it. Seriously. God damn it, stop being so stubborn and realize that 12 tests is absolutely nothing compared to how much studying you could (and should) be doing. I'm not saying you should grab a 179 and stroll into Yale, but at least grab a T-20/T-14 school for free and grab a job of your choice.

Stop being so stubborn. You don't want to cripple your retirement with debt you pay off for the next 20 years.

fucking boomers

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buddyt
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby buddyt » Thu May 30, 2013 1:30 pm

Huey Freeman wrote:Listen lady, you have a 3.94 GPA...stop being so stubborn and realize that 12 tests is absolutely nothing compared to how much studying you could (and should) be doing. I'm not saying you should grab a 179 and stroll into Yale, but at least grab a T-20/T-14 school for free and grab a job of your choice.

OP doesn't want T20/T14. She wants to stay where she's at. She's already way above their 75th for UGPA, and a 161 puts her above their 75th LSAT. Getting a 161 is objectively not difficult; a couple months of LSAT study should be enough. That's ~100 hours for tens of thousands of dollars. You do the math on what that hourly rate would be.

abl
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby abl » Thu May 30, 2013 1:39 pm

So I guess the real question is: will getting a 160+ score actually net the OP a lot of aid at a Pittsburgh-area school? I don't know much about schools in that region . . . and given that not all schools play the super generous aid gain, there may not be that much use to the OP in increasing her score a ton given her goals.

20141023
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 1:42 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 1:45 pm

First, chances are that anyone who ends up going into a low-paying job won't pay off much of their loans via PAYE, regardless of age.

Second, keep in mind the OP's option is Pitt, and Pitt is notoriously stingy with scholarship money.

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suralin
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby suralin » Thu May 30, 2013 2:16 pm

organnie wrote:Hi folks, I'm an unusual case. I'm 52 and starting law school this fall. I've not been offered any scholarship money from the school I'll be attending (I do continue to pester, though).
I know there will be folks out there that want to suggest that law school is a bad idea for me. But I've thought it through, I'm definitely doing this, and that's not why I'm posting today.
I currently have $126K in 401K/IRA money which will all be turned over into IRAs once I quit my full-time job in August. Pulling money from an IRA for educational purposes spares me the 10% penalty that I would have otherwise incurred. I recognize that I'll have to pay income tax on the money I pull out but, trust me, I'll have made squat this year so it'll all come out in the wash come tax time (should get about 3K back next spring). I also will have about 20K in a savings account by August.
I make less than 24K a year in my job and have one dependent. Looks like I'm going to be offered $20,500 in Stafford loans for the upcoming school year (and presumably for my 2nd and 3rd years?). I will have other expenses that will come to about $1000 per month (rent, insurance, food, etc.). I also have to share my daughter's undergrad tuition expense with my ex. She's got two more years. That'll cost me about 20K total.
So...I guess my question is...(a financial guru I am not), at my age, do I use the loan money? Right now my retirement funds are earning more than 6% interest (the same interest charged on the Stafford loans). But do I really want to be 60K in debt when I pass the bar at 56 years of age? But then again, I have no other debt...nuthin'.
Who's got a creative angle for me? Thanks!!


Wow. This is actually kinda sad, but I can't really muster up that much sympathy since it doesn't seem like OP has done any sort of due diligence on a legal career/law school.

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kay2016
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby kay2016 » Thu May 30, 2013 4:41 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:First, chances are that anyone who ends up going into a low-paying job won't pay off much of their loans via PAYE, regardless of age.

Second, keep in mind the OP's option is Pitt, and Pitt is notoriously stingy with scholarship money.


But Duquesne isn't. OP should retake and go to Duquesne for a bargain

20141023
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 8:19 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 9:09 pm

I'm not so much defending her decision as suggesting you're criticizing her in ageist terms. Lol.

(She's proposing - possibly! - to take out 60K, which in any other context here people would call a small loan. She might in fact just pay for it all with her savings. You can certainly question whether this will allow her to achieve her goals but I think the "she'll be burden on the taxpayers because she's oooooold" is fairly uncool.)

ETA: reworded to be less ad hominem.
Last edited by A. Nony Mouse on Thu May 30, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby IAFG » Thu May 30, 2013 9:35 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
kappycaft1 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Nah, the OP's not nearly as self-righteous, nor has she judged anyone else for their reasons for attending school.

I was mainly referring to the fact that both the OP and Elizabeth are about to take out federal loans that our tax dollars will likely end up paying for. Starting a new career on the tax payers' dime at the age of 50+ is not self-righteous... it is selfish.

Also, both Elizabeth and the OP did minimal study for the LSAT, which is 100% financially irresponsible.

Oh, relax. There are lots of younger folk taking out a LOT more money on the taxpayer's dime. Am I saying what the OP is doing is a great idea? No (though I don't think it's as terrible as all y'all do). But she's not somehow more morally culpable just because she's older.

If you borrow tons of money a few years away from retirement and also have no savings, the "safety net" has to care for you. So yes, OP is more morally culpable than someone younger.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 9:37 pm

So why does the government not set an age limit on loans? Why should someone who's 50-something not be able to take advantage of the same options as a 20-something? (Keep in mind the OP is planning to borrow 60K, has savings, and is not a few years away from retirement, unless you define 15-20 as "a few.") Again, I'm not saying it makes it any better a decision, but why is someone who wants to borrow $60K to go to the regional flagship at 52 suddenly a burden on the taxpayers when the same criticism doesn't get raised about the 24-year-old who wants to borrow $250K to go to Cal Western?

(And I know the above is slightly ridiculous, but I do think the shift to criticizing the decision as selfish was a bit much. There are plenty of other grounds on which to criticize the idea.)
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BabyJT
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby BabyJT » Thu May 30, 2013 9:44 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not so much defending her decision as suggesting you're being kind of an ageist prick about it. Lol.

(She's proposing - possibly! - to take out 60K, which in any other context here people would call a small loan. She might in fact just pay for it all with her savings. You can certainly question whether this will allow her to achieve her goals but I think the "she'll be burden on the taxpayers because she's oooooold" is fairly uncool.)


She's not proposing to take out 60k she's saying that's what she was offered in her financial aid packet from the schools. Which every grad student is eligible for that 20.5k/yr. She hasn't even addressed the full cost of tuition- not to mention the cost of attendance. If she doesn't use any retirement or savings and uses purely loans, that's about $150k for COA. let's be real, most of that she will never get close to paying back.

OP if you are interested in learning, try Coursera. they offer tons of FREE courses in a variety of subjects. Paralegal programs are also good/cheaper options and can probably make roughly the same salary as your friends in law firms seem to be promising... either way guaranteed <$48k post law school graduation doesn't seem all that appealing to me when it means taking on at least $150k in debt.

20141023
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby 20141023 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:46 pm

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Icculus
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby Icculus » Thu May 30, 2013 9:48 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:The OP reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Paskiewicz. :roll:

I hate to say this, but damn shitboomers...


I just googled her...she has written a ton of amazon.com reviews...I think.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 30, 2013 9:51 pm

BabyJT wrote:She's not proposing to take out 60k she's saying that's what she was offered in her financial aid packet from the schools. Which every grad student is eligible for that 20.5k/yr. She hasn't even addressed the full cost of tuition- not to mention the cost of attendance. If she doesn't use any retirement or savings and uses purely loans, that's about $150k for COA. let's be real, most of that she will never get close to paying back.

Aw, crap, sorry everyone, that's correct and I totally flaked on that. So I take back part of my outrage!!!. I still think that unless you want to try to pin down a sliding scale of age in relation to amount of loan and so on (and good luck with that), to say someone shouldn't take out loans because of their age is slightly bogus - clearly, ability to repay a loan is not currently part of the calculus in granting any law student a loan. But I did misunderstand the situation here.

thelawdoctor
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby thelawdoctor » Thu May 30, 2013 10:06 pm

I say, use loans, max them out (full living, etc) and then go on the 30 year repayment plan (or IBR if you qualify) and then fudge them.
You'll be in your mid 80's by then and (statistically) odds are dead.

Heck I have thought about doing a PhD or something when I reach 60 just to do the same thing.

Just my 2cents on it. Unless someone cosigns those loans, they die with you but spending other forms of money takes away from what you could leave your spouse and kids, or just more money to live it up.

Think of it as a flipflop to the old saying of "you can't take it with you".

thelawdoctor
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Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby thelawdoctor » Thu May 30, 2013 10:09 pm

Plus if you have retirement money saved up already, you don't have to worry about the whole "will I find a job" BS.

Bucket List for the sake of bucket list.

:wink:




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