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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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:12 pm

Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby thelawdoctor » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:41 pm

Sheffield wrote:IMHO, the only reason any of this makes sense is that the OP has a job lined up. Maybe I skimmed a bit too much, but how secure is this essentially guaranteed job in the wings? Would they offer a SA? Would they fund bar costs? What type of firm is this?

Is this a throw all caution to the wind in hopes that something might work out? I routinely oppose/criticize those trying to make a go of it at LS with less than a 85% employment record (Pitt is 50%). However, at 51, I understand the OPs desire to escape drowning in the safe dismal shallow waters. So, take the loans. Good luck.

Bucket List, why not mentality is my guess.

I expect to do the same thing with the MD once I semi-retire in my early 60's.
Then of course, die with the debt and tell them to cremate me with all my bills........but not before recording it for youtube of course......gotta have a legacy you know. :roll:

Marjorie Morningstar
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:42 pm

Re: Use stafford loans or retirement money?

Postby Marjorie Morningstar » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:30 am

Organnie...I can relate. Completely.

I am 65 years old. Law school was a fleeting wish back at the time I would have naturally gone. I was newly married, and living in a location where the nearest law school was an hour and a half good weather. So I put that daydream away. Later, when a law school did open in my city, I was busy with a teaching career, 3 children, and a disabled husband. I had great health benefits. There was no thought of pursuing any dreams. When I finally retired, it occurred to me that I could finally make good on that dream, but the idea of spending my hard-earned retirement fund on law school seemed ludicrous, so once again I pushed the thought aside.

Several years into retirement, I was getting a little bored. I didn't want a job per se....good retirement pension makes it unnecessary. But I did want more than lunch out with my friends, or volunteering to make coffee at the surgical lounge in the local hospital. I searched the community college website to see what might interest me. The word PARALEGAL jumped off the page and into my lap. The more I thought about it, the more it felt like a good fit. The jobs are actually somewhat plentiful, especially in larger cities, and pay a living salary....with benefits. It sounded like it would be interesting to take the classes. I figured I could volunteer at Legal Aid or Elderlaw when I was done, if I didn't want to find an actual part-time job.

My very first class was Business Law, and I knew I was in trouble right away. I was fascinated. Hooked. My prof kept telling me I should go to law school. I kept telling him I had to deal with reality. Finally he said....TAKE THE LSAT AND GET A SCHOLARSHIP. YOU DON"T HAVE TO PAY STICKER PRICE!! Totally blew me away....I had no idea I could do that.

I finished the paralegal program....loved every single class. I've even had a job offer, but the simple truth is I still want to go to law school. I simply want that education. I could take the money out of savings but that seems terribly irresponsible and foolish. So I buckled down and studied for the LSAT. First try was pretty dismal. Studied harder; took a class; just did a retake in June. This time I scored high enough to get 50% of my tuition covered. That's enough to make it work. I will go part-time and take 5 years. I can pay for the rest without touching savings. I am actually back at the prep books and I plan to retake one more time in October....maybe I can get the scholarship up to 75%. It's worth a try. I plan to start in January, no matter what the third LSAT score is.

I don't know if your motivation is because you truly love the idea of studying the law and/or being a lawyer, or if you just have to get out of what you are doing and this seems like a good alternative. But here is what I do know:
1. Life often alters our plans. Money in the bank is important.
2. You cannot count on a relationship to always be there. You cannot count on good health to always be there. Things happen. Things change. It's great when what you counted on does work out, but you always need a backup plan if it doesn't.
3. You can get through a good paralegal program in 18 months or less. There are good jobs to be had. It's a good way to find out how much you do like this work, and it will make you better prepared for law school if you do go forward. You can continue studying for another LSAT retake while you're in school. Just an alternative thought.
4. Ultimately the decision is yours; foolish or not, practical or not. It's not an easy decision; I'll be eager to see how it plays out for you. Whatever you decide, I wish you well.

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