Here are the stark financial facts. Together, Dick, 55, and Shari, 52, earn $110,000 a year. So far they've saved less than $10,000 for Jake's education ($4,000 in mutual funds in the parents' names and $5,500 in a 529 account). Total annual expenses at his first choice, the University of Oregon at Eugene, will top $25,000. The shortfall over four years is an eye-popping $90,500.
For us it's eye-opening for another reason. Thanks to the generosity of family members as well as our own savings plans, Olivia's already better placed for college than the example above, and she's not quite 3. Even then, considering the growth of college expenses far exceeds inflation, we'll still have to be very careful to ensure her security. Welcome to parenting 101, I guess.
And $40k in combined retirement savings, at their age and their income levels?