How to Pay for College while Early Retired


One of the top questions I’m asked when people see “retired at 33 with 3 kids” is “yeah, but what about college?”. The truth is I never really gave it a lot of thought because the total cost is well into the future (though closing in fast for our oldest kid) and not huge relative to our total net worth. I had a very vague goal of being able to cover the tuition and fees for four years of in-state tuition for all three kids.

We funneled some cash into 529 accounts when North Carolina offered a tax credit for doing so. We earned a $350 tax credit for contributing $5,000 per year to the 529. When that tax credit was eliminated, I stopped contributing to the 529s and stopped thinking about college funding. Paying tens of thousands of dollars for college is no biggie when you have a million or two, right?

It turns out my lazy attitude toward college funding won’t spell disaster for my children’s higher education future. Between what we have saved in 529s, our large investment portfolio, and a plethora of other funding sources, the kids will be perfectly fine when the college tuition bills start piling up. You’ll have to read on to find out why I’m so confident (or is it cocky?).

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August 2016 Financial Update


Now that August is over, we are officially in the last third of the year! It’s hard to believe the year is already winding down. August was a decent month financially. Our net worth crept up another $2,000 to $1,635,000. Income totaled $5,191 while expenses were $2,817 for the month.

After spending the last half of July and the first part of August on our three and a half week road trip to Canada, we returned home in mid-August to a flurry of activity to get the kids ready for school. That meant buying school supplies (including a brand new fancy pants TI-84 CE color graphing calculator) and attending two back to school orientations. Our oldest daughter just entered middle school so now we have twice as many PTA meetings and school events to fit into our not-so-busy schedules. She’s loving middle school so far!

Here’s what our August 2016 looks like under a financial microscope.

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Trip Report: Toronto, Mammoth Cave, and Niagara Falls Road Trip


The Root of Good family made it back from our 3.5 week road trip a couple weeks ago. Here’s an after action battle report on our trip including highlights from all the places we visited plus a complete cost breakdown of our trip budget. Skip to the end for some travel hacking tips to save big bucks on your next epic vacation!

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July 2016 Financial Update


Thanks July, you were great. Can you tell August to keep doing the same thing please? Our net worth continued to climb throughout July to an all time high of $1,633,000. Spending was very low at $1,190 while income was a bit higher for the month at $2,336.

We just returned home from our three and a half week road trip to Canada and it was a huge success! Some of those travel expenses are included in this post, however I hope to have a separate post outlining our trip and the travel budget later in August.

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