Education and Special Circumstances Planning’

Richard and Monica had a disagreement between the two concerning educational planning. Richard believed that education was a cost that could be financed from current savings when the kids entered college. Monica said they should begin right now even though no children were planned for at least three years.
Stacy, Monica and Richard’s daughter, was already separated from her husband. She had decided to seek a divorce. Her husband Frank was a corporate executive with a salary of $200,000 a year. They had about $1 million in assets, including a home. All assets were in Frank’s name.
Monica had a brother, Jim, a corporate manager who had $3.2 million in his company’s stock. His job was a little precarious now and the stock formed 90 percent of his marketable assets and 80 percent of his total assets.
Monica’s mother, a widow, had Alzheimer’s and was increasingly unable to remember and operate on her own. She had about $200,000 in her name, which might have to be used to place her in a nursing home. Her doctor said she had no more than three years to live.

1. What information would you need to answer the couple’s dispute?
2. Provide an estimated yearly college savings needed assuming that the two wanted to fund for a four-year private school education. Assume a 3 percent college inflation and a 5 percent investment return with annual savings beginning currently and their child being born in three years with college starting at age 18. Make other assumptions as needed.
3. What divorce planning recommendations do you have for Stacy? Justify them.
4. What advice do you have for Jim in both financial planning and investing?
5. What advice would you give Monica for her mother?