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I currently attend community college and am planning to go to law school. Should I continue to save for retirement?

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Dear Dave,

I am 19 years old and will soon be finishing my first year of joint college. I have enough money for scholarships and family help to get a bachelor’s degree. After that, I plan to go to law school and pay money into that part of my education. I’ve already started the Roth IRA with the money I made earning, but I wonder if I should still contribute to retirement when I have to pay for law school out of pocket.


Dear Jonathan,

No, I would not recommend it. For now, you should stop saving for retirement and put all that money aside to pay for tuition.

At the moment, education is more valuable to you in the market to increase income. From a mutual fund. A diploma in left-handed puppetry or blowing underwater balloons is definitely not. Believe it or not, people spend years and tens of thousands of dollars – sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars – earning degrees in stupid things that have no real value at all. But if you graduate from law school and use that degree to create value for society and an incredible income for yourself, it will bring you a better mathematical return on your investment at this point in your life.

You have enough time to invest for retirement. I don’t want you to put it off forever, but debt-free education is a real investment for you right now. Just keep piling up money, and let’s pay for this graduate degree out of pocket. And hey, if you end up with a bunch of money left when you graduate and you’re ready to become a lawyer, that’s not the worst thing in the world, is it?

Good luck, Jonathan. Keep up the hard work!