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Minivans a good family-car buy?

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Photo illustration / Jae C. Hong / AP / File

(Read caption) When making any new or used car purchase, it's important to do your research. This particular line of minivans, the 2011 Toyota Sienna, was recalled on Dec. 13 because of a switch bracket on the brake lamp. It's illegal to sell a recalled product, but it's much easier to research first than to try to sue later.

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Q1: Saving for education
Currently I am 26, my husband is 27. We both work but he is in the construction industry so is laid off usually every winter. He does a paper route and collects unemployment, so he still brings in about $35,000 a year, often more. I make $30,000 a year, plus I have a weekend job (tipped) where I bring in maybe $500 a month. I have ten percent going in a Roth, by husband has 6 percent going into a Simple IRA. His retirement balance is about $6,000 while mine is $12,000. Because I am somewhat unimpressed with our retirement account provider through my work, I have a seperate Roth with Vanguard that is holding steady at $7,000. We have $130,000 yet to pay on our mortgage. We have no children but would like to start trying in a year or two. My question is this: I have $12,000 in a savings account (ING) that I’m saving for tuition. I am in a Master’s program for Public Relations – it is a two year program that will cost me about $50,000 when all is said and done. I’ve already paid the first semester ($7,000). I’ve received one $3,000 scholarship but my work is not contributing at all. I believe my job prospects will improve vastly when I have my masters, however I have never taken out a student loan and don’t want to. It may be a possibility to borrow money from my mom to pay tuition. Should I knock down our retirement contributions so I can pay for tuition as it comes, or just keep saving and hope we can scrimp enough to pay tuition each semester? I hate to stop contribution to retirement at the pace I’m at – I am so proud of our retirement savings. I am fine paying our minimum mortgage as we started at $150,000 just five years ago and have paid an extra thousand or more each year up until now.
- Jill

It seems as though you have a clear goal and your only real concern is whether or not you should redirect your retirement savings into additional savings for this goal.


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