There are so many issues involved, some of which were brought up in the comments to my last post. One has to think of one's own finances, especially retirement. One has to worry about creating dependency: The Millionaire Next Door authors talk about how Economic Outpatient Care weakens adult children and leads to less productivity. And: what about the other kid?
Well, who knows about retirement. Will we have enough? I have no idea. But my frugal chops are well-developed.
As for dependency: so far Frugal Son seems quite independent in his actions, especially considering how low his income is.
As for the other kid: both kids have similar profiles, for which see below.
The reason I am thinking about this is that--after almost 5 years of severe despondency and throwing my 403b statements in a box unopened, I took a peek recently and things seem OK, at least till the next bubble. When I say I, I mean we, by the way. I just do most of the planning, while Mr FS does the gardening, painting, and home and car maintenance. Since we are both frugal by nature and nurture, and because we fantasized about sending the two children to PRIVATE LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES, we saved and saved, even as the cost of college soared at double the rate of inflation. We even started a 529 account, in which we amassed room and board expenses for four years, because we knew that if our children chose an in-state public institution, tuition would be free via the TOPS program.
As it happened, the dear children weren't as enamored of the private colleges as we were (perhaps there is a lesson there). They received some merit aid at private colleges. Each child also received room and board scholarships on top of tuition at public colleges. For that, we can all thank the test-taking gods or the fact that the children had genetic material from two families with good test takers. (Mr FS told me long ago that his older brother had perfect SATS. I have not independently verified this claim.) They each chose a public institution. Each is happy with that choice.
So, if you have been reading with any attention, you may have figured out that the 4 years of room and board fees remain untouched. Mr FS said "Why not let the kids share in the consequences of their choices?" I say, "No one would question our having spent this money on room and board or a car when they were in college, etc etc."
My musings will continue...
And, if you haven't read this, you should. It was a life changer for me.