Should I use savings to invest or wait until I’m done with grad school and back to work?

Hello,I am going to start grad school and will be 46 by the time I’ll get done. I have saved about 90 grand and I am expecting my debt will be about 80 grand. I have my 401k from work which will not get any contributions for 3 years since I won’t be able to work while in school. I have never done any investing other than the 401k. My question is should I use some of my saved money and start investing now while I’m in school, or should I wait until I’m done at age 46 to start? Also, my income will increase exponentially to the point I’m hoping to put aside 8 to 10 grand Per month for investing. I feel like I need to catch up and I am way behind! Thank you for any advice

Maria - here are some of my thoughts for you to consider:

  1. Do you expect interest on your debt to be higher than the interest on your investment? If yes, it may be better pay off the debt gradually while in school.
  2. Does interest on your debt start accumulating first day of school or after graduation? If the interest start accumulating right away, it may be better to pay off the debt gradually while in school. Compound interest can work against you in a debt situation.
  3. Are you not expecting any source of income during the 3 years in school? If no income at all, may be it would be in your interest to start contributing to Roth IRA (and investing it) at $6k/year (2021 limit).
  4. Do you need to use the $90k that was saved for living expenses while in school? If yes, it may not be the best idea to invest that money in the stock market. The market can crash at any time, so if you need that to live for the next 3 years, you shouldn’t invest.

Keep in mind that obtaining financial freedom does not mean just invest, it also means eliminate debt. Just my 1 cent. :slight_smile:

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Mindi, thank you so much for your reply! It gives me a lot of insight! I appreciate it

You’re welcome. Good luck with grad school! :slight_smile: