Wow Drew...I am not even sure where to go with that???
I guess what struck me from the original post was the education calculator and the rigidity of those things.
I recall being in the posters position back in about 1997. Just graduated from college working in a financial planning firm, single and trying to figure out how I could afford to buy a house. Then, in my spare time, I too ran those calculators. I recall one of them saying I had to save $2K a month to send two kids to private school or something to that affect. I think those calculators can make people obsessive! I mean really, college is going to cost a gazillion dollars??? Nah, I don’t think so. I think that the face of college education will look very different but not be $2M/year for tuition. Just think about the technology that is used now to keep college costs down. I remember when the University of Phoenix started popping up and all of us put our noses up. Heck, they have a professional stadium now!
Those calculators are just that…calculators…not very dynamic. Just because it spits out a number doesn’t mean that is a hard and fast financial plan. It is up to you to determine how to use that information. College tuition can be paid various ways. We always tell our clients that there is no financial aid/Pell/Stafford/Scholarship/student loan/etc. for retirement and everyday living. The calculator is a guide. You can save a reasonable amount in a 529 and the rest elsewhere.
If you feel you are being obsessive, you probably are.