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Byline: Carol Hazard
Dec. 20--Rick Stauffer earns too much to write off college expenses or interest on college loans.
Yet, he and wife Holly Hudson have not had a vacation in years. They have juggled more than $300,000 in college expenses, taking out a home equity line of credit and personal loan to pay off the debts.
Their oldest daughter graduated from college this year and is on her own. They have two children still in college and two more to go in the next four years.
"You have a double-edged sword," said William C. Gilbert, vice president, retirement services, of SunTrust Banks Inc.
They earn too much to get benefits, such as child tax credits. Nor can they qualify for learning credits or retirement investments that grow tax-free, such as Roth Individual Retirement Accounts.
But they have enough money to handle all the expenses plus extras that come with rearing five children.
"You are doing everything you should be doing, but I can help you tweak some things," Gilbert said.
Their investments are moderately complicated, divvied among Rick's …