Help me decide this one, Working Moms:
DH and I live in a relatively LCOL area. We made some dumb financial decisions early in our 20's, and took on too much credit card debt and car payments that were really larger than we could afford. We've worked our tails off to pay down the debt in a responsible way, and when we bought a house a few years ago, we bought a small, 1200 square foot home in an okay school district. We've since added on and made some major upgrades, and the house really suits up well now. We recently refinanced our mortgage to a 10 year loan. If we stay here longterm, we could have ALL debt paid off, including our mortgage, in 7 to 8 years. Financially, we would then be set. We already contribute to retirement and to 529s, but at that point, we could max out all retirement accounts, pay for college for our kids in full and probably even retire early. The only downside to this house is the school district. It's not bad, but it's not great either. Private schools in our area are 20 to 30k a year, so it's unlikely we could pay tuition for private school and fully fund college for them. Unfortunately, homes in good school districts in our area run about 3x what we paid for this house, which means we would not be debtfree, and while we could continue to save, we would probably not be able to retire early or pay for college in full.
On the other hand, in a better school district, my kids could probably get into better colleges, which could set them up for better lifetime earning potential.
So, if faced with the choice between living in a good school district with debt, having the kids take student loans and retiring at 67 or later OR staying in an okay district and having the kids go to less prestigious colleges but having complete financial security, what would you choose?
I'm honestly very torn. Now that we'be made progress on our debt and turned a corner, I want to get out of debt entirely. I also want to set my kids up for their best possible future. I feel like I can't do both. WWYD?