A Parent’s Dilemma: College for the Kids v. My Retirement?

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If they haven’t buried their head in the sand (an occurrence I see more-and-more often), ignoring the college funding question altogether, most parents face this dilemma at some point in their lives – –

Do we pay (or help pay) for our kids’ education or do we protect and preserve a comfortable, affordable retirement for ourselves?

Most parents face this dilemma in the traditional, conventional manner, attacking the first issue they face – the college tuition bill. Then, they worry about retirement.

Typically, parents help pay for school by undermining their own financial security, zipping through savings, borrowing against equity, amassing burdensome parent loans, borrowing from retirement plans.

So, is saving for retirement more important than saving for your kids’ higher education?

From a traditional, conventional way of thinking, it may be.

Retirement assets will be Social Security income and whatever other resources parents can toss together (can anyone say Walmart greeter?!?). Once it’s time to retire, parents must be financially strong enough to cover rest-of-life expenses.

Contrary to popular belief, however, if parents can suspend their traditional, conventional way of thinking, both issues can be addressed concurrently.

Assuming parents can be rational about the absurdly high “sticker price” of a college education (a state of being that we do not take for granted!), a sustainable solution must be designed and implemented.

Parents must know with reasonable certainty that, with current resources, a planned rate of saving, and a reasonable allowance for growth, a sustainable means of covering both projected college expenses and projected cash flow needs in retirement may be available to them.

In short, a college planning campaign that provides possible solutions for both covering college expenses and providing a stream of income in retirement is absolutely needed.

Don’t risk burdening your children in retirement because you’ve followed the traditional, conventional way of thinking – paying for school first, then worrying about retirement.

Contact our Professional College Planners to schedule the first meeting in your family’s college planning campaign!

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