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Retire or Send the Kids to College

It's a challenge for most parents - retire or send the kids to college. College is expensive, but can give your children a sound financial future. But what about your future and your retirement, which may coming closer and closer? Here's an article to help you figure out what you can do to get the best of both worlds...

College for the kids or retirement for you? Which goal has the highest importance? Or can you possibly save for both? These are a couple of the most frequently asked questions of financial planners.

First off, donít criticize yourself about your money management. It is very difficult to accomplish either one of these goals. The purchasing power, the company pension plans, the increase of education and starting families earlier play a huge part in such difficulties.

And letís face it -your retirement should have an emphasis on your own life. Let your children go to a high-priced four-year private school if you wish, and give them the gift of learning to use their money wisely by paying for it themselves. Look at it from this point of view, if you spend your money on college, then a few years into retirement your savings will be gone. Your social security may not be enough to make ends meet.

Just ask my 90-year-old great aunt how far her $638 Social Security check stretches each month!

The best thing to do for your family is to stay financially strong, and put your retirement first. It may sound selfish, but it is truly the best strategy for your family overall.

If you want to try to save for both, hereís some advice. Start while the children are young, and set them up a bank account. Many financial planners recommend that children set aside 25% of their earnings into this bank account. This could be money earned from chores, good grades or even holiday gifts. When the child reaches high school age, then they can start a part-time job and supply that percentage through their earnings. This will not only help save money for college, but it will help teach your children important economic lessons.

So again, pay attention to your future first and your children will appreciate it in the long run. Donít let something like not paying for college get you down. Your children will need you throughout their life far more than your money. The protection of your finances will ensure an independent retirement and leave no burden on future generations.




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