Retirement or College Savings: Which comes first?

Helping your child pay for their college education is a wonderful goal. And since most kids head off to school before their parents head into retirement, you might think your kid’s college savings should take priority over your own retirement savings.

But if you’re paying into a 529 plan or IRA for your kid without fully funding your 401K, 403B, IRAs or other retirement accounts first? You might want to think again. Here’s why.

Retirement is certain.

Barring unforeseen tragedy, everyone—including you—will need to retire at some point. Paying for housing, food, medical care, and other expenses during that retirement is a necessity. Starting early and staying consistent with retirement savings will put time and compound interest on your side.

But if you skimp on retirement savings to fund your kid’s college, you may be asking them for a handout in your later years. 

College is a luxury.  

What’s more, while retirement is inevitable, not every child will go to college—at least not in the ways you might expect. There are plenty of ways to cover the costs of higher education. There are scholarships, grants, part-time jobs, and more.

The best way to help your child save for college is to help them choose a school or training program that’s not only ideal, but affordable. Our team can help you find more ways to keep costs at a minimum.

If you’re a parent who is struggling to save for your child’s college education, don’t worry. Some parents might not be able to put a dime toward their child’s degree, and that doesn’t make them bad parents.

With some hard work and financial savvy, your child can still go to college and stay debt free! But the only one who will be able to fully fund your retirement is you. That makes retirement savings your first priority.

Need help finding the best retirement savings options for your future? See how we can help today!

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