Should You Save for Your Kid's College or Your Own Retirement?

Beth Kobliner says save for your own retirement first, and only then college

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

piggy banks (flickr user voobie)

We've been talking with Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life", about how to get ourselves on strong financial footing, with our Do It Yourself Bailout series. This week, Beth helps us with a big dilemma: If we can't afford to do both, should we sock away money every month for retirement or save for our kids' college?

College tuition has been rising steadily for years with no sign of stopping. Last year the average tuition rose 4.4 percent for private colleges and 6.5 percent for public universities. Yet, at the same time, parents have seen their 401(k) funds shrink during the recession. To make matters worse, household incomes have continued to fall. So what is the bigger priority? Saving for your kid's college education or for your own retirement?


Beth Kobliner

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [1]


The answer will probably come if you ask your kids. All you need to say is: "would you rather spend a hundred bucks or two each month paying off your student loans for a few years, or do you want to spend thousands supporting your parents in their old age for heaven-knows-how-long?" Any time they complain that you don't contribute to THEIR college, remind them that their choice is either the bank all the way across town, or you in their spare bedroom for 20 years!

Apr. 28 2010 08:54 AM

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