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Money Minute
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College Tuition or Retirement Fund
Money Minute
What makes the most sense: helping my child pay for college, or using that money to save for my retirement?

It can be challenging to juggle family finances when you have a college student. Tuition, housing, and fees are big ticket items. This can sometimes lead to a tough decision: should you help your child avoid student loan debt, or use that money for your own retirement instead? Understandably, it feels wrong to put your financial well-being ahead of your child’s, but it just might be the right choice.

Consider this: there are multiple financial aid options available for college including federal student aid, scholarships, or grants; but there’s no such thing as a “retirement loan” for you. And while your student is young, they can get a job while in college or even shortly after college to pay off student loans. However, the idea of you looking for a job during your retirement years is just frightening.

If you are not prepared for your own retirement, you may become financially dependent on your grown children. And if they have their own children to take care of too, they won’t be able to prepare for their retirement – which perpetuates the awful cycle again.

So, help the kids to be the best they can in school, but stay committed to saving for your own retirement so you won’t become dependent on your future graduate later on.

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