Retirement Savings or College Savings?

I’m having this conversation a lot lately. Which is more important; college savings or retirement savings? I’ve always recommended retirement savings be the priority. Kid’s can always borrow for school expenses–something I do not recommend. However, no one can borrow for their retirement savings. It just doesn’t happen.

Apparently, other advisors agree with me. Here, in USA Today’s article, Kathleen Elkins notes a new survey that shows 70% of parents believe the priority should be the other way around. They prioritize kid’s college over their own retirement.

As mentioned, I believe this is a mistake. What can you do? Save whatever you can, as soon as you can, and a much as possible. After of course, you save for your own retirement. Kids can also work part time, take gap years, get scholarship, receive gifts, and take college on a pay as you go schedule.

Doing so when you are in retirement isn’t so easy. Many in fact, aren’t working as long as they had hoped or planned. Many are finding health or other factors have interrupted their last several work years, leaving them with whatever retirement nest egg they have accumulated–much less than they planned on.

When planning, we should think about what is the worst that can happen? What if I don’t have enough money for my kids’ college? Whose problem is that really?

What if we don’t have enough money to retire?

What about you? Are you ready for retirement?

Dan