Expert Advice

Saving For College Vs. Retirement

Rebalance IRA Vice President Sally Brandon on the importance of striking a balance between saving for retirement and your children’s college money.

Sally Brandon: It’s an interesting thing that I’m having to deal with personally right now. I have a son that’s a senior in high school about to go to college and unfortunately whether I should be funding his college or my retirement fund, is something I wish I would have thought about a lot earlier in life.

Being a mother, I think my instinct is to want to pay for everything for him for college and maybe put off my own retirement. In reality though, that would be doing myself and quite honestly, my children a disservice in the future, where they could take a loan out for college and I can’t take a loan out for retirement. Not only that, but then I could potentially be a burden for them later in life.

Ideally, it would be great if you could fund both college and retirement, but if you really had to choose, I think families are much better off putting money into their own retirement, knowing that their children could take out a loan or find other sources of scholarships or grants to fund their education.