Is it Possible to Fund Your Retirement & Your Children’s College Too?

Retirement plan post image, computer with webpage labeled "Retirement Plan".

It Isn’t Uncommon to See People Cheat Their Own Retirement Plan to Provide For Their Kid’s College Fund.

Focusing on children’s college tuition needs and neglecting their own retirement is something many parents do. As parents, we are providing private school, automobiles, and basically supporting kids today. That shouldn’t mean you don’t plan to have a pleasant retirement. Howver, that freshman year budget can be on the doorstep a lot quicker than you expect, and it will not be denied! How in the world do people manage both of these obligations?

An important step to take first is assess your actual financial ability for each of these goals. Like most things in life, the sooner you begin, the easier this will be. By considering these two important objectives collectively, you may be able to adjust more effectively as time and financial restrictions present themselves. Consider these points as you begin:

How To Pay for College

How long do you have before your children begin college?
Compare both a public and a private college, and the asssociated costs.
Do you expect to provide all or just part of the cost of a college degree?
Research all possible options for any academic, athletic, or artistic scholarship opportunities.
Explore every possible chance for financial aid in the form of grants.
Consider employers who will fund all or part of a student’s college career in order to procure a quality employee.
Consider military career options that provide college education financial support
Discuss with your child options such as staged educational plans. Attending tradeschool first, and working while atteneding college.

How to Pay for Retirement

When are you going to retire and how far away is that?
What activities do you have planned for your retirement? Travel? Relocation? Simplicity or Extravagance?
Go online at to see how much you can plan to get in Social Security benefits.
Don’t forget any pension plans your current employer may have.
Factor in any traditional or Roth IRA revenues.
Be sure to take advantage of any employer-sponsored retirement plan that is available.
Do you expect to work part-time during your retirement?

What to Do if The Numbers Don’t Add Up

If you’ve gone through the process and you’ve found that you cannot put enough funds aside to cover both retirement and college, you’ll need to consider the following concepts:

Possibly delaying retirement a few years.
Adopt a reduced standard of living now or later in retirement. It may be possible to reduce spending now in order to use it later, or you may need to modify retirement plans themselves.
Consider working in your retirement.
Possibly invest more aggressively now. Consult with an advisor to determine your comfort level with investment risk.
Extending the responsibility to the child to contribute money to college funding.
Consider a less expensive college to send your child to.

Retirement should be something you prioritize if limited funds and / or limited tolerance for investment risk are issues for you. You do not want to wait until a child is out of college before you begin a retirement plan. There will be many years of compounding and potentially tax-deferred growth you won’t get to take advantage of.

College Can be Made More Affordable, But Retirement Might Not Be So Easily Managed

College can be paid for with loans or with scholarships, but whoever heard of a retirement loan? Remember it doesn’t have to be just one solution. Consider saving up what you can afford to and supplement with student loans later on in the education process. Helping a child to pay off a student loan might be more affordable than trying to save up in a shorter term. Consider participating in your childs post graduate living expenses as a method of support..

Never forget to avail yourself of the assistance of professionals. Search out financial advisors who specialize in specific funding practices such as College Funding and Student Loan Advisors, and for retirement as well by finding a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor or Certified Financial Planner.

While getting all of these strategies in place don’t forget to call us at the Liveoak Agency to discuss your current insurance policies. As you go through life, your risks and the costs of different polices can change. Let us analyze your current situation and make sure you have the best insurance porfolio for your needs! Any savings we can come up with can help in that retirement plan! And don’t forget those college kids need insurance too!