Why you should save for your retirement before your kids college

Choosing where to put your savings is a question that doesn’t have a simple answer that works for everyone. Determine how much discretionary dollars you will put in retirement savingsAnd the college expensesAnd the life insurance, And the emergency fund Other combinations of funds will vary depending on your unique financial situation. Here are some arguments for prioritizing saving for retirement over saving for your children’s college expenses.

Saving as part of your budget

The first thing you want to do is Make sure you have a budget for your home expenses. Your budget can be simple or complex, but it is important to have a written record of your cash flow. Living within your means (spending less than you earn) is the number one indicator of a healthy financial position.

Another great tip is to pay yourself first. Without a written budget, you tend to just save any money left at the end of the month. But somehow, no matter how much money you make or how much you try to cut back, there doesn’t seem to be much money left at the end of the month. If this happens to you, transfer a specific amount to a separate account directly when you are paid. Many have found that when they do this, they have enough money to pay for their expenses and are able to save more.

saving for retirement

In addition to budgeting for your current expenses, it’s a good idea to start saving for your future. Depending on where you are, you may have several medium and long-term savings goals. One of the common goals is Saving for future retirement.

There are a variety of different ways to save for retirement. With fewer employers offering defined benefit pensions, a 401(k) Plan It is a popular way to save for retirement. Many employers offer a 401(k) plan, and many also offer matching funds as an incentive to contribute to it. Traditional individual retirement accounts and Roth accounts (IRAs) are another great way to save for retirement.

saving for collegeكل

If you have children, you may also be interested in and desire the high cost of higher education save for college. Higher education costs are currently rising above the rate of inflation, and more and more jobs require higher education. It is natural for parents to want to do everything they can to help make college more manageable for their children.

As with retirement, there are a variety of different ways to save for college. One of the common ways is through the so-called 529 . plan. States set up this as a way to save for college. Generally, you do not have to be a resident of the state in question to participate in their 529 plan. Although it is common for states to offer state tax credits to contribute to their 529 plan.

Another way to save on educational or other expenses is through UGMA / UTMA accounts. UGMA stands for Uniform Gifts to Minors Act and UTMA stands for Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. The person who creates the account (usually but not always a parent) is considered a “guardian”. They may transfer funds to the account for the benefit of the minor, but the funds are managed by the trustee.

Why you should save for your retirement first

While the exact way you allocate your savings depends on your specific situation, here are some suggestions on why you should save for your retirement first.

The main reason is flexibility – you can always reallocate retirement money toward higher education. If you have contributed to a file Ruth IranYou can withdraw your contributions taxes and no penalties at any time. While many early withdrawals get a penalty, eligible education expenses are an exception. Conversely, you can’t easily transfer the money in 529 plans into retirement savings if you end up not needing it to cover educational expenses.

You find another reason when considering alternatives. If you’re saving entirely for your retirement but don’t save much for your children’s higher education expenses, there are many different options (loans, grants, and scholarships) that may be available to help pay for college. It is also possible that federal legislation could be passed that would reduce the cost of some forms of higher education.

On the other hand, if you save and pay a large portion of your children’s college expenses, but skimp on your retirement savings, there won’t be many options available to you. It is unlikely that relying on Social Security alone will be enough to retire many people. We hope your kids get a great college education because they can be a huge part of your support in retirement!

While every situation is different, this can make a compelling argument to focus on your retirement savings first, and only then start saving for college expenses.

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Dan Miller (58 posts)

Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of, a site that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and six children.


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