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Retirement vs College Tuition, Where Should you Apply your Savings


Which is more important? Retirement savings or paying for your kid’s college?

 

Dear Kim,

Last year my aunt passed away. She left me about $10,000. I am 58 years old and am trying to decide what to do with the money. My son will be attending college in the next few years, so I was thinking I would put it aside for tuition. The fact that I am already 58 has me wondering if I should put it towards my retirement, which I have not saved much for. I know it is not a lot of money, but I have two major events approaching, retirement and college, and I want to make the right decision.

Thank you,
Marie

 

Dear Marie,

You have some serious life changes approaching. I am not a financial planner, but my thought on this is quite simple, apply it to your retirement. Students have many options to pay for their college education. Your son should be filling out his Federal Application for Federal Student Aid shortly, also known as the FAFSA, which will determine the amount of student aid he will receive. There is also a forecaster that you can use to get a general idea of how much federal aid your son may be eligible for by utilizing the FAFSA 4 Caster. Federal student loans, grants, work study and scholarships are available to help absorb the cost of higher education. Unfortunately, these do not exist for your retirement.

People are living longer than ever before. Preparing for retirement is crucial. Social Security is paying an average of $1200 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. This is not a whole lot to live on when you think about all of the expenses we face. I cannot advise you on a retirement vehicle; however I would consider reaching out to Certified Financial Planner to discuss your options.

I encourage you to contact one of our Certified Credit Counselors to discuss these impending life changes. The counselor can discuss your current budget and changes that can be addressed once the income decreases for retirement or expenses increasing with your son’s college education. We have a wealth of knowledge and I strongly recommend you take advantage of it!

Best of Luck!
Kim

 


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Kim Cole is the Community Engagement Manager for Navicore Solutions. Kim provides financial education workshops and seminars to communities. Readers can submit general questions relating to personal finance, credit scoring, debt management, student loans, home finance or bankruptcy which may be highlighted in the next month’s edition. All identifying information will be kept anonymous.

Please send your questions via email to DearKim@navicoresolutions.org