Retirement or College: What is the correct planning/savings priority?

July 29, 2016 Print


There is no right answer. Saving money for your future and putting money towards your children’s education are two of the biggest decisions parents have to make. There are multiple ways that you can do both, but it is important to know your financial goals before making any decisions.Listed below is some information about retirement and college, along with some ideas on how to make both of these options possible.  One important rule to keep in mind – you (and/or your children) can borrow for college, you cannot borrow for retirement!

College Saving Options:

There are many different options available to help save money for children’s college. Parents oftentimes feel an emotional attachment to the idea of paying for their childrblog1 en’s college and this may lead to bad decisions. It is important to establish (both for you and for your children) the right plan, a plan that makes sense for your unique situation.

Some options include:

  1. Savings Accounts
  2. Taxable Investment Accounts
  3. 529 Plan

Examples of How to Pay for College:

  1. Get Assistance- Scholarships and grants are always good options to look into and many go begging each year at every institution.
  2. Pay as you go- Your child gets job to help pay for their schooling.
  3. Pay Later- Borrow money through loans and pay them back after graduation.

Retirement Options:

Saving for your retirement is an absolutely critical need during your working years.  The earlier you begin the better.  Even if it is a small amount every month, putting money towards your future is something that should be top of mind – pay yourself first!

Examples of How to Plan for Retirement:

  1. 401(k)
  2. IRA- Individual Retirement Account
  3. Roth IRA
  4. LIRP (Life Insurance Retirement Plans)
  5. Annuities
  6. Saving Accounts


  1. Set goals that are realistic, establish a plan and stick to it.
  2. Determine how much you can afford to set aside each month.
  3. Start saving money for both education and retirement now.
  4. Seek out a financial advisor and listen to their advice.





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Joe Clark

About The Author

Joe Clark

Joe Clark is the President and CEO of Integrated Financial Network. In addition to helping his clients reach their financial goals, he also helps more than 80 agents serve their respective clients. He received his bachelor's degree from Miami University in 1999 and has led IFN since 2009.