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Midlife Parents Face a Double Whammy
CNBC.com | September 26, 2011 | 09:41 AM EDT

As one of financial planner Lauren Lindsay’s clients neared age 50, she advised the father of five-year-old twins to extend his term life insurance through the children’s college years and to purchase the extra coverage before his milestone birthday to avoid higher premiums.

“And he’s going to be working until 70,” after the children have graduated college, she says.

As more Americans delay marriage and babies, growing numbers of parents are poised to hit the traditional retirement age just as their children reach college age. Saving for two of life’s biggest expenses is challenge enough for many parents, but can be more so for those who bring a baby home after 40.

While new midlife parents may bring a special appreciation and years of wisdom to their postponed families, age-related hurdles can hit bank accounts, and snag retirement and estate planning, requiring difficult decisions. The college-retirement overlap is particularly tricky, and more than a few people are likely to face it.

Of 15.5 million U.S. households with children younger than age six in 2010, nearly 3 million, or some 19 percent, had parents or step-parents aged 40 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau . Households with children this age and parents aged 40 to 44 outnumbered those with parents aged 20 to 24.

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