“There seems to be a societal money script that if you’re a good parent you will fund your child’s education, so I see very few people who come to me that have chosen to fund their retirement over their child’s education,” says Kahler, 56, the father of a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old. “In fact, I can’t think of anybody.”
Kahler tells clients they may be doing their kids a favor to let them work their way through college or pay for half of it. “They may be giving their child a huge gift in focus and self esteem, and that can be a good thing,” he says.
Often, Kahler says, clients write a tuition check, then charge groceries on the credit card. “Unfortunately it’s the rare person that actually saves for their kid’s college education, or that cuts their lifestyle to pay for it,” he says.
Nonetheless, the picture can be rosier for middle-age parents.
“As an older parent, you’re usually a little more financially established than a younger parent,” says financial planner Lindsay, noting that many older couples are dual earners who had children later because the woman was working on her career.
On the other hand, she says, they haven’t necessarily been saving for those 20 working years and may have student loans, so they must save aggressively.Page 3 of 6 | Prev Page | Next Page