It takes a village to raise a child, someone once told me. Well, it seems it takes Fort Knox to send one to college. Make no mistake, college costs are as real as they come. For many parents this can cause a great deal of anxiety and stress.
In my 13 years in the financial sector this is one area where I go against the grain in saving for your child’s education. Now, before you flip the page and move on from this article…please have an open mind. What I’m about to say may make it sound like I’m the worst the parent on the face of the earth, but I’ve been married for 17 years and I have 3 beautiful daughters I adore. So, here it is….
STOP SAVING MONEY FOR THEIR COLLEGE NOW.
UNLESS…you have all of your financial affairs in order for your own future. If you have saved for retirement and you’re looking good, then by all means open up a state-sponsored plan. They grow tax-deferred, and you can use the principal andinterest tax-free for higher education.
But, if you are like most of us and don’t have enough for yourself for retirement…then folks, stop putting money in the cookie jar for junior. Please, before you call child services on me, listen to the method behind my madness.
When you turn 65 years old and you don’t have enough money saved up, NEWS FLASH for you: There is not a bank on this earth that will give you and your spouse money for retirement.
Again, no financial institution will lend you money so you can live off of it for retirement.
There are, however, plenty of banks that will loan you and your child money for college. There are also alternatives to student loans, including:
• Work-Study • Online Courses
• Community College • Scholarships
Yes, but Bryan we want to provide a better life for our kids than what our parents gave us.
Hey, I hear you loud and clear, but your kids will be fine. I know this sounds rebellious, but look at this way: If you don’t save up for yourself and put all of your money into your kids college fund, well, when you’re in your 70’s and broke, at least you can live with your kids in their big house that your college fund provided for them.
It’s ok, take care of yourself first. The kids will be alright.
Bryan DeCapite was a Financial Representative and Manager for Country Financial in Chicago for 12 years before moving to Montgomery with his wife and three daughters. He is now the local Financial Representative for Country Financial and enjoys helping others in the area of retirement savings since he knows it gives them peace of mind when there is certainty for their future.