You’re a loving parent who wants nothing but the best for your children. You sacrifice your time and money to make them as happy and successful as possible. So, naturally, you scrape together any spare funds and save it for their college education. Let’s explore the reasons why that’s not a good idea for you or your children and why you should make saving for your retirement your top priority.
Your Children Have Options
Your children will have alternative methods to pay for college. There is a plethora of different scholarships available to help cover at least a portion of college costs. They also have the option to take out a loan. This is a better option than you may realize at first. Rates on student loans are reasonable and there is flexibility regarding paying back the loan. However, nobody will loan you money to travel the world in your golden years. Your only choice is to delay your retirement.
They Will Thank You Later
You’ll have to let your children know ahead of time that they will be responsible for paying for their own education. It won’t be easy for you and the reaction will probably be ugly. They may complain and even say you don’t love them. Luckily, if you have teenagers, this is nothing new. Although, they may not take the news very well at first, they will appreciate it down the road.
It’s your job to explain how this will be beneficial for them. They may have to work a little harder now, but it’s better than the alternative. If you devote your finances to their education, you may not have enough to support yourself later in life. Just describe the scenario where you have to move back in with them and rely on them to help pay for your exorbitant medical expenses. I’m sure you can paint an unpleasant picture for them that will convince them paying for their education isn’t so bad after all.
Help Out Where You Can
Now that you’ve set expectations sufficiently low, see if there’s a way you can help them out to some degree. If you feel confident that you’ve adequately saved for your retirement, perhaps you could help cover some of their education costs. Although, perhaps you should hold onto that extra cash for when they move back in with you after they graduate.