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Your retirement vs. your kids’ college: Which comes first?

Posted by Levi Dynon On Jul - 18 - 2016

Retirement may be displacing the kids’ education at the top of our personal priority lists, according to a survey released today by Country Financial. It found that 43 percent of Americans consider their retirement to be a higher priority, up from 41 percent last year. Saving for a child’s college education, meanwhile, was the higher priority for 41 percent, dropping from 47 percent last year.

More than self-interest or pre-retirement jitters on the part of the parental generation may be driving this trend. The number of people polled who said they consider college to be a good investment fell to 64 percent, down from 80 percent last year.

Of course, many financial planners will tell you that this shift in favor of retirement is actually a good thing. They believe most of us would be smart to put retirement first, for the benefit of both generations. If you’re facing this tricky tradeoff (or have already dealt with it), we’d welcome your thoughts.

—Greg Daugherty

Greg writes the “Retirement Guy” column each month in our Consumer Reports Money Adviser newsletter.

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