A typical retirement will generally last longer and cost more than your child’s education. If you cannot adequately fund both, maximize your retirement savings first. There are far more options for financing a college education than for funding one’s retirement.
That said, there is not nearly as much financial aid for college as most parents think. Most parents thing that it will be easier to get and that they will get more money…..Not so fast. The average financial aid from a state school will not be that much. Private….and very expensive…schools have more money to dole out.
So really, what you need to do is find a way to do both. That means scaling back in impulse spending, maximizing your contributions to company programs that match your contributions and taking a good hard look at hour you live your life and deciding what is really important: Keeping up with the Jones when you can’t afford it or having a decent retirement and getting your kids through college without either one of you amassing massive debt to do it.
There is a way to do both. Get the help you need to control your spending and maximize your savings. Living below your means is essential. Good financial advisors with the experience and mindset to help you achieve all of this are a good start.