Those looking at retirement as an event coming sooner rather than later may also be looking at another consideration; their children (or even grandchildren) have reached college age. These parents may be tempted to take on some or all of their children's student loan debts or to use some of their retirement savings to pay for college. Only a few make enough money to pay for college and continue to save for retirement, leaving most parents uncertain what decision to make.
Experts urge parents to continue their retirement plans and to place the burden of student loan debt on the student. These experts, including personal finance expert, David Hryck, and investment planner, Oscar Vives Ortiz, point out that young college students have years to pay off their debt. Parents nearing retirement age do not have as much time to replace money spent on college.
Students also have options other than going into debt. They can spend a year or two before college working to build up their own college fund, work part-time while taking classes, find alternatives such as scholarships and grants, and continue living with their parents instead of paying for room and board. For some, joining the military may be a good option.
There are far fewer options for retirement. While some may be willing to continue working to pay off their children's college expenses, that may not be an option.
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