Before my boys entered school and I would take them to the grocery store and huff and puff because one would run away and the other would not stop talking or complaining, I remember a cashier saying, “The time goes so fast! They will be out of school before you know it!” My time was in slow motion and I couldn’t wait for them to start school! But now, as my oldest finishes senior year in high school – oh boy was she right! How did this happen?
How could my little rambunctious 2 year old be 18 and heading to college in 5 months? Wait! How did college costs escalate so dramatically? How did the college fund end up not even covering a full year of tuition and room and board? Yikes! As parents we want to be able to fund our children completely for college, but for most cases, it is just not possible, nor is it a wise financial decision. Not only should the children have a financial stake in their own education, the parents should not neglect their own retirement savings to pay outright for college.
There is nothing wrong with coming out of school with student loans!!! Nothing! If you overspend on a car or house and cannot pay back the loans, the car and home will be taken away. If you overspend on your own educational investment, NOBODY can take away your degree and experiences. It will be yours forever!
So parents – here are a few tips……….. Enjoy your kids as they grow! Enjoy every stage and age! Each one of those stages and ages make sure you are completely funding your retirement year by year. Max out your 401K and IRA every single year. Scholarships, grants, and loans can fund your children’s education. There are no scholarships, grants, or loans to fund your retirement.
Student loans are OK! Don’t freak. As long as you set yourself up so that you can retire, all will be good. The problem lies when your kids have to pay back their student loans and fund you in old age!!!