A conundrum that virtually all parents have is whether to put money away for retirement or to fund the first few years of college for their children. As noble as it is to want to first save for college, you do have to prioritize yourself. This does not mean you can’t put a small amount into a 529 Plan or other college savings vehicle, but keep this in mind: your children have their entire lifetime to earn and pay for college while your working years may be coming to a close.
Once you estimate how much you’ll need for retirement, you’ll know how much you need to save each month for the next X number of years. If you have money left over after the retirement account is funded, then you can think about the cost of college.
Estate planning is an act of love and one that hopefully, you won’t need to rely on for many years to come. But, if you are a parent, you must think about the future today and consider a future where you may not be around. While the hope is that you can enjoy a long and healthy life surrounded by your children and grandchildren, you will sleep better each night knowing that your loved ones won’t suffer financially if you aren’t there to care for them.