Most parents hope to create wealth to benefit their children. They dream of helping their children become successful, so they can pass prosperity on to the next generation, the grandkids, and so on. Unfortunately, today’s economy and the increasing burden of student debt may shrink or erase any legacy parents might create for their kids.
- How many kids do you have? How old are they?
We have one daughter who is 20 months old.
- What is your favorite family activity?
Play time before bed…we run around the house like a bunch of crazy people in an effort to get my daughter tired enough that she’s ready for bed. It’s actually super fun!
After hearing all the benefits of college savings, the most common question we hear from parents is:
“But what happens with my money if my child doesn’t go to college?”
Parents often mistakenly think their money will just “disappear” or will be difficult to reclaim if their child decides to become a dancer, sportsman, or a millennial Instagram influencer instead of going to college.
We want to clear this up–this is wrong! Your money will not disappear. Your money is always yours and is always accessible.
Let’s assume that your child decides that he or she wants to become the next Kylie Jenner and Instagram their way to fame and fortune rather than go to UCLA to study chemical engineering.
What are your options?
At the beginning of life, children are all very similar: weak, dependent, and helpless. But over the years with time and hard work, they transform into strong, independent, and thoughtful adults. People become who they are through three main factors: where they grow up, the people that surround them, and, most importantly, their education.
Parenthood significantly changes our lifestyle. This change begins the minute the pregnancy test is positive, which puts us in total shock and happiness, and continues to the moment when the child heads off to university. As parents, we have invested nearly two decades of our time, money, and love into this young person. It’s easy to feel disoriented when suddenly our back seat is empty and our child is in a whole new place. At the beginning, the sense of loss can feel unbearable but, after some time we can proudly enjoy it.
I remember when my neighbor Emma sent her son Leo to college. She told me, “Finally, we’re empty nesters! Now it’s all about my marriage, friendships, work, hobbies, and passions! It’s about what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives.”
How often do we ask ourselves why life can’t be easier? Modern life looks like a chaotic, frenzied spiral, where we constantly trying to balance the demands of raising children, achieving success, and earning money. It’s tiring. Raising children is hard, we have to worry about our kids education & saving money for a better future.
Like most parents, I believe that a great college education will bring my two children the best chance for a better, more prosperous future. But the eye-popping cost of college and mounting student debt have created real concerns about how to answer the ultimate question: how can we afford to send our kids to college?
Would you be willing to postpone your retirement by two years if it meant your children could attend the college of their choice without taking out expensive student loans?
In 2007, Savingsforcollege.com conducted an online poll asking parents this exact question. If you have kids of your own, you’re probably not surprised that over 80% of respondents said they would postpone their retirement by two full years if their child could attend the college of his or her choice without taking on more debt.
The high school graduation clock starts counting down as soon as your child is born. The golden ticket that is a college degree can offer your child a bright future and prosperous career, while giving you the peace of mind that everything will be ok. However, planning to save for this bright future is tough for many families. According to Sallie Mae, only 6 in 10 parents are saving for college, and although savings have been the highest since 2013, most families only have $18,135 saved towards higher education.