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Tough parenting choice: College versus Retirement

The challenge of saving for your kids' college education while building your own retirement nest egg is difficult, and getting harder every year as tuition keeps rising. When it comes to saving for college and retirement, the answer is to start early.

According to financial experts, the earlier you start thinking about the cost of college, the better. A tip is to start looking at programs and savings vehicles to help you save incrementally, little-by-little. The worst is, you know, realizing the senior year of your child's high school education that college is actually very expensive. You want to start as young as four, five, six-years-old, maybe even sooner. The best way to save for college, is to do it automatically. Also, have it taken out of your paycheck every month or every other week, however often you get paid, so that it's painless.

Over the last five years, the average annual tuition at public four-year colleges grew by 28%College has soared more so than the pace of inflation, you know, inflation's being going up two, three percent a year, while college prices have been soaring five, six percent per year, in some states it's even greater.

According to Gerber Life college study, more than eighty percent of parents are worried that college is beoming too pricey.

Almost 70% of parents say household bills are preventing them from putting more toward their child's education.

Saving for retirement should be a priority for all parents as well. Save for retirement and save for college. It sounds hard to do but I think you remember- college is a very flexible savings goal. You can save for college in a lot of different ways. Whether it's your daughter or son getting a scholarship or a grant, or going to a state school and certainly, certainly save for a retirement. I think that's where the priority should be. Retirement is 30 years, college is 4.

Experts say the best vehicles for saving for retirement are through 401K plans and individual retirement accounts.

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