3 Smart Money Moves for Parents of College Students
Your 40s are some of your best earning years, and if you have been wise with your money, you may be nearly debt-free, with a high amount of equity in your home.
Your kids are likely on their way to being out of the home, and you may be enjoying life even more than you have before. It is never too late to make the most of where you are, so making these money moves can help you feel better about your financial situation.
Put Your Retirement Before Your Kids’ College
It would be wonderful to be able to save a significant amount for both retirement and your kids’ college education, but this is not always realistic. Most people must choose between one or the other, and too often, parents choose their kids’ college funds over their future. However, even if you can’t pay for their education, they have other options. If you are unable to save enough for retirement, you will be out of options, and you may end up being a burden to your kids.
Be honest with your kids about what you can and cannot afford so they have enough time to go through the options. If you can’t offer a lot of financial help, they will need to take out a student loan to pay for their education. However, one way you can help is by being a cosigner on a student loan for them. This can help them get approved. Are you wondering should I cosign a private student loan? You can review a guide with answers to commonly asked questions.
Prepare for Different Possible Scenarios
If you were to pass away suddenly, would your family struggle? Consider getting enough life insurance to cover your family’s needs if you were to pass away. Once your kids are on their own completely, you can cancel or sell the policy.
You may also want to investigate long-term care insurance, which can cover the type of care older people might need. This might cover help with dressing, bathing, or eating, or it could cover the cost of living in an assisted living or nursing home. It is more expensive to get the older you get, so if you decide you want it, now is the time to get it.
Put Money into Investments
Even if you think you can’t invest, you can almost always afford to put something away. This might not be fun because it might mean making sacrifices right now, but it is possible. If you aren’t already, start tracking all your spending, and when you find areas where you can cut back, stop spending in that area.
While it is important to be careful with your funds, that does not mean you are unable to enjoy life in the meanwhile. It just means you need to get creative. Instead of taking a family vacation during the summer, you may plan a shorter getaway for a long weekend, or you may cook special meals at home instead of going out.
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