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News Release

Finding A Balance Between Education and Retirement Funding

October 25, 2018

Your child’s future success might encourage you to pull out all of the stops when it comes to funding their education, but you still need to take care of yourself, says Senior CFP Board Ambassador Jill Schlesinger, CFP®

Saving for retirement or your child’s education is an ongoing debate many parents face throughout their lives. It’s difficult to choose between your own financial independence and funding your child’s near or long-term future. However, Senior CFP Board Ambassador Jill Schlesinger, CFP® says it’s important to strike a balance between the two by being realistic about what you can afford and creating a plan.

As your children get older, the case for putting their education needs first is compelling – especially considering those with a bachelor’s degree have the potential to earn over $2.5 million in their lifetime and retire earlier – but you still need to take care of yourself first. With the right planning, you’ll be able to find a balance that works for you, and will likely need to make tough choices along the way. Schlesinger shares her top three tips for finding a healthy balance between saving for retirement and your child’s education:

  • Determine ‘Real’ College Prices: As you begin to investigate college options, note that there is a big difference between the published price of tuition and fees and the price after grants and scholarships have been applied. The national average ‘net price’ for a public school is $12,272, while the national average net price for a private school is $21,778.
  •  Figure Out What You Can Afford: Create a game plan with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional that incorporates education and retirement funding with other cash flow needs. The plan should also reveal whether education decisions will saddle young graduates or their families with debt burdens that prevent them from reaching other financial goals.
  • Set Expectations with Your Child: Once you have a plan in place, it’s important to communicate with your child. Discuss his or her college possibilities and how they match up against your expectations of what you’re able to afford to ensure you’re on the same page when the time comes to make a decision.

Read Schlesinger’s full blog post here with more details.

For more guidance on working through these steps and finding a balance between saving for retirement and your child’s education, talk to a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional today or visit 


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 83,000 people in the United States.


Dan Drummond, Director of Communications
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