NU Online News Service, Jan. 12, 2005, 4:51 p.m. EST

Many parents put themselves first when allocating extra cash.[@@]

Researchers at Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., have published that conclusion in a report based on a survey of 1,604 people born between 1946 and 1978 with annual household incomes of at least $35,000.

Although most people with children under age 18 say they can save both for retirement and college, but, in reality, only 46% of the parents surveyed said they are saving equally for both.

Although 19% said they are putting aside most or all of their savings for their child’s college education, 33% said they are saving mostly for retirement.

The parents with the lowest incomes were the survey participants most likely to put their children’s education above their own retirement.

Only 5% of the participants with college degrees are putting off saving for retirement until they have paid for their children’s education, but 9% of respondents with a high school diploma or less have put saving for retirement ahead of paying for their children’s education.

Almost one-fifth of the participants with annual household incomes under $45,000 said they have delayed saving for retirement to save for college.