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Financial Planning > College Planning > Saving for College

Older Americans Rate College Savings Lower

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Americans are about evenly split over whether saving for their children’s college education is more important than saving for their own retirement.

About 43% say saving for college is more important, and 43% say retirement is more important, according to researchers at Country Insurance & Financial Services, Bloomington, Ill.

The researchers based their results on a survey of 3,000 U.S. adults responsible for a child’s education.

Young parents and survey participants with a household income of less than $40,000 were more likely to favor college savings over retirement.

Only 31% of participants ages 18 to 29 said saving for retirement is more important than saving for children’s education, and 56% said saving for children’s education is more important.

Participants in the 30-39 were about as likely to say saving for retirement is more important as they were to say saving for college is more important.

Among participants ages 65 and older, only 26% said saving for college is more important, and 53% said saving for retirement is more important.

Among other survey findings:

- 25% say sending a child to college will cost less than $50,000, and only 4% say it will cost more than $200,000.

- 78% view college as a good investment.

- 62% of parents said they plan to take responsibility for paying the bulk of college costs.