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Single-parent families prioritize saving for college over retirement [Infographic]

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A recent study by Allianz, LoveFamilyMoney, found that single-parent families make it their priority to save for their children’s education over their own retirement. When compared to other family types, 45 percent of the single-parent household said that their financial planning consists mostly of their kids’ education expenses versus 29 percent of traditional families and 26 percent of other modern families (for the family types, please see below).

In average, the single-parent family respondents had an annual household income of nearly $85,000. And 41 percent also reported having an “excellent/above average” knowledge in financial planning

The study also found is that 76 percent of single-parent families are worried about running out of retirement funds and only 45 percent indicated that they know the steps to take to make sure they have a comfortable retirement. Almost half of single-parent families said that they can’t possibly save enough for retirement. The study demographics found that 68 percent of single-parent families identified women as head of household; only 32 percent of single-family respondents identified men as their head of household.

The study consisted of an online panel in January 2014 and had more than 4,500 respondents, ages 35-65 and with a household income of $50,000 or more. It also organized the families into seven structures:

  • Multi-Generational Families — Three or more generations living in the same household
  • Single-Parent Families — One unmarried adult with at least one child under 18
  • Same-Sex Couple Families — Married or unmarried couples living together with a member of the same gender
  • Blended Families — Parents who are married or living together with a stepchild and/or child from a previous relationship
  • Older Parent with Young Children Families — Parents age 40+ with at least one child under five in the household
  • Boomerang Families — Parents with an adult child (21-35) who left and later returned to rejoin the family.


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