There’s no workaround when it comes to paying for kids’ education and getting ready for retirement.
An increasing number of parents put off starting a family until they feel they’re on solid financial footing, but new research released Monday by Allianz Life found many still worried about paying for college and funding their own retirement.
As part of its LoveFamilyMoney Study, Allianz looked at families in which one parent was older than 40 and at least one child in the household was under age 5. It defined this cohort as opposite-sex couples who were married or living together, with fewer than 10 years’ age difference between the partners.
Fifty-four percent of older parent families said they were more financially established because they had waited to have children.
Researchers found that 79% of parents in this group felt a great deal or some angst about financing their child’s college education and at the same time preparing for retirement.
Fifty-three percent of older parents were focused on saving for their children’s education, compared with 39% of traditional families — those in which the spouse was married to someone of the opposite sex with at least one child under 21 living in the household; no stepchildren, no adult child who returned home; and no one else besides sposues and their children living in the household.
Older parents were also significantly more likely to say they would postpone retirement, with 27% saying they would wait until after age 70 to retire, versus 13% of respondents from traditional families.
“Juggling work and family goals is challenging no matter when you do it, and many people are choosing to get settled in their careers before starting a family,” Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz, said in a statement.
“The older parents in our study are largely members of Generation X, which has had a number of financial setbacks, most notably the Great Recession of 2008. It’s not surprising that people in their 30s during the recession, possibly facing layoffs and underwater mortgages, would choose to wait to start a family.”
(Another study by Allianz Life found that some Gen Xers and boomers were traumatized by the 2008 market crash.)