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Do you owe your child college?

October 21, 2011

Do you owe your children a paid-for college education? The short answer is no.  However, based on yesterday’s post, you understand the value of that education, and I believe every parent wants to provide their children with an opportunity to succeed. Before you save a dime for college, help them understand:

-College is a privilege, not a right
-They will ultimately be responsible for their education

Even if you can’t provide the financial backing you wish you could, you can instill the values and outlook they will need to succeed. For us, college will be an expectation, and whatever financial support we provide will be contingent on some ground rules.

That being said, where should saving for college be on the list of financial priorities? It’s doesn’t make the top 3, but still should be a goal you are working towards. As we’ve discussed before, here’s how your financial priorities should line up:

1.  Give 10% of your income

2.  Consumer debt paid off

3.  911 Fund (3 – 6 months income in emergency savings)

4.  15% of income to Long-term Savings (Retirement)

5.  College Savings

The investment options for college savings have increased dramatically over the past 10-15 years.  Next week I’ll break down all the options, and which ones would be best for your family and your child…but remember, the best education you can give your children is to SHOW them what it is to be generous and how to create margin in their lives.

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