Old Lesson: Saving for Your Kids' College Should Be Priority Number 1
So if we don't want to send our children into student-loan debt land, we should be sure to save as much as we can in case they do want to go to college, right? The personal finance journalist and best-selling author of Get a Financial Life, Beth Kobliner, says this is another big "nope." "It's definitely smarter for parents to max out their own retirement plan," says Kobliner. "Particularly if their company will match their contribution—something they won't find in a college savings plan. And while kids can borrow for their college education, parents can't borrow for retirement, which means they may have to depend on their kids (who may already be struggling to make ends meet for their kids) to support them down the road." And that's not all, Kobliner says. "A new study released earlier this month shows that the more money parents contribute to their kid's college education, the lower their child's GPA. The gist is that kids are just not as motivated to achieve, so they do well enough to graduate but don't push themselves to be their best." To which everyone who had a college roommate with a major in Modes of Recreational Drug Use in Party Settings says, "Yep."