The current average cost of a four-year education at a private college is just a tad shy of $100,000, so you're probably wondering why I have this on my don't-worry list. It's simple: You should focus on your retirement, not your kids' college costs. There's plenty of financial assistance-about $130 billion every year, according to the College Board-to help pay for your children's education. But there are no federal loans or scholarships to help out people who haven't saved enough money for retirement. Make it your priority to build financial security for retirement, and I promise that when the time comes, your kids will be grateful that you don't need to rely on them.
There's one last thing I'd like to add. If you take an honest look at your possessions, I'll bet you'll see a lot of purchases that were made for appearance's sake. The home-entertainment center you put in your family room last year had to be better than the one the Joneses down the street installed two years ago, right? And isn't your closet always filled with the hot shoe/bag/outfit du jour? When keeping up appearances comes at the expense of saving for emergencies and for retirement, you are heading in the wrong direction, financially.
Remember this: The single most powerful way to ease your concerns is to stop trying so hard to impress others with your money. Take good financial care of yourself and your family, and I guarantee that you will have much, much less to worry about.
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