The Biggest (and Surprising) Consideration For Parents When Saving For their Children's Colleges

Laura K. Meier
Creating estate, business, and life plans that ensure a family’s complete protection and well-being.

The Biggest (and Surprising) Consideration For Parents When Saving For their Children's Colleges


Most of you know our oldest son, Conrad, is sixteen now and in his junior year. That's him below at his Holy Confirmation earlier this year. This would have been the year he started his SAT/ACT prep course and tutoring, only for those tests to now be extremely difficult to take as most testing locations across the country have closed due to COVID, and many universities (including the University of California system) not requiring or even considering test results, at least for the time being.

On top of that, unlike when our son was young and WE had ideas about where he would/should go to college, surprise, now he has his own! And it should not surprise us because while we assumed he would by this point want to go far away and to a private expensive college, this natural homebody still has his heart set on staying close by at a UC school, and told us not to waste our money on private. What?!

Holy Confirmation 2020

I know I am not the only parent out there rethinking how we are saving for college, and how much we are saving for college. Keep in mind we have 3 more kids after Conrad also in the college bound queue! I explored the college savings topic in a chapter of my new book that will be released this January, The Family Nest Egg (Diversion Books), where I am helping parents like you and me understand how to build wealth and protect our loved ones from the worst.

So what was my biggest take away from all the research I did on saving for our children’s colleges? It might surprise you because it has little to do with our children or college! That’s because the biggest consideration for us parents when it comes to saving for our children’s college is not where they will go, or what their grades must be, or what type of savings account is best (like a 529, UTMA, Roth IRA or others), but whether us parents can afford to pay for our children’s colleges without derailing our own financial security, i.e. our retirement!!

That’s right. Before we can even think of how much money we should be setting aside for college, we must address our overall financial plan as parents to ensure we are saving for our retirement. If we delay properly saving for retirement, we lose out on years of contributions and compounding interest that can keep up from having the lifestyle we want in our later years, or even being able to retire at all. 2 out of 3 seniors cannot fully retire because they still need income.

The pandemic is certainly changing many things in life, but one positive is hopefully our commitment to better save for our futures and better protect ourselves and our loved ones from the worst. If you are piecemealing how you save for your future, and can’t confidently say you have a detailed plan to reach all your financial goals, please contact your financial advisor today and tell him or her you are ready to take control of your finances and future or just click here and I can connect you with a financial planner today.

Hope everyone is doing well! We have survived the at distance learning zooms so far over at our house as Josh and I continue to see clients primarily through Zoom, making it very convenient for clients to get help during the pandemic. If you or a friend/family member needs help with your estate planning, tax strategy planning, or financial planning, just give Bonnie a call at 949-718-0420 so we can get you on our calendar or in the right hands. We also have limited in person meeting availability now as well at our Newport Beach office.

Josh and I are continually thankful for your trust and support, and if there is anything we can do for you today at all, just hit reply and let us know. Please especially contact us if you have had any major changes during the pandemic such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. Your family and well-being is always on the forefront of our minds.

Warmest regards,


p.s. Please forward this message on to your friends or loved ones with minor kids. They will thank you for it!!

p.s.s. I highly recommend you read Never Pay Retail for College Again, by Beth V. Walker. Beth’s book walks you through how to lower the cost of college through available financial aid, or how to privately fund college through the right tax planning strategies if you are a high-income earner. Beth's book is available for purchase on Amazon.

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