Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Parents Worry More about Paying for College Than Retirement, Survey Shows

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Parents Worry More about Paying for College Than Retirement, Survey Shows

Article excerpt

NEW YORK

All those reports about the rising cost of a college education appear to be having an impact on the savings patterns of American families.

A survey finds that parents with children under age 18 are more concerned about saving for their children's educations than they are about saving for their own retirement.

The study was commissioned by The Vanguard Group mutual fund company and Upromise Investments Inc., which channels shopping rebates into educational savings accounts.

The survey found that 37 percent of the more than 1,100 parents interviewed said saving for college was of primary concern, compared with 34 percent who said retirement was their top financial concern. Most of the remaining 29 percent said saving for a house, car or other major purchase was most important.

Interestingly, more families with children under age 12 were saving for college--64 percent--compared with families with children aged 12 to 17, where the rate was 59 percent, the study found. And 30 percent of families with younger children said grandparents and other relatives were helping them to save, compared with 25 percent of families with older children.

John C. Heywood, a principal of Vanguard's education markets group, says he suspected parents were motivated by surging college costs.

"I believe people are recognizing the increasing costs of college and starting to save earlier," he says.

The cost of sending children to college has been rising rapidly in recent years. …

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