College degrees lead to higher pay, greater career options, and — research suggests — longer lifespans. But parents with college-bound children may feel trapped by the skyrocketing costs of education, which can also last a lifetime.
If you pony up, you could risking your retirement; if you don't, you could be risking your kid's future.
Indeed, the average graduate leaves school with nearly $30,000 in student debt, a sum that will reduce their future retirement savings by more than $300,000, according to a projection by insurance and financial research group Limra.
Likewise, parents' retirement savings are also getting put on the line because of skyrocketing costs. Nearly a third of parents in a T. Rowe Price study admitted they've made the risky choice of tapping their 401(k) plan to save for their kids' college.