Many parents putting kids' college education ahead of own retirement

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  • Ricardo Garcia Brisbane, Australia, Qld
    Nov. 4, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    One has to have a balanced approach to retirement vs our children's education. Too many in our communities have lost all or at least some of their superannuations in resent times (mostly due to greedy dishonest investment "gurus")? A sound education for our children is a wise investment. What is wrong with looking after our old? Are we bringing up self centered children that will abandon their parents in their old age?For centuries young and old worked together, the idea of retiring to fish and garden and whatever else, went down with the Tween Towers! The world has change people, you may not like but it would be far wiser to payoff as much of your home as possible (that is is you are fortunate enough to have a mortgage) and put aside a little cash, and whatever else invested in your children education. Plant a garden, storage some food and water, move to an area where there is more than only one industry and most important of all, love your children in a way that when you are "old", they will "want" you to live with them rather than in a retirement home among strangers.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Nov. 4, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    VOR - think even bigger. My kids are not just competing with Indian students at their University... they are competing against Indian students at Indian Universities . I find it ironic that Indian students who can't qualify to get into their own institutions come here to the US because the standards and competition are not as rigorous.

    Especially in engineering, hard sciences, technology and business professions, our children are competing against the best the world has to offer. This is not a bad thing... it just is.

    Though we complain about the hyper-inflation of higher education costs, we mock efforts like online-education, or the efforts at BYUI (re: the comments on the recent seies at DN about BYUI) to reign in those very costs as somehow creating a lower-class education. (It will be interesting to see how globally competitive graduates from these "lower-class" schools will be.) But I don't see anyone else offering up viable solutions.

    IMHO, our current model will never change until we quit equating the value of an education with the size of the tuition bill (public or private, K-12 or college). Which means none of this will ever change.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Nov. 4, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    At BYU the low tuition goes to members of the LDS church. I went to BYU but my summer jobs were first rate construction jobs that paid very well. A good frio
    end who has manay children got his sons in particular to take heavy equipement operators courses in the year before their missions (instead of first year uni). Again good summer jobs with darned hard work and lots of pay.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Int'l Businessman,

    You provided a point I've not even considered. Foreign students are a good chunk of the higher ed system. Out-of-state tuition is much higher and people often feel it is too high. However, I could feasibly understand an out-of-country expense far more than the out-of-state.

    Out of state is still coming from largely the same economy, tax dollars, etc. While foreign students paying an out-of-state tuition are still paying a tax-based off-set tuition cost. Even out-of-state fees are still greatly reduced from what they would be.

    There are absolutely foreign situations where students should not be charged. I've seen cases at BYU where a student from a poor and underdeveloped village comes here for school and returns to the village to help them with what they know. Obviously, charging all foreign students a blanket high cost would prevent much of this from happening. However, if either certain degrees, certain students, or certain criteria were met for such cases... any system could be devised that would allow for helping others in need, while not giving our taxes to foreign students who aren't in need of help.

  • Int'l Businessman SLO, CA
    Nov. 4, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    First, a quality undergraduate education is exponentially more expensive today than in past generations (while wages for "unskilled" labor have not kept pace). Second, today's American youth are not competing with other American children, but are competing with Chinese, Scandinavian, etc. children, and an undergraduate degree today is like the high school diploma of yesteryear when competing for 21st century jobs in the world marketplace.
    Most importantly, we must produce highly skilled, competitive children to perpetuate our American way of life (including Social Security and Medicare) and make our retirement years worth living. You cannot disconnect investment in our childrens' educations from investment in a quality retirement. If our country goes down the tubes because our children cannot compete we all suffer.

    I financed two kids' undergraduate educations and Im saving for the third. They must fund their own graduate studies (which are akin to undergraduate studies in the past). This is the least I can do to help them compete (making long-term wise education/employment decisions rather than short-term expedient decisions) with their peers in other countries and contribute to the successful future of our country. I hope many of you feel and act the same.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 4, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    The fundamental problem is the high cost of education.
    When I started at BYU tuition was $410 a semester. A student could save enough money on a summer job to pay their tuition. This was true at most colleges and universities.

    Today with student loans and grants accessible to virtually 100% of students institutions of higher learning have little if any incentive to control costs.

    Third Party Payer:

    The medical industry and auto-body industry also have a third party payer: Insurance. These industries have an inflation rate much higher than other sectors in the economy. Education is no different. With loans and grants given to virtually everyone few have any real incentives to use these fund efficiently.

    If you want to make college affordable you must end the free money. (Not really free as many students suffer under crushing debt.)

    In years gone by many people were self educated. Reading excellent books and discussing the principles with others (a working professional would be a good choice) could go a long way to educating people who want it.

    We must also move away from a certificated society to a performance based society.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Nov. 4, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    It is fine for someone to take care of theur children's education ahead of retirement. It is also good tor the educated adult children to take care of their parents in old age.

    What goes around comes around.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 4, 2011 9:14 a.m.

    Our kids today do not have the same opportunities that we did to finance their own education. In the 1980's I came home every summer and with very little effort found construction jobs that paid ten to twelve dollars an hour and often included overtime. College tuition in the 1980's was a couple of hundred dollars a quarter. Kids today find it very difficult to get a minimum wage job for summer work (most don't want to hire temporary workers) and pay over fifteen hundred dollars a semester for tuition. I pay for much of my children's college education and I will end up working more years and more overtime than I wanted to because of that. I am ok with that because I do not want to have my children start their working lives with debt, my country will be leaving them enough debt to pay off without me adding to that. The problem with our society today is that we are unwilling to sacrifice a little for our children let alone anyone else. That is why our country is the economic disaster that it currently is.

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    "For some parents looking forward to a retirement...ha(s) been put on hold to fund their child's college education."

    Are you kidding? If my children want an education, they can pay the same price I paid to get mine. They can either study hard and get a scholarship or work to pay their own tuition. If they can't afford tuition an an "elite" (read: expensive) college or university, they can go to the "Y" or "U" or other affordable institution. If I can help a little, I will, but not at the expense of the financial security my wife and I have worked hard to achieve.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    One Old Man said it best, imo.

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    With these comments I am glad to see that people are smarter than banks and Wall Street gives them credit for. But I think the target group of all the save the children campaigns and logs are intended to deceive the much younger populations who have gotten misplaced federal indoctrination education than one of knowledge and wisdom to seek knowledge.

    The parents should make a greater effort to secure more tangible retirement and self support than worry about a future that is still being written. Sure parents care about their children, but children have to learn to fend and care for themselves without others decisions. My belief is that children who earn and provide for themselves are more productive for society and themselves.

    I think all this save the childrens future is Wall Street banking scams to separate a fool from his money. Children will decide and provide for their own future as it has always been done. If parents don't provide and care for their own future, they will not provide any hope to children for their future.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    My university education is one of my most prized possessions. This fine education wouldn't have been possible had I not taken high school seriously. Althouth questionable degrees do exist, for the most part a university education is worth the money. Not only because of the education, but in most cases a person will make more money.

    I've heard conservative talk radio hosts put down the value of a university education, let me say if you buy into this, you are a sucker.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    This is a choose people have to make now, because wages have been stagnant in America for 30 years.

  • Solutions not Stones Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    How many parents really fund their children's college educations? I am sure there are some...but not me or anyone that I knew while going to college. Most people were figuring it out, in large part, for themselves. This involved involved working, scholarships, grants, loans, etc. As long as you selected a major wisely, it was well worth it in the end. I do not know where this idea came from the people should be supported by mommy and daddy well into their 20's because they are going to college.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    A college education, especially an expensive one, is arguably overrated. Having money to retire with and not having to eat pet food, isn't...

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Indeed placing your own retirement before your kids' education is prudent and correct.

    I have three degrees and I financed and earned it on my own from beginning to end.

    Opportunities are as open to younger generations and as good as they've has ever been.

    I for one am also spending "my children's inheritance" while I'm still around.

    It's called "free enterprise" and as long as that is our economic system, let the kids do it on their own too.

    If they've got the potential, they'll get the job done.

    If they don't have the potential, handing it to them on a silver platter will do no good.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    It's really a pity when American must choose between two essentials like a decent retirement and educating their children.

    Our American Dream has been sold out to special interests by our politicians.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    Correction: I meant to say "...moral standard with RELATIVE (or convenient) standards..."



    I've thought about the point you're making a lot. I never seem to be able to decide on how to give a solid answer to a non-solid idea. (hopefully that makes sense). Money is all made up. I couldn't agree more. Although it is backed up by something, it just isn't gold. It's backed by our willingness to back it, or value it. If every last human turned around and said, 'I'm done playing this game' then money would have no value, the rich would have no more power than the property they own and their bare two hands to cultivate it.

    I don't think the government could do it in a day. Wall street couldn't even do it in a day. I think if everyone in this country did their share, we probably could. Maybe that's the only way we can at all, is if we all do it... Either way, I'm for a free system, which capitalism 'on paper' is, but where no one participates in the democracy- the greedy from all classes are siphoning the life out of us.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    The debt is all made up. Money is all made up. It's not backed by anything. Money is only real because the government says it is and they can print it at will, as they've done a few times recently. The US could be out of debt tomorrow if our government really wanted us to be... but the people pulling the strings want to keep us here, keep us under their thumbs, make us slave away for pittance wages and take all the profits for themselves.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    Taking care of your own needs and responsibilities first is the best way to help take care of others- like a mother giving herself oxygen before her baby, on a crashing plane.

    I know of some people who feel like the debt this nation is in is acceptable, because their children can take the load. This is entirely self-serving and ultimately a destructive principle. We must own up to our responsibilities. Paying our debts secures our future, which in turn will secure children a future. The problem is that so many, parents and children alike, are accepting the abdication of commitment, responsibility, duty, and promises in favor of instant relief, temporary ease, and an underlying prolonged suffering in favor of working towards rest later.

    The greater we tolerate a lack of virtue and moral value, the less we are able to understand and remember our responsibility. We must honor our agreements, be true to our word, and repay what we have borrowed- Without acknowledging that this integral to the criteria for being morally upright, we would feel no obligation. By replacing this obligatory moral standard with relevant (or convenient) standards, only moral tyranny and unrest can abound.