Single Parents Jeopardizing Retirement Plans to Fund Children’s College Education

How are single parents prioritizing their financial futures? Allianz, a multinational financial services company, asked just that question in the LoveFamilyMoney study looking at how the contemporary American family spends and saves.

Many single parents—45 percent—say that they are motivated to create and implement a long-term financial savings plan for their children’s post-secondary education, but even more—76 percent—say that they are worried about having enough money for a secure retirement.

A college education and retirement both take long-term financial planning. So is it better to prioritize one over the other? Not so, said Katie Libbe, vice president for consumer insights at Allianz. “Net-net, single parents are putting their financial future at risk for the sake of saving for (their children’s) college. They’re basically taking a single goal approach,” Libbe said. “The problem is that they seem to focus on one goal over the other and I think the choice should be to try and do both.”

The study also found that single parent families have to do more with less. Compared to traditional families, which have a mean household income of $112,700, single-parent families have a mean household income of $83,900. On average, single parents receive only 6 percent of their household income in child support. <Read more.>

Via Catherine Morris, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.