Parents should also encourage their children to take classes in high school that qualify for college credit
Parental student loan debt does not appear to affect the decision of parents obtaining student loans for their children nor the loan amount for their children
Parental views of education financing play a significant role in children being able to obtain a college degree. It is important to understand the factors that affect parental views of education financing, because it could help in creating policies aimed for an increase in college attendance by targeting the parents. This research contributes to the literature by focusing on how parental student debt affects parental views of education financing.
The main findings showed that parents who are currently servicing their own student loans are 67 percent less likely to use a tax-advantaged education savings vehicle such as a Coverdell ESA or a 529 plan, versus parents with no student debt. Implications suggest that parents who still service their own student loan debt are prolonging the cycle of debt burden of their children by not saving for their education.
Ignoring parental emotions, it is not rational for parents to save for their child’s college education in favor of securing adequate retirement savings for themselves. The life-cycle hypothesis describes three distinct stages: the preproduction stage, production http://getbadcreditloan.com/payday-loans-in/hagerstown stage, and retirement stage. People in the preproduction stage are typically younger individuals, and the people of the production stage are typically middle-aged. This hypothesis states that usually, the propensity to consume in relation to saving is greater for the preproduction stage and retirement stage. The reason is that retired people are using their savings and usually not earning income anymore, and people in the preproduction stage usually have higher expenses than their incomes, due to still being in college or barely joining the labor force. Production stage individuals have a higher propensity to save due to usually earning more income in relation to their expenses.
Therefore, a parent in the production stage has an optimal strategy to save for retirement instead of saving for the college education of their child because the parent is approaching their retirement stage, thus they need to have an adequate amount in the retirement account sooner.
Moreover, the child will more likely be able to pay off his or her own student loans when he or she reaches the production stage. The child also has the ability to borrow for college, but the parent does not have the ability to borrow for retirement. Future research should examine how parental retirement accounts affect parental views toward education financing. It would be interesting to examine whether or not racial differences affect the decision to save for retirement and/or save for education.
Implications for Financial Planners
To reduce the prolonged cycle of student loan debt among parents and children, financial planners have an opportunity to educate their clients on the benefits of saving in dedicated education savings accounts, like a Coverdell ESA or 529 plan. Financial planners should increase awareness of the tax advantages of the various savings vehicles used for education.
Also, there are many alternatives to borrowing and saving for post-secondary education. First, financial planners should encourage their clients to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. In 2018, around $2.6 billion of federal Pell grant money was unclaimed by eligible high school graduates because they failed to complete the FAFSA.2 Financial planners can help provide clients with the knowledge to help navigate the world of financial aid. Another alternative is to apply for outside scholarships.
A 2019 Journal of Financial Planning article3 suggested there are billions of scholarship dollars awarded each year, but much of that money is unclaimed. These high school classes are typically less expensive or even free to take.