We've been talking with Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner about how to get ourselves on strong financial footing, with our Do It Yourself Bailout series. This week, Beth helps us with a big dilemma: If we can't afford to do both, should we sock away money every month for retirement or save for our kids' college?
College tuition has been rising steadily for years with no sign of stopping. Last year the average tuition rose 4.4 percent for private colleges and 6.5 percent for public universities. Yet, at the same time, parents have seen their 401(k) funds shrink during the recession. To make matters worse, household incomes have continued to fall. So what is the bigger priority? Saving for your kid's college education or for your own retirement?