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Double Duty

Saving for your child's education & your retirement

Life with children is not for the faint of heart - or wallet. With housing, insurance, transportation and food costs being what they are, taking care of a family’s basic needs can put a strain on almost any budget.

You want to squirrel away at least a little something for your children’s pending college costs as well as your future retirement – but how?

“At the end of the day, you’ll need to figure out what to save for,” says Michael Horodyski, president and CEO of the Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan Association. “For most parents, it’ll be saving for the best college experience for their children, but retirement is important, too.”

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But where should you begin? Is saving for both even possible? Horodyski says it is. The trick is to start early and earnestly try to make it a part of your regular fiscal routine.

1. It’s never too late to start. Whether you child is 16 days or 16 years old, most financial experts will tell you that now is the time to begin saving. The same is true for your retirement.

2. Focus on the bigger picture. For some families, college and retirement can come around at the same time. If that is your reality, you can invest in a general investment pool which can be used to help pay for each goal as needed.

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3. Seek assistance. If you know that there are things you don’t know about saving for retirement and college for your children, there’s no harm in seeking the advice of someone who does. Setting up a meeting with a financial planner is an excellent option.

4. Save little by little. Remember, saving a little is better than saving nothing. The sooner you start, the more you’ll have when you need it.

Felicia Hodges is the editor of Hudson Valley Parent magazine.