Saving for retirement? Saving for college? This doesn't have to be an either/or proposition.

Almost everyone juggles more than one savings or investing goal. Our goal is to help you create a strategy that covers all your bases.

It can be intimidating to think about how much you should save for college and retirement—but it doesn't have to be. Take it one step at a time. Your financial advisor can help you understand how the choices you make today about college savings may have an impact on your retirement.

Outlining your priorities and understanding the trade-offs

The money you invest for college and retirement comes from the same pool. So, how do you strike the right balance? It's all about priorities and trade-offs.

Consider the following example:

Jim and Mary Thompson are 32 and plan to save for retirement and start a college fund for their newborn, Lillian. Based on their financial situation; they determine they can save $900 a month which will be divided among the two goals. Based on these goals, they developed the following saving scenarios with the help of their financial advisor:

Possible Saving Scenarios


Possible Saving Scenarios

Retirement Goal

Education Goal

Retire at age 65 with $50,000 in annual income from the portfolio.Provide $105,000 toward Lillian's education (estimate to cover two years of community college and two years at a public university).
Required monthly savings: $800Required Monthly Savings: $275

To cover both goals, the Thompsons would need to save almost $1,100 per month. However, because they can save only $900 per month, they are discussing options and trade-offs.

Retirement, Education or Both?

 See the description and investment assumptions for these possible saving scenarios below.

In our example, the Thompsons had to make some trade-offs. You may or may not need to do the same. Your answer lies with how you prioritize your goals.

Importantly, we don't recommend putting off saving for retirement because you're putting money away for college. This could put your retirement goal in jeopardy. Time is a very valuable asset, so don’t delay saving for one goal over the other – view them together. Use our retirement calculator and see the impact small changes can have on helping you reach your retirement savings goal.

How we can help

At Edward Jones, we understand your life is a series of overlapping decisions. Your financial advisor will ask questions and really listen to understand your situation and develop a strategy to address what's important to you. Call your Edward Jones financial advisor today to get started saving for college and retirement.