Accavallo & Company, LLC

Funding College Without Sacrificing Retirement

funding college

Paying for your child’s college education is a dream for many parents, but it shouldn’t turn into a retirement nightmare. In this article, we’ll explore how you can secure your child’s future while still safeguarding your retirement funds. By understanding the various options and pitfalls, you can make informed choices that benefit both you and your children.

Plan Ahead with Tax-Advantaged Accounts: The best way to save for college is by planning ahead. Utilize tax-advantaged qualified tuition plans such as 529 plans. These accounts offer significant tax benefits and can help you build a substantial college fund. In addition, more than 30 states offer tax deductions or credits for 529 plan contributions, further enhancing your savings.

Beware of Raiding Retirement Funds: Funding your child’s education by dipping into your retirement savings can have serious consequences. Significant withdrawals are challenging to replenish, especially as you age. Early withdrawals may incur tax penalties and could jeopardize your eligibility for financial aid, as this counts as income.

Consider the Advantage of Student Loans: While student loans may seem daunting, they often come with lower interest rates than other types of loans. Additionally, these rates are typically lower than the average stock market returns in the long term. Some student loans offer flexible repayment terms, especially for students still in school or engaged in public service.

Scholarships and Alternative Funding: Scholarships are an excellent way to fund your child’s education without accumulating debt. Although they require qualification, there are numerous options available, including scholarships from local companies and service organizations. Encourage your child to explore these opportunities.

Part-Time Jobs and Internships: Part-time jobs and internships can provide your child with extra income while helping them develop valuable career skills. These experiences not only assist in covering educational expenses but also set the stage for future success.

Loan Forgiveness Programs: Some professions, such as teaching, offer loan forgiveness programs. For instance, teachers who complete certain state-sponsored programs may have a portion of their student loans forgiven. Explore these programs as potential solutions to ease the burden of student debt.

Balancing Education and Retirement Investments: Balancing your child’s education funding with your retirement investments requires intention and persistence. While investing for both goals might take time, it’s essential to remain focused on the long-term benefits of securing your retirement and your child’s future.

In the quest to provide your child with a quality education, it’s crucial to consider the long-term impact on your retirement savings. While there are numerous funding options available, remember this important mantra: you can borrow for college, but you can’t borrow for retirement. By planning wisely and exploring the various choices, you can strike a balance that ensures a bright future for both you and your children.


If you need additional information, please contact us at Accavallo & Company for further consulting, office at (203) 925-9600 or [email protected].


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Sherri Fisher is a Tax Manager at Accavallo & Company, LLC.  Sherri has longstanding expertise in Trust and Estate Taxation, Eldercare, and Estate planning. Sherri appreciates the relationships she has built with estate planning attorneys and advisors, to provide a team approach to assisting her clients. Sherri also has seasoned experience in business and individual taxation and is partial to assisting start-ups in developing overall accounting and operating plans.

Prior to joining Accavallo & Company, LLC, Sherri was a manager in a large firm, servicing high net worth trust clients, business, and personal clients. She was also a Partner in a large bookkeeping firm, which specialized in cloud accounting systems for regional and national companies. Sherri led a team in assisting clients to organize their accounting systems.  She is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a B.S. degree in Accounting.    

Sherri’s experience includes working with companies and organizations in a variety of industries including:

  • Investment Trusts

  • DAPT and Family Investment Partnerships

  • Estate and Probate Administration

  • E-Commerce

  • Manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Real Estate Investment

  • Marketing and Service-based industries

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sherri is an Intuit Advanced Pro Advisor, Intuit Future Firm Advisory Board member, member of the Valley WIN Network, and proudly served as past Connecticut Public School liaison for the Yale Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. Sherri enjoys time with her family, Cleveland sports, thrifting and gardening.