Skip to content

Many Would Put Off Retirements to Help Pay For CollegeWINDSOR, Conn., Sept. 28, 2015 — Nearly one-third of Americans would be willing to defer their retirements to help their children or grandchildren pay for college educations, according to new LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research.

“Long ago, attending college morphed from a privilege into a necessity for so many,” said Michael Ericson, analyst, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute and the author of the report. “With the average student loan approaching $30,000, people have been forced to shuffle around their financial priorities and obligations.”

College is so important,  one third of consumers say they have reduced or would be willing to reduce the amount they are saving for retirement in order to help pay for their children’s or grandchildren’s college educations.  The percentage of Americans who say they would be willing to do so decreases as people get older, with Millennials most likely to agree, according to Student Loans and Retirement: Consumer Behaviors and Attitudes.

Ericson says as tuitions have skyrocketed, Americans have put less money aside for their retirements, delayed retirement start dates and even carried debt with them into retirement.

“Four in 10 consumers (with children or grandchildren) feel an obligation to foot the college bill, so this is having consequences in other areas of their lives where money is concerned,” said Ericson. “In addition to eroding retirement confidence, these loans are causing Americans to reduce their discretionary spending.”

The report also confirmed what previous research has found: those saving for retirement are also the most likely to save for purposes other than retirement.

“Those saving in their 401(k)s are also putting money aside for college tuition. They’re doing what they can to prepare for both,” said Ericson.

For the report, LIMRA surveyed nearly 1,000 Americans in July.


LIMRA Media Contacts    

Catherine Theroux, 860-285-7787,
Mark Morris, 860-285-7875,

About LIMRA    

LIMRA, a worldwide research, learning and development organization, is the trusted source of industry knowledge, helping more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at     

About LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute 

The LIMRA LOMA Secure Retirement Institute provides comprehensive, unbiased research and education about all aspects within the retirement industry to improve retirement readiness and promote retirement security.  For information, visit:

Media Contacts

Catherine Theroux

Director, Public Relations

Work Phone: (860) 285-7787

Mobile Phone: (703) 447-3257

Brooke Lacey

Senior Public Relations Specialist

Work Phone: (860) 298-3920

Mobile Phone: (413) 530-6184

Bailey Reed

Public Relations/Social Media Specialist

Work Phone: (770) 984-3788

Did you accomplish the goal of your visit to our site?

Yes No