Couple's choice: Retirement or send daughter to college
(CBS NEWS) A new study says new college graduates won't be able to retire until they're 75. In part because average student loan debt is over $35,000, up more than $5,000 from three years ago. And their financial problems are also forcing their parents to delay retirement.
Steve and Beth Burau both grew up in the Chicago area. They were hoping to retire there soon, but then the youngest of their three daughters went off to college.
"When we started to realize the little one was gonna be going away to school, we knew it was gonna be delayed," said Steve.
"I don't see it before 70, at least," Beth added.
That's not what they planned. Steve is a 58-year-old package designer. Beth, who's 56, works in a medical clinic.
"I thought when I got a little bit older, we could travel or we could do other things. But right now all I'm looking at is working and making money," Beth said.
The Burau's are actually doing better than most baby boomers -- four in ten have no retirement savings at all, and nearly 70 percent have no defined pension plans. Financial advisers say a nest egg needs to be big enough that a retiree can live on four percent of that savings a year.
Christine Benz, Director of Personal Finance at Morningstar, says it also helps to put off taking Social Security benefits.
"For every year that you're able to delay past your full retirement age, you're able to pick up a roughly 8% inflation adjusted increase in your benefit," says Benz.
The Burau's are now working with a financial planner.
"Just realize the end is in sight," Steve would tell other couples in their situation. "And those things you don't wanna think about when you're 20 and 30 and 40 -- don't wait until you're 45 or 50 years old to really start thinking seriously about them."
Most of all, financial planners say put something aside. And remember: A late start is better than no start at all.
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