By Ann Lloyd, Student Savings Guide If you’re planning for your child’s future education, the picture can seem daunting. Between 1985-86 and the 2017-18 academic year, the cost of attending a four-year university or college rose a staggering 497%, which was more than twice the rate of inflation. That has made saving for college a lot more challenging than saving for retirement – where you can get help from 401(k) accounts – or just the plain old rainy day. It’s hard to even estimate how much college will cost a few years from now, so the sooner you start saving, the better. But how much you can save will depend on your budget, as well as your and your child’s goals for college. No matter what your budget, however, there are ways to save that can help your kids make it through with a minimum of student loan debt hanging over their heads for years down the line. And that’s a real concern: What good is landing a good-paying job if a lot of your paycheck is going to student loans, and if you’re still paying later in life? While fewer people in their fifties are paying on student loans, those who are doing so have significant balances: an average of more than $42,000 for those in the 50-61 age bracket.
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