Parents say discussing saving for college is almost as awkward as discussing sex, drugs, and school safety
Submitted by T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price’s 2019 Parents, Kids & Money Survey, which sampled 1,005 parents of 8- to 14-year-olds and their kids, found that more than one-third of parents are uncomfortable discussing saving for college with their kids and few of them are having frequent conversations about saving for college. The lack of communication may help explain why there is a disconnect between kids’ and parents’ expectations about who foots the bill for college.
“Covering college costs can be kids’ first experience with conceptualizing a long-term goal” says Judith Ward, CFP®, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price and mother of two college graduates. “The hesitation to discuss saving for college is a missed opportunity that not only lends itself to misunderstandings about who may be footing the bill for college, but also has implications for how kids think about money going forward and balance short-term and long-term needs into adulthood.
“While we think there is an opportunity for parents to have more conversations about college costs with their kids, it’s great to see that 529 college savings accounts are the most popular way to save for college, given their tax advantages and underlying investment options. Additionally, most parents would consider sending their kids to a less expensive school to avoid student debt, representing a much-needed cost consciousness in the college selection process,” says Ms. Ward.
To help parents discuss money with their kids, T. Rowe Price created MoneyConfidentKids.com, which provides free online games for kids; tips for parents that are focused on financial concepts such as goal setting, spending versus saving, inflation, asset allocation, and investment diversification; and classroom lessons for educators.
Discussing College Costs
Improvements in Attitudes and Behaviors
Impact of Education Costs on Retirement
Please note that the 529 plan’s disclosure document includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.
MONEY CONFIDENT KIDS is a registered trademark of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
About the Survey
The 11th annual T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids & Money Survey, conducted by ResearchNow, aimed to understand the basic financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of both parents of kids ages 8 to 14 and their kids ages 8 to 14. The survey was fielded from January 17, 2019, through January 23, 2019, with a sample size of 1,005 parents and 1,005 kids ages 8 to 14. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. All statistical testing done among subgroups (e.g., those who are caring for an aging parent) is conducted at the 95% confidence level. Reporting includes only findings that are statistically significant at this level.
About T. Rowe Price
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (NASDAQ-GS: TROW) is a global investment management organization with $1.13 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2019. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research. For more information, visit troweprice.com or our Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook sites.
T. Rowe Price
T. Rowe Price
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price is a global investment management organization. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research.
More from T. Rowe Price