What Should You Do? Save Your Retirement or Pay Off Your Student Loans
The rising cost of student loan debt may influence how you secure your financial future. Student borrowers could end up with less savings if they pay off their student loan debt expediently. Prioritizing student loan repayment over retirement is a risk because retirement contributions are usually tax deductible. If a recent graduate is working for a company that matches 401(k) contributions, future compounding of interest may be worth more than the interest saved by way of student loan repayment. A retirement plan consultant can assist in planning for the future.
Cost-of-living increases and higher tuition costs create a challenge for students after graduation. These graduates are faced with mounting student loan debt and may not immediately have the funds to pay off those loans. Requisite for hire in most organizations today, a degree is an essential tool for professional career recruitment, retention, and promotion. The question is: are graduates willing to pay the price of interest. Retirement savings plans offer a way to tackle this concern.
With retirement on the horizon, the challenge to distribute income in optimal proportions to debt and savings is a ratio that requires some calculation. Here are three main options to consider when faced with the student loan repayment or retirement fund contribution conundrum:
- Pay off student loans and save for retirement afterward
- Save for retirement now and pay the minimum monthly student loan balance
- Pay off student loans and save for retirement
Maximizing earnings is the name of the game. Retirement funds are often the better choice for savings, as they attribute higher interest to principal than short-term investment vehicles.
There is a compelling argument for retirement savings over accelerated student loan payment, as student loan interest is tax deductible, and accrues at a lower rate than the 8 percent estimated for retirement savings. If a higher interest, private loan repayment is looming, focusing on student loan debt is still not a priority due to the tax deduction it affords a graduate on their 1040 tax return form. Consolidation or refinancing of student loan debt is the surest method of controlling the cost of monthly installment payments.
A major investment decision, retirement planning over student loan debt repayment cannot be avoided if one is to take advantage of tax rules applied to both types of interest-bearing accounts. Tax-deferred retirement accounts allow for more liquidity. The investors will use the free cash to pay off student loans, or at least the principal, while taking advantage of the interest deduction. Saving for retirement and paying off student loan debt simultaneously is quite possibly the appropriate solution to managing your financial future.
The Participant EffectSM is a guidance-based, beginning-to-end retirement service that can provide confidence in your financial life. Improve your financial confidence by talking to a specialist about the investment accounts for paying off student loans. Many investors are pleased to find out there is more to retirement plan consulting than guidance on their 401(k). For more information about ways that you can work toward a confident retirement planning, visit www.theparticipanteffect.com or call us at 888-968-9168.
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