Financial Aid and Retirement Accounts

Question: My husband and I are 54 and 53 respectively and want to increase our contributions to our TSP 401(K) plan and Roth IRAs. Our daughter, who is applying for September 2003 college admission, is also applying for financial aid. Is it wise to increase contributions to our retirement accounts this year? What are the pros and cons of doing this?

This response to your very good question begins with a giant disclaimer. It is difficult to give accurate, specific financial suggestions without knowing a lot more about your family’s situation and the colleges on your daughter’s list. Only a bona fide financial advisor who is privy to your personal information can give you advice that will help you make the best decisions. Moreover, college financial aid methodologies do vary from institution to institution. In other words, this free advice comes with a you’re-getting-what-you’re-paying-for caveat!

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