A. Put the kids through college
B. Save enough to retire
Choose oneAbout 50 percent of parents choose plan A. Conventional financial planning wisdom says that's usually a mistake. See Will Kids Ruin Your Chance at Retirement?
Choose B and the kids will rack up a mountain of debt, currently averaging somewhere around $25,000 for new grads and growing yearly.
Those who have already chosen Plan A may benefit from SmartMoney's imaginative new guide to retirement destinations: places mostly likely to offer part-time jobs.
Those who chose plan B at least know where their children are: either back living at home or Occupying Wall Street.
•Warning: Readers who have recently seen their kids graduate with minimal debt should not assume they have dodged the bullet. Grandkids ahead.