Should you save for retirement or save for your kids' college?
You've probably heard it before, but it bears repeating: Kids can get loans for college. You can't get loans for retirement. Try to sock away 15 percent of your gross income into a 401(k) account (if your company offers one) or the maximum amount you're allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA (you can withdraw from this type of account tax-free after age 59 1/2, once you've retired).
Saving for college should take a backseat to eliminating debt, building an emergency fund, and contributing to your retirement account. Once you've done these things, open a 529 college savings account. The interest you'll earn is tax-free as long as the money is used to pay for your kids' education. Many states also let you deduct annual contributions on your income-tax return.
For details on choosing the right plan, visit:
Bottom line: You should look after your own future first, your kids' education second.