The Tuition Dilemma: Paying for College and Retirement

Many parents struggle to save for their own future while paying for their children’s education. It’s a tough call, your future or theirs. The decision doesn’t have to be all or nothing. In this episode, I talk to Matt Meline about how you can balance saving for retirement while paying college expenses for your kids and how to prepare for life after your kids leave the nest. Matt is the Founder and CEO of PrairieFire Wealth Planning in Des Moines, Iowa. After an eventful journey of sending his four children to college and becoming an Empty Nester, he authored the book Empty Nest Full Pockets. He hopes to help other parents navigate the challenging transition of getting one’s kids ready to launch while also preparing to become an awesome empty nester! He believes in life-centered financial planning, which focuses on his client’s return on life, not just their return on investment. Matt and I have a great conversation how the thoughts and concerns many of us face about raising fully functioning adults and what life will be like without your kids under the same roof.

Thank You!

Support for the Military Money Show is provided by Navy Federal Credit Union. It’s the new year if you’re like me, you may be starting new habits to reach your goals. If you’re looking to pay down credit card debt, one way that could help is a balance transfer. Navy Federal’s Platinum Credit Card might be an option to help. It’s their lowest rate card, and it can be a tool to help you pay down debt. You can learn more at, where their members are their mission.

Tuition Dilemma Episode Details

  • The challenges of reaching your financial goals and paying for college
  • How to handle not knowing “the number” you’re saving for
  • Finding a balance between what your child needs and wants and your financial future
  • Tips for preparing for college without negatively impacting your retirement
  • Where you can find money in your current and future budget
  • What you need to know about financial aid
  • What to do when you hit knowledge barriers of education funding
  • How to get the best return on investment from college selection
  • Advice for handling your children’s objective to paying for college nontraditionally
  • Resources to calculate the value of your major compared to what you’ll earn
  • College expenses most people don’t think of
Related: Mapping Out a Plan for Your GI Bill

Tuition Dilemma Resources

More Podcast: Money 101 for College Bond Students 

Reserve Your Pass for #MilMoneyCon23

MilMoneyCon is the annual event for financial professionals united by military service. Its mission is to bring service members, veterans, and military spouses together to build and progress their careers, continue their education, and grow their earning power as practicing or rising financial professionals. MilMoneyCon23 is happening April 27-29, 2023, in Nashville, TN. Attending the annual conference gets you connected with the biggest community of military financial planners, coaches, counselors, candidates, and educators. It’s a place to find employment and money-making opportunities, increase earning power, and continue your education. Reserve your pass at Reserve your hotel room here. Change the arrival and departure date to April 27-30, 2023, for the discounted room rate.

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Disclosure These notes may contain links to our affiliate products or services, which means I might get compensation when you click or buy. That said, I’m only going to put affiliate links that are in line with our podcast discussion. If you want to “kickstart” your finances in the military, you can get access to my free Financial Kickstart Kit here.