Paying for college

Do your kids know how difficult it will be to pay for their college education? A new survey says they don't, which experts say is a major reason why families need to communicate to avoid going into debt in your retirement years.

The recent national survey commissioned by the Genworth Center for Financial Learning revealed an alarming disconnect between parents and their college-bound children regarding how they will pay for a college education. Forty percent of parents said that they are "not confident at all" that they had saved enough money to pay for their child's education. Yet, two-thirds of high school juniors and seniors are confident that their parent had done so. More alarmingly, 22 percent of parents expected to tap into their retirement savings to help pay for their children's college.

Since college and retirement come so close together, experts say there is usually no time to recover from debt if you borrow too much money for college - which is why parents and kids need to communicate and plan better. The key is to start saving for college early. For instance, setting up a family scholarship fund early and encouraging contributions on birthdays and holidays could leave you better prepared for the added expenses.

For additional information and tips on how to start saving for college, log onto the Genworth Center for Financial Learning .