Fully 55 percent of parents with kids under age 18 are saving for retirement, compared with 51 percent of families who are saving money for their children's college education, according to a survey by student loan giant Sallie Mae.
Those not putting away tuition money are worried about having enough money for their own retirement, found the survey, "How America Saves for College.”
And those parents are putting significantly more money into retirement than college savings. The survey showed that on average, 53 percent of a family's savings are allocated toward retirement, compared with an average of just 10 percent for college.
The study found that while 89 percent agree that college is an investment in their child's future, many are overwhelmed by the cost of a college education.
"The price tag is often daunting to families," Sarah Ducich, senior vice president for public policy with Sallie Mae, said.
"When we look at families that aren't saving for college, their predominant feeling about it is they're frustrated, they're overwhelmed and they're angry."
The survey of about 2,000 parents conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Sallie Mae included families of all income levels. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent.