Don’t let saving for your kids' college fund rather than your retirement fund hold you back from saving for retirement . Every parent wants to help their child, but if you're putting your savings toward college tuition rather than your retirement fund, you're doing yourself a disservice. While college is expensive -- tuition and fees for public and private universities cost around $25,290 and $50,900 per year, respectively -- retirement is even more costly . The average household aged 65 or older spends about $45,756 per year in retirement, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you spend, say, 20 years in retirement, that puts the total cost of retirement at roughly $915,120 (not taking inflation into consideration) . True, you have more time to save for retirement than you do for college. However, you need to save significantly more money for retirement, and there's no such thing as a retirement loan, so it's important to save as early and aggressively as possible. You may think you can put off retirement saving until your kids get through school, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be to catch up . For example, say you have $10,000 to invest. If you invest that at age 35 while earning a 7% annual rate of return on your investments and don't make any additional contributions, you'll have around $76,122 by age 65. Wait just five years to invest that money, though, and you'll end up with only $54,274 by the time you turn 65. In other words, you need to start saving while time is on your side -- even if it means putting your retirement savings before your kids' college tuition.