Save for college tuition
If you're in your 40s and have kids, you may have already started saving for their college tuition, depending on their age. The best advice from financial advisers is to start saving as early as possible after your kids are born, even if you can save only a small amount. Hopefully, you can increase the amount you save for college as your income rises.
You can begin a 529 college savings plan to reduce the amount you or your kids may have to borrow to attend college. Many state universities also offer a prepaid tuition plan that allows you to lock in tuition at current rates.
Laux says that families need to have a rational conversation about ways to minimize college expenses, such as choosing a state school over a private college, doing military service or spending the first two years at a community college followed by two years at a four-year university.
"One of the best things to do is to start saving as early as possible for college," Laux says. "If you're in your 40s and your kids are near college age and you haven't saved much for retirement, it's not necessarily wise or appropriate to pay for all of their college expenses."
Laux says one option is to have your kids pay some of their own costs by working during their college years.