Single Mom, NO savings, never married, paying back huge debt =NO college money for my son?

Any suggestions on what to say to my only child when I tell him I have been struggling for 2.5 years to pay back lawyer debt (thanks to his father) and now I don’t have a dime in savings to help him with college?. I’ve been paying back $ 27,000+ in lawyer debt. I have $ 9,000 left to pay. I pay my mortgage on our condo, pay basic bills. I receive no child support or alimony (was never married). All my bills ARE paid on time. I live paycheck to paycheck. I have no savings, I have almost no 401K. I cannot help my son pay for college. I assume it’s up to his father and my son’s own part time job and any Federal loans he can get.

I can’t take on more debt. I will be age 53 when he starts college and will finally, finally have the lawyer debt paid off (I hope) and can finally start up my 401k contributions again. I will have only 10 years to save up for my entire retirement.

My son is going to hate me when he finds out ALL his friend’s parents are paying their way for college and I am “selfish” and want to “go shopping” instead of paying his huge college loans. (his stepmother and father tell my son these things about me).

I live in a small condo, drive a simple car and do not take any expensive vacations. I do not waste money, I do not own expensive fancy electronics. I do not buy designer clothes. But I so live in a very very expensive state and county. I do not receive any child support. I do work, of course. My son lives half with me and half with his father (who is married).

If his father does not foot the college bill, my son will have to rely on loans, loans, loans and be in huge debt. I feel bad, but what should I do? Should I forgoe any hope of 401K savings for myself? What happens when I am 65? How will I survive? I am worried.

I could not go to college as I did not qualify for any student loans. My parents did not loan me any money, so I worked for 4 years, then took out expensive bank loans to go to business school for 18 month course (no degree) because that’s what I could afford while living with my parents.
I moved out immediately after I graduated, and struggled very hard with room mates, for years, and paid back my debt. I never received any money from any relatives.

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