We have four children, so the thought of saving for their college tuition has been on my mind since they were born. So many of my friends have had college loans and many of them still do (in their late 30’s and early 40’s). I didn’t want our children to have to do this, so we decided to start saving now, while they are still young. Today I am partnering with Virginia529 to share the reasons that we opened our account.
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It was around this time last year that our financial advisor came out to our house to meet with us. During his previous visit, we had covered the topic of retirement and we made a plan to begin investing. Now, it was time to talk about college for the kids. I knew that I wasn’t alone in this. I had heard that 80% of parents wanted to pay for at least half of their children’s college education.
Before he came to meet at our house, I looked up a few statistics about college loans and I was not too surprised to find that 69% of the class of 2018 had to take out loans and graduated with an average debt of $29,800.
I also read that according to the National Center for Education Statistics: Between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016 (ten years): Tuition, fees, and room and board increased by 34% at public colleges and universities.
This is exactly what I wanted to prevent with our kids.
Our advisor suggested starting a 529 account for our kids. We had already researched it and had spent a lot of time online looking at Invest529. (There is a lot of information on their site). If you haven’t heard of Invest529, it’s a tax-advantaged program – one of the top-rated in the country. Invest529 is administered by Virginia529, the largest 529 in the country, but is a national program open to families in any state. It is flexible and affordable, so it helps you invest in either yourself or someone that you love by saving for their education and job training.
You can open an account with as little as $25. This is great because it’s not much to start and from there you can save money in these tax-free accounts at your own pace.
According to the College Saving Survey (by savingforcollege.com), only 7% of parents who are saving for their child’s college expenses are using a 529 plan. Today I wanted to give a few reasons that we ARE using one.
- It is not only for college. Invest529 accounts can be used for an associate degree, trade school, vocational school, online classes, etc…
- Invest529 can be used to pay for things like books, room and board, computers, supplies, and other equipment.
- It can be used NOW for your child’s private school tuition. If your child is enrolled in a private school now, you can use this plan to pay for your tuition. You can withdraw up to $10,000 per student every year for private education in grades K-12.
- If your child does not go to college, you can either give it to one of your other children, or you can save it. Then, if they want to go to college or take classes in the future, they can use it at that time. The money you save is always yours. Should plans change – if your student receives a scholarship or doesn’t pursue higher education – the money you invested is still yours.
- It can be used for in or out of state schools. You can even travel abroad and use it there, as well. I also love that you can now give this as a gift. You can get Invest529 gift cards at select Target and HEB locations, and at Walmart.com, which is great for the back-to-school season.
DO YOU WANT TO WIN MONEY?
Invest529 is administered by Virginia529, the largest 529 plan in the country, but Invest529 is available to families nationwide! Virginia529 is sponsoring a sweepstake of a $529 contribution to a new or existing Invest529 account. The Sweepstakes, which is going on now, ends on October 14, 2019 (Sweepstakes Term). During the Sweepstakes Term there is one way to enter: Online by visiting here, completing the online entry form and submitting it to receive one (1) entry into the Sweepstakes.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Virginia529.
Check out more money-saving ideas:
- How to be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income
- Pay your mortgage off years sooner than expected!
- 20 ways to work from home.