Why the #NY529edu Plan Is a Total Home Run

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My little slugger just joined a tee-ball team. Or rather, his eager mom (that'd be me!) and doting dad signed him up, bribed him, dressed him, drove him, and maniacally cheered for him from the bleacher stands... as if he was actually playing a real, competitive game. (Let’s be honest, though—tee-ball with a bunch of Pre-K’ers is basically akin to herding cats... It sure is cute though!)

Watching him run the bases in his Yankees shirt and hat, and attempt to throw and catch and hit makes my heart swoon and swell... Even though I loathe the Yankees, you know, IRL. (#LetsGoMets.)

Grant did pretty well on day one of tee-ball "practice," but I have to be honest and admit that my young son has a tendency to lose interest in sports rather quickly... so I'm not holding my breath for an all-star player. After all, he dropped out of hockey after two sessions on the ice and got tired of the same ole drills at soccer week after week… My guy is most definitely athletic, but that doesn’t mean he has to be an athlete*. He can be whatever he wants to be. And, for now, that means he’s a dreamer and a thinker and a four-year-old philosopher. As a mom, it's my duty and my honor to encourage and inspire his passion for knowledge. (*Also, he’s not even five yet—so we have some time.)

Nevertheless, I’m nooooot so super-duper confident I can count on a sports scholarship in his collegiate future. Luckily, I don’t have to incessantly-worry or overly stress about the exorbitant expense for his higher education (and the costs just keep going up!)—because we’re well on our way to saving with the NY529 plan.

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Last week, we joined Momtrends at the Culinary Institute of Education to learn all about this incredible savings program. A group of mom bloggers, including yours truly, got a veritable education in finances while our kids got a lesson in Italian cooking. Turns out that an initial investment of just $25 and about 10 minutes of time can get you (and your budding student!) headed in the right direction. It’s that simple.

Better yet, anyone (a parent, a grandparent, aunt, or uncle!) can open a 529 account and choose a designated beneficiary. As the account owner, you choose the investments and decide how the money is used. Your 529 earning grow federal tax deferred; qualified withdrawals are tax free, and New Yorkers often see other deductions and benefits. Once you have an account, you will pay just $1.60 in fees annually for every $1,000 invested in the Direct Plan (that’s just a .16 percent annual asset-based fee.)

But enough “technical talk,” here’s what really excites me: 529 savings can be used for college, accredited trade and vocational schools, certain international programs, and other relevant expenses—like some room and board fees, supplies, books, and equipment!

And let’s say your kid does get that coveted baseball scholarship and full freebie ride… Well, you can hold onto that money for grad school or go ahead and change the beneficiary to a sibling, a relative, or even yourself. (Worth noting: You can pull the money for other reasons, too but will see some penalties.)

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Money doesn’t have to stand in the way of your child’s big dreams and educational aspirations. The NY 529 plan will get you on the right path… so that all you have to do is keep fostering a love of learning.

As for me, my four year old can keep dreaming big… Whatever he pursues, I know he'll hit it out of the park!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

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