My four-year-old son says that he wants to be an architect when he grows up. (He even draws blueprints before stacking a tower with his jumbo building blocks.) Then again, he can talk his way out of anything, so he very well may have a career in the law... And then there's my daughter, who, at not even two, brings so much drama to the table, she could easily be a student of the stage.
As long as my children are healthy, happy, and passionate in their pursuits, I'll support whatever paths they choose. Naturally, I’d love for them to be wildly successful too, but, for now, I'll take a voluntary trip to the potty as a major triumph and life accomplishment.
Still, I can’t help but dream of and plan for their futures. That's why I’m committed to making sure they have the tools and resources they need to meet their goals and, hopefully, surpass them. And that all starts with a NY 529 Direct College Savings Plan.
The average private college tuition averages over $40K per year (and that's erring very low)—so saving for my children’s higher education is a priority and a necessity. There are many smart ways to invest in a child’s future, and the NY 529 is at the top of my list.
This weekend, Momtrends hosted an event on the Intrepid to educate area bloggers about the NY 529 Direct College Savings Plan. While admiring the vast views, we learned all about this incredible program. Meanwhile, our children were treated to a VIP tour and flight-simulator ride. (I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these kids decide to be pilots when they grow up!)
A 529 is a college savings plan generally sponsored by your state. It can be used for tuition at a two-or-four-year university, accredited vocational school, or postgraduate program, as well as books, equipment, supplies, and other relevant expenses. Anyone can start and/or contribute to a 529—parents, grandparents, relatives, and even friends. The account owner, in this case, you, picks the investments, assigns a beneficiary, and determines how the money is used. And, bonus, if you’re a New York State taxpayer with a 529, you can benefit from a state tax deduction. By taking charge of this account, you’re not only empowering yourself with savvy financial planning, you're also inspiring your kids to pursue their dreams.
Most 529 account contributions are pretty high—ranging from $200 to $300K, depending on the state. You can contribute up to $375K on behalf of one beneficiary for the Direct Plan—so you can accumulate quite a cushion for college-bound kids. Better yet, the 529 doesn’t really limit financial-aid eligibility, as most institutions count only 6 percent of the total as usable.
It’s important to note, your child can attend college anywhere—not just the state sponsoring the 529 plan. And if your little genius gets a full-ride scholarship, you can easily change the account beneficiary. Heck, if all your kids get full-ride scholarships, you can become the beneficiary and go back to school yourself!
It was an educational day at the Intrepid, that reinforced the importance of early college savings and got me excited about having a 529 plan in place for each of my children. I can slowly contribute. I can encourage others to contribute in lieu of gifts. I can keep my eye on it, and watch it gradually grow over time… Meanwhile, I can focus on inspiring my children in different ways—like helping them build blocks towers and playing doctor, lawyer, teacher, artist, actor, CEO, bank teller, archeologist... the possibilities are endless!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.