Moving forward, one step at a time
Last week, my youngest child “graduated” from preschool. Clad in one of my husband’s white button-down shirts and a cardboard graduation hat, he stood with his class, sang songs and broke into the world’s broadest grin when he saw his great-grandma in the audience to see him. With the other proud parents, I choked back tears and took too many photos and shaky iPhone videos that don’t really live up to the emotion I felt that day.
Preschool graduation will be high school graduation in no time
It seems silly, I know, getting emotional over five year olds who are only beginning their educational journey. Still, I look at him and remember strapping him into an Ergo and praying he’d nap during excursions, five months old instead of five years. Time speeds by, and soon he’ll be wearing a mortarboard symbolizing the end of high school instead of one introducing him to kindergarten. As close as across the street, our neighbors are readying lawns for graduation parties and thinking about shopping for dorm-room essentials.
ScholarShare encourages parents to plan ahead for college
ScholarShare knows how quickly the years pass by, and how overwhelming college tuition bills can be. ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan, wants parents to start thinking of the financial aspect of college before their children are in high school — or even middle school. Starting to save for college while you’re still rocking your little one to sleep will help alleviate financial stress when tuition payments are due.
Some facts about ScholarShare
- ScholarShare offers 19 investment portfolios, giving account holders more options, depending on their savings goals and risk tolerance.
- Since its inception in 1999, the number of ScholarShare accounts has grown to more than 260,000 with over $6.3 billion in total plan assets.
- In 2014, ScholarShare helped California families meet their higher education needs, with nearly $300 million withdrawn by families to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
- Any U.S. citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account, for as little as $25.
- Through ScholarShare’s “Give a Gift” option, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends can open a new account as a gift or make a gift contribution to an existing one.
Use a 529 college savings plan for a variety of US educational institutions
Though ScholarShare is California’s 529 plan, the money in ScholarShare accounts can be used for any eligible educational institution, including public and private colleges and universities, graduate and post-graduate schools, community colleges and even certain proprietary and vocational schools, all across the United States. In fact, residents from any state can invest in a 529 plan in any state, though contributing to your in-state plan can offer tax benefits not available to out-of-state contributors.
National 529 Day reminds you to plan for the future
College savings plans from all states are joining together to celebrate National 529 Day this week. On May 29, ScholarShare and other 529 plans hope to raise awareness about the benefits of starting a 529 plan for your child. Saving for college doesn’t have to be a sweat-inducing event — every little bit helps your kids get ahead of the tuition game, and the flexibility of the 529 plans can help parents feel confident they’re investing their money in a way that combines tax benefits with multiple options for post-high school education.
In fact, in honor of National 529 Day, ScholarShare’s “You Start It, We Match It” promotion will match a $50 contribution to a new ScholarShare account — now’s the time to sign up if you haven’t already done so! Check out the details here.
- Learn more about 529 plans
- Compare 529 savings plans with other college savings options
- Check out the college savings planner to see how much you need to save
What factors do you consider when saving for future college tuition?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of ScholarShare, but all opinions are my own.
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