If you missed the announcement, we are EXPECTING!!! Baby number 2 will be arriving March 2018!
Michelle and I are over the moon excited that our little guy will have a baby brother… or I guess a little sister…
*PLEASE BE A BOY…
In the midst of our excitement, it dawned on me…
That means TWO mouths to feed.
That means TWO sets of doctor appointments.
That means TWO sets of bodies to cloth!
Oh GOOO Lord!
That means TWO COLLEGE TUITIONS to pay for!!!
I need to go sit down.
The average college senior who graduated last spring was saddled with over $37,000 in student loans. Sadly, my student debt was slightly HIGHER than this.
Michelle and I had always had a plan to help our little guy out with college because we never wanted him to face what we did. But now what???
We needed to go back to the drawing board and of course spreadsheets!
Baby Number 2: 529 Plan to the rescue!
With Baby 2 on the way, Michelle and I had to seriously rethink the way we were going to help pay for college for our kiddos. I offered drawing straws but she didn’t think that was appropriate. Motherly instincts…
Rather than drawing straws we decided the most “fair” was 529 plan.
What is a 529 Plan?
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
There are two types of 529 plans: pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans. All fifty states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one type of 529 plan. In addition, a group of private colleges and universities sponsor a pre-paid tuition plan.
Ok Eric you lost me at “A 529 plan is….”
HA! No worries. Let’s break it down.
Think of the 529 plan as a retirement account, but for college. You deposit money post-tax, the money you actually get from your paycheck, into the account. The money is invested and grows month over month and year over year. BUT here is best part… The money that you put into this account grows TAX FREE!!!
SWEET COMPOUND INTEREST!
But wait there’s more….
Sweet Benefits of a 529 Plan
Not only does your investment grow TAX free for LIFE there are a couple other nice things about having a 529 college savings plan:
- Some states offer full or partial tax deduction for 529 contributions
- Michelle and I maintain FULL control over the account. So if my little guy gets on my nerves… Sorry bud no college for you!
- Super simple. Set and forget it. Once you have your account set up with a company such as CollegeBacker, you sit back and relax!
- Huge deposit limits (basically none but you need to watch out for the gift tax)
- Extremely flexible. You can make changes to account including beneficiaries. Sorry buddy your baby sister get’s it all….
Types of 529 Plans
There are only two types of 529 plans:
Prepaid tuition programs: Prepaid tuition is exactly what is sounds like. It allows for the advance purchase of courses for the student. These are usually established during enrollment periods established by the state of the eligible educational institution.
Investment College Plans: With investment plans, you get to choose how you want to invest your funds and then you can use that money plus interest at a variety of institutions.
For our situation, according to the Wall Street Journal, investment college plans are a better option.
Eric I am in! Where do I even begin???
I am glad you asked….
Watch this SWEET video
When you land on their website and decide to invest with them they take you through a 3 step process:
Step 1: Calculate Goal
If you love toggles, graphs, and the like, then you will LOVE this step. You get to play with a variety of different variables such as Age, Type of College, and amount invested.
Check out Sawyer’s Goal:
Step 2: Fill out your details
Yup with all things, you will need to register… Just do it!!! This is a real investment fund, so they will need your real name, etc. Don’t freak out. They are legit. Check out their legal info: https://collegebacker.com/legal/CollegeBacker-Form-ADV-Part-2.pdf
Step 3: Build a team!
This has to be one of my FAVORITE parts of CollegeBacker…
Two kids going to college can be UBER expensive. But you know that old motto, it takes a village to raise a child… Yeah. CollegeBacker makes it super simple for Grandma and Nanna to donate towards college rather than buy that new plastic truck that will end up in the landfill.
I really liked the fact that they can make one time gifts for things like Christmas, Birthdays, etc or make automatic deposits each month!
I bet you are asking yourself how much does this cost???
Honestly, this is just another reason I love CollegeBacker…
They let YOU pick!
Their mission is absolutely amazing. They built CollegeBacker to help EVERY family not just those who can afford it. They believe every family deserves great financial advice whether you can afford it or not. So if you cant afford 1 dollar or 2 a month, no problem! To top it off they go directly into the highest-need area to equip low income families.
Our Future Plans
I know if you have heard it once, you have heard it a million times. But I am serious… this is the last kid… 3 kids in college?!? Why not just create my own college!
With Baby number 2 on the way, we needed to rethink our savings plan. For us a 529 savings plan just makes more sense financially and offers a bunch of SWEET benefits. The ability to grow our college investment tax free, the flexibility that plan offers, and the simplicity are just a few. While this may not be the best plan for every family, it will work well for us.
When was the last time you looked at savings for college?