I grew up knowing that I would attend and graduate college. Even as a young girl, I remember my mother setting aside money for my education, often forgoing travel, dining out and other luxury experiences. When I eventually set off to pursue my nursing degree, the combination of the money my parents saved, scholarships, and loans ensured that the debt I would take on would not be overwhelming. Fast forward 15 years and today’s graduating college student will likely have amassed over $20,000 in debt.
A few years ago, I met with ScholarShare to have an open conversation about the importance of saving for college. At the time, my kids were very young, yet I already felt the weight of those few wasted years where I could have been contributing something to my kids’ college education. Beyond the fact that ScholarShare as a name, holds the distinction of being named California’s state-sponsored College Savings Plan, I was drawn to the ease of opening and maintaining an account.
National 529 Day + $50 To Open Your ScholarShare Account
Over the next several months, I’ll be sharing compelling information that will help you understand what ScholarShare is and why I think every parent should consider opening a college savings account for their children. ScholarShare believes so strongly in the importance of saving early, they have committed to matching $50 of the initial deposit for accounts opened on May 29th, 2015, also known as National 529 Day. Celebrated by state-sponsored plans across the country, the goal is to raise awareness regarding these programs and how they can be of value to parents and their children.
In order to take part in ScholarShare’s “You Start It, We Match It” promotion, simply open up a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account on Friday, May 29th, 2015 from 12:01 am PT to 11:59 pm PT and they will match $50 of the initial deposit. The initial deposit must be at least $50 and you must enroll in the automatic contribution plan for the new account with a minimum $25 contribution per month.
I absolutely love all-things free, and with little strings attached, I’m planning to open up College Savings Accounts for each of my kids this Friday. If you’re still on the fence, here are 5 Reasons To Start Saving For College Now!
1. Opening a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account is Easy. With as little as $25, you can open a new account. The process is relatively straightforward and you don’t have to worry about an annual account maintenance fee or an income limit.
2. 529 Plans Offer Families a Significant Tax Advantage. This means that the money you put into your 529 College Savings Account is income tax-deferred. Any money used to pay for eligible higher education expenses is also free from federal and California state income tax.
3. Friends and Family Members Can Contribute to 529 Plans. Admittedly, I’m always at a loss when friends and family ask what they can purchase my kids for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions. I personally love the idea of giving friends and family the option to make a meaningful contribution that will last beyond the latest toy trend.
4. Choose the Investment Option That You’re Most Comfortable With. ScholarShare’s 529 College Savings Plan offers you a choice of 19 different investment portfolios. Your choice will depend on how old your children are and your preferred degree of risk. Plus the amount of interest you will accrue in a short amount of time cannot compare with a traditional savings account.
5. It is never too late to get started. Because of the flexibility of ScholarShare’s 529 Plan and the investment portfolio’s available, you’ll likely see value regardless of when you open an account. Ideally, the earlier you start the better, but don’t be deterred by perceived “lost” years and commit to opening an account today.
The idea of saving everything for each of my childrens’ college education seemed overwhelming when I first learned about ScholarShare’s 529 Plan. Removing from my mind that I was setting out to save 100% of their fees helped me see the value in saving what I can. The immense flexibility of this plan means I can save as little or as much as I want, and that my vary from season to season. I encourage you to visit ScholarShare.com for more information about their 529 College Savings Plan.