It’s never too early to think about college.

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This post is sponsored by ScholarShare and One 2 One Network. All content and opinons are my own.


I swear, Max was just born a year ago. And then a few months ago, he started talking, and was in preschool last week.
I don't need to tell you how quickly our kids are growing up, how it seems like they go from “Mama!” one day to “Hey mom, can I borrow the car?” in the blink of an eye.

While it can be a challenge to live in the moment and appreciate each day, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't acknowledge and plan for *deep breath* The Future. I'm not talking about next year's birthday party, or saving for a big family vacation, I'm talking about college.

Because in no time at all, a photo of Max in a cap and gown won't just be because OMG THIS IS THE MOST ADORABLE THING ON THE PLANET!

max grad photo

Because before any of us know it, he will tower over me, with a deep voice and scruffy chin that scratches the cheek when he hugs me.

Because in the blink of an eye, we'll be launching him into the world, very nearly a man.

College is expensive; there's no denying that. I paid $525 per unit for my private college classes, and that was *ahem* 15 or so years ago. Plus books, and supplies, and lab fees and dorms and meal plans. We need to think about today what we want to offer tomorrow.

ScholarShare's 529 savings plan is a great way to help us reach those goals. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

ScholarShare makes it easy to help save for your child's future education; some plan advantages include:

  • State and federal income tax deferral on any earnings
  • Withdrawls for qualified higher education expenses are state and federal income tax free.
    *Withdrawls that are not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal income tax and any applicable state income tax, as well as an additional 10% federal and 2.5% CA tax on earnings.
  • For use at many schools nationwide and abroad – undergraduate and graduate programs, community colleges, and trade schools
  • Low minimum contribution of just $25 and a high maximum account balance
  • A low, annual, asset-based fee and no annual account maintenance fee
  • Family and friends can contribute as well

Jamie and I really like the flexibility a 529 allows, including trade schools as well as traditional colleges. Neither of us had the traditional “go away to college and live in a dorm” experience, so if Max decides that it isn't want he wants, we can still use these funds for other higher education options he may consider.

$66,676 or $55,092? (More is better!)

As an example, the benefits of tax-free growth potential comes to a difference of nearly $12,000. As a hypothetical, look at the growth of a $2000 contribution, made at the beginning of each year for 18 years. It assumes there are no withdrawls of contributions and earnings, a 30% combined tax rate (state, federal and local), and a 6% annual investment return.
These results are presented for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect past performance or guarantee future performance. These do not include any reduction for expenses.

The gist of it is this: It's never too early to think about college, and something is better than nothing. Even if you only contribute a small amount, why not get that money to work in the best possible way for you?

Because the next time we take this photo, when Max graduates high school instead of preschool, we want him, and his college fund, to be ready.

preschool grad family

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