Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Bloggin’ Mamas and the Florida Prepaid College Board. However, all experiences and opinions are always 100% my own as this post is written by me in its entirety.
All through high school J-bird was under pressure to do well in school because his grades were going to make the difference when it came time to applying for college. I hadn’t done enough research or known enough about college prepaid savings plans and that was totally my fault. Just as my mama had done with me, I was relying on J-bird to receive academic scholarships and grants. Having a college prepaid savings plan would likely have made life a bit easier, not just for J-bird but for me as well. While J-bird did receive a number of academic scholarships, grants and financial aid, we have been faced with taking out student AND parent loans to cover the rest of his out of state university tuition and housing.
Lesson learned? Absolutely, that is why when Em was born I decided it was time to become informed. I researched all of our options from the guaranteed prepaid plans to the non-guaranteed 529 plans offered by our state and bank financial adviser. Knowing we weren’t done having children we decided to start with a 529 Savings Plan. The flexibility of the plan would allow us to use the funds for any future children, allow for more growth potential of the funds we contributed and ultimately allow our children to decide to stay in state or head out on the road, like J-bird.
Our 529 savings plan was opened in Em’s name. Now it’s time to prepare and open another college prepaid plan in Preemie’s name. When we opened Em’s 529 savings plan we made the decision to go aggressive since she was still so young. The return on investment is paying off immensely and I feel confident that even with the ever increasing costs of tuition, she will be covered. Consider this: J-bird is attending my Alma Mater. I graduated with a B.S. in 2005, tuition was about $20k – we lived in NYC at that time so I didn’t need housing. Fast forward 10 years and tuition is now $40k, which of course doesn’t include housing.
Recently, J-bird was throwing the idea around of coming back home to attend college because he was getting homesick. It got me thinking about what kind of college prepaid savings plan we should open for Preemie. What if she doesn’t want to go to school out of state? What if Em decides to stay in-state? What if we move and one of the girls decides they want to attend school in Florida? The girls are so much alike, and at the same time so different. Their needs, wants and desires will also likely be different in the future.
Being that Em and Preemie are only 19 months apart, I feel that by the time Em is ready to start applying for college, Preemie will likely start having an idea of where she wants to go. Having the opportunity to have two types of different college prepaid plans will give us the flexibility of being able to attribute the right account to each child – both plans are easily transferable. I am doing lots of research again and am thankful for all the information that the Florida Prepaid College Board offers. All of their plans are affordable, flexible, tax-free prepaid college and 529 college savings plans that will help secure and provide for the girls collegiate futures. Both the guaranteed prepaid and the non-guaranteed 529 plan options provide Florida families with an affordable means to save for your children’s future college education, stress free.
In celebration of National 529 day, I want to help you avoid some of the same mistakes I made and the unnecessary added pressure we can avoid placing on our children so they can focus on getting good grades just because! The ease and flexibility of starting to save with a Florida 529 Savings Plan or Prepaid College Plan are easier than high school geometry.
Florida 529 Savings Plan
– Open Enrollment
– Any state residency
– Covers fees, books, and housing at any school
– Requires initial minimum contribution or minimum monthly automatic contributions
– High Risk depending on investment options selected
– transferable to another eligible child
Florida Prepaid College Plan
– Fall/Winter Enrollment
– Florida Residents
– Covers tuition and fees at Florida College or State University
– Three payment options: Monthly, Five-Year or Lump Sum (depending on age of child at enrollment)
– No risk, plans are guaranteed
– transferable to another eligible child
Do you have a plan in place for college yet? Are you contributing to a prepaid or 529 savings plan? Let me know how it’s working for you!
About the prepaid college savings plans options
The first Florida Prepaid College Plans were sold in 1988. The Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program is the largest, longest running and most successful prepaid program in the nation. More than 55 percent of prepaid plans in the nation are Florida Prepaid College Plans. More than 1.6 million Florida Prepaid College Plans have been purchased and more than $6.7 billion has been invested in Prepaid Plans by Florida families. Our Prepaid Plan is – and always has been – financially sound. It is also guaranteed by the State of Florida. Nearly 350,000 students have gone to college using Prepaid Plan benefits.
Florida 529 Savings Plan has been ranked among the best-performing college savings plans by both Morningstar and SavingforCollege.com. We have recently lowered fees on several of our investment options. We carefully select each of the investment management firm and constantly monitor their performance. The 529 Savings Plan has more than 36,000 active accounts with a market value of more than $360 million.
Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Bloggin’ Mamas and the Florida Prepaid College Board. However, all experiences and opinions are always 100% my own as this post is written by me in its entirety. I have received compensation for sharing this post. Regardless, I only share products and/or services that I truly believe in and use for my family, that I feel will be a good fit for you the reader. If you decide to register for Florida Prepaid, be sure to use code use code BLOG1516 to receive a gift. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.