Saving early and often can make all the difference

Kids want to know everything. From what you are doing and why you are doing it, to when it will happen and how long it will take. One of the joys of being a parent is getting to show them hows and whys along the way. One thing worth teaching them early on is the importance of saving. Children are seven times more likely to attend college if they know they have a college savings account waiting for them.

National student loan debt has topped $1.5 trillion, with the average student graduating with $37,000 in debt. Studies show that this debt takes its toll, causing graduates to delay plans to buy a house or start a family. Planning ahead with a 529 college savings account can help families save for future higher education expenses, making college more affordable and more accessible.

The key to being prepared is to start saving early, make regular contributions, and choose a savings option that will help you meet your goals. Every family is different, and no single approach is a perfect fit. That's why Washington College Savings Plans (WA529) provides families with a diverse set of options to build a college savings strategy that works for them. With WA529, families can choose between the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program, and the DreamAhead College Investment Plan.

As a prepaid tuition plan, GET guarantees that if you buy 100 units today, those units will always be worth one year of tuition and state-mandated fees at the state's most expensive public university, regardless of how much tuition changes. You don't have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market. You can rest assured that the money you save in GET will be there when your student is ready for college. GET's annual enrollment period runs from November 1 through May 31.

The DreamAhead College Investment Plan complements the GET program and provides additional savings options for Washington families. DreamAhead is a market-based 529 plan, and its investment returns are tied to financial market performance. Families have multiple investment choices with varied degrees of customization and risk. DreamAhead's investment options range from funds that automatically adjust as your student approaches college age, to others that give account owners greater control. DreamAhead is open for enrollment year-round.

It's impossible to know where the ambitions of our loved ones might take them, and the freedom for them to choose their own path is priceless. With GET and DreamAhead, they can use their college savings nearly anywhere in the country at public and private universities, colleges and technical schools. In addition, all earnings and withdrawals from any 529 plan are tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses. You can learn more about how these programs work at www.wastate529.wa.gov

 

 

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Don’t Let the Thought of College Savings Scare You

Have you been looking forward to fall? Evenings are getting cooler and conversations with your kids about this year's Halloween costume have started. Do you want to be a skeleton? A unicorn? A dinosaur?  Oh, the joys of fall!

Conversations with our kids include a variety of topics. From Halloween costumes, to snack preferences, to what they want to be when they grow up. Their dreams of becoming an astronaut, teacher, or firefighter can become a reality. Yes, many jobs require a certificate or degree, which can seem overwhelming when we start to think about where the funding will come from. The thought of putting your child through college shouldn't paralyze you, and definitely shouldn't be scarier than the masked-characters that show up on your doorstep on October 31st.

With hard work, dedication, and some planning, your child's future goals are attainable.

Conversations around college savings can never start too early, and anything saved now will benefit your child in the future. The cost of a college education can be daunting, yet planning ahead with a 529 college savings account can help provide peace of mind.

Washington administers two 529 plans that offer families a variety of savings options. The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program is a prepaid 529 plan that guarantees your contributions will keep pace with the cost of tuition at the most expensive public state school in Washington. The DreamAhead College Investment Plan allows you to choose your own stock market-based investments, and your investment returns are tied to financial market performance.

Did you know that friends and family can also contribute to your 529 account? Inviting others to contribute provides your loved ones an opportunity to influence your child's future. Contributions in both GET and DreamAhead can be used at colleges, universities and technical schools across the country, and even abroad. Funds in a 529 account can be used for a variety of expenses (tuition, room and board, books, supplies, etc.), and contributions grow tax free if they're used for qualified higher education expenses.

Don't be scared to start the dialogue and include the family in the conversation (yes, even the little ones!). Explaining the importance of saving for college may inspire your kids to reach even higher!

So, take a deep breath, grab yourself a pumpkin spice latte, and start saving!

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Play It Safe On Winter Roads

 

 

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Car trouble is never fun, especially if your car if full of kids. So play it safe this winter by following these tips for safe driving in winter conditions.

 

Maintain Your Car: Check the battery, tire tread and windshield wipers. Keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir and check your antifreeze.

 

Have key items on hand: Keep a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and

blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone.

 

Stopped or stalled? Stay in your car, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light. If you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.

 

Plan Your route: Allow plenty of time. Check the forecast and adjust your departure to avoid serious weather, if possible. Be familiar with the directions and let others know your route and arrival time.

 

Practice safe snow driving:

  • Practice. During the daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot.
  • Drive slowly; accelerate, decelerate and turn slowly.
  • Steer into a skid.
  • Know what your brakes will do: stomp on anti lock brakes, pump on non-anti lock brakes.
  • Increase your stopping distances.
  • Don't stop if you can avoid it.
  • Especially don't stop going up a hill. Get some inertia on a flat road before you take on a hill and don't power up a hill. Applying extra gas will start your wheels spinning.
  • Don't idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space.
  • Stay home. If you really don't have to go out, don't.

Sources: OSHA and AAA

 

Car trouble is never fun, especially if
your car is full of kids. So play it safe
this winter by following these tips for
safe driving in winter conditions.
Maintain your car.
Check the battery, tire tread and
windshield wipers. Keep your windows
clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer
reservoir and check your antifreeze.
Have key items on hand.
Keep a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive
material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats),
shovel, snow brush and ice scraper,
warning devices (like flares) and blankets.
For long trips, add food and water,
medication and cell phone.
Stopped or stalled?
Stay in your car, put bright markers on
antenna or windows and shine dome light.
If you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and
run it just enough to stay warm.
Plan your route.
Allow plenty of time. Check the forecast
and adjust your departure to avoid serious
weather, if possible. Be familiar with the
directions and let others know your route
and arrival time.
Play it safe on winter roads
Brought to you by
Practice safe snow driving:
 Practice. During the daylight, rehearse
maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an
empty lot.
 Drive slowly; accelerate, decelerate and
turn slowly.
 Steer into a skid.
 Know what your brakes will do: stomp
on anti lock brakes, pump on non-anti
lock brakes.
 Increase your stopping distances.
 Don't stop if you can avoid it.
 Especially don't stop going up a hill.
Get some inertia on a flat road before you
take on a hill and don't power up a hill.
Applying extra gas will start your
wheels spinning.
 Don't idle for a long time with the
windows up or in an enclosed space.
 Stay home. If you really don't have to go
out, don't.
Sources: OSHA and AAA

Congratulations to the 2019 Community Impact Award Recipients


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Thank you to this year's Community Impact Award winners for their work to improve the lives of women and children in our communities.

Look for more information in upcoming issues of MOM Magazine.

 

 

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