Yours truly attended college for 7 years (4 yrs undergrad/ 3 yrs grad), and I have $60K in student loan debt to show for it. While the original amount of my loans totaled about $40K, it has increased by $20K in “unsubsidized loan interest.” And the $40K was AFTER all of the grants and scholarships I received. For me, there were no college savings plans. In fact, my father was denied a Family Plus loan and I had to become an independent student just to take out an unsubsidized federal loan to pay the fees above what the basic student loan allows for. There is a limit on how much you can take out depending on what year of college you are in. My last year of school was 2005 and here I am, 10 years later, still in debt. That is not the situation I want to place my children in, and thanks to Florida Prepaid, I will be able to prevent it. For just a $25 deposit, I learned I could enroll them in a 529 Savings Plan.
This is way different than the perception I had of savings plan. When you are self-employed, there is always a tendency for your income to fluctuate and it scared me to sign up for anything requiring a consistent, high dollar payment every month. However, the Florida 529 Savings Plan allows me the flexibility to make payments according to my own budget and on my own schedule. I am helping Florida Prepaid increase awareness about college savings and the Florida 529 Savings Plan.
Today is May 29 aka National 529 day!
Student loan debt has reached $1 trillion nationally. Today, many graduates are facing the workforce strapped down with thousands of dollars in debt. You can help prevent your own children from building up this debt by enrolling in a 529 Savings Plan too!
What is a 529 Savings Plan?
529 savings plans are named after section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code 26 U.S.C. § 529 and are designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. Many states offer 529 savings plan options, including Florida Prepaid.
Money from a 529 plan can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for study at any accredited college, university or vocational school in the United States and at some foreign universities. The money can also be used for room and board, as long as the fund beneficiary is at least a half-time student. Off-campus housing costs are covered up to the allowance for room and board that the college includes in its cost of attendance for federal financial-aid purposes. Qualified education expenses do not include student loans and student loan interest. There is legislation currently going through Congress that will expand the qualified expenses.
What is Florida Prepaid?
Florida Prepaid is the largest, longest running and most successful prepaid program in the nation and they are here to help Florida families understand the importance of investing in education and make it is easy to do so. Florida Prepaid offers two types of savings options: Prepaid Plans and 529 savings plans. There are five different types of Prepaid Plans, and they can only be purchased during Open Enrollment (which usually runs from Oct.-Feb.). Every college savings plan opened with them represents an investment in a child’s future, and in our state.
The Florida 529 Savings Plan
The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be started at anytime and only requires a $25 initial deposit to open. Even if you can’t save for your child’s entire college education, starting something is always better than doing nothing. The funds in a Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used for any qualified higher educational expense, including tuition, room & board, textbooks, graduate school and much more. This gives you extreme flexibility to use the funds as you see fit, for whatever your child may need. And should those needs change during his/her college years, individuals are free to adjust as well.
The Florida 529 Savings Plan offers you the ultimate in flexibility. Simply choose from the investment options, then contribute as much and as often as you’d like to suit your budget and goals. Each investment option, such as our popular age-based option that automatically allocates contributions based on the age of the child, is independently run by professional investment managers. There are 11 investment options let you invest in any way you feel comfortable. From more aggressive to more conservative options, and with age-based and fully customized approaches, you have as much control as you want over how much you invest and where it’s invested. And as the years go by, you’re free to change contribution amounts and how they are allocated at any time.
Make an investment in your children’s future and join me in signing up for a Florida 529 Savings Plan today!
Here is the link: http://www.myfloridaprepaid.com/what-we-offer/529-savings-plan/
What’s Your Story? Do you have student loan debt? Are you saving for your children’s college? Comment below and share!
This post is part of a Bloggin’ Mamas campaign with the Florida Prepaid College Board, for which I was compensated for my participation. All stories and opinions expressed are my own.