529 Plans: When the Word “Plan” Doesn’t Exactly Fit

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

One of the songs from the play “Dear Evan Hansen” is “Words Fail.”

Along the same vein, create a vision for how your child’s higher education path is going to go, and you may find that, to twist Evan Hansen’s song around:

“Plans Change.”

Florida 529 savings plans

And indeed, as a parent, you may find that “words fail” as you try to respond in a “parental” way to a shift in the plan or heck, a complete upheaval.

Why Do Plans Change?

If I could succinctly answer this question, I would probably be so wealthy I wouldn’t need my awesome Florida Prepaid Plan or any other type of financial help to fund my children’s college and higher education choices.

I would be rich!

Since I don’t personally know, I consulted someone who probably does: a college student. Anthony Hurd of San Diego State University wrote a great post about the 7 Signs That Show You’re an Impulsive Person.  Here are a couple of the signs that stood out to me:

Being young: “As a part of the youth, it’s almost a requirement to disregard all of those consequences and carry out your whims as you please,” Anthony writes.

Deciding based on feelings rather than logic: “Your actions elicit the response ‘why?'”

Anthony hit on something that is part and parcel of being a young adult, at least for many students.

In our family, my daughter changed her mind about going to the local community college (and living at home) and decided to enroll at a university in a nearby state. Fortunately, that university charged in-state tuition to Florida students but the decision still tacked on housing costs and other unexpected expenses.

My son also planned to stay home and attend community college …. until he fell in love with someone who planned go to school elsewhere. Again, a family financial u-turn and finding a way to deal with housing costs during his Automotive Collision certificate program.

How 529 Plans are a Fit for Changes of Plans

Although Florida Prepaid Savings Plans are incredible (I’ve written about them here and here), and can be used outside the state of Florida, a 529 plan can fill the funding gap between what Prepaid will cover if your child goes out of state or to a private institution and the full cost.

In Addition to Changing Plans, College Students Need Things

The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used tax-free to cover things Prepaid does not, including:

  • Books
  • Computers and other educational technology
  • Room and board*

College Students Need Things, and We Adults Need Flexibility

Any adult age 18 or older who is a US citizen or resident alien can purchase a 529 Plan for a child or adult who is a US citizen or resident alien

Investors in 529 plans can invest as much or as little as they choose.

The eGift portal is a way to encourage family members and caring adults (heck, even non caring adults!) to give to a child’s 529 account.

Are you planning to find out more about a 529 Plan or Sign Up?

Now is the time!

The administrators of the Florida 529 Savings Plans are doing a special promotion:

Open a Florida 529 Savings Plan, from now through June 30, and they will seed your account with $25. Set up an automatic monthly contribution of $25 or more, and they will add another $25.**

To sign up, click here.

It will take you about 10 minutes to enroll, and you’ll need the social security numbers for yourself and your beneficiary.

You might want to explore your investment options here first.

I’ll plan to hear all about your success in the future, no matter where your family’s road takes you!

Florida 529 Savings plans

*Some Prepaid contracts do cover dormitory expenses.

**Here’s the fine print of the summer jump start offer:

  • This promotion is limited to the first 5,000 new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
  • This offer only applies to new accounts opened between May 29, 2018 and June 30, 2018.
  • Funds earned will be deposited directly into your Florida 529 Savings Plan account by August 30, 2018.
  • Full details here.