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How to Reduce Future College Debt

Mar 17, 2019

It is coming to be increasingly difficult for children to have much better lives than their parents. The high price of education and the shrinking middle class are just two of the reasons. Not too long ago you could make plenty of money at a part-time employment to pay for nearly all of your college schooling. And when you finished you can get a really good career without much debt.

Some youngsters still may do that. However there are 42 million Americans that owe $1.4 trillion in student loan financial debt. That's more than $33,000 per person. Just think of if you were marrying, striving to start a family and purchase a home with this debt. Life is difficult enough without starting out in a large hole.

I can not solve this situation in a brief column, but I can offer you 2 suggestions on just how you as parents can help monetarily.

The 1st is the 529 College Savings Plan. It is an excellent method for moms and dads, grandparents and family members to support a youngster's education. The 529 is an unique account you can set up where you as the account holder can assign a beneficiary. All earnings on the money you put in this account is tax free as long as you use it for qualified education expenses.

The account owner is in control of the account. The owner invests the cash and disperses the money. They even can modify the recipient. One more attribute is that the owner can encourage other individuals to add to the account. So Aunt Millie can place a $25 birthday gift in the 529 instead of purchasing a present or a savings bond.

Every state has one or more 529 plans provided and you can invest in any state's 529 and use the money anywhere so it makes good sense to have a plan that has great investment choices and low expenses. The 529 plans that financial advisers promote are all a bad deal. They are pricey with limited high cost investment choices. The direct 529 plans with the state are almost always the way to proceed.

The second method parents can really help is rarely used, although I have been suggesting it for several years as a way to save, grow wealth and teach kids about investing. And that is the ROTH IRA for youngsters. There are 2 points you need to remember. Minors can not open a ROTH IRA account. An adult have to function as custodian till the minor becomes an adult at which time the money comes to be theirs. The other point is that there are restrictions to just how much youngsters can invest in the ROTH IRA

The 2019 ROTH IRA contribution limitation is $6,000. Any youngster who has acquired earnings can add as much as the amount they earned or $6,000, whichever is less. So if a youngster earns $100 trimming lawns, babysitting, working around your company or a real job, $100 can go into a ROTH IRA. The cash that in fact goes into the youngster's ROTH IRA can originate from parents or grandparents.

It is worth doing because $100 saved in a ROTH at age 10 and earning 9 percent per year till that kid retires becomes $11,400, tax free. If you string a couple of those contributions together while your children are young you can truly help them in the future.

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