By Jamie Dushin, Accounting Manager, Achieve Montana
June 26, 2023
You’ve worked hard, you’ve raised a family, you’ve lived a lot of life along the way. And just when you thought you had experienced it all, you become a grandparent — one of the greatest privileges and titles of all. Suddenly, weekend trips down to the local fishing hole with your grandson — trips you remember once taking with your own grandfather — start to feel meaningful again. Early-morning baking sessions, the messy ones with flour on every surface and little giggles echoing off the kitchen walls, become the best part of your weekly routine. And cheering them on from the sidelines, watching on as they score their first goal (even if it is for the other team), feels like a victory far greater than any of your own. Before you know it, their favorite activities have become yours and your favorite activities have become theirs — not just because of a shared interest, but because of all the shared moments in between.
You see, for a grandchild, there is no greater treasure than a grandparent. And for a grandparent, there is no greater legacy than a grandchild. That is the beauty of generations. It’s also why your investment as grandparents, today, matters for their tomorrow.
Right now, it’s all about the little things — the midday snacks, the “Nana, I need you’s,” the bedtime stories, the toys laying around. But if there’s anything that life has taught us with age, it’s that it all goes by far too fast. With a state 529 savings plan, you can savor the moments of today, while investing in their future dreams of tomorrow. On the surface, it’s college savings (with additional tax benefits). But behind every gift, every contribution, and every investment choice is your affirming and resounding voice saying, “I believe in you.” And, that voice – your voice – can be the strongest investment of all.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Choose a Beneficiary
Whether you have one grandchild or five, 529 savings plans everywhere make it easy for grandparents to open an account for as many beneficiaries of their choosing. As long as the individual has a social security or tax identification number (which is most), they can be named a beneficiary of an account — despite their age or state of residence. What if your grandchild decides not to pursue a secondary education? No worries! As the account owner, you can transfer the account to another beneficiary in the same family, including parents and siblings.
Open an Account
For a minimal contribution (often around $25), you can open a 529 account and start saving today. Not only do all earnings grow tax-deferred, but taxpayers in most states are often eligible for special state tax deductions or credits for contributions to their 529 account. A handful of states also allow the tax benefit to their taxpayers who invest in any 529 plan offered across the country. With low minimums and flexible investment options, a 529 savings plan is the easy, one-step way to save for your grandchild’s future.
Once you open an account, you and others (think friends and family) can make both regular and one-time contributions at any time. Hello, birthday gifts! And while savings can certainly go toward college tuition, that’s not the only thing they can be used toward! Eligible expenses also include trade schools, apprenticeships, K-12 tuition, loan repayment, and other college expenses like textbooks and room & board. Whatever their dream, a 529 savings plan can help make it happen. And, it can start with you.
Not quite ready to open an account of your own? Or does your grandchild already have a 529 savings account? With free gifting tools, grandparents can make meaningful gifts and earn cash back rewards toward their grandchild’s education. Learn more and start contributing by searching for your state’s 529 savings plan today.
About the Author
Jamie Dushin is an Accounting Manager at Achieve Montana, Montana’s official 529 Savings Plan. To learn more, visit achievemontana.com.