By Young Boozer, Treasurer, State of Alabama and Chair, CSPN
January 4, 2017

This is the beginning of a new blog. More importantly, this is the beginning of a new year, the year 2017.

Beginnings are marked by optimism. In this new year, I am optimistic that it will be an outstanding one for the College Savings Plans Network and all those associated with it.

As we begin this year I am confident that we will grow in numbers and in savings. Thousands of people will begin to open new college savings accounts across the network. Millions of people will begin to make their 2017 contributions to build the savings balances that will be needed to offset the cost of higher education. Hundreds of thousands of children will be born who should have accounts opened for them so investing in their educational future could begin. cspn-blog_20170103_y-boozer_image

Over the past year, folks from across the country have asked me, “When is the best time to open an account for a child or a grandchild?” I always begin my answer by saying, “At birth, at the very beginning. If you didn’t, the best time is today!”

I encourage everyone to save early and save often. The tax advantaged features of the plans will add to their investments. And the longer you save the greater the impact that compound interest (8th Wonder of the World) will have on your balance in the account. The more you save today the less you will have to borrow tomorrow.

With this entry we begin the new year. At new beginnings, I am always reminded of and inspired by a poem that was a favorite of Bear Bryant, the legendary Alabama football coach.

This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it or I can use it for good.
What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever leaving in its place something I have traded for it.
I want it to be a gain, not a loss; good, not evil; success, not failure, in order that I might not forget the price I paid for it.

The coach’s message is to teach us to begin each day to do the best we can to accomplish our goal. Our goal this year and every year is to help students afford higher education.

There is a beginning with each person we serve in their quest to save for a college education. This is our call to serve them.


About the author:
Young Boozer is the Treasurer of the State of Alabama and Chair of the College Savings Plans Network. He also serves as chair of the board for Alabama’s Prepaid College Tuition Program (PACT) and Alabama’s 529 college savings program, CollegeCounts. CollegeCounts has experienced growth of 81% in assets and 42% in number of accounts since Mr. Boozer began his first term in January 2011.