By Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald
March 17, 2014

Fitzgerald and Grandson

As State Treasurer of Iowa and administrator of College Savings Iowa, I frequently have the opportunity to talk to grandparents about saving for their grandchildren’s future education costs. As a grandparent, you want to help prepare the next generation to succeed. One way to accomplish this is to start saving for those future costs. Since I am still in my first year as a grandparent, this has never been more of a reality as it is now.

As I watch my grandson, Michael, grow and begin to pull himself up to take those first steps, I can’t help but think about the first steps he will hopefully be taking towards his college education in less than 18 years. That’s why I will not simply rely on luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, I am taking concrete steps by making a contribution to Michael’s College Savings Iowa account. When it comes to paying for his college expenses, luck is not enough.

In addition to helping Michael graduate from college debt free, I am also able to reap the tax benefits of saving with a 529 plan. The earnings and contributions in my account grow free of federal income taxes and they are also tax-free when used to pay for qualified expenses at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.* Additionally, Iowa is one of 34 states that offers a state tax deduction or credit for contributing to certain 529 plans. This means that I am able to help my tax refund grow right alongside Michael.

Join me in starting early to save for your loved one’s future education expenses. Don’t be the one looking for that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow when it comes time to pay for college.

Michael L. Fitzgerald
Iowa State Treasurer

*Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

About the author:

Iowa State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is the administrator of Iowa’s 529 CollegeSavings Programs with over $3.6 billion invested and the past Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN).