By Christie Stoll, former Executive Director of IDeal – Idaho’s official 529 College Savings Program

November 29, 2022

As the days grow shorter and the temps drop more each day, the excitement for the holiday season and the annual festivities grow. Falling leaves, warm pumpkin spice, fuzzy socks, impending snow, and winter activities add to the anticipation. 

This time of year, stress might also be creeping in. Competing social engagements, holiday shopping, and reflecting on goals and aspirations can feel heavy. This is the time to do some self-care by grabbing a great book, exercising, or finding quiet time to yourself. A centering activity for me is list-making, which leads to developing a plan. Having a plan helps put things into perspective, allows me to divide the goal into smaller tasks, and helps me meet deadlines.

So, what does this have to do with saving for education? It’s hardly breaking news that the costs of going to college or pursuing career and technical education are going up. Tuition, room and board, and other expenses have been steadily increasing over the last several decades, strapping many graduates with burdensome debt heading into the next phase of adulthood. 

529 accounts are designed to grow tax-deferred, meaning account contributions and compounded earnings can grow annually without being subject to state and federal taxes. Before you invest, do some research on whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. The College Savings Plan Network search tool can help you learn more about your state’s 529 programs and compare their benefits to other 529 plans.

As the holiday season approaches, consider the power of starting or gifting to a 529 education savings plan. This is a great time to start a new tradition, create a legacy, and empower loved ones as they plan for tomorrow. By making a list and creating the plan now, you are helping to reduce ongoing stress and are working toward making future education an affordable reality. As we near the end of 2022, there is no better time to open or contribute to an account to enjoy the year-end tax benefits. 

Grab a warm cup of yumminess and visit to start saving for that future you envision for your loved one!

About the author:

Christine Stoll is the former Executive Director of IDeal – Idaho’s official 529 College Savings Program. For more information about the Idaho College Savings Program (“IDeal”), call 866-433-2533 or visit to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information.