By Mary Anne Busse, Managing Director, Great Disclosures, LLC
July 5, 2022
It’s that time of year again. Time to bring out the fireworks and light up the BBQ; gather with family and friends, and celebrate all that is great about our nation. I’m glad we have a day to remember all that came before us. It’s really easy to take our freedom for granted. As I think about what’s happened in the world over the last few months, I can’t help but wonder how I got so lucky to live in a country that allows me untold freedoms. It’s mind-boggling.
Growing up, my parents told me with unfailing consistency that I could be anything I wanted to be because we lived in a country that allowed for those options. We weren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I never worried about how I could get through school, pay for school, and achieve my dreams because my parents had faith that I would make it happen.
I’m the youngest of 5, and on a modest salary, my parents were not sending any of us to college and graduate school with their savings. What they couldn’t give us in cash, they gave us in a strong work ethic. We all went to parochial high school, and the rule in our house was that we had to help pay tuition once we turned 16. So, I got a job when I turned 16. I worked in fast food. I learned a lot about people, business, customer service, and consideration for others. I moved on to work in maintenance for a local civil engineering firm, summer clerking for the local school district, data analysis for a local telecommunications company, and receptionist for a beverage company. I even spent a summer as a Girl Scout camp counselor.
All those jobs, a lot of studying, and good grades got me through high school, college, and law school. Sure, I had student loans (which are now all paid off, thankfully), but I didn’t have to borrow as much because I had worked so hard to save money for school.
Today, life is very different for my family and me. I have one child who is entering private high school in the fall. Because of the fantastic start in life that I received from my parents, I’ve been able to diligently save in 529 plan accounts for her since she was a baby. I’ve also been putting extra money aside for the last few years to help pay her high school tuition. We are very blessed.
Why do I tell you all this? Because it was the seeds that my parent planted many years ago that got me to where I am today. They recognized that they didn’t have much to spare to send me to college, but because we live in a country that offers so many possibilities, they knew that, with their encouragement, I could get there on my own. And I did. Now, I’m passing on that ethic and drive to my daughter. I talk to her often about how I got to where I am today, what saving for the future means, and why it’s important. And, she’ll get a summer job someday to help support her future too.
So, on this Independence Day, I remember the many who have brought our great nation to where it is today. Still, I especially remember my parents, who sacrificed so much so that I, my daughter, and many generations to come, could prosper. Happy Independence Day!
To learn more about 529 plans and how you can save for your children’s future, check out the CSPN comparison tool.
About the author
Mary Anne Busse is the Managing Director of Great Disclosures, LLC, a full service strategic consulting firm dedicated to the 529 and ABLE Plan marketplaces. Great Disclosure represents 529 and ABLE Plan administrators on all aspects of 529 Plan and ABLE administration, marketing, and operations and is a registered municipal advisor.