During this past holiday season, I had the wonderful blessing of receiving an incredible testimonial from one of our Prepaid College Trust account holders that I think highlights just how committed some of our account holders are to the concept of a 529 prepaid tuition plan and how it provides them with peace of mind that they have saved for at least a portion of future college expenses.
Our account holder, who is himself the son of an educator, is not only a firm believer in education, but that, in his opinion, “Education is THE difference in helping people grow productive lives for themselves and for the Maryland economy.” He proceeded to explain that he is the father of 9 children, ages 18 months to 18 years old and is participating in the Maryland Prepaid College Trust for all of them, and is also participating in our other 529 plan, the Maryland College Investment Plan*. We believe this makes him one of the largest “parent” account holders in our plans, in that we know of grandparents who are saving for about this many grandchildren, but they typically have multiple sets of parents.
One of the reasons why our account holder was so diligent in saving money for college was what he refers to as the “Tsunami of College Education costs” that weighed heavily on him and his wife as their family continued to grow.
Most moving of all to me however, was his view that his contributions to the Maryland Prepaid College Trust over the past 10 years gave him flexibility to leave the corporate world and start a business in Maryland 3 ½ years ago which is currently thriving with over 10 employees and about $20 million in annual revenues. As he indicated, “Not many people think about starting a business and leaving a steady paycheck with 8 young kids (at that time) – however with the Maryland 529 plans, I was able to, and very thankful for the program that was enacted years ago.”
Well, his email certainly made my day! I thanked him for his story – and for his permission to share it – and said that this is a great example of what CAN be done to prepare for college expenses, with commitment and careful planning. Having recently celebrated 15 years in my position, this is the most moving testimonial I have received. What a great way to start 2014!
*Please carefully read the Enrollment Kit, which describes the investment objectives, risks, expenses, and other important information that you should consider before you invest in the College Savings Plans of Maryland. Also, if you or your beneficiary live outside of Maryland, you should consider before investing whether your state or your beneficiary’s state offers state tax or other benefits for investing in its 529 plan.
About the Author:
Joan Marshall is the Executive Director of the College Savings Plans of Maryland, which offers both a 529 prepaid tuition program and a directly-sold 529 savings plan. Together, the plans have more than 215,000 beneficiaries with investments of more than $4 billion. Marshall is a past Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and is Co-Chair of the CSPN Federal Initiatives Committee.