By Betty Lochner, former chair of CSPN

September 11, 2018

One of the primary goals of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) is to build awareness of the importance of saving for college and the benefits of using a 529 plan. Each September is designated as College Savings Month. This is the month when we focus on getting the word out through local school events, promotions and national news stories. Our goal is to reach those that may not have heard about a 529 plan, or those who have some knowledge but haven’t started saving.

This September is also my first month of retirement after 32 years as a public servant. For over 18 of those years, I have helped develop and grow the Washington state college savings plans. It has been an honor to be part of helping Washington families realize their college dreams. I believe in this work and I even have my own awesome testimony. My son graduated from a public university (Washington State University) debt-free. My daughter graduated from a more expensive private school (Whitworth College) with little school debt. We would never have been able to do that for our kids without our early investment in a 529 plan.

Over the years, I have heard countless testimonies like mine, and often hear from families: “It’s the best financial decision I have ever made” and “I am so glad I learned about this program.” Lack of awareness is by far the biggest obstacle to making this happen for more families.

As for what I’ll do in retirement, I have several projects lined up. Three of them call me NaNa. 09.11.18 CSPN blog college-bound grandkids

All three of my grandkids (including one not yet born) already have 529 accounts open, and my husband (PaPa) and I will continue to add to them on their birthdays and Christmas. I am proud to help build a family legacy of reaching college dreams for my kids and my grandkids.

Thank you, CSPN, for the important work you continue to do to help families become aware of this incredible opportunity to change our children and grandchildren’s lives.


About the author:

Betty Lochner is the former director of Washington College Savings Plans, which includes the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program and the newly launched DreamAhead College Investment Plan. She is now the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training.