By Betsy Hagen
Associate Director for GET Operations
August 10, 2015
“Hey Nana, I want to be an engineer when I grow up!” said one of my grandchildren. “I am going to college…somewhere!”
As a grandparent, I am delighted and encouraged about the future of college degrees for my grandchildren. All are unique and are passionate about learning. Craft time, Lego building, and dress-up time fill their days. They venture outside any chance they get. They find the wonder in nature and have natural curiosities about most everything.
My husband and I have five grandchildren and enjoy our time with the “little ones!”
A day with grandchildren is so special – they see life with such wonder and joy. They remind you of what’s important and to take time to nurture and build trust in relationships.
Conversation is also important in shaping our grandchildren. Even at a young age, they are insightful, kind, and very creative. I enjoy sitting around the craft table asking questions. They work and sculpt, all the while entertaining us with their thoughtful responses.
My granddaughter, Emi, shared with me that she plans to go to college and work with animals or plants. She loves them both! Recently, her parents, both graduates of the University of Washington, took Emi and her brother on a field trip to see the university. At the ages of 7 and 5, both children are already planning to attend college!
Retirement is a few years away but saving for college for our little ones has always been important. We want to help secure their higher education future. After reviewing our finances, we decided to open accounts for each family with Washington’s prepaid plan, GET – Guaranteed Education Tuition Program. We opened these accounts approximately eight years ago and we gift on special days such as birthdays and Christmas as well. Saving for their futures now will help us free up finances when it’s time for retirement.
I encourage you to connect with your grandchildren, help them with a higher education vision, and set goals to assist in their educational journey. Setting aside $25-$50 (or more) a month will be so helpful when they are ready for college. And with thoughtful planning you can help even before you retire!
So don’t delay; save and savor those special moments viewing slugs and rainbows, and making mud pies with your little ones!
About the Author
Betsy Hagen is the Associate Director for Operations at the Guaranteed Education Tuition program in Washington State. Betsy has been with the program for nine years and works with the plan’s operations and administrative services.