By Luke Minor, DirectorWashington State’s College Savings Plans (WA529)

November 23, 2021

The last two years have been, to say the least, surreal. And while in times like these it can be incredibly hard to look for the good, it’s vitally important. As we close the book on another year, I am feeling weary from everything that’s transpired recently, but I am doing my best to remain  thankful. And while I am feeling uncertain about the future, I am trying stay hopeful. Fortunately, I have been getting a lot of help along the way.

Why I am thankful

While navigating a world in upheaval over the last 21 months, my wife and I have simultaneously been experiencing one of the most fulfilling chapters in our lives to date. Just over a month before the first lockdown orders went into effect here in Washington state, we welcomed the joy of our life, Hope Frances, into the world. At the time, we knew we were in for quite a ride as first-time parents, but we never could have predicted the wild and unexpected voyage it has become. 

Needless to say, Hope has kept us on our toes, especially as she has entered toddlerhood with gale force winds both figuratively and literally. She is changing, developing, and coming into her own personality so fast that it’s mind blowing. But even more impressive is her uncanny ability to turn a perfectly clean room into in a complete dumpster fire in a matter of milliseconds.

Hope has been our strongest source of thankfulness, and an anchoring point in the tumultuous seas of the last 21 months. Just as important has been the love of friends and family who have helped shelter us from the storm. They continue to show up in so many important ways, from fielding late-night panicked calls when something doesn’t seem right to being investors in Hope’s future ambitions á la contributions to her college savings accounts. Which brings us to what has kept me looking ahead towards clearing skies.

Why I am hopeful

Fittingly, Hope has also been our go to source for keeping a positive outlook. For starters, I am inspired that she is already, at the age of 21 months, considering possible career paths. Will she be a farmer who drives a “chac-tor” (tractor), a veterinarian who treats “woofs” and “baa-baas,” or a “na-no” (piano) virtuoso? It’s too early to tell where her ambitions will take her, but I take comfort in knowing that we have already set the wheels in motion to support her on whatever college and career route she pursues. Specifically, we have opened college savings accounts for her (our first one even before she was born).

While I live and breathe personal finance and college savings planning every day in my work at WA529, its importance and impact hits home in so many new and powerful ways now that I am actively saving for Hope’s future. It is reassuring that despite the current uncertainty and the future bearing down on us at lightning speed, we’ve taken that important step to chart our course towards helping Hope reach her dreams.

About the Author

Luke Minor is the Director of Washington State’s College Savings Plans (WA529), which include the GET Prepaid Tuition Program and the DreamAhead College Investment Plan. Since 1998, tens of thousands of students have used more than $1.6 billion of their WA529 savings to attend colleges in all 50 states and at least 15 foreign countries. In his free time, Luke enjoys getting outside to hike, ride bikes and even splash in a puddle or two with his wife, wild toddler, and young at heart dog.