By Betty Lochner
Director, Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET)
February 12, 2013


What if it were the single busiest day for 529 plans nationwide? What an amazing statement that would make. 529 plans make it so easy to share. While most plans are opened by parents, all it takes for grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to contribute to an existing account is the child’s name and account number.

There are estate and gift tax benefits as well, making it a smart investment choice for families who want to plan ahead in a tax advantaged way.

A friend of mine always tucked a surprise inside a valentine’s greeting for each of her children, even as they grew from simple preschool cards into the more complicated teen years and beyond. For a child, think of the impact if a special valentine from a parent or other relative enclosed not a gift card to Toys-R-Us or i-Tunes, but the confirmation of a gift to that child’s college fund. It confirms without a doubt that there are adults who care deeply about this child’s future.

Thinking about a gift to a student’s 529 plan? Let’s make it a national phenomenon.

After all, it’s a way to quietly say, “I believe in you.” And that is love.

About the Author:

Betty Lochner is director of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. Under her leadership, the GET program has grown from 7,900 to over 145,000 accounts, with a fund valued at over $2 billion. Washington is unique in that their only 529 plan offered is a prepaid tuition plan. Lochner currently serves as Vice Chair of the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) and the Co-Chair of the CSPN National Communications Committee.