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We all want the best for our children.  Whether we're parents, grandparents, relatives or friends, we want to do what we can to help them reach their fullest potential.  Education can be the key that helps them unlock a bright future.  Saving for a child's education can be daunting, but there are some smart, easy ways to save, including 529 Savings Plans.  A "529 Plan" is a tax-advantaged way to save for education that offers valuable advantages, including tax-deferred growth and generous contribution limits.  The funds covers  variety of eligible expenses, including tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; certain room and board costs and certain expenses for a special-needs student.  529 Plan funds can be used toward the costs of nearly any public or private, 2-year or 4-year college nationwide, as long as the student is enrolled in a US-accredited college, university or technical school that's eligible to participate in the US Department of Education student financial aid programs.  For more information about 529 Savings Plans, speak with an investment advisor.

When your child starts elementary school, it's the perfect time to start having conversations about money.  Learning money lessons early in life is essential to your child's financial growth, but most schools aren't required to teach personal finance.  That makes it even more important for you to teach your children money matters at home.

  • Teach children to divide earnings into three categories - save, spend and give.
  • Teach children the difference between needs, wants and wishes.
  • Let children make decisions about spending money purchases - whether it's wise or not.  Use these opportunities to teach your child to weigh the pros and cons of making a purchase.
  • Give your child household chores to help them earn money and learn responsibility.  Divide them into three categories:
    • Resident of the House - jobs children aren't paid for, like cleaning their rooms and making their beds.
    • Work for Pay - daily or weekly chores for which children earn a weekly allowance, such as taking out the trash or doing the dishes.
    • Odd Jobs - chores for which the child earns extra money for extra tasks, such as weeding the garden or washing the car.
  • Pay the allowance for household chores in denominations that encourage dividing the money - such as five $1 bills instead of one $5 bill.
  • Teach children early about credit.  If your child wants an item that cost $20, agree to extend credit, under the following terms:
    • There is a grace period of one week, after which the interest will start to accrue.
    • The interest rate is 20% per week.
    • The minimum payment is $5 (or whatever their allowance may be).

Learn more about financial needs during various various life stages, such as starting a family, starting your career, getting married, becoming an "empty nester" and retiring.

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