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Started in 1996, 529 plans provide tax incentives for those saving for post-secondary education. The plan allows funds saved to be used at any eligible education institution, which typically includes colleges, universities, vocational schools or any post-secondary educational institute that is currently eligible to participate in U.S. Department of Education student aid programs.
Walking across the stage and receiving your university diploma can be the first step towards the daunting world of adulthood. The structure that educational institutes provide is now replaced by an empty void that we must fill with a professional career. It is commonplace to be riddled with uncertainty!
For young families, the immediate cost of raising a child can be testing financially. Just when you thought you were in the clear from student loan repayments and your never-ending car lease, a hungry mouth appears with countless sleepless nights and a hefty price tag attached. But diapers, baby formula, and stuffed toys aren’t the only financial burdens parents should worry about.
It’s something most Americans don’t think about until it hits the headlines, such as last year when major retailer, Target, revealed that its data base of shopper credit and debit card numbers had been breached. Yet, nearly 15 percent of the population - more than 34 million adults - has reported some form of identity theft, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Think back to those early days in life when it seemed like everything in the candy aisle was free if you begged your parents hard enough. Not a fleeting thought was given to the expenses of a vacation or the copay costs at the doctor. There’s something beautifully unburdened in the way which children experience the world: recklessly present and innocently ambivalent. Teaching your children lessons about money from a young age won’t crush that. What it will do is to set them on a path to future financial success with enduring financial concepts. Children’s monetary habits are formed as young as age seven according to a report published by University of Cambridge researchers. That means your children are going to learn about how to treat their money from someone, and it’s better for that person to be you, so you can guide the experience and activities.
When people warn you that having kids is expensive, it’s no joke. From diapers to food, braces to sports activities the costs add up quick. For a middle-income family in the U.S. raising a child up until age 18, costs an estimated average of $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the 2013 “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of course, this number fluctuates dependent on where you live and your living habits. Saving money as a family may be more complex than budgeting as a single adult, but it can be done successfully and save you loads for retirement, saving accounts, long vacations, and mean more readily available investment capital.