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How to Choose Investments In Your College Savings Accounts

by Michelle Smalenberger / July 23, 2021

You’ve decided to start saving for your child or grandchild’s college education!  First, you consider the type of account you want to use. If you’re still trying to decide here are some videos that should be helpful. They may help uncover the details for all the options you have whether it be a Custodial Account, 529 Savings, or 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan. Now, how do you choose the investments in those college savings accounts?

Within the account you’ve chosen you can select the investments that will grow your funds.  Here are a couple of options available to you to choose between.

Target-Date Funds

You can select a fund or group of funds that target the date when your child will start school.  For example, if your child is five years old today the investments may be more growth oriented. Then as they near age eighteen the investments become more conservative, automatically.  This is to preserve and make sure the funds will be there when they need to start college. This also protects the funds from any downturn the market may face.

Manually Choosing Funds

This option allows you to select from a list of funds and set your own preference for how growth oriented you want your investments to be.  Consider a family that has more than one child and they want to help all of their kids. They may choose to have all of the college funds be growth oriented because they want to have as much available for child two and three, not just preserving it for child one.  They have enough funds invested that any downturn will only affect the child closest to school starting and the remaining funds can continue to grow for future years when their other children start.

It makes sense to evaluate a 529 by it’s investment choices.  You want the funds you are saving to grow as much as possible to help afford the costs of college.  Depending on the state you live in and the tax benefits, it could make sense to choose a different state’s plan to save for college.

If you have any questions about choosing the different funds or about investments in your college savings accounts please let us know! We would be more than happy to discuss this with you.

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Michelle Smalenberger

I have a passion for helping others develop a path to financial success! Through different lenses on your financial picture, I want to help create solutions with you that are thoughtful of today and the future. I have seen in my life the power of having a financial plan while making slight changes of direction from time to time. I believe you can experience freedom from anxiety and even excitement when you know your finances are on track.