MICHELLE SMALENBERGER CFP®
How many things can you think of that are one size fits all? There really aren’t too many. This is true when you’re making financial choices too. I want to talk through a couple of examples of topics that are common questions we get a lot.
First let’ talk through saving for your child’s or your grandchild’s education. Commonly people may think, if I want to save for their education in 15 years, 20 years, then I need to use a 529 plan. But there are also many other vehicles you can use besides just one solution. Other examples are a savings account, an education savings account, student loans, maybe your child or grandchild will get a scholarship or a grant, or maybe it’s a combination of all of these things put together that will make the best solution. One problem in using just one solution for example just using the 529, is that so many funds are put in, and aren’t used for that one child’s education and can’t be passed on to someone else, but now there’s tax on the growth, or even penalties.
The other common topic that people are trying to save for, or a goal that we are trying to find a solution for, is saving for retirement. It’s very common to think that we put finds into your 401k at work, and then you may get an employer match as well. But have you ever thought that we really want to be mindful of your tax situation today, but also in the future when you’re actually in retirement, or nearing that? For example, instead of putting all your funds into your 401k, maybe you put half into your 401k and half into a Roth 401k. So now we have tax-free growth and we have tax-deferred growth that we can choose between.
So to help you think about this, in thinking of your short and long-term goals, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but there also isn’t one solution for everything. One size does not fit all. A financial adviser can help you come up with the best solution for you.