saving for college

If you’re getting a late start with that college savings plan, a visit to an investment advisor can help give you that needed perspective (and a realistic plan) to help get you started. Overwhelmed by the cost of higher education? You’re not alone. With tuition costs rising an average of 5% over every year of the past decade, working towards an Ivy League education for your kids may be unrealistic.

Liz Skinner of Investment News cites a Fidelity survey conducted this year, stating that “of 2,196 parents (surveyed) who have children expected to attend college, 71% said they were thinking about ways to keep costs down, such as having the student live at home or graduate in fewer semesters.” Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to cut costs. Perhaps you have your heart set on sending your child to a public university. Depending on the institution, a competitive in-state college may save you considerably more than your alma mater the next state over.

If money is tight, two-year community colleges are an increasingly popular option, offering students the opportunity to complete half of their undergraduate education for less $7,000, without the added living and transportation expenses.

Of course, it’s not too late to invest in a college savings plan. While these investments have more opportunity for growth over a 10-year period, for those looking at a year or two before tuition kicks in, many plans have state tax deductions attached to them. And some states may even make contributions when the accounts are open. As any good investment advisor will tell you, dipping into your 401(k) or individual retirement account to fund your child’s education is not advisable. As unattractive as student loans can be, there are no loans for retirement. Preserving your legacy is an equally important part of your wealth management strategy, one your entire family will benefit from for years to come.

Whether your child is just entering preschool or high school, it’s not too late to incorporate a tuition savings plan into your investment strategy. Call Mooney Lyons Financial Services at 847-382-2600 for more information or visit our college planning website at

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Prior to investing investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.
Skinner, Liz. Tips for last-minute college funding strategies. Investment News. 11, Sept. 2016.