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Is Saving for College a Taxing Thought?

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Tax season can often add a level of stress to an already full to-do list. It’s seems that there are never enough hours in the day, so how in the world are you going to add ‘File My Taxes’ to the list? Just thinking about compiling all of the necessary paperwork by April 15 seems daunting enough. As a parent, the list is always long, and will probably never end. There are items like purchasing diapers, bringing cupcakes to the school bake sale, fixing the broken bicycle. But there are also mental notes you’ve most likely made that may include signing them up for piano lessons, getting them involved in a team sport, and starting to save for college (they may be young, but the sooner the better, right?).

Yes, all of these things are important, and some may not have to be done right now (though you probably shouldn’t wait too long on the diapers). However, waiting to cross something off the list means the list doesn’t get shorter and you will continue to have things looming over you.

Though so much is happening in the ‘now’ of life, so much of what we do is for our child’s future. We want them to be happy and healthy, so we plan while they dream. And part of that planning should include saving for their future. Washington’s College Savings Plans (WA529) offers flexible savings options to families. Opening and contributing to a 529 college savings account while your child is young can provide peace of mind for you when they’re ready to start their higher education journey. You can also encourage friends and family members to contribute to your account. “It takes a village” is certainly true, right!?

WA529 administers two 529 plans. The DreamAhead College Investment Plan allows you to choose your own stock market-based investments, which gives you full control over how your funds are allocated. The Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Plan guarantees your funds will match public university tuition rates in Washington. The funds from both plans can be used at any accredited school in the country, and can be used for tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and a number of other expenses. And speaking of tax season, all of the growth on a 529 account grows tax free if it’s used for qualified higher education expenses.

Tax season can be stressful, but can also be rewarding. Today is a great day to open an account and start investing. We do our best to give our children every opportunity to learn and grow. Investing in their future today is the gift that keeps on giving. Learn more about saving for college at www.wastate529.wa.gov

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