Planning for a child or grandchild's education isn't as simple as it used to be. Today's options offer more potential, but must be chosen carefully. Depending on family income and other factors, it's important to make these decisions as early in the child's life as possible.
Once you know that you are ready to start, you must decide how.
Your individual goals, attitude toward risk and your investment time horizon for achieving your goals will help determine the types of investments that are best for you.* Some options may include:
- Coverdell Educating Savings Accounts
- Custodial Accounts
- Cash Value Life Insurance+
- Section 529 Plans
- Mutual Funds**
- Unit Investment Trusts (UITs)**
- Money Market Funds**
- Equity Investments***
- Fixed Income Investments
As with any major financial goal, the earlier you begin saving and investing, the better off you will be. For many people, saving early for a child's education was just not possible. If you fit in that category, you don't need to resign your hopes of seeing your child in a cap and gown. Multiple options are available for latecomers and many require that your student get involved.
There are a variety of different types of loan and grant programs you can apply for which may include:
- Federal Aid
- Pell Grants
- State Grant Programs
- Institutional Aids
- Stafford Loans
- Parent Loans
- Nonfederal loans
Help your child find opportunities, qualify them and provide the financial information required on the applications.
Tuition Tax Credits
To help pay for higher education costs, the federal government offers parents and students tuition tax credit programs: Hope and Lifetime Learning.
For the most up-to-date information on rules and restrictions, visit the websites of the Department of Education and the IRS or speak with your legal or tax advisor.
Beyond preparing for education
Preparing for your financial security needs encompasses more than saving for your children’s education. To be certain that the funding for your children’s education will be available when it is needed, you should also consider other potential life events that could affect your goals – events such as:
- The unexpected death of you or your spouse
- A disability or illness that could prevent you or your spouse from working
- Your own retirement
With adequate life insurance, disability income insurance, and other financial products, you can protect yourself from having to tap into your savings to cover other expenses.
+Taking out a policy loan can have a significant impact on your policy's performance and future dividends, and should you die before the loan is paid off, any outstanding balance and interest will be deducted from the death benefit.
*All securities are offered through Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC, (NMIS), Suite 300, 611 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202, 1-866-664-7737. Member FINRA and SIPC. NMIS is wholly owned by Northwestern Mutual.
**You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, expenses and charges of the investment company before you invest. Your Northwestern Mutual Investment Services Registered Representative can provide you with a prospectus that will contain the information noted above, and other important information that you should read carefully before you invest or send money.
Mutual Funds, Unit Investment Trusts, and Money Market Funds are offered and sold by prospectus only. An investment in the Money Market Fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although the Money Market Fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the funds.
***Although stocks have historically outperformed bonds, they also have historically been more volatile. Investors should consider their ability to invest during volatile periods in the market.
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes and is not intended to be used as a basis for legal or tax advice. In specific cases, the parties involved must always seek out and rely upon the counsel of their own attorneys.