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My wife, Patricia, and I have nine grandchildren spread across the country, from Houston to Pittsburgh, Chicago and Portland. Four of them are college graduates, including a granddaughter with a graduate degree, and three others are currently enrolled in college thanks to a donation they received from us over twenty years ago. years.

Each year, we give each of our grandchildren a contribution towards a financially stable future with the help of IDeal. Idaho launched the IDeal 529 college savings program over twenty years ago, and we wasted no time in opening seven accounts to help fund our grandchildren’s future education. When the two youngest grandchildren joined the family, we also opened accounts for them. In our eyes, there is no better gift we can give our grandchildren than an investment in their educational and career dreams.

Patricia and I appreciate that the IDeal program has always been simple and easy to understand; we can invest as much money as we feel comfortable with and it is invested to help cover our grandchildren’s future education expenses. We also recognized that the IDeal program was a smart investment strategy thanks to the tax advantages associated with our contributions.

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Our first four grandchildren have already graduated from university and started their careers. They minimized the amount of student loans by using the savings from their IDeal accounts to increase their university expenses. All four have already paid off their student loans. Kaitlyn, our eldest granddaughter, was also able to pursue higher education and recently paid off her remaining student debt using leftover funds from her IDeal account.

Our children and their spouses bore the greatest financial responsibility for their children’s education costs. The decision to open and invest in 529 accounts has also helped improve the household financial stability of our children and their spouses. Simply put, the 529 accounts have eased the financial burden on parents and grandchildren. We frequently encourage our grandchildren to make responsible financial decisions, and when the time is right, we will urge each of them to someday open 529s for their own children.

Being smart with money, saving and investing is an important lesson in our family. In fact, one Christmas we bought “Smart Money” books for each of our grandchildren to help them absorb the risks and pitfalls of borrowing money. We really wanted them to understand the need to consider various alternatives to saving for the future.

My wife and I thought all the grandkids were going to go to college and IDeal was a way to contribute to that end and help offset some of the costs. We are not worried that our grandchildren will be held back from pursuing their dreams due to mountains of debt and unpaid bills. IDeal was the greatest gift we could give to our grandchildren and it shows them that their grandparents believe in their future.

If you need one more reason to invest with IDeal, our grandchildren must have appreciated our contributions to their accounts, as they call to register and visit us when they can!

You can check out some of the freebies on your list by creating an account now at idsaves.org.

C. Norm Beckert has over 40 years of business, engineering, and supply chain management experience, including 26 years in Boise Cascade, and was a Professor of Adjustment at Boise State University College of Business and Economics and works with the Service Corps of Executives (SCORE). He wrote this article for the Idaho College Savings Program.