Pomp, Circumstances, and Savings


The graduates cross the stage and the diplomas are awarded. Adoring parents look on proudly as excellence in academics and the arts are announced. The graduates are bursting with excitement, but still a little fearful about what comes next. The parents are full of confidence. They know that great futures are ahead for their children.

But first, there’s a juice box and a snack.

Yes, we’re proud of the seniors who are finishing their high school education, but the graduates we’re talking about have reached a milestone of their own — preschool graduation. For the most part, these students aren’t too worried about college yet; they’re leaving that up to their parents. The timing couldn’t be better. Preschool graduation is the perfect time for you to consider saving for your child’s future with the NC 529® Plan.


If your child will enter a public school program next year, and you’ve been paying for your preschool, then you are about to get what amounts to a huge raise. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the average costs for preschool range from $4,460 to $13,158 a year. That’s anywhere from $372 to $1,100 a month! Before you even have a chance to earmark that tuition money for something else, take the time to open an NC 529 Account. It’s simple and easy to do. You can open the account online or print out the forms and mail them. You can start saving with as little as $25, and make future contributions at your discretion. If you put at least half of what you’ve been paying for preschool into your 529 plan every month, you’ll be comfortably ahead of the game by the time the real graduation comes around.


First of all, it’s never too early to start saving for college. When you start early, you can afford to be less aggressive or risky with your options, and that appeals to some parents. A variety of investment options is just one of the many reasons that investing in an NC 529 Plan is smart. But the biggest benefit to starting early is simple: it’s the compound interest. The money you put into your NC 529 Plan can earn interest. When you reinvest the interest earned on your savings, you compound your interest because you earn interest on the interest. And there’s even more good news about compound interest! Those interest earnings are free from federal and North Carolina income taxes when used to pay for Qualified Higher Education Expenses.


Starting your child’s savings plan early gives you time to get everyone else in on the savings! How many times have you had grandparents, aunts, uncles or godparents ask, “What would Jack/Jill want for his/her birthday?” With the NC 529 Plan, you can give them a quick and easy answer. It’s simple for family and friends to make a contribution to your child’s NC 529 Plan. We’ll even send a card to the child recognizing their generous gift. If you start now, you’ll have all the more birthdays, Christmases, Hanukkahs or Kwanzaa’s to celebrate. It really is a gift that makes a lasting impact.


Let your new graduates worry about important things; like whether they’ll get to swim this summer or if they’ll have any friends at summer camp. With the NC 529 Plan on your side, figuring out how to pay for college is at least ONE less thing you’ll have to worry about.

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