I was one of the lucky ones. When I graduated college, I graduated debt free. I did so because my parents had the foresight to invest in a college plan when I was little (with help from my Great-Grandfather). And to help make my college plan stretch, I qualified for a scholarship that paid for everything else. This allowed me to enter the workforce with a clean slate, but so many kids graduate in debt (huge debt) from college. When my daughter was born, we signed up for a college plan within six months – I knew I wanted her to have the same head start I had, and I wanted to get started right away.
There are many different college savings plans available, and now Gerber has introduced its own plan called Smart Start. Much like the Gerber life insurance plan that has been around since we were kids (even before, actually), the Gerber plan has plans for as little as $1 a day. Of course, there are other options depending on your budget and how much you want to save, but how cool that you can start with just $1 a day for a $10,000 plan.
One of the unique attributes of the Gerber Smart Start plan is how your money grows. Unlike plans where your money fluctuates with the market, the Gerber has “guaranteed annual increases ensure your chosen face amount is reached by maturity.” In other words, pick a plan, make your payments and you will get the amount equal to the plan you purchased – no worries about how the market does. Facing the economy we have right now, “guaranteed annual increases” sounds pretty good.
As I mentioned, there are lots of plans out there. In order to compare plan options, check out Gerber Smart Start’s FAQ page – don’t miss the comparison chart listed under the question “How does an endowment policy compare to other savings vehicles?”
Of course, with all savings plans, the sooner you start the less your monthly payments will be for your end goal. So, if you haven’t already thought about a plan for your kid(s), today’s a good day to start. See what options are available in your state and compare plan options to your goals and budget. Happy college planning.
I really need to look into Gerber again. I did it for my son’s first year of his life (5.5 yrs ago.) Thanks for the post, I’ll definitely look into it