After you get to see those little eyes open, it’s like a whole new world has unfolded before you. When you’re elbow deep in changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and trying to sleep more than four hours a night, the last thing on your mind is college savings. At Putnam Bank we understand the chaos that ensues with each new addition to your family. To help you prepare for this upcoming transition, we’d like to help you find the best educational savings account for your little bundle of joy before he or she arrives!
There are two primary types of accounts when it comes to saving for your child’s ongoing education. Similar to retirement savings accounts, both of these options do require various stipulations when it comes to distributing the saved funds. Here we’ll show you the pro’s and con’s to each option, to help you better determine which option will suit you and your needs best.
The Coverdell Savings Account: This account option utilizes after tax dollars, which means there are no taxes on distributions when the funds are used for education. The account has a nationwide $2,000 a year contribution limit, in addition to various income restrictions. While you and your spouse may manage and contribute to the fund, once the child turns eighteen, he or she will own the account and all the funds within it. Once the child is of age, he or she may only use the funds for education related expenses without incurring an additional distribution tax.
The 529 Savings Account: This account option also utilizes after tax dollars, which again indicates no future taxes on distributions if the funds are used for education. The account does not have income limitations; however, each state stipulates their own yearly contribution limit. The limit typically ranges from $100,000 to $350,000 per year. For this account type, the physical savings account, and the funds within it remain yours, only designated toward a specific beneficiary (which you can change up to once per year.)
Let’s compare the two when looking at national average college costs across the U.S.
If you choose to save using the Coverdell account option, suppose you save $2,000 per year for eighteen years, yielding a total of $36,000 of total out-of-pocket contributions. Add in the compound interest of those eighteen years, and you’ll find yourself with approximately $80,983 in total educational savings. Fun Fact: The national average for a year of in-state public college in the U.S. is $20,090 or $80,360 for a four-year degree.
Alternatively, if you choose to save with a 529 account, you can save more than $2,000 per year, say $3,500 per year instead. Multiply those contributions by eighteen years, and you’ll have $63,000 in total out-of-pocket contributions. After calculating your compound interest into the equation, you’ve grown up to $141,562 in total educational savings. Fun Fact: The national average for a year of any college in the U.S. is $35,370, or $141,480 for a four-year degree.
As you can see, both of these accounts allow you to make much more through the benefit of time and compound interest. Just like your retirement savings, the sooner you start contributing, the more interest you can earn. While the Coverdell allows you to give the account to your child, the 529 shows better savings opportunities, allowing you to maximize your potential interest.
If you’d like to learn how you can start saving for your upcoming chick-a-doo, stop by and speak with one of our dedicated personal bankers at Putnam Bank today! We’d love to help your family continue to grow!