Graduation time is here! High school seniors will walk across the stage and into the next phase of life. Some graduates are certain and excited about their next step. Others may be unsure what the future will bring. If you are feeling uncertain, there are plenty of options to support yourself while gaining valuable life experience.
High earners are often looking for ways to strategically save on taxes while boosting their financial outlook. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a great option for accomplishing this because they provide an uncommon three-point tax benefit: contributions reduce your taxable income, investments within the account grow tax-free, and, as long as you spend the funds on qualified medical expenses, the withdrawals are tax-free too. Additionally, HSAs have fewer restrictions and more benefits than flexible savings accounts (FSAs).
Financial education may sound like a topic for adults, but it’s never too early to start teaching your preschooler about money and how to manage it. Day-to-day activities can easily be transformed into age-appropriate lessons that can lay the foundation for a lifetime of important knowledge and sound decision making. Money influences almost every part of our lives, from the food we eat to how we spend our time in retirement; for better or worse, it’s central to our life experience.
When it comes to children, research shows that they understand what money can be used for by the age of five. By age seven, many of their money habits will already be established. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to start teaching your child about money around 3-5 years of age, when they’re attending preschool and learning to count.
Parenthood comes with a lot of responsibility and that weight is amplified if you’re among the 23% of single parent homes in the U.S. As a single parent, managing your finances and getting to a point where you feel comfortable are important as you take care of yourself and your family. Though your budget may be smaller than those in two-income households, there are many things you can do now and going forward to set yourself up for success and protect your family’s future.
What happens if your child ends up not spending all (or any) of the funds in their 529 plan? Maybe they received a scholarship or opted to enroll in a U.S. Military Academy, and now you need to figure out what to do with the money you saved for them. Although it may seem farfetched that your child will not need every penny, about 10% of families end up having funds leftover that the original beneficiary did not need. To put that in perspective, there are more than 14.8 million 529 plan accounts, and at the end of 2020, they were holding a record-high of $425 billion! If you and your child find yourselves in such a predicament, don’t worry, you have plenty of options to ensure the remaining money is put to good use.