Author: Terry Severson, Director, Savings Plans Marketing, First National Bank of Omaha

Grandparents have many ways of supporting loved ones – from showering them with love and time, teaching them family traditions and even helping them prepare for their academic futures. As a soon-to-be grandparent myself, it’s important to me that my granddaughter be able to achieve her goals and dreams without the burden of higher education loans. One solution? A NEST 529 College Savings Plan account.

Whether you open an account, or want to contribute to your grandchild’s pre-existing account, there are lots of ways to help set them up for success. Read on for suggestions on how to help maximize your efforts.   

Create a Family Plan

Are your kids having kids?  Encourage new parents to set up a NEST 529 account for their newborn, or go ahead and set one up for them, naming your grandchild as the beneficiary. Speak with your daughters and sons about what you are able to contribute, and encourage them to prioritize saving early. As a new parent, college may seem far off, but the reality is kids go from diapers to dorm rooms in the blink of an eye.  

Don’t Sacrifice Your Financial Future  

Helping contribute to your grandchild’s higher education does not have to come at the expense of your retirement funds. With NEST 529, there is no minimum amount needed to open an account or to continue to save. You can deposit a lump sum or save any amount monthly from your paycheck or your personal bank account. Whether you are the Account Owner or a contributor to your grandchild’s NEST 529 account, every dollar adds up and will benefit your grandchild in the long run.

In addition, should your financial situation change, NEST 529 allows withdrawals at any time. Simply make sure you are aware of the tax penalties you may incur from making an early withdrawal.

Gift Education Instead of Toys

What gift will never go out of style? The gift of higher education. For birthdays, holidays or special events, instead of an item or a toy, gift funds to your grandchild’s NEST 529 account. An easy way to do so is with a NEST 529 gift certificate contribution or through Ugift, a free online gifting service. For more information on gifting options, visit our Gifting page.  

I’m excited for my grandchild’s future, and look forward to helping her achieve her higher education goals and dreams. NEST 529 is here for Account Owners every step of the way to ensure their loved ones’ bright futures and help turn their dreams into a reality. For more information on saving with NEST 529, visit the Grandparents page on our website.