How Do You Plan To Bankroll Your Kid's College Education?


In your first link (pub 970 ch 8) is a list of the exceptions for paying the 10% penalty. It’s towards the bottom and start with

Exceptions. The 10% additional tax doesn’t apply to the following distributions.

BUT, as always, consult a qualified tax professional for further/correct details.


I just had my first child six month ago. I do not plan to save for her education. I’m not even a little concerned that she wouldn’t use the 529, but I’m more concerned about her having college paid for. Without getting into too much detail about my experience because it will definitely come off as bragging, suffice it to say I left college with no debt. I imagine college will either be wildly more expensive or free when my daughter is ready. So, my thought is that I’ll bribe her. If she focuses on certain degree programs, such as STEM, I will pay xx% based on grades. A’s are worth 100%, and it decreases from there. She is, of course, welcome to choose something else and do it on her own.

I know it’s an n of 1, but my biggest concern is that if college is just paid for, she’ll go for whatever whim she has at the time and leave with no debt and no education.

On the topic of 529s, were I to have one, my biggest regret would be that I didn’t start one a decade before she was born. Since a 529 can be transferred to another person, you can start one under your own SSN and then transfer it to your child after birth.


@LivingRichCheaply I feel like I am officially done with going to school. I got my master’s degree while working full-time a few years ago. It’s safe to say, I’m never going back :slight_smile: I hadn’t thought of a future grandchild! Our little girl is only 7 - imagine how much could be in there if we let it grow until a grandchild would be ready to go to college! Hopefully we won’t have a need to figure out an alternative. Thanks for sharing!


We prefer to ski… AKA Spend Kids Inheritance.
Suck it up kids and welcome to the big bad world of financial responsibility.


529 accounts have too limited investment options. I prefer to save in cash accounts.


I have 4 kids and use the Nevada 529 (through Vanguard) even though I live in the NE part of the country. To me, its the best savings vehicle to fund your child’s education. Our first kid was born in 2009 and the investment returns over the past 9 years have been significant.

I see your concern about your child not going to college. As long as you’re fully funding retirement and other retirement goals, I would save an amount necessary where you can cash flow the difference if they decide to go to college. If to decide not to go, then you can always change the beneficiary to a niece, nephew, or grandchild.

For example, if your child needs $200,000 to go to school over 4 years, but you can cash flow $100,000, then save $100,000 in a 529. Again, you can always change the beneficiary if your kids decides to forgo college.


529, which I opened a month or so ago after he was born (he’s 8 weeks and a day today!).

I plan on putting any money that can reasonable considered “his” into it (mostly birthday and Christmas money). I’ll probably put other money into it as well.


Oh man, this is the financial area where we are the worst. Our oldest is 11 and we have nothing saved. I looked into a 529 plan with our state, MD, but honestly I don’t trust the state. Right now we have yet to max out all our retirement accounts but I figure what I am putting in my Roth can be withdrawn if need be.

I figure once we get our retirement fully funded or he’s a junior we’ll worry about paying for college. Hopefully fully funding retirement will come first! (maxing out our HSA contributions, which we are already doing, maxing out the 401k, which we are only partially doing, a Roth for me, which we are maxing out, and a Roth for my husband, which doesn’t even exist yet).


Good day. It’s such an important question in present days. A lot of students don’t have enough time to study on high level, cause they have to earn money to pay for their education bills, and that’s why, of course, they order paper writing somewhere like and balancing on the verge of school, college or university expulsion. But if you have so careful parents who wanna pay for you it’s really cool for you.


529 Plans and doing our best to guide them into academic scholarships and in-state or reciprocated public schools.


We’re also hoping our daughter (eventually) chooses wisely when it comes to in-state over private, depending on her scholarship options.


Haha! I love this. Yeah, my parents certainly didn’t help me out at all. I often think that’s the better way.


529 Plans…we have 1 for each of our 4 kids. If there’s a better way, I’d love to hear about it!


By not having kids and spending what I would have spent on them travelling around the word :slight_smile:


Can you help me to complete the women in heart of darkness novel. I need your help to me to improve my education also. Waiting for the positive response from your side, take your time and then send response to me.