Another holiday season is upon us! It amazes me that as I get older, the years seem to go by much faster. With Thanksgiving already here, my thoughts move toward gratitude and giving. It’s a natural time of year to reflect on years past, memories, lost loved ones, new opportunities, and blessings to be thankful for.
As we enter the holiday season it’s also time to start thinking about and preparing for the year's end. Think about capturing opportunities appropriate for your situation which might help you reach a year-end goal; such as funding college accounts for a child or grandchild, reducing taxes, or even creating a legacy for your family.
As a mother to three children, saving for college is constantly on my mind. The time to start saving for college expenses is now. A child born in 2016 who begins kindergarten in the fall of 2021 would attend college between the years of 2034 and 2038. If that child attends an average in-state 4-year college, and if the 30-year average annual price increases of 5.5% continues into the future, then the aggregate 4-year cost of the child's college education -- including tuition, fees, room & board -- would total $227,984 or $56,996 per year (source: College Board). It is never too early to start planning and saving!
Oregon has a great College Savings Plan (CSP) available to us which also can provide potential tax advantages. The 2016 Oregon state income tax deduction for CSPs is $4,610 for married couples filing jointly and $2,310 for all other filers. You can contribute these amounts into the Oregon College Savings Plan and deduct them on your Oregon state taxes. This is a great gift idea for parents and grandparents! Being proactive in your planning is a sure way to pursue your financial goals.