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Saving for College with 529

Episode 064

Each year when a child steps into their school classroom they are one year closer to starting college and needing funding. Author, Patricia Roberts, grew up under difficult circumstances and with very little money. Her high school counselor suggested she not go to college and stick to her successful waitressing job. Patricia’s mother was having none of that. She told Patricia to go to school and that she would live a better life because of it.

“One of the things she taught us was to always, regardless of our relationship status as we grew older, was to always have money in our own name and to get an education and have some current job skills.”

While working three jobs Patricia did put herself through college and became an attorney. When she and her husband got together they had about $100,000 of student loan debt. As a couple they agreed to save for their son’s education. Last spring he graduated from college without any student loan debt.

During Covid, Patricia took the time to write a book about how to use 529 plans to save for college. She shares her story and gives many tips on the flexibility and tax advantages of 529 plans.

Patricia Roberts is Chief Operating Officer at Gift of College, Inc. and Author of Route 529: A Parent’s Guide to Saving for College and Career Training with 529 Plans. Over the past 22 years, Patricia has helped tens of thousands of families avoid or minimize student loan debt through her extensive work with 529 plans. She has just had the pleasure of seeing her son graduate from college debt-free and she’s on a mission to help other families experience the same. She’s also on a mission to encourage employers to help employees save for college by matching contributions to college savings accounts.

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As soon as we had a topic I knew the perfect costume for this episode was a stressed out, sleep deprived college student clutching a coffee thermos.

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Money Mantra: "With respect to financial goals, start with your "Why" and hold it close to your heart. Small consistent steps will get you there.


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