Parents and grandparents today have several choices when it comes to providing education planning for their children and grandchildren, including planning for college expenses. Truthfully, the number of plans available and the stipulations of each can be daunting — even if it’s not your first time planning on saving for education or saving for college! Allen & Company financial advisors can help you every step of the way to help ensure your child’s (or grandchild’s!) success. Types of education and college planning Most states — including Florida — offer 529 college savings plans. Many also offer a variation on the 529 plan with pre-paid tuition. Other options include Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (CESA, also known as an education IRA) and custodial accounts. Custodial accounts include Uniform Gifts to Minors Act accounts (UGMA) and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act accounts (UTMA). How to decide on an education savings plan Each of the different account options for education and college savings has its own unique set of pros and cons. Deciding on the best way to save for college can be difficult, but Allen & Company financial advisors are here to help. Education and college planning checklist Here’s some items to consider before your first consultation: The amount of your annual contribution Whether contributions are tax-free or tax-deferred How your contributions are being invested Identifying the inclusion of administrative fees What can the money in the account be used to pay for? What happens to the money in the account if the child does not attend college? State of residency Understand who owns the account, contributor or beneficiary. Account ownership can impact your estate, student financial aid applications, and who controls the account funds and how they are spent. Start your education planning with Allen & Company Our financial advisors will work with you personally to develop an educational savings plan for your children or grandchildren. Contact us, or meet the advisors in our Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Space Coast offices.