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Step 1: Talk about your goals with family, friends, and your children

Involve your kids, too. Get them excited about college by talking to them about what it means, what they will do there and what types of things they could learn. Talk about your own experience. If you did not attend, but wished that you had, discuss what you think your child will gain by going. Perhaps the best way to get them excited about receiving college savings as a gift is by having them contribute a bit of their own money to a savings jar where they can watch their dollars add up.

When your kids are excited about the goal they will tell your family members about it and share their excitement about saving money for it. Gift–givers are often pleasantly surprised to find that your child knows what the account is for and is jazzed to have others contribute to it. 

Encourage others by doing. Make this your go-to gift for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, or graduations. Ask parents if they have a 529 college savings account that you can contribute to—and then do it. 

Step 2: Set an example

You’ll be amazed at how grateful parents are for the very thoughtful gift of college savings.  By doing this you are encouraging others to pay it forward and you are showing that it is actually a really great gift (and far from tacky)!  If they don’t have an account, it gives you the opportunity to talk up how much you like yours and truly appreciate gifts to it.

You can also lead by example whenever family or friends send a check or cash for birthdays and celebrations. Let your loved ones know that a portion of any monetary gift will be saved in your child’s 529 account.

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services is the distributor of IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program. Learn more about Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Important Legal Information

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Mr. Thiros is a registered representative of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services Inc., 877-529-2980, 95 Wells Ave, Newton MA (member FINRA/SIPC) and is not employed by the State of Idaho.

For more information about IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program ("IDeal"), call 866-433-2533 or click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. ("ABD") is Distributor of IDeal.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

IDeal is administered by the Idaho College Savings Program Board ("Board"). ABD, the program manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services, and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("Vanguard") serves as Investment Manager for IDeal. Sallie Mae Bank serves as the Savings Portfolio Manager for IDeal. IDeal's Portfolios invest in either: (i) mutual funds offered or managed by Vanguard; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Board at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the Savings Portfolio, investments in IDeal are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in IDeal, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May lose value.