It is never too early to start thinking about your child’s future. The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you’ll be to help your child achieve his or her dreams.
Saving for College
The earlier you can start saving for college, the better! Saving even small amounts over a long period of time can really add up! Consider asking family members to make contributions to college savings plans as birthday and holiday gifts for your child.
Not only will saving have a financial benefit, research has shown that children with a college savings plan are almost seven times more likely to go to college.* Saving for college could also have a significant aspirational impact on your child.
There are many ways to save for college. Learn more about Maine’s Section 529 plan, the NextGen College Investing Plan®. Maine residents may qualify for matching grants from NextGen to help them along with their college investing.
Families who have college savings are always in a better position when it comes to paying for college. Remember, every dollar available from savings is a dollar that doesn’t have to be borrowed and repaid later with interest!
Help Your Child Explore Career Interests
Most children love to talk about the future. The earlier your child begins thinking about the possibilities, the more time you’ll have to discuss future careers and options. Having these conversations early may make it easier when the time comes to choose a college and career. When you and your child are ready, start researching careers.
Share the Benefits of Education with Your Child
Continuing education beyond high school has significant benefits. According to the College Board, individuals with higher levels of education earn more money and are more likely to be employed. Additionally, those with higher levels of education have been shown to be healthier and tend to be more satisfied with their work. Share this information, as appropriate, with your child as they grow, to help them understand the benefits of education.
Consider Course Options Carefully
Make sure your child chooses appropriate courses when creating a class schedule. Your child may have course options as early as fifth grade that will impact high school course options. As your child enters high school, be sure to understand what is needed for high school graduation and beyond.
*Elliott & Beverly, 2011; American Journal of Education.