This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
No matter where you live on this planet of ours, I think it’s pretty safe to say that 2020 has been a year like no other for just about everyone. Some days the challenges seem endless. And if you’re a Florida parent like I am, I know we’re facing many of the same hard decisions at this very moment.
The Summer Is Bright. So Is Their Future.
No matter what we choose, ultimately all parents have the same goal, don’t we? We want to give our children every possible opportunity for a happy and successful future. For me, and I know for many of you, my children’s college education remains something to look forward to in the brighter days ahead. And even when the future is uncertain, saving for college is one of the smartest things you can do to lay the groundwork for success. Here’s why:
- Studies show that children with dedicated college savings are more likely to not only enroll in college, but to graduate.
- This is true even when they have only saved for a portion of their total college expenses – every little bit really does make a difference!
- Just $25 a month could grow into several thousand dollars by the time a child attends college. Think about the difference that could make in your child’s future!
529 Summer Savings
Florida Prepaid’s Open Enrollment period for 2020 has ended, but the opportunities to save for college aren’t over. If you missed this year’s Open Enrollment, I encourage you to consider a Florida 529 Savings Plan. A 529 Savings Plan is a different type of investment account that provides a flexible and tax-free way to save for college and/or K-12 expenses. Here are the basics:
- Investment earnings from a 529 Savings Plan are not taxed as long as they are used for qualified education expenses, including tuition, fees, room, board, books,and supplies.
- Choose from 14 available investment options; you can build your own portfolio or choose the most popular option, the Age-Based Portfolio, which automatically adjusts over time as your child grows closer to college age.
- The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used nationwide for qualified college education expenses – not just at a Florida college or university.
- You get to decide when and how much to contribute to fit your budget and savings goals.
- Family and friends can use the online gifting portal to contribute to your child’s college education in lieu of more traditional birthday and holiday gifts.
You should also know that:
- A 529 Savings Plan can be used for some qualified K-12 education expenses.
- 529 savings can be used in conjunction with scholarships.
- The Florida 529 Savings Plan is open to Florida residents only
- If you move out of state, your Plan travels with you. The Florida 529 Savings Plan can be used at most colleges, universities, technical and trade schools, and more.
- There is no set time period for using your Florida 529 Savings Plan.
- If your child doesn’t go to college, you can close the Plan and withdraw the remaining balance. You can also transfer it to another family member.
- If you already have a Prepaid Plan, you can use a 529 Savings Plan to cover costs that aren’t covered, like books, supplies, or housing (if you did not purchase a Prepaid Dormitory Plan)
And the best part? Opening a Florida 529 Savings Plan is easy as 1-2-3.
- Open your account for free
- Choose your investment options.
- Start saving.
It’s that simple!
Learn More. Save More.
You can use the Florida 529 Savings Plan to see how your savings and investments can grow with a Florida 529 Savings Plan. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Plus you don’t want to miss out on this summer promotion: Florida Prepaid will contribute $25 to any Florida 529 Savings Plan opened between now and August 16! And for plans set up with an automatic monthly contribution of $25 or more, Florida Prepaid will contribute another $25.
Are you a current customer? If you haven’t set your account up for automatic monthly contributions, you can earn $25 by setting them up through your online account.
Remember, this promotion ends on 8/16/20, so be sure to Florida 529 Savings Plan! Hang in there, guys. The future is bright. We’ll get through this.
Kurt S says
Dear Sharon and all the others who have shared their recovery fatigue experiences, “thank you.” Suddenly, I’m not alone. Long story short on Feb 15, 2020 I crushed C5 and C6 neck discs, fractured two vertebrae, severely pinched nerve and had concussion from a bicycle accident. Prior to accident I was incredibly energetic, fit and extremely active 53 year old, including regular bicycle racing. Three experts agreed spinal fusion was the only course of action. Found amazing surgeon here in ATL at Emory. Quick synopsis:
-Surgery went splendidly. Fused C5-C7 with plate and screws and herniated discs were removed (replaced with portions of cadaver vertebrae). Wincing and shooting pinched nerve pain was immediately gone.
– Hardshell neck brace 24 hours a day for 3 months except to shower. Barely touched a pain med post-recovery (heck, I went the 10 days prior to surgery on OTC only, and as crash occurred in a remote area, eventually got up and walked and then carefully rode (I didn’t know neck was broken) bike in the direction I knew help was coming from. For the first 4 weeks headaches almost daily. Sometimes wicked and lasting for hours. Super tired as expected.
-All along I’ve not only watched my diet (lean protein, veggies, etc, but also plenty of natural anti-inflammatories like blueberries and sweet potatoes). For the first two months I walked daily, averaging 10-11 hours walking weekly. I eventually started some easy indoor riding on exercise bike, and then @ month 3 permitted to ride slowly outdoors. All long work such a challenge. So, so tired all the time. Headaches less frequent.
– 5 1/2 months in I’m cycling 7-8 hours a week (not my old self yet, but working up to it), but chronically fatigued. I said spoke to my Emory doctor at my 3-month checkup and said “it’s like my body is still putting the majority of my energy into healing and fusing my neck.” He said “no, it’s something else. Majority of healing is behind me.” He thought it was simply being stuck indoors with Covid-19. I knew that was not the case. Suggested full blood panel (I had one prior to surgery as well). Everything came back negative. Hard to work. Hard to stay alert. Hard to focus. I just want to sleep. Seems I have low grade headache all the time. Sometimes wicked 12-24 hour headaches.
So here I am, coming up on 6-months post C5-C7 spinal fusion. X-rays show my neck is fusing like a charm. I’m cycling 3-5 days a week. Eating very well, staying hydrated, spending quality time with family and even with friends (at a distance). I’m happy as ever, and yet I’m fatigued. Often just exhausted. Tired behind the eyes. Hard to wake up. This was never a problem! I’d sleep 8 solid hours. No alarm needed. I’d jump out of bed and go to work or exercise. Now, everything is a chore. Work, cycling, yardwork. All takes so much energy. I have to push myself just to get through the workday.
Finding this blog confirms my belief. My body is still very much still healing. In time I will be my old, energetic self again, but the operative word is “time,” and more is needed before I get back there.
Thank you, Sharon, and to all those who have shared their story.
Sincerely, Kurt in ATL