This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.
Just to catch up, I’ve spent the last few months trying to get both girls’ college plans in order…or at least in order enough to get fully in order later. (It’s the whole, “I’m not exactly sure what we want to do but I do know that even a few months that go by with nothing saved is a waste, so better to put something away now and more later!” approach.)
And since then, I have started Remy’s college fund and added to and diversified the savings we had already started for Audrey.
For Remy, I purchased two 1-year Florida University plans (see all of the plans here). Each child can have up to four 1-year plans, so we can add on as we go or a family member can purchase a year or two for her. And because I have the plan on monthly withdrawal from my bank accounts, it will constantly grow — and whenever we receive gifts for her fund (as we do during the holidays from very generous family members), we can make one-time additions whenever we want.
We really struggled with which plan made the most sense. College or University? Individual one-year plans or a full four-year plan? 529 or prepaid? (Each of our kids actually has both a 529 and a prepaid, so I feel like I’m covering my bases).
In the end, we really felt like this was the right one for our budget, and because it’s so flexible, Remy doesn’t have to feel locked into a specific use of her funds. Plus, the prepaid packages are protected by the state, so we can’t lose our money (unlike the 529 plans, which do fluctuate with the market).
But this is your last call for 2016. Open enrollment ends on February 29.
So, a few reminders:
- Florida Prepaid isn’t just restricted to Florida schools; the amount covered by your Prepaid Plan can be used at schools nationwide.
This was huge for us. Both Lucas and I attended a private university (for him it was in the state where he grew up but for me it was not) and while we loved our experience, and of course met each other there, we very much want to let our girls know that they can pick whatever path works best for them. I hope they stay close to us, selfishly, but I know they’ll need to spread their wings.
- If you move out of Florida after purchasing a Prepaid Plan, your child would still be billed at in-state tuition rates when using their plan at a Florida college or state university.
Again, this is so important. You don’t have to feel held hostage if your life changes and takes you away from Florida. If we ever move, the girls can still get their great in-state rates if they choose a Florida university.
- If your child doesn’t go to college, you can change the beneficiary of the Prepaid Plan or get your money back.
We won’t push either daughter to go to college if it’s not the right step for her. I want the money to be available but not be a mandate.
If you use the code BLOG1516, you’ll receive a gift from Florida Prepaid (we got ours!).