Milestones + College Savings

I’ve been thinking a lot about kids and milestones lately. With babies and toddlers, the milestones are fast and furious – quite frankly, it’s difficult to fully grasp and sink into them all because of the volume and state of sleep deprivation! But as kids get older, the milestones spread out and I’ve found that it’s a pretty wonderful thing. I now have the presence of mind to experience everything fully, and it’s pretty awesome to watch Laurel and Violet evolve and grow and face challenges.

Violet’s big upcoming milestone is that she will begin her public school journey as a kindergartener in the fall. And though Laurel has already finished her first year of middle school, 7th grade definitely has an air of seriousness about it -- I’ve heard that the work gets harder and grades matter more. This summer is also notable in that Laurel is now old enough to be a counselor in training at one of her camps, and just this week we were talking about future summer jobs and the milestone of going from paying for camp to being paid to work at a camp.

Oh what an awesome, crazy reality that will be!

We don’t push conversations about college and college savings with any regularity -- or with the threat “you better get good grades for college!” -- but Laurel is highly self-motivated and knows she wants to go to college. We have talked about the reality that college is expensive and both Laurel and Violet know that they have 529 accounts and it’s pretty amazing that when they open a birthday or holiday card and see a check or cash, they hand it to me to put in their college fund (instead of saying, take me to Target so I can buy all the things!). Their level of awareness is notable, given how clueless I was about college savings at their age!

Subsequently, I’m thrilled to be working again this year with Fidelity & MEFA to share more about the U.Fund, and healthy steps for college savings and planning. I kicked off the partnership last weekend at the WGBH Fun Fest with a stop at the U.Fund Dreams Tour tent. Holistically, the event was rather representative of Boston, steeped in smartness (because, hello WGBH), creativity (Chirp!), forward thinking about education (via the U.Fund Dreams tent), and ice cream (the girls and I sampled a lot of ice cream). The U.Fund Dreams Tour offers a relaxed opportunity for parents to get information about saving for college while kids can play interactive games and mug in a photo booth. If you missed the Fun Fest, check out the U.Fund Dreams Tour’s other forthcoming events.

I’ll be sharing more information and thoughts in the coming months. Meanwhile, if you have specific questions you’d like answered, please drop me a line, or to learn more about the 529, hop over to the Fidelity/MEFA website!

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA for this post in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. All thoughts and opinions are -- of course -- my own.