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Making a list and checking it twice!

There is no better time to open or contribute to an account to enjoy the year-end tax benefits

As the days grow shorter and the temps drop each day, the excitement for the holiday season and the holiday festivities grow. Dropping leaves, warm pumpkin spice, fuzzy socks, impending snow and winter activities add to the anticipation. 

This time of year, stress might also be creeping in. Competing social engagements, holiday shopping and reflecting on goals and aspirations can feel heavy. This is the time to do some self-care by grabbing a great book, exercising, or finding quiet time for yourself. A centering activity for me is list-making, which leads to developing a plan. Having a plan helps put things into perspective, allows me to divide the goal into smaller tasks and helps meet deadlines.

So, what does this have to do with saving for education? It’s hardly breaking news that the costs of going to college or pursuing career and technical education is going up. Tuition, room and board and other expenses have been on a steady increase over the last several decades, strapping many graduates with burdensome debt heading into the next phase of adulthood. 

As Executive Director of IDeal, Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program, it’s my job to make sure Idahoans know that they have a proven partner in helping to plan and save now for their loved one’s postsecondary dreams.  We help families make that list and continually check it – way more than twice! I see the impact of these proactive steps play out every year in the lives of thousands of students, parents, and grandparents. 

For example, take the story of Mike Adolf and his family of southwest Idaho. 

As a boy, Mike learned the value of saving when his grandfather passed away and left him $500 with instructions that the money be used to help pay for higher education. This gift proved to be the driving force and motivation that Mike needed to pursue his college degree. Later in Mike’s life, he created IDeal 529 accounts for each of his four children when they were born. Today, three of Mike and his wife’s children are using their IDeal accounts to pursue next-level studies at Idaho colleges. 

This is our mission at IDeal - helping families save for postsecondary education. 

Like similar college savings programs across the nation, IDeal 529 is set up for account owners to save now and take advantage of the tax benefits that come with it. 

As we near the end of 2022, there is no better time to open or contribute to an account to enjoy the year-end tax benefits. Annual contributions are due before December 31 each year for qualifying account holders and gift-givers to claim an Idaho state tax deduction of up to $6,000 (or $12,000 if married and filing jointly). 

IDeal accounts are also designed to grow tax-deferred, meaning account contributions and compounded earnings can grow annually without being subject to state and federal taxes.

As the holiday season approaches, we encourage you to consider the power of starting or gifting to an IDeal education savings plan. This is a great time to start a new tradition, create a legacy and empower loved ones as they plan for tomorrow.  By making the list and creating the plan now, you are helping to reduce ongoing stress and are working toward making future education an affordable reality. It’s just $25 to start.  

Grab a warm cup of yumminess and visit to start saving for that future you envision for your loved one!