Chapter 5. The Easy Way to Save for College

Does this anxiety dream sound familiar?

You’re back at college, roaming the campus. Suddenly you discover that you’re late for a final exam. That’s bad, but your next realization is worse: the final is for a class you forgot to attend.

For a lot of parents, the complexities of saving for college evoke the same emotions: confusion, panic, and a seasick certainty that their mistakes will doom them (or their offspring).

Here’s what parents have to deal with

  • Education costs that continue to spiral at double the rate of inflation

  • A raft of different savings vehicles—custodial accounts, Coverdells, 529 college savings plans, prepaid tuition programs—with different rules, restrictions, tax treatments, and effects ...

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