This article on how grandparents can give college savings as holiday gifts was updated on November 12th, 2020.
Grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.
How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?
No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.
Write a letter, put the letter in a box, and wrap the box.
Now imagine this scenario.
The child or teen opens a wrapped box from you, and inside he finds an envelope that says, “Brad, read this later. Love, Grandma and Grandpa.”
In this special letter you tell him how much you love him, what admirable good character and potential you see in him, how proud you are of what he’s accomplished the previous year, how excited you are to see him have a successful future, and that you have made a contribution to a fund where you’re saving for his future education.
You don’t have to tell anyone the actual amount you’ve put into this college fund.
Any amount, even $10.00, is generous.
If you like to write, you can add more detail to this letter.
The letter could also include stories from your own life, along with wise advice for this boy’s future. Letters like these become increasingly precious to kids as the years go by—even if you’ve invested only a small amount in the college savings account each year.
Parents who’ve read pages 23–25 of my book will carefully save these letters.
On those pages, I strongly urge parents to carefully save these letters (along with photos of you and the child together), and then eventually use an online service to create a scrapbook out of them.
When this child is an adult, this scrapbook will mean more to him or her than a hundred sweaters and plastic toys.
What if your savings for this kid’s college ends up being over $100.00, and you want to invest it?
As this college savings fund gets larger, you may want to invest it so it can grow and increase in value while you’re sleeping. You shouldn’t do this until you’ve had a financial advising professional help you with your own retirement planning of course—but if you’ve got that taken care of, here’s what to consider as you invest this college savings money.
Invest in such a way that you protect the child’s future financial aid eligibility.
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