To parents, there is nothing more important than their children’s future. When a parent looks at their children, they see all of the virtually unlimited potential within. They see personal and financial success, happy relationships, and a long life. We can’t control all of those things, of course, and sometimes life has other plans. But what we can do is invest in our child’s future, particularly through their education, to give them the best possible shot at a successful career and a fulfilling life. Here are a few ways to do that.
Use tax-advantaged accounts to save for education
You’re probably using a tax-advantaged account like a 401(k) to maximize your savings for retirement. But are you using the similar accounts that exist for educational expenses? Tax-advantaged options such as 529 plans can be a huge help as you try to save up enough cash for your kids to get every educational advantage they deserve. With education costs like college tuition rising quickly, you need every edge that you can get when it comes to saving!
Supply the tools your child needs
In school and outside of it, your child needs certain things to succeed. That’s why kids backpacks are an essential item on every back-to-school shopping list, along with things like binders, pencils, and organizers. And don’t forget about the devices, too. While you may not want your kids to be obsessed with mobile devices and video games, you should certainly expose them to the technology that shapes our world. Kids who have early contact with technology will develop the skills that it will take to succeed in our tech-obsessed world.
Shape their passion
Parents shouldn’t try to force their kids into any line of work. The best lawyers, says esteemed attorney Howard Fensterman, are the ones who are driven by their own passions — not parental pressure. But you can provide support by helping your child craft or shape their own vision for their career and their future.
Set high expectations to make sure that your child is doing the work that they need to do, including chores and studying, but don’t push your child in specific directions on career and educational choices. Instead, help them find their own path based on what they love to do. Ask them what they enjoy learning about most, and then look for more opportunities for your child to learn and experiment beyond their school’s walls.
Target great school districts
When you’re childless, it can be great to seek out transitional neighborhoods and save on your home’s purchase price or rent. But when you have kids, you need to be paying attention to the school district. While it may cost more money to live in a place with great schools, studies show that the school district your child is raised in will make a massive difference in their future success. That may not be fair, but it’s the system that we have — and you need to take advantage of it for your child’s best interests.
Create financial support
With the right education and their own hard work and dedication, your child can succeed personally and financially. But life isn’t fair, and we’d all like to help our kids have a bit of an advantage. So, if you have the means, you should strive to start building your child’s nest egg for him or her.
That can mean things like the aforementioned 529 plan, but if can also include custodial IRAs and other more direct financial investments in your child.