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Money Questions: Money saved for kids' education

We asked

How are you saving and investing for college for your children or grandchildren? Will you have enough?

We set up accounts for them when they were very young and will have enough to pay for about three years of tuition, room and board at any public school in the state. We expect them to come up with the rest, either via scholarships, work study or student loans. We feel that too many parents don't expect enough from their kids and give them too much.

Steve Weiss, Tampa

We have four kids ranging in age from 21 to 7. We have Florida Prepaid Plans for them all, including the fees portion. For the younger three, we are still making monthly contributions, so they should be set when the time comes.

Kevin Horan, New Port Richey

I have a 529 savings plan for my grandchildren. My kids and I contribute to the plan. I have also named them in my will if I should die before they go. If I am alive, I am sure I will pick up part of the tab.

Brad Bryan, Trinity

We buy stocks that the kids select on an annual basis. We started before they were school-aged and have nine years left. Anything beyond what we have accumulated, they will pay for themselves.

Valerie Miller, Pinellas Park

Upon their birth, I segregated in my IRA $10,000 per grandchild. If I earn a return of 12 percent, they'll each have $80,000 at age 18. My grandchildren have one main job to do during those 18 years — make A's and get scholarships. If they do their job and go to college almost free, they will have $80,00 to spend any way they like.

Howard Harris, Tampa

You asked

I am 93. My monthly statement from my broker, which I have never been able to understand, amounts to about $400,000. At one time it was over $700,000 and I have no idea where the money has gone. Can you help?

Since you have concerns about your account, you should get an accountant or fee-only financial planner to review your brokerage statements and make sure nothing is amiss. Longer term, it would be a very good idea to set up a trust and appoint someone to manage your affairs when you are no longer able.

Perhaps one of your children or grandchildren would be up to the task. If not, it would be best to get a professional trustee.

Next week's question: Do you use online banking? What's been your experience?

To ask a question, make a comment or answer the Money Question of Week, e-mail hhuntley@sptimes.com or write Helen Huntley, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Visit her MoneyTalk blog (blogs.tampabay.com/money) for more money information.

Next week's question

Do you use online

banking? What's been your experience?

To ask a question, make a comment or answer the Money Question of Week, e-mail hhuntley@sptimes.com or write Helen Huntley, PO Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Visit her MoneyTalk blog (blogs.tampabay.com/money) for more money information.

Money Questions: Money saved for kids' education 05/17/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008 2:06pm]
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