Focus on what you can do now

Planning and paying for college can both be intimidating tasks. Unlike paying the mortgage, buying groceries and finding childcare, saving for your child’s future college expenses may not seem like a priority right now. However, focusing on what you can do now will help you save for the college costs you know are coming.

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Saving now can pay off later

With college costs on the rise, it's important to start saving as soon as possible.

  • Give your money more time to grow.
  • Reduce the need for student loans.
  • Make saving easier with automatic payments or transfers.

Start saving early

It’s almost never too soon to put money aside for college. Learn how to make college savings part of your overall financial plan.

529 Plans

529 plans allow you to save and grow money on behalf of a beneficiary, such as a child, grandchild, niece or nephew. The money grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free, provided it is used for qualified educational purposes, such as tuition and fees or certain electronics like computers, books and room and board. 529 plans can only be used for college costs.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) allow the owners to invest in nearly any type of security, such as stocks, bonds and funds. They also allow tax-free withdrawal of earnings for qualified elementary, secondary and college costs.

UGMA/UTMA Accounts

Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts (UGMA) and Uniform Transfer to Minors Accounts (UTMA) are not tax-advantaged like the 529s. Instead, they allow wide discretion in using the funds. Although the funds must be used to benefit the child, they are not required to be used for college costs. This can be a great benefit for a child who is unsure about attending college.

Maximize college savings opportunities

As your child approaches college age, make sure you take advantage of every available option to cover or reduce costs.

Don't forget the FAFSA

Most education advisors recommend completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA], regardless of income or financial circumstance, because it’s the only way to be considered for financial aid. Remember to complete the form as soon as allowed because some schools give aid on a first-come, first-served basis.

Seek scholarships

There are thousands of scholarships available, and many are not based on financial need. Even though it may not cover all of your student’s college costs, every bit helps. Keep in mind that even scholarships that are not based on need likely require you to file a FAFSA.

Consider affordability

Private and Ivy League schools often come with a steep cost. If these schools don’t fit your budget, a state public school or community college can be a great alternative.

Apply for work-study

These campus jobs have multiple benefits including valuable work experience and networking opportunities. You must complete the FAFSA to be eligible for work-study.

Student loans

Loans, whether federal or private, should be a final consideration after exploring all other opportunities to reduce costs.

We can help you get there

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Savings & Money Market

Be prepared for life’s little surprises with a savings or money market account. Whether you're just starting to save, building an emergency fund or saving for something special, we can help you reach your goals.

LEARN MORE about Savings and Money Market.
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Investment Management

Managing portfolios guided by your goals, sound research and a prudent investment decision-making process. 

Learn More about how we manage portfolios and our investment solutions.
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Purpose of Financial Planning

The purpose of a financial plan is to define how your income and assets can provide for a lifetime of happiness. Healthy savings habits, spending discipline and appropriate investments are necessary to meet your goals. But, you need more than just a plan.

LEARN MORE about how we can help you with Financial and Retirement Planning.
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Home Equity Loans & Lines of Credit

As life changes and your needs shift, use the equity in your home to finance your next goal. Maybe you’re considering a home improvement, a new vehicle or want to consolidate debt. Whatever your project or plans, we can help you achieve them.

Learn More about home equity loans and lines of credit
Lynn Erd
Lynn Erd, VP Regional Retail Sales Manager, Racine, WI

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