Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

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notoriusjt2
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Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by notoriusjt2 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:09 am

My daughter is almost three years old, and my wife's family and mine are always buying her tons of toys for holidays. We already have a 529 plan setup to allow gifts to go towards a college fund. Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?

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mattyfu1
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by mattyfu1 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:15 am

I do not think you can tell people what to do, however I has asked family members to "think" about it.
I have found that they now still get a toy or 2, but throw in a nice donation.

I also mention how easy it is with the link I can send them.

Good Luck!

notoriusjt2
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by notoriusjt2 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:20 am

mattyfu1 wrote:I do not think you can tell people what to do, however I has asked family members to "think" about it.
I have found that they now still get a toy or 2, but throw in a nice donation.

I also mention how easy it is with the link I can send them.

Good Luck!


Yea I do not want them to stop buying toys all together, just less toys more donations.

Thanks

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by livesoft » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:23 am

Tell them you will match all their gifts to the 529 plan, but not match any toys given.

:twisted: I don't think that will play very well. :)
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TSWNY
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by TSWNY » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:04 am

Depends on what kind of relationship you have with your family. I flat out told my parents that we certainly appreciate the toys, but if one more toy doll shows up I'm burning the house down and starting over (said with a joking tone of coarse). Then they came over to watch the girls and got a taste of what it's like to have to carry around 8 dolls because the 2.5yr old won't do anything without them. They know how important saving for college is to us, so now it's mostly checks for holidays and birthdays.

mak1277
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by mak1277 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:07 am

I think it's rude to ask people for money over gifts, and I think it's rude to tell people how/what to give in terms of gifts. People give gifts for a variety of reasons, but one of them is to make the recipient happy. No little kid is going to be happy they got an unseen gift to their 529.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:12 am

You can make a recommendation but I doubt you will have much luck. Part of the joy of giving toys to young children is watching them open them and play with them and the "grandparents" seem to enjoy this to much to take it away from them.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by NYC_Guy » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:14 am

mak1277 wrote:I think it's rude to ask people for money over gifts, and I think it's rude to tell people how/what to give in terms of gifts. People give gifts for a variety of reasons, but one of them is to make the recipient happy. No little kid is going to be happy they got an unseen gift to their 529.


I disagree with respect to family. I do not think it's rude to ask one's parents (or grandparents) to consider a contribution in lieu of toys. Remember the days when people gave savings bonds as gifts for young kids? Depending on relationship with siblings, same thought. More distant relatives? Cousins? Just be thankful they thought of your daughter.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Leemiller » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:19 am

Kids toys are usually pretty cheap. I'm not sure the amount of money is enough to move the needle on a 529. If you're concerned about the quantity or type of toys, you can always suggest to them what you think your kid would like and what would be reasonable.

I've mentioned to family members that we have started a 529 and so far they've mentioning 'thinking' about making a contribution. We have another family member who started a small 529 for my kid but has since stopped contributing. I did also say that college costs are really high so I'm hoping to have at least 1-2 years funded by the end of elementary school. I'm not sure that people without kids understand the huge expense.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by flamesabers » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:24 am

OP,

I'm on the opposite side of the fence from you. I have a niece and nephew (4 years and 2 years old respectively) I would rather put money in a 529 for them then buy more toys for their birthdays and Christmas. Or if EE savings bonds were still available in paper form, I would just get that for them. The way I see, the kids probably get enough toys from their parents and grandparents. Yes, little kids won't appreciate a 529 contribution in the present, but I'm sure they will when they're ready to go to college.

Have you told your family about your daughter's 529? You don't have to solicit for donations (nor should you I think). Rather, during a conversation you can talk about you've been thinking about your daughter's future and you decided to open a 529 account. If family members are interested in contributing, I'm sure they'll ask for more details. If not, they'll probably continue to buy toys or other gifts for your daughter.

renue74
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by renue74 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:37 am

I've tried this for 14 years. We have 2 kids and 7 grandparents. (Don't ask...divorces abound in my family)

Out of everyone, only one ex-stepmother traditionally gives a $100 check to my kids 529 plan for Xmas and their birthday. She's been doing it for 14 years....consistently. Oh yeah...she's a CPA.

The rest, we have begged and pleaded for them to stop giving so much to our kids and to give to their college fund...but it has fallen on deaf ears.

Give up the fight. We simply bought less for our kids and saved more.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by mak1277 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:37 am

NYC_Guy wrote:
mak1277 wrote:I think it's rude to ask people for money over gifts, and I think it's rude to tell people how/what to give in terms of gifts. People give gifts for a variety of reasons, but one of them is to make the recipient happy. No little kid is going to be happy they got an unseen gift to their 529.


Remember the days when people gave savings bonds as gifts for young kids?


Yep, I remember hating it when I got savings bonds as gifts when I was a kid. They came in on the same level as socks.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by stoptothink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:52 am

renue74 wrote:I've tried this for 14 years. We have 2 kids and 7 grandparents. (Don't ask...divorces abound in my family)

Out of everyone, only one ex-stepmother traditionally gives a $100 check to my kids 529 plan for Xmas and their birthday. She's been doing it for 14 years....consistently. Oh yeah...she's a CPA.

The rest, we have begged and pleaded for them to stop giving so much to our kids and to give to their college fund...but it has fallen on deaf ears.

Give up the fight. We simply bought less for our kids and saved more.


+1. I'm done having this conversation with my in-laws. At this point I am pretty sure they are well aware that the day after Christmas and birthdays, we just give away most of the toys and some just get tossed. The most infuriating part is that they can't afford it; they had to move in with us for most of last year and are struggling to make ends meet. We'd actually prefer they didn't provide any presents for our children, but that isn't happening.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Goal33 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:53 am

When I was a little kid, about 3 or 4, I was always upset with bonds given to me by family because of the tax inefficiency. I preferred non-dividend paying growth stocks.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:09 am

Sounds like the consensus is you can mention it once, but don't expect it to change your family's behavior much.

After that, smile and prepare to pack up the toys for donation. And when you give thing to the kids in your family, make sure they take forever to assemble and have lots of decals and stickers. Or else make sure they make a lot of noise.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by spoco79 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:22 am

No luck with getting family to do it, but we simply give less junk and invest.

Right now I have three accounts setup for my 6-year old daughter:

College fund
Wedding fund
First car fund

We've taught her to try to save more than she spends. She got her first comma last Christmas and is starting to understand. Where it used to be a trip to the American Girl store, she wants to go to the bank and get her balance printed after she makes a deposit.

I give her $5 per A on her report card and $5 every time she cuts time in a swim meet. Funny story - her weakest stroke is the backstroke and I told her I would give her $100 if she won a gold medal in the backstroke at a big meet. Knowing there was no chance. Well, she did it. I transferred the money on my phone to her account right then.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by flamesabers » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:27 am

renue74 wrote:Out of everyone, only one ex-stepmother traditionally gives a $100 check to my kids 529 plan for Xmas and their birthday. She's been doing it for 14 years....consistently. Oh yeah...she's a CPA.


That sounds like something I would do. Maybe it's an accountant thing? :wink:

renue74 wrote:The rest, we have begged and pleaded for them to stop giving so much to our kids and to give to their college fund...but it has fallen on deaf ears.


I imagine it's because relatives like to see the kids get all happy and excited over their presents instead of kids grumbling and rolling their eyes over getting another 'useless and boring' savings bond. However, in 15-20 years I'll bet the 'kids' will be happy their relative got them something that can be converted into money versus a lot of toys they have long since stopped playing with and have forgotten about.

renue74 wrote:Give up the fight. We simply bought less for our kids and saved more.


I agree with saving more money yourselves for your kids' future. You can't control other people's behavior but you can certainly control your own.

mak1277 wrote:Yep, I remember hating it when I got savings bonds as gifts when I was a kid. They came in on the same level as socks.


While I can understand how kids don't like savings bonds as gifts, I think it can be used to teach kids the value of saving for the future. Last Christmas I bought my niece a pack of play money. I'm hoping her parents can use it with teaching her what money looks like and how to count.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by nyclon » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:29 am

notoriusjt2 wrote:My daughter is almost three years old, and my wife's family and mine are always buying her tons of toys for holidays. We already have a 529 plan setup to allow gifts to go towards a college fund. Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?


I let people gift however they'd like. But in each invitation I'll provide a 529 contribution link.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by delamer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:35 am

Part of this is being realistic about what the relatives can afford and/or are inclined to give for gifts anyway.

My parents gave us a check for the college fund plus a gift/check for the birthday child's immediate pleasure. Everyone was happy and my parents could afford it. My in-laws had a family tradition of more modest gift giving, so the birthday kid just got a small gift/check -- no college money.

I certainly understand that a grandparent of limited means would choose a gift the child would enjoy immediately over a college fund contribution. And I definitely agree with parents who cut back their own gift giving to child who gets a lot of gifts from relatives.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by marti038 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:37 am

nyclon wrote:
notoriusjt2 wrote:My daughter is almost three years old, and my wife's family and mine are always buying her tons of toys for holidays. We already have a 529 plan setup to allow gifts to go towards a college fund. Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?


I let people gift however they'd like. But in each invitation I'll provide a 529 contribution link.


+1

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Watty
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Watty » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:08 am

I would not mention it more than once, if that. Many people find Christmas shopping fun it gets them in the holiday spirit and may actually get more out of it than the person receiving the gift.

When I was younger and single there were years when the only people I exchanged presents with were my parents and small gifts with my siblings so the required shopping was pretty minor. A couple of years to get in the holiday spirit I would go out and shop and buy some stuff for the local toy drive just to have the Christmas shopping experience. On Christmas somewhere in the back of my mind I also knew that some kid was getting the present that I had bought. I'm sure that the people running the toy drive would have been glad to take a check instead but then I would not have gotten the same "warm and fuzzies" from having given the gifts myself.

Another problem is that you can get a pretty nice toy for $20 especially if you get it on sale. That could make a pretty nice present but giving a $20 donation might not seem very generous.

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alec
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by alec » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:54 am

notoriusjt2 wrote:My daughter is almost three years old, and my wife's family and mine are always buying her tons of toys for holidays. We already have a 529 plan setup to allow gifts to go towards a college fund. Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?


My spouse and I simply told them to tone down certain types of gifts. You'd be amazed at how parents respect when their adult children talk to them as adults. Also, we email them our kids wish lists that weve pre approved.
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:59 am

Leemiller wrote:Kids toys are usually pretty cheap. I'm not sure the amount of money is enough to move the needle on a 529. If you're concerned about the quantity or type of toys, you can always suggest to them what you think your kid would like and what would be reasonable.

I've mentioned to family members that we have started a 529 and so far they've mentioning 'thinking' about making a contribution. We have another family member who started a small 529 for my kid but has since stopped contributing. I did also say that college costs are really high so I'm hoping to have at least 1-2 years funded by the end of elementary school. I'm not sure that people without kids understand the huge expense.


I hear you. Before I had kids, I opened up 529 accounts for my nieces and nephews as I saw what was going on with education inflation. While it wasn't much, it might be enough to pay for a semester or two worth of books, hopefully. I don't think the parents had back then any idea how out of control it would have gotten.
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by stoptothink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:02 pm

alec wrote:
notoriusjt2 wrote:My daughter is almost three years old, and my wife's family and mine are always buying her tons of toys for holidays. We already have a 529 plan setup to allow gifts to go towards a college fund. Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?


My spouse and I simply told them to tone down certain types of gifts. You'd be amazed at how parents respect when their adult children talk to them as adults. Also, we email them our kids wish lists that weve pre approved.


We've tried with my in-laws. Usually results in them not speaking to us (or their grandchildren) for a few months.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by FelixTheCat » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:03 pm

I didn't have any luck. I had a lot of opposition from family about saving for college.
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by mak1277 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:04 pm

I think what bothers me most about this is that the 529 donation is *really* just a gift for the child's parents. "mom, dad, please don't give little johnny another toy, instead give me some cash to defray the cost of his college"

Yuck.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by stoptothink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:09 pm

mak1277 wrote:I think what bothers me most about this is that the 529 donation is *really* just a gift for the child's parents. "mom, dad, please don't give little johnny another toy, instead give me some cash to defray the cost of his college"

Yuck.


Depends on if you believe it is a parent's responsibility to fund their child's university education. Despite that being the predominant view here, in the real world, a lot of people don't feel that way.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by mak1277 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:11 pm

stoptothink wrote:
mak1277 wrote:I think what bothers me most about this is that the 529 donation is *really* just a gift for the child's parents. "mom, dad, please don't give little johnny another toy, instead give me some cash to defray the cost of his college"

Yuck.


Depends on if you believe it is a parent's responsibility to fund their child's university education. Despite that being the predominant view here, in the real world, a lot of people don't feel that way.


Agreed...but I'd wager if a parent has started a 529 plan and is actively funding it, they are intending to help (in whole or in part) with funding education.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:26 pm

Maybe bringing up in conversation how much it will probably cost to send the kids to college (look up your own college, perhaps) and say that you wish you could convert some of these dolls into 529 money.

My father-in-law generously contributed towards my son's tuition at the beginning of the school year with half of one semester's tuition (not room/board). I truly believe that he thought he was paying 100% of the entire year's cost because when we were together between semesters and I was talking about getting the 2nd semester's money to the school, he seemed totally confused that there was any more cost for the year. Heck....even high school FAFSA presentations and finance options had a large number of parent jaws hitting the floor when they hear what colleges cost. They may remember when $10k paid for a full year of all costs when they went to college and to hear that today it pays for a third of a semester costs is quite a shock.
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Afull » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:00 pm

I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:56 pm

Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:08 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


+1 Another thing to think about - while you may have one idea on what college your grandchildren may attend, the grandchild may have another. As you may be aware, prices are all over the map. You might think 4 years of schooling costs $40,000, it really costs $85,000.
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:41 pm

mak1277 wrote:I think it's rude to ask people for money over gifts, and I think it's rude to tell people how/what to give in terms of gifts. People give gifts for a variety of reasons, but one of them is to make the recipient happy. No little kid is going to be happy they got an unseen gift to their 529.

It isn't rude at all. People buy stupid toys, legos, nerf guns, etc. because they don't know what else to get the kid. Who knows what a little kid wants?

I would love it if my friends and family had something like this setup for their kids. I

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by flamesabers » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:17 pm

stoptothink wrote:
mak1277 wrote:I think what bothers me most about this is that the 529 donation is *really* just a gift for the child's parents. "mom, dad, please don't give little johnny another toy, instead give me some cash to defray the cost of his college"

Yuck.


Depends on if you believe it is a parent's responsibility to fund their child's university education. Despite that being the predominant view here, in the real world, a lot of people don't feel that way.


My opinion on the matter is parents don't have an obligation to pay for their child's education. This is precisely why I'm not opposed to contributing to a niece/nephew's 529. I'm not subsidizing their parents' responsibilities, I'm providing a gift for the child once he/she is an adult. Most parents I think want to help their kids with paying for college. but by no stretch of the imagination do I think parents have a responsibility to pay for their kids' college education. My parents helped me out initially with my college costs, but I made sure to pay them back when I got the money.

If I thought parents have a responsibility to pay for their kids' college education, I wouldn't be interested in contributing to their 529.

j0nnyg1984 wrote:Who knows what a little kid wants?


As someone who has no kids, I find this very true.

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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:40 pm

Did you ever ask what they want?
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by delamer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:14 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree with NotWhoYouThink's general point. If you aren't prepared to fully prefund your grandchild's college education, which is understandable, then give annual amounts to the extent your finances allow that your daughter/SIL can invest for that purpose. They will appreciate your generosity and your willingness to let them control the money and invest it as they see fit.

stoptothink
Posts: 3746
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by stoptothink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:51 pm

flamesabers wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
mak1277 wrote:I think what bothers me most about this is that the 529 donation is *really* just a gift for the child's parents. "mom, dad, please don't give little johnny another toy, instead give me some cash to defray the cost of his college"

Yuck.


Depends on if you believe it is a parent's responsibility to fund their child's university education. Despite that being the predominant view here, in the real world, a lot of people don't feel that way.


My opinion on the matter is parents don't have an obligation to pay for their child's education. This is precisely why I'm not opposed to contributing to a niece/nephew's 529. I'm not subsidizing their parents' responsibilities, I'm providing a gift for the child once he/she is an adult. Most parents I think want to help their kids with paying for college. but by no stretch of the imagination do I think parents have a responsibility to pay for their kids' college education. My parents helped me out initially with my college costs, but I made sure to pay them back when I got the money.

If I thought parents have a responsibility to pay for their kids' college education, I wouldn't be interested in contributing to their 529.

j0nnyg1984 wrote:Who knows what a little kid wants?


As someone who has no kids, I find this very true.


I am 100% with you, but am very aware that is a controversial stance on this board. Even though we do not have 529s for my children, I would absolutely contribute to 529s for my nieces and nephews for Xmas and birthdays. As it is now, we just ask my siblings and in-laws what their kids need and usually end up buying clothes.

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 1348
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:52 pm

I can sympathize with the desire not to fill the house with clutter. My in-laws were local and bought a little more at Christmas than I would have liked, but in general we were lucky enough not to have truckloads of stuff coming our way on birthdays and holidays.

Gift-giving isn't a big thing on either side of our family. As a giver, it is definitely hard to fill the ages from about 3 to 8. Before 3, you can give clothes, which are really gifts to the parents, because the kids don't understand much about birthdays besides the cake at age 2, and don't get it at all at age 1.

After 8, I like to give spending money, in real cash. Not sure that's even much of an option any more, as no one uses cash much now. But kids usually love to engage in retail transactions, so I saw it as giving more of an experience than an option. They can buy what they want without having to ask Mom and Dad. I always hoped M&D wouldn't get all parental and bossy and demand that they save some and give some away. It wasn't salary, it was a gift, intended for fun.

My son and one of my nephews liked to squirrel away their birthday money for years and then splurge on something big, like a guitar. Some of the other nieces/nephews liked to spend it the next day on whatever they saw first. No matter to me, it's all about learning how to handle money by actually managing their own money.

Now if the grandparents had been buying expensive stuff, or filling the house with carloads of cheaper stuff, then I would have suggested 529 contributions. But no one ever spent enough on my kids to make that conversation worthwhile. And that's a good thing.

It's fun to see how different families behave. No need for all of us to behave the same way, what fun would that be?

Afull
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:23 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by Afull » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:02 pm

delamer wrote:
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree with NotWhoYouThink's general point. If you aren't prepared to fully prefund your grandchild's college education, which is understandable, then give annual amounts to the extent your finances allow that your daughter/SIL can invest for that purpose. They will appreciate your generosity and your willingness to let them control the money and invest it as they see fit.

The first sentence of my original post is all I was suggesting for the op. The rest of my post is just relating my families experience and is not intended as a recommendation for anyone else. The following is some of our logic.

My wife and I believe that grandparents or parents first responsibility is to take care of themselves, at least over paying for a college education for a younger generation, so as not to be a burden on the younger generation later. So better daughter plan on saving some for his college than have us give a guarrantee that we can't actually make.

If markets and health hold up we will be able to cover all of his education and supplement daughters and grandsons retirement. We may have 20 years to go but how many recessions/depressions will we need to navigate with our investments? We have to self insure for LTC and my family history indicates 10-15 years of LTC.

A big reason for us not to put our money into the 529 is that the investment returns and flexibility is greater in either our taxable acct or Roth's. A secondary reason is grandson is only two years old, how many things can go wrong in the next 16 years such that he doesn't go to college.

And a final thought my daughter is not interested in controling the money and is less interested in even the basic's of investing.

Family dynamics is the biggest factor in the deciding what's the right approach.

Food for thought;>)

delamer
Posts: 3119
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by delamer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:22 pm

Afull wrote:
delamer wrote:
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree with NotWhoYouThink's general point. If you aren't prepared to fully prefund your grandchild's college education, which is understandable, then give annual amounts to the extent your finances allow that your daughter/SIL can invest for that purpose. They will appreciate your generosity and your willingness to let them control the money and invest it as they see fit.

The first sentence of my original post is all I was suggesting for the op. The rest of my post is just relating my families experience and is not intended as a recommendation for anyone else. The following is some of our logic.

My wife and I believe that grandparents or parents first responsibility is to take care of themselves, at least over paying for a college education for a younger generation, so as not to be a burden on the younger generation later. So better daughter plan on saving some for his college than have us give a guarrantee that we can't actually make.

If markets and health hold up we will be able to cover all of his education and supplement daughters and grandsons retirement. We may have 20 years to go but how many recessions/depressions will we need to navigate with our investments? We have to self insure for LTC and my family history indicates 10-15 years of LTC.

A big reason for us not to put our money into the 529 is that the investment returns and flexibility is greater in either our taxable acct or Roth's. A secondary reason is grandson is only two years old, how many things can go wrong in the next 16 years such that he doesn't go to college.

And a final thought my daughter is not interested in controling the money and is less interested in even the basic's of investing.

Family dynamics is the biggest factor in the deciding what's the right approach.

Food for thought;>)


I don't really disagree with anything you said immediately above.

But in your original post, you said "Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement."

In my interpretation -- which might not be your daughter's -- you are making sort of vague promises that she really can't count on. So why say anything, if you aren't comfortable tying up some money now for your grandson's benefit? In her position, I'd rather have $3,000 in his name now than a commitment to possible future help.

As you say though, different strokes for different folks.
Last edited by delamer on Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 1348
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:26 pm

Just for clarification, I wasn't suggesting that you had any obligation to pay now or ever for your grandson's college. Just that if you haven't paid for it, his parents have to assume that you won't, and that if anyone is going to save his college costs it has to be them. And the likely place for them to do that is in his 529.

You may think that they should prioritize retirement savings over college savings. You are entitled to any opinion you like, and they are entitled to save, or not, as they like.

The more I hear from friends, neighbors, and bogleheads, the more I appreciate the fact that neither my parents or my in-laws ever asked about our financial situation. Not once, not ever.

But if your daughter mentioned the 529, it may have been a hint that you are spending more on toys and gifts than she thinks in necessary, and she was giving you another way to spoil your grandson. What you do with that hint is up to you.

aristotelian
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by aristotelian » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:58 pm

My 529 plan has a link you can click to "invite" family members. Kind of impersonal but could be a good way to let them know about it without it looking like you are begging them for cash.

spammagnet
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by spammagnet » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:03 am

notoriusjt2 wrote:... Have any of you had success in getting family to tone down the toys/gifts and up the donations? What did you say to them that was effective?

To ask for money is pretty cheesy, in my opinion. If you don't want toys, consider suggesting books. If family members want to know the kid appreciates them, they can always read to them.

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 5134
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Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by HueyLD » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:25 am

Your kids having received too many toys is definitely a first world problem.

There may not be much you can do about it. However, you can start by being the leader of your family's "go fund my 529" movement.

In other words, don't give your family members' kids toys. Instead, set up or contribute to their 529 accounts on birthdays, Christmas, etc. This way, your family members may get the message and start to reciprocate by contributing to your kids' 529.

It will be a win-win for everyone. Best of luck to your movement.

ChrisC
Posts: 559
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by ChrisC » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:54 am

delamer wrote:
Afull wrote:
delamer wrote:
NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree with NotWhoYouThink's general point. If you aren't prepared to fully prefund your grandchild's college education, which is understandable, then give annual amounts to the extent your finances allow that your daughter/SIL can invest for that purpose. They will appreciate your generosity and your willingness to let them control the money and invest it as they see fit.

The first sentence of my original post is all I was suggesting for the op. The rest of my post is just relating my families experience and is not intended as a recommendation for anyone else. The following is some of our logic.

My wife and I believe that grandparents or parents first responsibility is to take care of themselves, at least over paying for a college education for a younger generation, so as not to be a burden on the younger generation later. So better daughter plan on saving some for his college than have us give a guarrantee that we can't actually make.

If markets and health hold up we will be able to cover all of his education and supplement daughters and grandsons retirement. We may have 20 years to go but how many recessions/depressions will we need to navigate with our investments? We have to self insure for LTC and my family history indicates 10-15 years of LTC.

A big reason for us not to put our money into the 529 is that the investment returns and flexibility is greater in either our taxable acct or Roth's. A secondary reason is grandson is only two years old, how many things can go wrong in the next 16 years such that he doesn't go to college.

And a final thought my daughter is not interested in controling the money and is less interested in even the basic's of investing.

Family dynamics is the biggest factor in the deciding what's the right approach.

Food for thought;>)


I don't really disagree with anything you said immediately above.

But in your original post, you said "Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement."

In my interpretation -- which might not be your daughter's -- you are making sort of vague promises that she really can't count on. So why say anything, if you aren't comfortable tying up some money now for your grandson's benefit? In her position, I'd rather have $3,000 in his name now than a commitment to possible future help.

As you say though, different strokes for different folks.


Currently, I could probably pre-fund the entire cost of our first grandchild's college education. Practically speaking as well as in light of our family values that would be unwise for us, my daughter (with 2 year old grandson and SIL), and my two other adult children, who may also bear us grandchildren in the future.

We counsel all our adult children to save and save early for their retirement, and at this stage of our lives we help them on financing vacations separately from us or pay for big family vacations for all of us. Our adult children are truly entirely independent from us though they seek our counsel and advice.

For our first grandson, we established a 529 account for him, told my daughter we were doing this, and made an initial contribution of $5k in the account. We plan of gifting no less than $5k on his birthday each year. His parents intend to also save for their son's education as it's something they feel obliged to do and don't believe it's right or appropriate to rely on us for that. Besides, no one knows how many other grandchildren we might have in the future. (We're not concerned about LTC because we have LTCi and other resources.)

But back to the original post in this thread, I would never tell my parents or in-laws that they should divert money for toy giving and direct that money for college educations of their grandchildren. We would tell them that their toy giving was excessive and inappropriate on those occasions when it was. As grandparents now, we try to aim for balance in toy giving. I'm sure that if our toy giving becomes excessive or inappropriate, someone will let us know about that.

blinx77
Posts: 174
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:23 am

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by blinx77 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:29 am

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Afull wrote:I'd bring it up once in a casual conversation and then let it go depending on their response.

It also depends on financial situations of the various family members. Timing of this thread is interesting because our only Grandchild is just past two and our daughter told us a 3-4 months ago that she's opened a 529 for him and said she'd link us if we wanted to contribute. That's all she said. And she agrees with several here he gets way too many toys. Wife and I are pleased she's thinking ahead don't want to discourage her thinking long term. Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement. Just casual conversation while getting dinner ready.

Lot of families have a hard time talking money. I do also have reservations about 529's in other situations as well, but that's for another time.
E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree. My parents have made vague sweeping statements about college but not put a cent in my kids 529s. So I save anyways. Who knows what will happen in 15 (and then 17) years? I need to be prepared.

I don't think they need to fund the whole thing all at once, but even some regular contributions would help for planning purposes.

delamer
Posts: 3119
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by delamer » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:51 am

ChrisC wrote:
delamer wrote:
Afull wrote:
delamer wrote:
NotWhoYouThink wrote:E

I'm sure you mean well, but this is less than useless. Kind of like telling an 8 year old you might take him to Disney World.

Either you put the full amount of college cost in the 529 opened by your daughter, or she has to assume it's on her to pay for it. She cannot assume that you will follow through on a "could probably cover" casual discussion. Most Grandparents don't mean "could probably cover $70k/year per grandchild, indexed for inflation." Some do. Some mean that, but might change their minds. As a parent, I would put the "could probably cover" in the same conversational category of "we'll have to get together for lunch sometime." If my parents or in-laws had said that, I would have assumed my spouse and I were completely on our own to pay.


I agree with NotWhoYouThink's general point. If you aren't prepared to fully prefund your grandchild's college education, which is understandable, then give annual amounts to the extent your finances allow that your daughter/SIL can invest for that purpose. They will appreciate your generosity and your willingness to let them control the money and invest it as they see fit.

The first sentence of my original post is all I was suggesting for the op. The rest of my post is just relating my families experience and is not intended as a recommendation for anyone else. The following is some of our logic.

My wife and I believe that grandparents or parents first responsibility is to take care of themselves, at least over paying for a college education for a younger generation, so as not to be a burden on the younger generation later. So better daughter plan on saving some for his college than have us give a guarrantee that we can't actually make.

If markets and health hold up we will be able to cover all of his education and supplement daughters and grandsons retirement. We may have 20 years to go but how many recessions/depressions will we need to navigate with our investments? We have to self insure for LTC and my family history indicates 10-15 years of LTC.

A big reason for us not to put our money into the 529 is that the investment returns and flexibility is greater in either our taxable acct or Roth's. A secondary reason is grandson is only two years old, how many things can go wrong in the next 16 years such that he doesn't go to college.

And a final thought my daughter is not interested in controling the money and is less interested in even the basic's of investing.

Family dynamics is the biggest factor in the deciding what's the right approach.

Food for thought;>)


I don't really disagree with anything you said immediately above.

But in your original post, you said "Problem is she doesn't know how much she and her son will inherit and it really makes sense for her to save for retirement instead of his college. We're not prepared to let her know the dollars and cents, but we did tell her that we could probably cover his college and she could focus on their retirement."

In my interpretation -- which might not be your daughter's -- you are making sort of vague promises that she really can't count on. So why say anything, if you aren't comfortable tying up some money now for your grandson's benefit? In her position, I'd rather have $3,000 in his name now than a commitment to possible future help.

As you say though, different strokes for different folks.


Currently, I could probably pre-fund the entire cost of our first grandchild's college education. Practically speaking as well as in light of our family values that would be unwise for us, my daughter (with 2 year old grandson and SIL), and my two other adult children, who may also bear us grandchildren in the future.

We counsel all our adult children to save and save early for their retirement, and at this stage of our lives we help them on financing vacations separately from us or pay for big family vacations for all of us. Our adult children are truly entirely independent from us though they seek our counsel and advice.

For our first grandson, we established a 529 account for him, told my daughter we were doing this, and made an initial contribution of $5k in the account. We plan of gifting no less than $5k on his birthday each year. His parents intend to also save for their son's education as it's something they feel obliged to do and don't believe it's right or appropriate to rely on us for that. Besides, no one knows how many other grandchildren we might have in the future. (We're not concerned about LTC because we have LTCi and other resources.)

But back to the original post in this thread, I would never tell my parents or in-laws that they should divert money for toy giving and direct that money for college educations of their grandchildren. We would tell them that their toy giving was excessive and inappropriate on those occasions when it was. As grandparents now, we try to aim for balance in toy giving. I'm sure that if our toy giving becomes excessive or inappropriate, someone will let us know about that.


Thanks for your response, ChrisC. My parents did basically the same for my children as you are doing for your grandson. We expect to follow that pattern when we are grandparents.

Here's what I just don't understand: The grandparents expect to leave a substantial enough estate to pay for a college education for their grandchild, and have expressed to their child their hope to do so. Yet, the won't provide any "seed money" now by providing an annual contribution, or at least a one-time deposit, into a 529 or other college fund for that grandchild. If you are well off enough to have a substantial estate, then surely you can afford $500/year or a $5,000 one-time deposit without jeopardizing your long-term care resources or worrying about a market downturn wiping you out. And that is money that your grandchild can count on, not a promise.

I am NOT suggesting that any grandparent has an obligation to help with college expenses. What I am suggesting is "put up or shut up."

FYI, I just explained the issue under discussion to one of parents of my future granchildren (who just woke up :happy). I quote "Give 'em some money every year for the college fund."

alrick
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:45 am

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by alrick » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:10 am

529 Gifts:

Not sure what 529 plan you are in, but ours is linked to a 2% cash-back credit card. So we have several family members who have these credit card accounts and direct the 2% to our granddaughter's 529 account. It's amazing how much flows to this account each year......when compounded by years and growth, we expect the total "contributions" from these cards to be in the $25,000 range!

campy2010
Posts: 852
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:01 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by campy2010 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:48 am

I give my nieces and nephews cash and assume that it helps their parents teach them about spending vs saving vs investing. If some of it is spent on short-term wants like toys and candy and movies with friends, that's fine with me. There's a lesson in that too.

jerryk68
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:56 pm

Re: Telling Family About Daughters 529 For Gifts

Post by jerryk68 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:33 pm

My daughter-in-law and son also requested 529 contributions instead of toys and I was not insulted or hurt in any way by their request. I was glad they were thinking ahead. We give very inexpensive toys like crayons and coloring books, board games and the bulk of the gifts go into 529, UGMA or Coverdell accounts. We also gift to their accounts just because we want to with a goal to have at least tuition/room & board to a state university.

Over the years, my son will let us know how the college funds are doing by saying they have enough for a semester at community college or they have enough for a year at the state university. Right now the grandkids are in elementary school but their college fund are at a level where they have enough to get them through their junior year at the state university. They are making us aware that our contributions are helping our grandkids.

Most kids, especially young kids, don't know the monetary value of their gifts they just want your time. One birthday we gave a 7 yr old a $5 chess set and it was the hit toy for his birthday. I and others played chess for a long time. Who knew $5 bucks would go so far.

There have been many people that have helped me in life and for me this is an opportunity to payback family members that helped me that are long gone but not forgotten. My uncle would slip me a couple of bucks every now and then when I was a college student. That cash went a long way and I think of that uncle every once in a while and what he did for me.

Keep in mind that caskets don't come with pockets and I certainly don't want the taxman to get a share of my estate so I give it away now to the grandkids. If I don't make it to the grandkid's college graduation, I know that they will be reminded by both their parents of who made it possible. Beside, it's a good tradition to have to help your decedents.
Last edited by jerryk68 on Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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