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Smart Savers Blog

Flexibility and security

Suzanne | Virginia

My name is Suzanne, and I am a freelance makeup artist and mom to three beautiful children. My oldest child is 19, my middle child is 15 and my youngest is 13. We opened our Virginia529 account in 2003 when our first child was 5 years old.

We have a small family farm and we both worked outside the home, but we're not rich. When it came time for our children to go to college, we didn't want to have to take out another mortgage, use credit cards or deplete our bank account to fund their education. Virginia529 gave us an opportunity to, little by little, add to an account that could pay off big later.

Contributions to our account came right out of my checking account. We put it in there and kind of forgot about it. We also added bigger deposits when we had them, such as tax returns. After years of saving, we were so excited to see how much we had for college.

Our daughter looked at a lot of schools: state, out-of-state, small and huge. Because we'd saved, we encouraged her to choose a college that fit her and what she wanted to study, which ended up being a private Virginia university.

After one year, she felt a calling to join the military, so she paused her higher education to join the Army National Guard. She’s back in school now and using the GI Bill to fund her expenses. The flexibility of 529s mean that we can roll over her account to our next child.

My younger kids are all over the map with what they want to do. But, hopefully we'll be prepared and be able to take care of whatever education they need.

Our account with Virginia529 gives me a feeling of security for me and for my kids because I know we’re doing our part to ensure that college is paid for.

Resources to help you learn

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions about 529 plans.

Smart Savers Academy

Tune in to a live episode and ask questions of the presenter, or watch a previously recorded webinar below.

Invest529 Portfolio Performance

Review and compare historical returns of Invest529 portfolios.