General Question

Wilhelm's avatar

Starting a college fund for my children...

Asked by Wilhelm (69points) October 1st, 2007

My children are still pretty young and I think now is a great time to go ahead and maybe start some sort of college fund for them. The problem is that I have no idea where to start.

I know the easiest thing would be to just go to my bank of choice and just ask, but I would like to know of some better options that might yield greater results over time.

My oldest child is about to turn 6, so I have a good 12 years of saving for her future. I know she’ll have a good start no matter what direction I choose to go.

Would a regular savings account be a good idea? A low-risk mutual fund? Other investment options?



Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Check out the Vanguard College Savings Center:


Or call to speak to one of their Education specialists; 1–866-734–4533

V’guard funds are famous for their low fees and good staff to speak w.

I would stay away from banks and their savings acc’ts (low interest, in general.)

hossman's avatar

I agree with gailcalled. Since banks have been permitted to expand their services into insurance and investments many bank employees have become more salesmen than bankers. I suggest you check out whether your state has a deferred savings plan like a 529 for college BUT CHECK THE DETAILS OUT THOROUGHLY. Some have limitations that you may not want. Also ask around some people you trust for referrals to investment counselors and go with someone you trust, not someone who is slick. Keep in mind you want to retain some flexibility in case college ends up not being your greatest need for these funds. Flutherians andrew and kelly might be able to help you, as they have gone through this relatively recently.

Although I’m not familiar with them personally, Vanguard does have a very good reputation, and is spoken highly of by several people I trust.

flameboi's avatar

Go for the vanguard option, a friend of mine told me it was great, his parents save for his college fund there, and, now he is attending my college. (Studying aboard is a lot cheaper than in the u.s.)

osakarob's avatar

College Savings Plans, or 599s, seem to be the best way for folks of moderate means to plan for their children’s futures. They are found in most states. Check your state’s homepage. They do not necessarily have to be used in that particular state however. Another resource for this is National Public Radio’s Markteplace Money. They cover this topic very regularly on the show. They also have a savings calculator at

osakarob's avatar

Oops, sorry. I meant a 529 plan. Marketplace Money has a nice introduction post cast and transcript explaining how to apply for one as well as your savings options.

Wilhelm's avatar

Awesome! Thanks, everybody!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther