Have you ever stood in the grocery store wondering whether to buy the 20-ounce box for $4.99 or the 12-ounce version for $2.99? (Hint: They’re both $0.25/ounce.) That’s simple compared to deciding which of the following is the better healthcare deal for your family when both are available:
(1) A traditional healthcare plan with lower deductibles but higher premiums.
(2) A High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) + Health Savings Account (HSA) combo, with higher deductibles but lower premiums, plus tax savings.
In my last article, I covered how important it is to start saving early for college costs, touched on a few tax-favored ways to do it, and suggested 529 plans as my favorite tool for the task. While any saving is better than none, I feel the range of available 529 plans offers the most college-planning flexibility.
It’s a given that every parent wants their children to start with a college education. But, golly, college is expensive. According to the College Board, all-in costs for the 2016–2017 academic year is approaching $25,000 at a four-year in-state public college, and $50,000 at a four-year private institution.1
Clearly, there’s no time to waste in saving for your kids’ high-cost higher education. If I get one thing across, that’s it. But I don’t blame you if you’re wondering where to even begin. Don’t despair! Let’s roll up our sleeves and get practical.