During the introduction of guests we were given a pleasant surprise. Mr. Kirtikant Sheth is the Rotary International District Governor of District 3040 from Indore, India. A Rotary flag from our club was presented to Mr. Sheth by President Roger Kozak.
Rotarian Barry Vickrey introduced Steven R. Ballard as our guest speaker for the day. Mr. Ballard is a USD School of Law graduate and a senior financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial in Sioux City, IA. His topic for the day was "Investing for Education."
Mr. Ballard said that in preparing our children and grandchildren for life we want to impart values, rules of conduct and expectations. He also said we should take into consideration financial planning to provide funds for their education. He challenged everyone to begin to define a personal financial plan. Are we investing for education? How much will we need?
Several standard ways of planning present themselves – savings bonds, savings accounts, Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs and paying educational expenses from actual earnings. It is much better to have assets set aside than depending on future income.
Savings bonds are sometimes given to children by parents or grandparents for education. However bonds then are considered assets by the owners with regard to financial aid.
IRA assets remain in control of the account owner but are considered assets when it comes to financial aid and withdrawal reduces retirement assets and cannot be recontributed.
UGMA/UTMA accounts have unlimited contribution limits but are in the students name and the student has complete control of the assets. 529 Plans have federal tax-free withdrawals for education expenses.
Mr. Ballard said that any savings one can do is a positive step. Don't neglect retirement plans. Students can always get loans if nothing else.