Advantages to Converting to Education IRA

Converting to Education IRA may be one of the best things you can do when you are aiming to have some money saved up for your child. Converting to education IRA is not at all that difficult, so you might find these advantages motivating enough for you.

It is deducted from your IRA for as much as $2000 a year for your child’s higher education expenses and needs. Before 2002, the deduction’s maximum is at $500 annually only. Under the category of higher education expenses and needs are tuition fees, books and other things that will be needed for tertiary education.

Tax-Free Deductions from your IRA

The best thing about converting to Education IRA is that when you choose to withdraw the money at any time your child will need it, there will be no 10% deduction on your IRA. This is very convenient since this can be considered a very liquid asset.

Some financial instruments with great returns have humongous tax deductions. With converting to Education IRA, you will be less inclined to lose money or time because of tax and you will find your money used purely for the educational needs in the future.

Complementary to IRA of your spouse

The factors that affect the Education IRA that will be required from you will be complementary to the rates of your spouse and sometimes even the grandparents of your child, the beneficiary. This way, when you are converting to it, you will find that there will be more opportunity for synergy.

Ensured to be exclusive for school expenses

The good thing you can experience when you are converting is that you will find that the money will be used solely for educational purposes only. Some other financial savings receptacles are less strict when it comes to withdrawing the money. No matter what happens, you will find the education of your child secure since it will not be used for other things.

Ample window of time for your child beneficiary

You can start filling up as early as the child is born when you are converting to Education IRA. Your child can avail of the money in the Education IRA when he or she reaches the age of 18. This benefits from it for your child will terminate when the beneficiary reaches the age of 30. Twelve years is considerable an ample window of time with which the beneficiary can finish his or her education.

Flexibility and Openness to Converting to Other Educational Plans

If you think you have made a mistake converting to Education IRA and find that other financial instruments will work best for you, you can convert it at any time without really having to suffer. Sure, there may be some paper work involved but not so much to the point that you will be completely deprived of the right to handle your money effectively.

Converting to Education IRA is a major decision. It will really affect the way your college education savings for your child will be administered, so make sure that you weigh properly the pros and cons of converting to Education IRA. Reduce the need to convert needlessly by really nailing down which of the available methods are going to work for you best.

Down Syndrome – Three Tips for Educating Your Down Syndrome Child

One of the most daunting questions about having a child with Down syndrome is how to best educate them. A child with Down syndrome will have more specific educational needs than a typical child.

Mental retardation is the general rule for kids with Down syndrome, so you will be entering a whole new world of special education. But don’t despair! There are many systems set up to make sure that your Down syndrome child receives the best education possible, tailored to his or her needs.

Laws Guarantee Your Down Syndrome Child’s Education

The first thing you should know about Down syndrome education is that every child in the U.S. is entitled to what is called a free and appropriate education. That means that your child will be educated in the public school system in a way that fits his or needs, and this is guaranteed by law.

When your child enters school, testing will be done to see what kind of services your child needs. An IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, will be written to address your child’s unique needs. If the school is not able to provide for your child’s needs, there is a process by which you may be able to get the school to pay for a special school that can.

There are many different therapies and accommodations that the school can provide for your Down syndrome child. The specifics, in terms of which services are appropriate for your child, will be decided at your first IEP meeting.

An IEP does the following:

  • Identifies your child’s disability, and lays out how it affects their ability to be educated.
  • Lists goals that the child should be able to accomplish during the school year – both academic and functional, such as life skills goals.
  • Provides a mechanism for how these goals will be measured and assessed.
  • Specifies the specific aids and services that will be needed to meet these goals – for instance, tape recorders, sensory aids, note takers, aides, a modified curriculum and so on.

A helpful website to learn more about IEP meetings is http://www.wrightslaw.com. IEP meetings are usually conducted once a year so adjustments can be made to your child’s services as he or she changes, if needed.

Three Things to Look for in Your Child’s School

Most kids with Down syndrome are educated in public schools and receive special services. If you have a choice between public schools, or want to choose a private school instead, here are some things to think about.

1. Will your child be educated in an inclusive environment or a self-contained classroom?

A lot of schools these days educate Down syndrome kids in the same classes as other kids, pulling them out for specialty services like speech and occupational therapy. They have an aide to help them navigate the mainstream environment. This helps them learn better how to interact with their typical peers, and their peers how to better interact with people who have disabilities. Some still use self-contained classrooms, where people with disabilities are grouped together. Some use a mixture of both.

Look into what transition support services the school offers for making the move from high school to beyond high school. This will become important later on.

2. Supports Your Child May Need in School

There are several different areas that your Down syndrome child may need support in once he or she enters school, and you will want to be aware of all of these.

  • Academic support is an obvious one, but you will also want to make sure your child has support out on the playground.
  • He will need help interacting and feeling integrated with his classmates, and you will want someone there to make sure that no bullying is going on.
  • Some kids with Down syndrome will still need help in the bathroom, using the toilet, at least at the very beginning of their school years.

Other areas of support can be added once you observe how your child is doing in school.

3. Another Option – Private Schools for Down Syndrome Children

If you feel your child cannot cope or thrive in a regular educational setting, there are private special education schools just for kids with Down syndrome. There are not a whole lot of them, and it is not the most common way to do things, but they do exist. (There are a lot of special education schools that accept kids with all sorts of disabilities, but fewer dedicated to only Down syndrome.) One example of a school dedicated to the education of Down syndrome kids is Pathfinder Village in Edmeston, New York.

Education for Down syndrome kids can seem confusing and overwhelming at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. There are many resources available to guide you: books, websites, teachers, and other parents who have been there. This is where a support group with other Down syndrome parents will come in handy to share experiences with what works. With a little legwork, you will be well on your way to ensuring a wonderful educational experience for your Down syndrome child.

529 Education Plan Savings You Can Expect

The prime reason why people invest in 529 education plans is not just to pay for their children’s education when they reach college-attending age, but to get some interesting savings for their present and future lives. The primary question people ask when told about this college investment plan is what the savings will be. This is a synopsis of the various kinds of 529 education plan savings that you can look forward to:

1. The money that you put in the 529 education savings plan will grow without any federal or state income taxes, even if they are applicable.

2. The money will be all yours to pay for your kid’s education when he or she begins attending college. Money withdrawn for this purpose is called as qualified withdrawals. All qualified withdrawals are free from federal income taxes. In the majority of states, qualified withdrawals do not attract any state taxes also.

3. One of the best aspects of the 529 education plan savings is that the person who makes the investment, i.e. the accountholder will retain all control of the investments, and not the beneficiary. In case the accountholder decides at a later point of time that the money should not be used for that particular beneficiary, another name can be nominated.

4. There is no age limit at which the 529 plan can be started, and also there is no minimum investment limit as such. In some states, the 529 plans can be kept alive with investments of as low as $15. Costs on the plan can be saved by approaching the state authorities directly. The states appoint an advisor to guide people on how to make the investments.

5. At the same time, people are allowed to invest high amounts in these plans. Some states have maximum limits higher than $300,000. That makes it a very good plan of allowing other fixed assets to grow.

6. The amounts contributed into the 529 state plans can be considered as gifts. But gift tax can be avoided by some planning. In case a person makes a contribution of $60,000 (or $120,000 for a married couple filing jointly), then it can be considered as five years gifts of $12,000 each per person (or $24,000 for a married couple), and hence gift tax can be excluded. However, if further contributions are made within this period, gift tax will be applicable.

7. The assets that are kept within the 529 educational savings plans are protected even in case a person goes bankrupt.

8. Though states provide the 529 plans, one good feature is that they can be used interstate. Any accredited college within the whole of the United States will accept the assets of the 529 plan to pay for the tuition fees. In addition, the money can be used for related educational expenses such as books and computers, educational equipment, accommodation, extra tuition fees, etc.