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Saving for College


 

It's a fact. College isn't cheap. You can afford college, but you'll need a strategy. Although college prices vary widely depending on the school you choose, it might not be as expensive as you think.

Find out how saving for college affects financial aid.

How you save money for your child's future education depends on the age of your child. The more time you have, the more aggressive your savings and investment plan can be.

You don't have to save for the entire cost of a college education, but you can still make a dent in tuition expenses. Every dollar you save reduces the overall cost of college for your child and the amount of student loan debt he or she may face after graduation.

As you consider investment and savings options, remember that time is an important factor in making your choice as is your risk tolerance. You need to understand and feel comfortable about the options you choose. Typically, the more quickly you earn a return on your investment, the higher the level of risk.

If your child is newborn to age 3, build your assets so that they grow faster than inflation. Let your savings grow for you over time. The more time you have, the more aggressive your strategy can be.

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If your child is age 4 to 9, continue building assets while reducing overall risk. Consider more conservative, income-oriented investments. Balance mutual funds with a combination of stocks and bonds.

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If your child is age 10 to 18, generate safe, steady income and have quick access to your money when you need it. Consider fixed-income investments. If you have stock or stock mutual fund investments, gradually sell them.

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