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Funding for the Future

Saving for College with IDeal 529

Published in the January 2023 Issue Published online: Jan 04, 2023 Education And Arts
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By Nick Thiros

The New Year is always one of my favorite times of the year. The turn of the calendar offers the promise of a new year and a fresh perspective on my family’s future. It’s a time of year to establish new goals and pledge to follow through.

For me and my family, it’s a time to hit the reset button, examine what’s important, set sights on future dreams and aspirations, and map out the plans to achieve those goals. 

Here at IDeal – Idaho’s 529 College Savings Program – we believe the New Year is a perfect time to think about the higher education dreams of your loved ones and begin the process of saving now for the future.

As the Field Representative for IDeal, I get to engage parents, grandparents and employers across the state to educate them about the value of saving for higher education and tout the benefits of Idaho’s 529 program.

We are committed to making sure Idahoans know that they have a proven partner – with more than 20 years of experience – in helping to plan and save now for their loved one’s postsecondary dreams.  It’s no secret that the cost of going to college or pursuing career or technical education is increasing every year, leaving many students with significant debt after graduation. Too often, the debt burden inhibits their ability to pursue other dreams, like buying a house or starting a family.

As a parent of two young children, I think more and more about encouraging and nurturing their ability to dream about what they want to be when they grow up, and making sure they have the financial footing to pursue those dreams when they’ve graduated from high school and poised to set out on their own.

At IDeal, we help families begin the process of saving and provide the tools to stay on the savings track. I see the impact of these proactive steps play out every year in the lives of thousands of students, parents and grandparents all across our state.

Take, for example, the story of Mike Adolf and his family.

Adolf and his family. As a boy, Mike learned the value of saving when his grandfather passed away and left him $500 with instructions that the money be used to help pay for higher education. For Mike, this gift proved to be the driving force and motivation he needed to pursue his college degree – then later in life to open IDeal 529 accounts for each of his four children when they were born. Today, three children of Mike and his wife, Stephanie, are using their IDeal accounts to pursue next-level studies at Idaho colleges.

This is our mission at IDeal. Helping families save for postsecondary education is what we do.

Like similar college savings programs across the nation, IDeal 529 is set up for account owners to save now and take advantage of the tax benefits that come with it.

Like similar college savings programs across the nation, IDeal 529 is set up for account owners to save now and take advantage of the tax benefits that come with it.

In my role, I also get to engage with Idaho employers big and small to highlight the benefits of adding education benefits with IDeal. Thanks to legislation passed in 2020, Idaho employers have a tax incentive for contributing directly or creating a matching program for their employees’ 529 accounts. Under this program, employers are eligible for a 20% tax credit, up to $500 per employee per year, for contributing to the Idaho 529 account of their employees.

What we’re learning from the Idaho companies participating in the employee match is how it can increase employee loyalty and bolster benefit packages that help attract and retain workers, especially important in the current job market. Take for example a 2020 survey by Gift of College that found that 75% of employees would like their employers to help pay for college, and of those more than half agree a 529 payroll deduction option would be helpful, another way employers can partner with IDeal.

So, here in the new year, why not consider the power of starting or gifting to an IDeal education savings plan for your loved ones or employees? It’s a perfect time to start a new tradition, create a legacy and empower loved ones as they dream of tomorrow. By resolving to save and setting the plan in motion now, you are setting up the young people in your life for success, reducing economic stress and working toward making future education an affordable reality. It’s just $25 to start. 

To learn more about IDeal, visit www.idsaves.org to start saving for that future you envision for your loved one! 




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