Where their daughters are concerned, the couple started small, putting aside $50 a month in the account of their oldest daughter, Paris, 10, an exceptional student. As Paris got older and was no longer in daycare—which cost $1,600 a month for both girls—they took the extra money and increased the amount that went into her savings. They used the same strategy when they started contributing to 6-year-old Sydney’s college fund in 2005. Currently, there’s about $25,000 saved in Paris’s account, and $12,000 in Sydney’s.
Now, each month $300 is directly deposited into each of the girls’ education savings account that’s part of the State of Georgia-sponsored Path2College 529 Plan. The contributions are based on projected college expenses, which LaShonda estimates to be about $50,000 per year for each girl, or $400,000 total. The girls’ grandparents also make biannual contributions to their college funds on birthdays and during the Christmas holiday.
“Based on their academic achievements I think they’ll be offered some type of scholarship. Out of that $400,000, I estimate that we will pay only about 25% of that. My sister, brother, and I all went to school on scholarships,” she says, pointing to the lottery-funded Georgia HOPE Scholarship Program, which offers scholarships to students with high GPAs, as a resource that could ease the expense of paying for college.
The Foys, whose respect for education motivated them to save toward their children’s college savings, hope to reach their desired goal of $75,000 to $100,000 saved for each girl’s fund by their respective 16th birthdays.
For the Foys, retirement and college planning simply came down to prioritizing. Like many Americans, the largest bill the Foys have is their mortgage. They currently pay a nearly $2,500-monthly house note for the six bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home in an upper-middle class Atlanta suburb, Suwanee, that they’ve lived in for nearly seven years. And now that interest rates are lower, they’re considering refinancing their home a second time so they can pay a smaller mortgage amount.
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