1. Dear Me When I Grow Up: An Adventure in Inspiration

    child writing a letter to future selfIn a child’s mind, the world is a playground of possibilities. Their utopian aspirations allow them to grow up to become an astronaut, or a famous fashion designer, or to get married, have kids and live in a house with a white picket fence.

    Dreaming of an ideal or exciting future is part of the wonder of childhood, and so this imaginative age is the perfect time to help children realize that they have the power to affect their future.

    A wonderful and fun way for parents and teachers to encourage kids to explore what they’d like for their future to include is to have the children write a letter (or letters) to their future self. In it, have them describe their goals and aspirations and what they’d like their life to be like when they’re grown up.

    Here are some sample questions that children can use to start their brainstorming:

    Comments are off for this post
  2. Cost of Raising a Child in the U.S. in 2013 vs. 1960 (Infographic)

    The joys of raising a child are countless, but with children come responsibilities such as the need to provide clothing, food, health care and an education.

    Gerber Life Insurance Company has compiled and compared the cost of raising a child in the U.S. from birth to age 18 in 2013 vs. 1960 – the first year that the United States Department of Agriculture published data on the expenditures on Children by Families. The results, which include the average cost to attend college for one year, may surprise you.

    Comments are off for this post
  3. Gerber Feeding Their Future Sweepstakes

    Gerber Baby Foods and Gerber Life Feeding Their FutureParents of children ages 4 and under: Do you want to help save for your child’s future? Start by entering a sweepstakes to win money for his or her college education!

    The Gerber Products Company – “the baby food people” – is giving away a $50,000 Gerber Life College Plan, and other daily $1,000 cash prizes, through the Feeding Their Future sweepstakes. Parents of children ages 4 and under are eligible to enter the sweepstakes, which begins August 31 and lasts until October 19.

  4. Saving for College: A crash course in budgeting

    Family Planning Early for CollegeYour newborn has just turned six months old and you’ve finally gotten a handle on this whole “parenting” thing (the first lesson was that you can never have too many packages of diapers). You’ve bought everything you can think of for your child – the best crib available, a top-of-the-line stroller and enough toys to open up your own store. But have you thought about a plan to save for college? According to a recent study, commissioned by Gerber Life, 91 percent of moms and dads would give up vacations, cell phones or the Internet if it could cover the cost of their child’s education. What many of them may not realize is that they don’t have to give up everything if they start saving something today.

    Comments are off for this post
    Categories: College Planning
  5. Considerations When Saving for College

    Whether your child is still learning to walk and mobilize their toddler tools, or moving deftly toward college age, you should be saving for college. Here are some things to consider to start saving for college properly.

    1. Current age of your child. Children have a habit of growing up much too fast for most parents’ taste. If you haven’t yet experienced this phenomenon, you will. When you look at your 15 year old, you’ll see him/her at age two or three—which was only “yesterday.”
    2. College costs continue to increase unabated. When current Baby Boomers went to college, “expensive” tuition was around $2,000 to $3,000 per semester. This level applied only to more prestigious schools, like Harvard College, Boston College, and Stanford University. Today, in most cases, you merely need to add another “0” to estimate tuition.
    3. Classic and newer options to save for college. Classic
      college savings options include savings accounts, CDs, investment accounts, mutual funds, annuities, and U.S. Savings Bonds. Newer college planning choices include 529 plans and Coverdell education savings accounts. The Gerber Life College Plan is another excellent option. It provides a “guaranteed benefit payment” for children expected to begin college in 10 to 20 years.
    4. Your current and projected financial condition. The recession of 2007 to 2009 taught us multiple lessons about financial uncertainty. Many who believed their jobs and finances were stable and secure received unpleasant surprises. We also learned that even the largest university endowment funds, from which most scholarship money comes, can be decimated by a down economy. Until—and unless—these funds recover strongly, millions of scholarship dollars will remain unavailable.
    Comments are off for this post
    Categories: College Planning