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San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

Saving for college


F inancial T imes Taylor Schulte How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? —Dr. Seuss A record 22 million U.S. students are headed to college this fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Time flies, and before you know it, your child might be one of them. Although it is important to start a college fund as soon as possible, it’s never too late to begin. And keep in mind that you don’t have to fund the full amount. Many families save only a portion of the projected costs and then use it as a “down payment” on the college bill, similar to the down payment on a home. If you are ready to start saving, here are three vehicles for you to consider utilizing: 529 Plans Under a special rule, up to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples) can be contributed to a 529 plan at one time, making it a popular estate-planning tool. Your contributions grow tax deferred and the earnings are tax-free at the federal level if the money is used for qualified college expenses. If, however, your child does not attend college and you withdraw the funds, earnings will be taxed and a 10 percent penalty will be imposed. The good news is, 529 rules allow you to change the beneficiary once per year. So, if “child A” doesn’t use the funds, you can utilize them for “child B” or another qualifying member of the family.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA) A Coverdell ESA is a taxadvantaged savings vehicle that lets you contribute up to $2,000 per year. The tax benefits are similar to a 529 but the ESA allows you to use the money for K-12 qualified expenses in addition to college. Though you have complete control over the investments in the account, Coverdell ESAs are not revocable. Distributions from the account are always paid to the beneficiar y and cannot be paid back to you. Coverdell ESAs have numerous limitations and nuances, so be sure to do your homework before jumping in headfirst. UTMA/UGMA Custodial Accounts A custodial account is a way for your child to hold assets in his/her name with you acting as custodian until they reach a designated age, typically 18 or 21. All contributions are irrevocable and earnings and capital gains generated by investments in the account are taxed to the child each year. Assets in the account can be used for college but they don’t have to be. Often times, parents or grandparents will fund a custodian account to give the child flexibility when they turn of age. On the other hand, some are reluctant to use these accounts because they are concerned the child might use the funds in an irresponsible manner. We are all well aware of the rising costs of education. One way to help boost your savings is to consider participating in a program like Upromise, a rewards program that directly benefits the college savings vehicle of your choice. Visit for more information. Please keep in mind, some college savings accounts may impact financial aid eligibility. Additionally, account fees var y from plan to plan, and if too high, can hinder your savings goals. Consult with your trusted aAdvisor(s) to choose a plan that is right for you. —Taylor Schulte, CFP® is a Wealth Advisor for Define Financial in Downtown San Diego. Schulte specializes in providing independent, objective, financial advice to individuals, families and businesses. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or






Balboa Park students,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have the support of wonderful donors, patrons, corporations, partners, and grantors who provide additional financial support for the students in all of our programs.” The advanced symphony gives many concerts in the park’s museums and at Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Other ensembles perform throughout San Diego County each season in settings for all audiences. Soloists will appear in more intimate recitals and community outreach events. For more information visit

part of the Park. Furnished and staffed by group members, they offer visitors a window into each country’s culture, history and traditions. Through November, lawn programs and other special events will be held on the outdoor stage for one hour beginning at 2 p.m. The Hall of Nations, open on Sundays from Noon – 4 p.m., adjoins the cottage area and features exhibits of national groups. Visit sdhpr. org ... It could be said that San Diego’s Marston House is the oldest and yet one of the youngest in the Park’s museum family.

Johnny McDonald Music is the universal language of mankind.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) ‘and Conservatory personifies a wide spectrum of musical fine-tuning for ensembles, solos, chamber and pre-professional concerts. It’s at the Park’s Casa del Prado with rehearsal rooms for students, anywhere from ages 8 to 25. Its musical program is recognized as the sixth largest in the United States. Concerts are performed throughout the region including such venues as Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center and California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Over 730 students auditioned last June for the chance to improve their skills with brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion instruments. Music director Jeff Edmond said he was pleased by the turnout, but he still dreams of a much broader musical development program. He’d like to see school districts reopen the doors to music classes. Edmond is encouraged by what has happened in the Chula Vista School district as a start. “SDYS’ efforts to restore music education in the Chula Vista Elementary School District just took a big step forward with a commitment from Save The Music Foundation to provide musical instruments to every Chula Vista school that hires a full-time music teacher,” he said. “They [CVESD] now plan to restore music and arts to all 45 district campuses. “SDYS is very proud to work in partnership with and in support of public school, private school and university music programs.” According to Edmonds, most students who audition for the SDYS have already begun learning specific instruments through school or private instruction. “The range of instruments is a full spectrum chosen by the


Members of the San Diego Youth Symphony (Courtesy SDYSx) Elsewhere around the Park — The Museum of Art is reintroducing a rare Egyptian antiquity that’s more than 3,200 years old. It’s a sculpture of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II, originally acquired by the Museum in 1949 and exhibited here for 45 years. It was later placed on long-term loan at the San Antonio Museum of Art ... Unity among nations is a welcome occurrence in the international settlement of cottages. The House of Pacific Relations (HPR), founded in 1935, is a community organization dedicated to furthering cooperation and understanding among national groups in the United States. HPR consists of 32 national groups, many of which have their own small cottage in the central


—After an award winning, 38-year sports-writing career with the San Diego Union and authoring three books, Johnny McDonald now considers writing a hobby. You can reach him at



H R Tactics Strategic Planning, Tactical Training

Solid Food of the Word Ministry Heb. 5: 13, 14 You are invited to the Seventh Day Adventure Church nearest you on Saturday: Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27 for Spiritual food. Please stay for lunch for physical food. Contact Dr. T.S. at 619-549-5972. God Bless

This 16-room arts and crafts masterpiece was built family in 1905 but didn’t become a museum until it was donated to the city in 1987. Marston, a philanthropist, civic leader and owner of the city’s premier department store, commissioned renowned architects William S. Hebbard and Irving Gill to build an English Tudor-style home. It spans 8,500 square feet and is surrounded by five acres of lawns and gardens and is currently maintained by the Save Our Heritage Organization. Visit

Joe Whitaker operates H.R. Tactics, a full-service human resource consulting firm in Mission Hills, providing a broad range of human resource support, products and solutions for small to midsized companies with fees designed to put affordable human resources in reach. He can be contacted at 804-4551 or e-mail at


302 Washington St., Suite 112 San Diego, CA 92103


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San Diego Downtown News - September 2014  

San Diego Downtown News - September 2014