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Strategies To Help Your Kids Save For Retirement

a mother and daughter sitting on the couch while the daughter puts coins into her piggy bank

Setting the stage for your child's financial future involves more than just imparting financial wisdom – it's about adopting innovative strategies that provide a head start on their retirement savings. In this guide, we explore two creative avenues, life insurance and Roth IRAs, along with an unexpected twist involving 529 plans, to give your child a solid financial foundation for the future.

#1 Life Insurance: A Lifelong Investment:

Whole life insurance, often overlooked in discussions about retirement, can be a powerful tool for securing your child's financial future. With a death benefit and a cash value that accumulates interest, whole life insurance offers unique advantages:

-Tax-Free Loan Access: Your child, as the policy owner in adulthood, can take tax-free loans from the cash value for purposes like retirement income or college expenses. While the loan doesn't require repayment, it may affect death benefits.

-Tax-Free Earnings: The tax-deferred growth inside a whole life insurance policy may not count as income for Social Security or Medicare taxes during retirement, offering potential tax advantages.

-Long-Term Security: Investing in life insurance when your child is young and healthy ensures coverage and can later alleviate financial burdens for loved ones, fund funeral expenses, or serve as a protective measure for their business as adults.

a child in a graduation cap putting change into a piggy bank

#2 Roth IRA: Empowering Young Earners:

Opening a Roth IRA for your child provides an additional avenue for securing their retirement. Consider these requirements:

-Earning Income: Your child must have income from a W-2 job, and contributions cannot exceed their annual earnings.

-Custodial Account: The Roth IRA account should be in both the child's and custodial parent's names, with custodianship definitions varying by state or financial institution.

Consult your financial professional to understand account specifics, restrictions, and the process of opening a Roth IRA for your child.

#3 529 Plan: A Surprising Twist:

529 plans, typically associated with education savings, can be repurposed to benefit retirement. If there are unused funds after education or discontinuation of studies, consider these steps:

-Move to a Roth IRA: Transfer 529 plan funds to a Roth IRA for retirement use, with IRS contribution limits and beneficiary earnings in mind.

-15-Year Rule: If the 529 plan has been open for at least 15 years, in 2024, up to $35,000 of those funds (for the beneficiary of the 529 accounts only) can be contributed to a Roth IRA.

Be mindful of IRS rules regarding the transfer of 529 plan funds to a Roth IRA, including the absence of contributions or earnings from the preceding five years.

a mother and son sitting at a table with change all over the table and the son is putting the coins into his piggy bank

Helping your kids save for retirement requires forward-thinking strategies that extend beyond traditional approaches. Whether exploring the advantages of life insurance, empowering young earners through Roth IRAs, or repurposing 529 plans for unexpected benefits, these creative solutions lay the foundation for a secure financial future. Consult your financial professional to tailor these strategies to your child's unique situation and aspirations. Secure their tomorrow by taking innovative steps today.

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