28 Jan 2006

What Can I do to help?

Posted by AC

I’m sure that’s something you’ve been thinking for some time now. After all, college is just 16-19 years away for darling Samantha. (She might go early, she might take a year off — She hasn’t made her preference clear to me yet.) And college is not getting any cheaper. Thanks to some generous donations over the past few years from Grandmère and Great-Grandmother Ruth, Sam has a start at a 529 plan college fund.

Even if you only have a couple thousand to contribute, don’t delay. Inflation eats away at the purchasing power of the dollar every day. You can make contributions to Sam’s 529 plan by making checks payable to “College America” and sending them to my investment advisor:

John Dean
C/O H&R Block Financial
1759 Worth Park
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Be sure to put “Samantha Fay Capehart” in the memo field of the check so that he knows to put it in Sam’s account. If you want to call him in advance so that he knows to keep an eye out for your check, reach him at (434) 978-7700 or (800) 252-2088. The staff there doesn’t know Samantha yet, so you may want to use my name to get through to him. I’ll ask that he send receipts to anyone so generous.

Some of you may be thinking to yourselves “But AC, I only have a couple of hundred dollars to give right now! What should I do?” To which I reply: Even small contributions this early will make a real difference thanks to the power of compounded interest. John and I have chosen a fairly aggressive market approach given our time frame, your couple of hundred dollars could make a real difference to Sam.

The rest of you are most certainly thinking, “Dude, I love you and all, but send you my cold hard cash for Sam’s education? Are you on crack?!? Again?!? I mean, I’ll paint your house, and make you breakfast and stuff, but get real.” Fortunately, I have just the plan for you. Despite my privacy concerns, I’ve signed up for UPromise as a way to have people (myself included) contribute to Sam’s education in as pain-free a way as possible. I figure if just 100 friends and family join UPromise, and each get 100 of their friends and family to join, and all of them contribute to Sam’s education, why then they’d only need to contribute a few dollars each, and she’d be covered! Now I just need to make 97 new, really popular, friends (who aren’t already saving for their own kids, and don’t mind entering their financial data on the upromise.com website, etc.)!

In all seriousness, if you feel like making a future monetary gift to Sam, a contribution to the 529 plan would not go awry. If you don’t mind entering at least your “bonus/shoppers/whatever” card number for UPromise, and aren’t already contributing to someone else, it’d be a real trip to see if this UPromise thing would really work. Rather than actually send people their invitation email, I sent it to myself so that I could blog it. I assume it has useful parameters in the link that let you know it’s for Sam.

Oh, and don’t be alarmed if you see that it’s for Samantha Fay Capehart, Esq.. What can I say? It gave me a chance to add a suffix for her, and I thought Esq. would be funnier than Samantha Junior. 🙂

The following is my text (well, on my blog) masquerading as their text (they wrote it) masquerading as my text (they wrote it as if I’d written it). If you can get through all that, it’s still at least mostly true:

Help me save for Samantha
I joined Upromise to help save for college. Upromise is a free service that gives me back a portion of my everyday spending as college savings. You can join Upromise and help me save even more. It’s easy, free, and only takes a few minutes to join. I definitely recommend that you check it out. Thank you! -AC

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