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Consider the 2020 Gifts Already Received

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Consider the 2020 Gifts Already Received As We Enter the Gift-Giving Season 
By Patricia Roberts, Chief Operating Officer
Gift of College, Inc.
With year-end holidays around the corner, many of us will soon begin creating both shopping and wish lists. It might be helpful to pause for a moment to reflect on some of the gifts we’ve already received this year, many of which were unexpected. 
The gift of time. With fewer places to be and fewer things to do, we’ve been given the unexpected and priceless gift of time this year. With this, we’ve received an opportunity to catch our breath, to learn new things, and to re-examine dreams that we had put on the back burner, and to create new ones. 
The gift of focus. With so many prior distractions reduced or eliminated, we’ve been given time to focus, to be truly present, to reflect, and to be still.  
The gift of a new perspective. With unexpected changes to our routine and circumstances, we’ve been provided with a rare opportunity to view our relationships, our beliefs, our health, our homes, our passions, our priorities, our careers --and our world-- with a new lens. 
The gift of deeper connections. While spending so much additional time at home, we’ve been given the opportunity to become more deeply connected to those with whom we live and to our home and neighborhood. I will always cherish the unexpected time I spent with loved ones this year.
The gift of renewed appreciation. In the absence of the activities once so freely enjoyed, we’ve developed a renewed appreciation for simple pleasures and for what matters most-- with our health and that of our loved ones at the top of the list. We’ve grown to appreciate what’s always been there but what we’ve so often overlooked-- from the simplest of pleasures to the comfort of our home, to the beauty of nature. And in many ways, our appreciation has grown for those who so diligently serve our community’s many needs on a daily basis from the grocery store to healthcare workers to delivery persons and so many others. 
As for gifts for the upcoming holiday season—
In the spirit of the fresh perspective we’ve been given, let’s keep an open mind to gifts we may not have previously considered-- such as a contribution toward higher education. Either you or others in your life may be saving or paying for various forms of higher education and contributions from others can be a meaningful gift. 
Many 529 college savings plans have simple-to-use tools in place that make it easy for account owners to invite friends and family to contribute to already-established accounts. In addition, Gift of College offers gift cards that can be purchased online and at certain retailers which can be redeemed into any existing or newly established 529 college savings plan or into a student loan account. They can be redeemed into 529 ABLE accounts as well.
If you are a gift-giver, consider giving-- and if you are saving or paying for higher education, consider suggesting-- a gift toward college this holiday season.  
A gift toward college is a gift that:
  • is future-oriented and timeless;
  • supports not just the recipient but puts the entire family on stronger financial footing;
  • can lead to valuable conversations about a child’s dreams and aspirations;
  • is sure to fit; and
  • is easy to give 
As for my own gift-giving plans––
I’ll be giving my young nieces and nephew a gift toward their 529 accounts this holiday season. And I’ll be giving their parents a copy of the book I recently wrote, thanks to the unexpected time I had on my hands this year, on the topic of saving for college and career training with 529 plans. 


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