F INANCIAL F O R U M
Introducing My First Grandchild, Owen BECOMING BOOMPA
There are some holidays that stand out more than others, and this past Thanksgiving was one of them for my family and me. My son, Tim, and his wife, Ellen, joined us. Throughout the dinner Ellen, who was nearly nine months pregnant at the time, had been having small contractions. It wasn’t anything major, and she figured it was just false labor. Little did we know our grandson had different plans. I called my son the next day. He and I keep an annual tradition to play in the Turkey Bowl Golf Tournament together. Since he had decided not to play because of Ellen’s due date, I wanted to let him know how we’d done. Thank god he wasn’t at the Turkey Bowl this year. “Well,” Tim told me, “I have a little bigger news than that.” Then he let me have it: Our first grandchild, Owen Timothy Irving, had been born that morning. It turned out that Ellen’s supposedly false labor had been real labor, which became clear late Thanksgiving evening. Owen was born before his due date, but he was a happy, healthy baby boy. To this day, he’s still the same good- natured, easy-going baby. My wife and I drove to the hospital the next day to meet our grandson, and we instantly fell in love. After a recent Sunday brunch, my wife said to me, “We’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta get my baby time.” It’s safe to say that Owen has plenty of people who love him. It has been surreal for us to watch as our son becomes a father. Tim sent me a photo of himself holding Owen, and Tim looks a little starry-eyed. You can see the shell shock on his face — a look all new fathers know well. As a dad myself at this stage in life, I was ready for grandchildren. I’ve heard that a grandchild can sometimes be more exciting than your own child — they’re all the fun of your own kids, only without the late-night changings, discipline, and 24/7 care.
Becoming a grandparent can mean taking some extra time reorganizing your finances, especially if you’re
considering a move closer to your grandchildren.
However, the smartest choice you can make when it comes
to your financial plan as a grandparent is to set up a 529 plan — a college savings plan for your grandchildren. This is money you can earmark for their higher education that will grow throughout their childhood, especially as college costs continually climb through the roof. Starting a 529 plan for your grandchild while they’re still young allows you to structure the plan more aggressively, which can produce the greatest result over a longer period of time. Additionally, there are terrific tax benefits that can also increase the plan’s balance, giving your grandchildren a greater yield on your investment when they are ready to use the funds. I know firsthand the excitement that comes from becoming a grandparent. Because of the years of experience I have in financial planning, I’ve also seen the stress that comes from wanting to be prepared for the future while also wanting to spoil them rotten. Let me help you plan and enjoy more time making memories with your grandchildren. Take it from this new boompa: They’re worth every cent. —Brian Irving
Being a grandparent can also be expensive, I’ve discovered. For example, we bought Tim and Ellen a Pack ‘n Play, and we also sprung for a high chair.
We are dedicated to your financial success. • 1www.brybeck.com
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