Elijah Engel, son of Locke Engel and Rebecca Nelms of Waverly, is the second Nebraska NEST Birthday Baby and will receive a $529 contribution to a Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) college savings account, Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
Elijah, who was born February 21, is the second baby to be chosen in the State Treasurer’s Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies drawing, a yearlong sweepstakes honoring Nebraska’s 150th birthday celebration. Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies has been designated a Legacy program by the Nebraska 150 Commission.
Each month of 2017—to celebrate Nebraska’s 150th birthday—NEST will select a parent or legal guardian of a Nebraska newborn to receive a $529 contribution to a NEST college savings account. The family will be chosen through a random drawing of entries submitted online to the NEST website or by mail. In all, 12 newborns and their parents or guardians will be recognized throughout the year.
The first NEST Birthday Baby was Carolyn Hotchkiss, daughter of Christina and Scott Hotchkiss of Omaha. She was born January 13.
“Meeting our Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies and their families is becoming a highlight for me,” said Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST. “I look forward to congratulating these young families and encouraging them to start saving for college when their children are young. I appreciate the opportunity to introduce them to NEST, Nebraska’s excellent state-sponsored college savings program that offers significant tax benefits for Nebraskans.”
“Planning for the future is very important to us,” said Locke Engel, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who had a Nebraska state-sponsored college savings account when he was young. “We want to do as much as we can for Elijah and Elijah’s sister, Lillian, so they can go to college and be whatever they want to be.”
Elijah’s NEST savings account will give the family a jumpstart on those college savings goals, Engel said.
“This is a really good start, a good building block for us,” said Elijah’s mother, Rebecca Nelms.
“Investing in NEST when children are very young benefits families in many ways,” Stenberg said. “Investing early gives families more years to plan and save for college, encourages families to develop regular savings habits, enables families to save more because of compound interest, and results in substantial tax savings,” Stenberg said.
Parents and legal guardians may enter Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies at www.NEST529.com/NewbornDrawing. Entries will be accepted until January 10, 2018, for babies born in calendar year 2017. To allow time for babies born in late December to be entered, the final drawing will take place in early 2018. If a family’s name isn’t drawn in the month the family enters, the name will stay in the drawing throughout the year, giving families plenty of opportunities to be chosen.
NEST is Nebraska’s state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings program. State-sponsored 529 college savings programs take their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides tax advantages for owners of these college savings accounts.
Rules for the Nebraska NEST Birthday Babies sweepstakes can be found at www.NEST529.com/NewbornDrawing and treasurer.nebraska.gov/csp/scholarships/. Information about the Nebraska Sesquicentennial can be found at ne150.org.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 254,000 accounts, including 79,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska is the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have more than $21 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.