Nebraska Treasurer Don Stenberg recognized national “Teach Children to Save Day” with a news conference today at Cavett Elementary School, 7701 S. 36th St. Stenberg announced that the Teach Children to Save program will teach lifelong money management skills to 1,500 students in 19 schools across the state over the next several weeks.
He was joined by Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) Managing Director Deborah Goodkin; David Cota, senior managing director, First National Capital Markets; and Paula Schulz, financial education specialist, of First National Bank of Omaha.
“The State Treasurer’s Office and NEST will expand on the money management skills emphasized by the Teach Children to Save program with a campaign stressing the joint concepts of dreaming for the future while saving for those dreams,” Stenberg said.
The campaign will include preschool programs at the Lincoln and Omaha Children’s Museums, elementary school savings programs featuring a Benjamin Franklin character, re-introduction of the Kids Savings Program at First National Bank of Omaha and its affiliates, and the launch of the “Teach Children to Save NEST $529” drawing. Information is available at www.treasurer.org/csp and www.NEST529Direct.com.
“As the chief financial officer of the state—and as a parent and grandparent—I consider it my responsibility to provide information and resources to help young Nebraskans make good decisions about their personal finances and to prepare themselves to be financially responsible adults,” Stenberg said. “Our emphasis in the Treasurer’s Office has long been to encourage young people to continue their education beyond high school and—with their parents—to invest in one of our state-sponsored college savings plans to make that happen.”
“Studies show that involving children early in saving for their future not only improves the likelihood that they will pursue higher education but that they will succeed in life,” said Goodkin. “When parents and other family members participate in a child's efforts to save, the prospects for success are greatly enhanced.”
Goodkin said that participating in a college savings plan like the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust helps guide the saving process and, through investment, those savings, can provide a significant nest egg for a student attending college for the first time or for an adult seeking additional education.
“Along with learning to save, we firmly believe that we must emphasize and promote financial literacy for young Nebraskans to help them reach their goals and achieve their dreams,” Stenberg said.
Last weekend the Treasurer's Office awarded $14,000 in college savings scholarships to 12 Nebraska high school students who were winners in the Personal Finance Challenge, sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. The scholarships are key to a larger initiative being undertaken by the Treasurer’s Office to emphasize and promote financial literacy education for young Nebraskans.
In addition, NEST has allocated more than $20,000 in scholarships to be awarded through its ongoing money management programs for children in 2013.
“We hope that these NEST scholarships will result in greater awareness of Nebraska’s college savings program and of how our state-sponsored 529 college savings plans can help parents and grandparents prepare for the cost of higher education for their children and grandchildren,” Goodkin said.
Stenberg said that through the Teach Children to Save campaign children of all ages will learn the basics about building their dreams, earning money, setting a budget and developing a three-part plan to save, share and spend.
“We ask adults across the state, especially those with children and grandchildren, to join us in promoting saving and financial literacy so that young Nebraskans can realize their dreams for the future,” he said.
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 261,000 accounts, including 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.