State Treasurer Don Stenberg, Trustee of Nebraska’s 529 college savings program, urged children to dream about their futures and families to save for those dreams as he unveiled Fantastic Future Me, a new exhibit that opened today at the Lincoln Children’s Museum.
The exhibit, which encourages children to envision themselves in future career roles, is sponsored by First National Bank of Omaha, program manager for Nebraska’s 529 college savings program called NEST, the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust. State-sponsored 529 college savings programs take their name from Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Fantastic Future Me, a portable version of an exhibit at the Omaha Children’s Museum, will travel to children’s museums in Hastings, Kearney, North Platte and Norfolk after it closes in Lincoln on July 7.
Joanna Swanson, regional sales representative for First National Bank of Omaha, also spoke at today’s unveiling about special monetary incentives available through the exhibit to encourage families to open new NEST college savings accounts.
“As father and grandfather, I know that one of the questions children are often asked is ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Now, in Future Fantastic Me, children will have a chance to visualize many of the possibilities for their futures,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
“At NEST, we talk about the importance of young people dreaming for their futures and parents and grandparents saving for those dreams. The theme fits perfectly with today’s event as children begin to explore career possibilities through Fantastic Future Me. Boys and girls can picture themselves as artists or computer programmers, as scientists or teachers, as pilots, and even as the President of the United States,” the Treasurer said.
“How these children envision their futures is up to them. But the adults in their lives have a very important role to play in how the children get there. Do you know that recent studies show that children who have college savings accounts in their names are six times more likely to go to college than children who do not have college savings plans?
“Children, too, can be introduced to concepts to promote financial responsibility at an early age – providing allowances to children as rewards for completing chores, teaching children how to count money, helping children save for later needs, and looking for everyday opportunities to teach financial responsibility at home,” Stenberg said.
“My message to you adults today is to encourage your children’s hopes and dreams for the future, look into Nebraska’s college savings program, and start saving for your children’s future now when they are young,” Stenberg said.
Special incentives have been created as a part of the Fantastic Future Me tour to help families get started saving. The first 50 new NEST Direct College Savings Plan accounts that are opened in association with each tour destination will receive a $25 bonus contribution and a NEST Dream Bank. All new NEST Direct account owners will also be entered to win one $1,000 scholarship that will be given away in each city of the tour. Official rules and information on opening accounts can be found at NEST529Direct.com/futureme.
The Nebraska College Savings Program provides four qualified tuition plans under Section 529 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The four plans in the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust are the 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 is the Program Trustee, and First National Bank of Omaha is the Program Manager. Investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council.
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.