School in 2020 offers unique challenges and opportunities

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Since our inception back in 1981, we at Winch Financial have been passionate proponents of education. We believe that access to a wide variety of excellent educational resources strengthens a community and provides an easier path forward to its members. Several of our staff members, including our founder Christina Winch, began their careers as teachers.
School likely will look very different for everyone this year and we send our support and encouragement to all of the teachers, administrators, students and families who, we know, will rise to these historic challenges.
We’re here to help in those efforts.
If you have questions about using your 529 plan to pay for educational expenses for which you had not originally planned, please call us. In many cases, you can use your college savings funds to pay for private tuition or expenses related to homeschooling.
Likewise, if your student has received a refund for college expenses paid for through their 529 plan and you are unsure how to use those funds without incurring a penalty, please check with us. Unless you use that refund for other approved educational expenses you will probably need to reinvest them in the 529 plan.
If your college student has decided to take a gap year, you may be wondering about that 529 plan you set up. The good news is, those plans have no expiration date, so you can use the funds to pay tuition and related expenses when your student returns to school. If he or she decides not to return at all, you can always change the beneficiary on the account, or use the funds to pay for vocational school or approved training programs.
With so many opportunities for online enrichment, you may even want to use the unused funds for your own continued education. As this global pandemic limits opportunities for travel and entertainment, you might consider using your extra free time to further your own education.
In the interest of turning 2020’s challenges into opportunities, we are also broadening the scope of our financial classes, all of which will be offered online for the fall semester. In addition to Wills and Trusts and Let’s Talk Money, we are teaching a class focused on 401(k)s and other employer sponsored retirement plans. This class, called “How to Build Your Financial Confidence and Your 401(k)” will run on Oct. 6, 13 and 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The 2020/21 school year is already looking like none other we can remember. But, we still love seeing those first day of school pictures, and hearing from you about your children and grandchildren.
We’re here for all of you and we hope, together, we can help make this crazy school year as productive as possible.