Set your grandchildren up for success with these gift ideas

Here are three ways to help your grandchildren save for a better future.

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Let the toy store shelves collect dust. Keep those gift cards on the grocery store gift racks. If you need a present for that perfect grandchild in your life, there is a better way.

As children get older, it often becomes harder and harder to pin down the perfect gift idea. The toys are always changing and their hobbies along with them. Money can feel impersonal, and children and adults alike are buried in gift cards on birthdays and holidays.

Stand out with your gift giving while making a difference in your grandchild’s future by utilizing one of these investment methods, highlighted by AARP, because nothing says ‘I love you’ like helping ensure they have bright futures ahead of them.

Custodial Roth IRA

While minors can not manage their own IRA’s, custodial Roth IRAs are a great way to encourage your grandchildren to form good money habits and prepare for their futures. As the grandchildren earn money from their allowances, mowing lawns and birthdays, they will likely want to spend that cash for some instant gratification.

To demonstrate how invested money grows over time, you can agree to make matching contributions to their custodial Roth IRA, Certified Financial Planner Rose Swanger told the AARP.

“Hopefully, they will become more motivated once they see the results.” He said.

Until the child is 18 years old, you will maintain full control of the IRA’s assets and investment decisions. As adults, they can assume control of the funds and begin making withdrawals without suffering penalties for qualified expenses.

529 education savings plan

College is expensive. And many students ultimately must turn to loans that can take several years to pay off. But there’s a better way.

By starting a 529 education savings plan for your grandchild, you can ensure they have the money they need to succeed in the classroom — and after graduation. You can give up to $75,000 per year ($150,000 for couples) and lower your own taxable income (contributions are considered gifts on your taxes).

Your grandchild can use the funds — tax free — to pay for tuition, room and board, books and other educational expenses, including apprenticeships.

Series 1 savings bonds

For a rock solid investment that ensures money will be available for your progeny in the coming years, consider investing in savings bonds, Certified Financial Planner John Scherer told the AARP. Backed by the U.S. government, these bonds can be purchased straight from Treasury Direct.

“This is a safe investment that’s backed by the U.S. government, with a guaranteed rate and an inflation component. If used for college, the gains can be tax-free.” He said.

The initial interest rate on Series I savings bonds is 9.62% through Oct. 2022.