Build Family Wealth and Happiness.

Fill out this form to receive our free 39-page Family Wealth and Happiness guidebook. You'll also receive periodic updates from me to help you take your family to the next level.

December 23, 2019

5 Smart Ways to Save and Invest for Your Child’s Future – with Damian Dunn


This post may contain affiliate links or links from our advertisers where we earn a commission, direct payment or products. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser. Information shared on this site is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice.

In today’s episode, Andy chats with Damian Dunn about how to save for our children’s future.

Damian is the director of personal finance strategies at Your Money Line and is the co-host of the Pete the Planner Show. He’s been working in the financial industry for nearly 20 years and is passionate about providing accessible and affordable financial guidance to anyone seeking it. He also has two kids of his own, and lives in Indiana. 

1. 529 College Savings Account

Student loan debt is at a whopping $1.5 trillion and growing at an alarming rate. Damian explains that the best way to start preparing your kids for college and avoid the student debt crisis is to start saving as soon as possible.

The best place to get started? The 529 account for college savings.

These accounts are created especially for college savings – and with the recent tax law changes, you can even use them for private school before college

By investing in a 529 account, you're setting money aside and allowing it to grow in the stock market. You then use it for qualified expenses such as tuition and don't pay taxes on the growth. Other qualified expenses include a laptop, room and board, books and more. Not a bad deal.

However, there are a few things that a 529 account does not cover – for example, student loans. This is important to keep into account because if your child does have some money leftover in the 529 account once they’ve finished college, they can’t use that account to pay off student loans.

What if you have two kids? Each 529 account must have one beneficiary, which means that money can only be used for expenses incurred by that child. Therefore, it’s probably smarter to have two 529 accounts and simply change the name of the beneficiary if you end up not needing the money (e.g. scholarships).

2. 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan

Another saving vehicle to help plan for your child’s education: 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan.

How does this differ from the normal 529 account?

The 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan is a way to lock in current tuition rates and purchase that tuition today. You need to be 100% sure that your child will go to an in-state school.

The disadvantage with the 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan is that you probably won't earn the same type of return as a normal 529 Savings Plan. Damian explains that if you’ve got a nice time horizon between now and when your child goes to college, a 529 Savings Account is the best way to go.

If you’re sure your child is going in-state and you want less expensive tuition, then a 529 Prepaid Tuition is a good deal. 

3. Roth IRA for Kids

It's never too early to get your kids started saving for their retirement. If your kids have an earned income, starting a Roth IRA for kids can be a smart move to help them enjoy their older years without a worry.

The Roth IRA also gives your kids flexibility as they grow as well. They can take out their contributions well before the age of 59 1/2. If they need a little more money to get through the year, the Roth IRA is a great pool of money to make use of. It doesn’t matter what you use that money for. Since the taxes have already been paid. , you can use it for weddings, a house, etc. 

Damian gives us an example of the power of compound interest and the Rule of 72:

A couple manages to save up $10,000 in a child's Roth IRA by the time their child has graduated high school. If their child doesn’t touch it and it’s earning a return in the stock market, that’s going to turn into $20,000 by the time they’re 28, $40,000 by 38, $80,000 by the time they’re 48 and so on. That’s money that can really help make a difference. 

Related Interview: How I Helped My Daughter Secure Her Financial Independence with a Roth IRA – with Doug Nordman


The last saving vehicle that is sometimes mentioned is a UTMA, which stands for Uniform Transfer to Minor Act.

It basically allows you to gift any kind of asset into these types of accounts: cash, stocks, bonds, real estate and precious metals. Those assets will then sit in that account for the benefit holder (the child). As a parent or custodian, you have control over that account until they reach a designated age – usually 21 or 25.  

However, there are a few downsides. Since the account is in their name, the child can do whatever they want with the money once they reach the age. The other thing to consider is that a UTMA account will have an impact on the eligibility of financial aid and college – it will be looked and considered differently than if it’s the parents that own the assets.

invest child future

5. High Yield Savings Account

Then, there’s always a good old savings account. 

As Damian says, being a responsible saver always pays off in the long run. A high yield online savings account can allow your child to grow their savings, keep the money liquid (readily available) and avoid any volatility in the stock market.

The important part is to get the kids involved in conversations about money as soon as they are emotionally ready to have them. This could be something like explaining what a paycheck is and how it allows you to buy certain products.

Let them help in making some family decisions. They can get a taste of the trade-offs and understand how far money can take them. 

If kids become familiar with the basics of money management from a young age, it’s much easier for them to do a transition into college life and eventually adult life. Giving them some of the control of a savings account can be immensely useful.

At the end of the interview, Damian gives us a few tips for parents who are getting started with saving up for college. The biggest tip: make your payments automatic. This way, you don’t have to worry about them anymore and over time “accounts build in good times and contributions still happen in bad times.” Keep throwing money at it even when the markets go down, and that’s when you make the big progress!


Marriage, Kids and Money Apple Podcasts
Marriage, Kids and Money Google Podcasts
Marriage, Kids and Money, Andy Hill
Marriage, Kids and Money CastBox

Show Sponsors


Learn more about the 10 Best High Yield Savings Accounts.


Adam Kol Coaching

Get a FREE Financial Harmony Consultation today.  

MKM Podcast Resources

Personal Finance Influencer, Personal Finance Speaker

Thriving Families Facebook Group:  Join our new FREE Facebook Community!

Young Family Wealth Playbook (FREE):  7-Steps to Solidifying Your Family’s Future Wealth

Young Family Wealth Playbook

Support this Show

If you enjoyed this episode, here are some excellent ways to support the show:

I truly appreciate the support everyone!


I’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like your question featured on the show, reach out and let me know. It would be my honor to support you in your journey toward financial freedom.

Leave me a voicemail or connect with me on Instagram and Facebook.

Carpe Diem Quote

“What a child doesn’t receive, he can seldom later give.”

P.D. James


Marriage, Kids and Money Apple Podcasts
Marriage, Kids and Money Google Podcasts
Marriage, Kids and Money, Andy Hill
Marriage, Kids and Money Castbox

invest child future

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • We didn’t use 529’s for our kids, we just intended to cash flow all three of their college educations which we could have done since we had a high income. But I’m glad we didn’t use 529’s because all three covered 100% of their college costs with scholarships! If we had used a 529 we would not have had any place to use that money since neither my wife nor myself are interested in further paid education for ourselves.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marriage Kids and Money Podcast

About Marriage Kids & Money

The Marriage Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping young families build wealth and happiness.

With over 400 episodes and counting, we share interviews with wealthy families, award-winning authors, and personal finance experts to help you find your version of family financial independence.

Scroll to Top