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Transforming the gift-giving game

December 6, 2023

(BPT) - In a world where toy trends seem to change faster than a child can unwrap a gift, parents, guardians and gift-givers are constantly on the lookout for the perfect present that will both excite and enrich a child’s life. According to Fidelity Investments’® 2023 Gifting Study, a surprising revelation has emerged: a significant majority of parents are not only open to but prefer contributions to their child’s college fund over traditional holiday gifts.

The study, which surveyed a diverse group of parents and guardians across the country, found that a staggering 79% of respondents would welcome contributions to their child’s college savings account in lieu of the usual array of toys and gadgets. Even more compelling, 2 in 3 would even prefer this forward-thinking approach to gift-giving. This sheds light on a growing awareness among parents about the long-term benefits of investing in their child’s education from an early age.

Gift-giving for kids has traditionally revolved around the latest toys, games and electronic devices. However, the rising cost of education has prompted a shift in parental priorities. Many parents are recognizing the importance of building a financial foundation for their child’s future, and what better way to do that than by contributing to a 529 college savings account?

Tony Durkan, vice president, head of 529 relationship management at Fidelity Investments, emphasizes the developmental benefits behind these trends. “Children often receive so much in the way of material possessions, but contributing to their education sends a powerful message about the value of long-term goals and planning for the future. It instills a sense of responsibility and demonstrates that education is a priority for the entire family.”

While traditional toys and games certainly have their place in a child’s life, the gift of education is timeless and enduring. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends now have an opportunity to contribute not only to the joy of the present moment but also to a child’s lifelong journey of learning and growth. Fidelity has an easy-to-use gifting tool that ensures a seamless experience and recent legislation has also made it even more flexible for friends and family to give to a 529 account without the worry of a child’s future education plan now that some funds can be transferred into retirement savings like a Roth IRA for that child.

So, with so many gifting occasions throughout the year, consider making a lasting impact with a gift that truly keeps on giving — a contribution to a child’s college fund. It’s a choice that resonates with the spirit of the season, embodying the essence of generosity, and a commitment to shaping a brighter future for the next generation.

For more information about the gifting study and 529 college savings accounts, visit Go.Fidelity.com/GiftingStudy23.

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