By George Erb
Special to The Seattle Times
“Jennifer Ferdinand and Todd Parker have steady jobs, pensions and retirement accounts. They keep their spending in check and expect to pay off their home mortgage after 15 years.
In short, the Kenmore couple are well positioned for the future, with a notable exception: paying for their son’s college education.
Jonah, who turns 7 this month, could enroll as a college freshman as soon as 2027, or 12 years from now.
His parents are committed to paying for his college, yet they had not set aside any money to do so.
Ferdinand, 42, and Parker, 46, were stopped by several things. They found the complexities of college-savings plans daunting. For a while, the couple thought they could cover the cost with their household cash flow. Then their own retirement savings seemed threatened by dramatic increases in the cost of a four-year college degree.
Tuition and fees at Washington state’s public-research universities jumped an average 9.5 percent a year for the 10 years ending in 2014, according to the state Guaranteed Education Tuition program, or GET.
To find out how to finance their retirement and their son’s education, the couple turned to the Puget Sound Chapter of the Financial Planning Association. It referred them to Ted White, a financial planner with Goddard Financial Planning in Seattle…”