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    New York's 529 College Savings Program
     
                   Whether your children are teens or still in diapers, it is never too late to begin saving something for your child's educational future.  One great program to consider is New York's 529 College Savings Program.  A 529 college savings program is a state sponsored savings plan that enables you to save for college tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and other qualified higher education expenses in a tax-free program.  Under the New York 529 program, earnings and principal are free from Federal and State incomes taxes.  You can receive a NY State income tax deduction of up to $5,000 ($10,000 for married couples filing jointly).
     
                    If your child does not go to college, you can change the beneficiary at any time to another qualified family member for his/her education.  If the money is not used for education expenses, you may still withdraw the money, but will be subject to certain taxes and penalties.  For more information or to open a 529 account, call 1-800-523-1544 or visit the following site:  www.collegesavingsny.com
     
                Another way to put a few cents into an educational account for your children, grandchildren, or others is to open a Upromise Rewards account. This is a free, optional service that can add to your savings when you register your credit, debit, grocery, and drug store cards. Particular companies and manufactures agree to donate a percentage of purchase price of an item back to the customer in a Upromise Reward account. It is similar to earning rebates or frequent flyer miles on credit card purchases. For example, when you buy Skippy peanut butter at the grocery store, you earn a small percentage of money in your Upromise account. The money definitely builds slowly, but over 50,000 stores, restaurants, and services participate, along with over 200 online retailers. After you have earned a particular amount, you can have the money moved out of Upromise to a 529 savings account or other approved savings plan to earn interest. Join Upromise and get more information at: www.nysaves.org and follow the link in the left hand column.