Just as my uncle has decided to help me with getting my personal finances in order at a young age, he has also decided to help his best friend's daughter (whose name is Maia) be ready for college. She's a year older than I am at 14 months, but still young enough so that there is plenty of time for years of compound interest to accumulate. While the gift will be a bit less than what I received, he's planning to make the same types of investments as he will with my money.
The first order of business was to see if Maia's parents had and college savings already set aside for her. While they were planning to open up a 529 college savings plan for her, they still hadn't gotten a social security number for her (she was adopted from China). So he told them that their first order of business was to get that social security number for her.
Since some states have tax advantages for those that open up 529 plans in their own state, he looked into that. Colorado (where Maia lives) does offer some extra tax benefits to those who open 529 plans through the state and are also residents in Colorado. They therefore decided to open the account in Maia's parent's name so that they could also receive the tax benefits with opening a 529 savings plan.
After discussing the different options and whether they would like the lump sum deposited into Maia's account as soon as it is set up or to invest the money into Japanese antiques like I decided to do, they also opted for the antiques. While I will still focus this blog on me and my personal finance journey, I will also mention Maia from time to time to discuss alternative options where we might decide to invest differently.
I'm happy that Maia has decided to join me in my quest and I hope we can both be financially independent and responsible as we grow up.