The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Investing Basics" series, in which Motley Fool contributor and financial planner Dan Caplinger discusses topics from around the investment world.

Today, Dan looks at the many ways that parents can save money toward their children's education. With student loan debt potentially becoming the next big financial crisis, any saving parents can do will help their children. Dan goes through many different options for college saving, including custodial accounts, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, and 529 plans, giving the pros and cons of each. He notes that a mix of these options, along with simply earmarking money in your own regular accounts for college expenses, can help you prepare for the cost of education. Dan concludes that the sooner you start, the better off you are.

Saving for a child's college education is important, but you shouldn't neglect your own retirement savings. In our free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," we reveal some stocks that could help you as well as some winning wealth-building strategies. Click here to keep reading.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Robert A Fink JD

Good info, but there is one excellent way to save that you've left out -- IUL or indexed universal life. I am amazed at how popular 529 plans are, considering the risks and limitations that are associated with them. IUL is a much safer and more flexible alternative than a 529 plan.

529 funds are typically invested in the stock market, which for years was a fairly safe alternative. But when people lost up to 40% of their savings in 2008, it became clear that there needed to be a safer alternative that still offered tax benefits, and didn't have an impact on qualifying for financial aid. IUL does all of that and more.

It's important to work with someone who knows how to best structure and fund an IUL. There are so many companies offering so many options, it's worthwhile to have a pro help you set up the account.

June 23 2012 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply