How to Set Up an Educational IRA

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    • 1). Determine if you are eligible for this plan by reading the most current version of IRS Publication 970 (see Resources below). Individuals and couples whose income exceeds certain limits are not allowed to contribute to this account. The beneficiary of the account must be under 18 years of age when contributions are made to the fund. Anyone may contribute to a child's fund, but the total cannot exceed the stated limit.

    • 2). Choose where you would like to set up your educational IRA. Most financial institutions, banks and mutual fund companies can serve as custodian of your IRA. Ask what the maintenance fees on the account will be, and find out if there is a minimum yearly contribution. Be careful to choose a reputable company that has a dependable track record.

    • 3). Check with your chosen financial institution to find out what avenues of investment are available. You will need to choose between mutual funds, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit or some combination of the above. You may want to consult a trusted financial adviser on which investments are most likely to succeed.

    • 4). Gather the information you will need to apply, including social security numbers, driver's license numbers and employment information. You will need to choose a responsible individual who will control the educational IRA account.

    • 5). Fill out the application at the financial institution and make your deposit or arrange for automatic deposits. Be sure you understand the requirements of your educational IRA so that you will not be penalized for misuse of the funds.

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