College saving plans for parents

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Only 36% of middle-income families are putting money away for their kids' education according to Sallie Mae, a company that services student loans.

MGN college graphic.

Many that don't are overwhelmed by the cost of tuition. The federal government estimates it will be nearly 40 thousand dollars a year for public four-year school 18 years from now.

Experts say that's all the more reason to start saving now. Many parents use pre-paid tuition plans which allow you to lock-in today's price and protect yourself from massive increases between now and when your child starts college.

Parents can also use a Roth IRA, you normally can't withdraw money from one until you're 59 and a half years old. But there are exceptions for educational spending.

You can also set up a trust for your child. It allows them to use the money for more than tuition.