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Zweifel visits Springfield school, promotes MOST savings plan

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Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel visited Springfield Sept. 23 to speak to parents and students at Rountree Elementary School, 1333 E. Grand St., and to promote MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan.

About 11 third- and fourth-graders and a handful of parents attended the event.

Zweifel pointed to the high costs of higher education programs, suggesting starting savings accounts early in a child's life.

"We know for a lot of families it's really intimidating, but really the story of Missouri MOST is the story that helped me along growing up ... and that's the story of making small investments and how a small amount over a long period of time really makes a big impact," he said.

Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Norman Ridder noted one of the school district's purposes during the presentation.

"Our task is to help you understand that college is not cheap," he said. "College education is critical to your futures. It's very substantial."

Zweifel said the MOST program can be started for as little as $25 a month and could substantially benefit children when they enroll in a higher education institution.

"For you kids, that investment that you're making is often joining a club or a team, getting involved, doing extra things in school," he said. "For parents, we want to let you know that opening up a MOST account is something that can be done pretty easily."

According to a news release handed out at the event, a 529 account with an investment of $50 a month would yield more than $16,000 if paid from birth to age 18.

Zweifel opened the floor to questions following his presentation, which were mainly asked by children, including those related to college costs, the state treasury and predictions for their futures.

MOST is a program trust created through the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program.

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