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The Sandy Spring Way

Financial Gift Ideas

December 16th, 2014 | By Sandy Spring Bank

By Laurie Kramer, CFP®, Senior Vice President, Wealth ManagementFinancial Gift Ideas

Every holiday season, many of us struggle to find the perfect gift for that special someone. I often hear from friends, family and colleagues that they want to give a meaningful financial gift that will help a loved one for years to come—but it doesn’t have to be cash. In fact, there are numerous great alternatives. You should seek professional advice to help you identify the financial gift that best suits the needs of you and your beneficiaries, but here are several options you should consider.

529 Plans

Establish or make a gift to a college savings plan, also known as a 529 plan. A 529 plan can be established for a beneficiary at any time, and anyone can contribute to the fund. College planning can be daunting, and student loans can hamper opportunities for children or grandchildren to save for retirement. A 529 is a great way to save over time and help ease the burden of tuition.[1]


Establish an investment account for children or grandchildren. Not only will this help provide potential growth for future use, but it will help teach younger generations about investment risk and reward, what it means to hold stocks or bonds, the benefits of compounding, or the reinvestment of dividends or interest.

IRA Contributions

Help your loved ones contribute to their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This may take the form of giving cash, so you should have the conversation with the gift recipient that your intention is to have the money invested in their IRA. IRAs also give your gift recipient tax deferral on their earnings, among other potential tax advantages. And remember, children and grandchildren may qualify. It is never too early to start saving for retirement and proactively investing—in fact, the earlier, the better!

Estate Planning

Lastly, transferring wealth can often be complex. Aside from deciding who should receive your wealth, when, and how, one must also take into account minimizing taxes and managing beneficiaries who are minors.Meet with a financial professional and commit to completing and implementing a plan for your estate, or consider the gift of paying for a loved one to develop and implement an estate plan. An orderly and efficient estate plan could be the greatest gift of all to your family!

Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates.


[1] Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.