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September 3, 2002

Save for higher education the tax-free way

Wynell Lauver is communications consultant for Human Resources

Emory now offers employees an opportunity to participate through payroll deduction in Georgia’s 529 College Savings Plan (also known as the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan) managed by TIAA-CREF.

The new plan allows employees to save for college for themselves, relatives or friends by investing in a variety of funds. Investment earnings in these funds grow free of federal and state taxes and are exempt from federal and state income taxes upon withdrawal (provided they are used to pay for qualified educational expenses). Parents may take up to a $2,000 state tax deduction if their combined adjusted gross income is less than $100,000.

Funds in Georgia’s 529 Plan can be used to pay for higher education expenses at colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools, or other post-secondary institutions in Georgia or anywhere in the United States, and even at some schools abroad.

Mark your calendar for a “Saving for College” workshop to be presented by certified financial planner Mike Kavanagh, WSB-750 AM radio host, and Charles Penuel, director of Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan. The event will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 9–11 a.m. in the Goizueta Business School auditorium.

For more information or to receive a 529 Plan enrollment kit, call your benefits specialist at 404-727-7613. Details also are available at and (The Internet Guide to 529 Plans).

Calling all walkers!
Join co-workers for a walk around the park each Monday until Sept. 30. The group will meet at 5:15 p.m. at the entrance to Lullwater Park and will walk for one hour.

Weight management tips
Many people find participating in structured weight management programs, such as Weight Watchers, effective in losing weight and keeping it off. Weight Watchers @ Emory meets Mondays from noon–1 p.m. at the Emory Clinic’s Brown Auditorium.

The next Weight Watchers @ Emory information meeting is Sept. 9 at that time and location. The first class starts Sept. 16. The cost is $159 for 15 weeks, payable in three installments. For more information or to join, call Yvonne Hodge at the Emory Well House, 404-727-WELL.

Here are five helpful weight loss tips:

1. Watch your portions.
At first, you may have to measure and weigh your foods until you can recognize a typical portion by sight.

2. Keep a food diary.
Include when, what, where and why you eat. The diary will help you identify your eating triggers and patterns.

3. Exercise
. It burns calories, makes you feel better and may also curb your appetite.

4. Focus on gradual weight loss.
A loss of about one pound per week is typical.

Remember, the goal of any weight management plan should be long-term weight control with slow weight loss and no risk to your health.