College money for kids

During 2021 we lent my parents $65,000 to purchase a house. They are giving that back to us at the end of June. That money was in regular investment accounts (we started late and a 529 didnt seem to benefit us). But our plan was to use that money for our kids colleges. We have a 19 year old starting his 2nd year, a 17 year old senior starting college in 1 year and a 15 year old freshman. Currently we have been cash flowing child #1 college. Knowing we need this money now and every year for the next 8 years would you invest it right now?

We are debt free, no mortgage payment, FFEF…we can cash flow 1 child at a time but probably not 2 at a time.

If you would invest…normal vanguard investing? If you wouldn’t then what…CDs? Any other suggestions?

Being that you likely need much or all of this money in the next year or two, you’re not gonna find an answer that’s much better than cash.

That said, this might be a great use for I Bonds. They’re currently paying over 9%, no downside risk. But you can only put $10K/year into them, and they’re locked up for a year. So it might make sense to max that out each year with the intent to use the oldest ones to pay for college when you can’t cash flow anymore?

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