Anyone can help save for a child’s education. Grandparents, relatives and even friends can open an account or gift money to an existing account. Though there are a variety of 529 plans, opening a 529 account is relatively straightforward. The main differentiator you need to choose between is a savings or prepaid plan. Savings plans act more like a 401(k) in that they participate in securities, bonds and stocks. A prepaid plan is more like a pension, growing at a guaranteed rate, but with more limitations, such as where and for what the money can be used for.