Category: College Planning

Getting Help from a Financial Professional

Are you suddenly on your own or forced to assume greater responsibility for your financial future? Unsure about whether you’re on the right track with your savings and investments? Finding yourself with new responsibilities, such as the care of a child or an aging parent? Facing other life events,...
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Health Insurance for College Students

As your child prepares to head off to college, probably the last thing on his or her mind (and yours) is health insurance. But getting sick or injured away from home can be an unpleasant experience–more so if your child doesn’t know his or her health-care options. You’ll want...
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Research Tips When Choosing a College

It seems like only yesterday you were bandaging scraped knees and waving at the school bus, and now it’s time for your child to choose a college. You may think a hands-off approach is best to avoid interfering, but it’s important to help your child research schools. Not only...
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Do 529 plan expenses vary among states?

Answer: Yes. There are great differences in the amount and types of fees and expenses that 529 plans charge in various states. Pay close attention to those charges when choosing a plan. In some cases, fees and expenses can significantly affect your account’s return. Fees commonly charged include enrollment...
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529 Plans vs. Other College Savings Options

Section 529 plans can be a great way to save for college–in many cases, the best way–but they’re not the only way. When you’re investing for a major goal like education, it makes sense to be familiar with all of your options. U.S. savings bonds U.S. savings bonds are...
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Saving for College

There’s no denying the benefits of a college education: the ability to compete in today’s job market, increased earning power, and expanded horizons. But these advantages come at a price. And yet, year after year, thousands of students graduate from college. So, how do they do it? Many families...
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529 Plans: The Ins and Outs of Contributions and Withdrawals

Section 529 plans can be powerful college savings tools, but you need to understand how your plan works before you can take full advantage of it. Among other things, this means becoming familiar with the finer points of contributions and withdrawals. A little knowledge could save you money and...
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Opening a 529 Account

Opening a 529 Account You’ve decided to enroll in a 529 plan to fund your child’s college education, but how do you go about doing it? Opening an account is actually quite simple as long as you understand the process. Here is an overview to help you get started....
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College Savings Plans vs. Prepaid Tuition Plans

Section 529 plans are popular college savings vehicles. Due to the demand for them, nearly every state now operates at least one type of 529 plan (either a prepaid tuition plan or a college savings plan), and an increasing number are offering both. To choose the type of 529...
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Choosing a College Savings Plan

With so many 529 plans to choose from, you’ll need to ask a lot of questions in order to select the best plan for you. Compare the plans offered by different states If you’re interested in joining a college savings plan, you should consider all of your options. Compare...
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The ABCs of 529 Plans

If you’re already saving for college, you’ve probably heard about 529 plans. 529 plans are revolutionizing the way parents and grandparents save for college, similar to the way 401(k) plans revolutionized retirement savings. Americans are pouring billions of dollars into 529 plans, and contributions are expected to increase dramatically...
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Sticker Shock: Creative Ways to Lower the Cost of College

Even with all of your savvy college shopping and research about financial aid, college costs may still be prohibitive. At these prices, you expect you’ll need to make substantial financial sacrifices to send your child to college. Or maybe your child won’t be able to attend the college of...
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Investing for Major Financial Goals

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don’t take any money out until you’re ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s what investing without setting...
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Advantages and Disadvantages of U.S. Savings Bonds for College Savings

Series EE bonds issued January 1990 and later Series I bonds Advantages Interest earned is generally exempt from state income tax Interest earned may be exempt from federal income tax if bond proceeds are used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified education expenses, provided certain other conditions are met* Bonds...
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Comparison of College Savings Vehicles

529 plans Coverdell ESA U.S. savings bonds Custodial account Participation restrictions No, though state-run prepaid tuition plans are generally limited to state residents Yes, income limit for contributions and $2,000 maximum annual contribution per child No, but ability to exclude bond proceeds from federal income tax depends on income...
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Summary of Tax-Advantaged College Savings Options

Federal tax-deferred-growth and tax-free earnings when withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses: 529 Plans 529 college savings plan: You open an individual investment account and direct your contributions to one or more pre-established investment portfolios offered by the plan. Typically, there are fees and expenses associated with opening...
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Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

What is it? A Coverdell education savings account is a tax-advantaged educational savings account that you can establish for a child under the age of 18 (this limit does not apply to beneficiaries with special needs). The child does not need to be your dependent. Contributions to a Coverdell...
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529 Prepaid Tuition Plans

What is it? A prepaid tuition plan is a type of qualified tuition program (the other type is a college savings plan) established under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. Prepaid tuition plans can be offered either by states (called state-sponsored prepaid plans) or by private colleges (called...
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529 College Savings Plans

529 College Savings Plans What is it? A college savings plan is a type of qualified tuition program (the other type is a prepaid tuition plan) established under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. College savings plans are established by states and typically managed by an experienced financial...
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College Saving Options

College costs For the 2016/2017 college year, the average annual cost of attendance (known as the COA) at a four-year public college for in-state students is $24,610, the average cost at a four-year public college for out-of-state students is $39,890, and the average cost at a four-year private college...
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Estimating College Costs

What is the forecast for college cost increases? You’ve seen the numbers–a college education is expensive. All those benefits of personal growth, expanded horizons, and increased lifetime earning power come at a price, a price that increases every year. According to the College Board’s annual Trends in College Pricing...
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