529 plans* allow you, a relative or a friend to put money aside for college or continuing education. Start saving with as little as $50 a month with an automatic investment plan.
- Plans grow tax-free and are spent tax-free
- Eligible expenses include tuition, books and housing
- Unused money can be transferred to another child
- Plan has minimal effect on financial aid
- No income limitations or age restrictions
- Many plans have contribution limits of $200,000+
- It's not just for kids — retirees and professionals returning to school are also eligible
*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.
The Coverdell ESA works similarly to a Roth IRA and is a great way to save for college education expenses.
- Make non-tax deductible contributions up $2,000 per year
- Money grows free from federal income taxes
- Account generally must be used by age 30, or transferred to another eligible person
- Has minimal effect on financial aid
- Contribute until the beneficiary is age 18
- Income phase-out begins at $95,000 for single filers and $190,000 for joint filers
Although not specifically designed for college expenses, many people use UGMA/UTMA accounts as an alternative way to save for college.
- Simpler, cheaper and faster than setting up a trust
- Invest for a child while taking advantage of the child's potentially lower tax rate
- May be used for more than just education expenses
- No annual contribution limits
- The child receives legal control of the assets generally at age 18 or 21
- Has higher impact on financial aid eligibility
Estimates suggest that 18 years from now, the price of four years in a public college will cost over $100,000 and a private school more than $200,000**. Paying for it can put a financial strain on you and your family. That’s why it’s vital to start planning for your child’s education as soon as possible, because the earlier you begin, the more time you allow your money to grow. Our Financial Consultants can help you determine:
- How much you need to save
- Which college savings option is the best for you
- How much can you afford to save