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7 steps to enrolling in a 529 plan

Posted: 2013-12-07

by Joseph Hurley

7 steps to enrolling in a 529 plan

1. Pick the plan

You don’t have to choose your own state’s 529 plan—but perhaps you should. Check to see if your state offers some extra perks—like a state tax deduction, matching contribution, or expense waiver—that you lose with an out-of-state 529 plan. Then consider how much better an out-of-state plan must perform (or how much less it must charge in fees) to overcome the value of any foregone in-state plan benefit. You can even open accounts in more than one 529 plan if you see reason to do so. Remember, except for a few of the “prepaid tuition” plans, 529 plans do not in any way restrict your beneficiary’s choice of colleges from among the thousands of eligible institutions, including many foreign colleges and universities.

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