COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Congratulations to our 529 Day winner: Another great success!
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/congratulations-to-our-529-day-winner-634

Posted 2014-06-11

by Kathryn Flynn

This May 29th, affectionately known to the industry as 529 Day, was especially memorable for Rochelle Blee, the winner of our 529 Day celebration sweepstakes. For those who missed it, savingforcollege.com hosted a live one-hour webcast featuring industry experts Joseph Hurley, Lynne O’Shaughnessy and Troy Onink. Tara Siegel Bernard of the New York Times moderated the event. The webcast brought in a record-breaking number of participants and covered a wide span of college savings topics.

View a recording of our 529 Day Webcast

Ms. Blee was very excited to win an Amazon Fire T.V. and offered to share her own college saving success story:

The Blee Family
Mother and Grandmother: Rochelle
Grandkids: Olivia, 6, Connor, 1
Location: Ohio, U.S.
Savings Strategy: Grandparent-owned 529 college savings plan

As a single mom to two daughters, Rochelle Blee had not yet discovered the benefits of 529 savings plans. She was proud to see her girls graduate from college, but regretful that they had to take out student loans to do so. She promised herself she would not let the same thing happen to her grandchildren, Olivia and Connor.

See more college success stories.

Keeping true to her word, last Christmas she opened a college savings account for each child with Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan. Being the crafty grandmother she is, Rochelle created framed graduation diplomas with future dates from their favorite Ohio college. At the bottom of each, she included a note reminding the children that the diploma and savings plans were a gift from their grandmother and to always follow their dreams. Of course, this type of gift may not be fully appreciated by a one- and six-year old, so Rochelle also included a cuddly mascot from the university that their mom attended.

In addition to federal and state tax benefits, there are also estate-planning perks for grandparents who open 529 plans. Contributions up to $14,000 per beneficiary per year will qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion, and even though Rochelle is the account owner and retains control of the assets the value of the funds will be removed from her taxable estate. If her contributions were to exceed the $14,000 limit this year, she has the option of using the five-year election and give up to $70,000 to each child’s 529 plan, as long as no other gifts to that beneficiary are made during the five-year calendar year period.

Using 529 plans as estate-planning vehicles

Rochelle has been having fun saving for Olivia and Connor’s college funds and appreciates how easy it’s been. To ensure she won’t forget to make a regular contribution, she immediately set up automatic payroll deductions. She’s also excited to say that she has already seen a great return on her investment during the short time the accounts have been open. She hopes to see her grandchildren receive their actual college diplomas one day, but if that isn’t possible she wants to make sure they understand that their education was worth saving for.

Thanks again, Rochelle for sharing your story and congratulations on your success!

Share your college savings success story here!

This May 29th, affectionately known to the industry as 529 Day, was especially memorable for Rochelle Blee, the winner of our 529 Day celebration sweepstakes. For those who missed it, savingforcollege.com hosted a live one-hour webcast featuring industry experts Joseph Hurley, Lynne O’Shaughnessy and Troy Onink. Tara Siegel Bernard of the New York Times moderated the event. The webcast brought in a record-breaking number of participants and covered a wide span of college savings topics.

View a recording of our 529 Day Webcast

Ms. Blee was very excited to win an Amazon Fire T.V. and offered to share her own college saving success story:

The Blee Family
Mother and Grandmother: Rochelle
Grandkids: Olivia, 6, Connor, 1
Location: Ohio, U.S.
Savings Strategy: Grandparent-owned 529 college savings plan

As a single mom to two daughters, Rochelle Blee had not yet discovered the benefits of 529 savings plans. She was proud to see her girls graduate from college, but regretful that they had to take out student loans to do so. She promised herself she would not let the same thing happen to her grandchildren, Olivia and Connor.

See more college success stories.

Keeping true to her word, last Christmas she opened a college savings account for each child with Ohio’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan. Being the crafty grandmother she is, Rochelle created framed graduation diplomas with future dates from their favorite Ohio college. At the bottom of each, she included a note reminding the children that the diploma and savings plans were a gift from their grandmother and to always follow their dreams. Of course, this type of gift may not be fully appreciated by a one- and six-year old, so Rochelle also included a cuddly mascot from the university that their mom attended.

In addition to federal and state tax benefits, there are also estate-planning perks for grandparents who open 529 plans. Contributions up to $14,000 per beneficiary per year will qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion, and even though Rochelle is the account owner and retains control of the assets the value of the funds will be removed from her taxable estate. If her contributions were to exceed the $14,000 limit this year, she has the option of using the five-year election and give up to $70,000 to each child’s 529 plan, as long as no other gifts to that beneficiary are made during the five-year calendar year period.

Using 529 plans as estate-planning vehicles

Rochelle has been having fun saving for Olivia and Connor’s college funds and appreciates how easy it’s been. To ensure she won’t forget to make a regular contribution, she immediately set up automatic payroll deductions. She’s also excited to say that she has already seen a great return on her investment during the short time the accounts have been open. She hopes to see her grandchildren receive their actual college diplomas one day, but if that isn’t possible she wants to make sure they understand that their education was worth saving for.

Thanks again, Rochelle for sharing your story and congratulations on your success!

Share your college savings success story here!

 

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