COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Six calculators to help you save for college
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/six-calculators-to-help-you-save-for-college-649

Posted: 2014-07-23

by Kathryn Flynn

You’ve read numerous articles on the benefits of 529 college savings plans. You’re on board with tax-free earnings growth and are excited to reap the benefits of using your own state’s plan. Yet you still feel lost. When should you start making contributions? How much should you be putting in to meet your goal? How much are the tax benefits offered by your state actually worth?

How Much Do You Need to Save For College? [INFOGRAPHIC]

At Savingforcollege.com, it’s our job to help you with questions like these and we understand that a vague answer just won’t cut it. Our Tools and Calculators section provides you with the resources you need to make sound decisions when planning for college. To accommodate the ever-changing needs of our readers, we’ve recently made some changes to our calculator offerings, including some new additions, highlighted below.

1. The Price of Procrastination Calculator (NEW!)

Waiting for the “right time” to open a 529 account? Before you put off saving another day we highly recommend trying this new calculator, which shows you just how much waiting could cost you.

What you'll get:

  • Learn why the sooner you start saving with a 529 plan, the better. The monthly deposits required to meet your specific goal will increase each year you wait.
  • Find out how much the total price of procrastination rises each year you put off saving.
  • Discover what you’ll need to contribute to cover 100%, 75%, 50% and 25% of your total projected college costs when you start saving now or in one of the next four years.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

2. College Savings Projector (NEW!)

Wondering just how much you need to save for your child’s future college costs? Based on your personalized inputs, this calculator will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to put away to meet your specific goal.

What you'll get:

  • Learn the amount you will need to regularly deposit into a 529 college savings plan in order to meet your goal.
  • Find out the expected balance of your 529 account each year.
  • Review your expected annual 529 plan breakdown, which includes the beginning balance, contributions/withdrawals, earnings and ending balance for each year until college graduation.
  • See individual results for each child in your family.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

3. College Funding Calculator (NEW!)

Let’s face it; most of us won’t be paying for the entire costs of college with our 529 savings. Our new College Funding Calculator gives you a realistic idea about how much you’ll need to save, accounting for grants and/or scholarships. It also gives you an idea of what your repayments will look like if you choose to cover the remaining balance with student loans.

What you'll get:

  • Find out your expected annual 529 plan balance versus your expected annual loan balance after graduation.
  • Learn how much more your expected monthly loan repayment would be compared to a monthly deposit into a 529 savings plan.
  • Discover just how much paying for college with loans ends up costing compared to the actual price.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

Eight Common 529 Plan Mistakes to Avoid

4. 529 State Tax Calculator (Previously only available to Premium Subscribers)

Wondering whether or not to invest in your own state’s 529 plan? In addition to lucrative federal tax benefits, many states offer state tax deductions or credits for residents. However, the benefits might not always outweigh the costs of higher fees or poor performance. This calculator helps you compare the value of your state’s tax benefits compared with using another state’s plan.

What you'll get:

  • Find out your net upfront state tax savings.
  • Compare the expected value of investing in your own state’s 529 plan versus an out-of-state 529 plan over 18 years.
  • Learn what investment return the out-of-state plan would have to achieve in order to make up the difference from the lost state tax benefit.

5. UGMA/UTMA 529 Conversion Calculator

If you’ve been saving for a child’s future college bills with a custodial account under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), you may be considering converting the assets to a 529 plan. There are a variety of factors that can determine whether or not this is in your best interest. This calculator helps determine which savings strategy is best for your particular situation.

Remember, other factors may affect your decision of whether or not to convert to UTMA/UGMA assets a 529 plan account, including how it will impact the child's financial aid eligibility.

What you'll get:

  • Learn how much more (or less) money you’ll have available after taxes to pay for college if you do not convert your assets to a 529 plan.
  • Find out your expected annual UGMA/UTMA balance versus your expected 529 plan balance, including withdrawal years.
  • Review a table showing annual UGMA/UTMA balance, including growth, taxes and withdrawals, versus a table showing annual 529 plan balance, including growth, taxes and withdrawals.
  • Download our easy-to-read PDF report based on your inputs.

Compare 529 plans to other college savings vehicles.

6. 529 Savings Vs. Loans Calculator

Learn how much you’ll need to contribute each month to a 529 plan in order to save for the entire cost of college versus what your monthly loan repayments will be if you choose to borrow the full amount instead.

What you'll get:

  • Learn how much you’ll need to contribute each month to a 529 plan in order to save for the entire cost of college versus what your monthly loan repayments will be if you choose to borrow the full amount instead.
  • Find out how much more it will cost you overall to borrow than to save for college.

You’ve read numerous articles on the benefits of 529 college savings plans. You’re on board with tax-free earnings growth and are excited to reap the benefits of using your own state’s plan. Yet you still feel lost. When should you start making contributions? How much should you be putting in to meet your goal? How much are the tax benefits offered by your state actually worth?

How Much Do You Need to Save For College? [INFOGRAPHIC]

At Savingforcollege.com, it’s our job to help you with questions like these and we understand that a vague answer just won’t cut it. Our Tools and Calculators section provides you with the resources you need to make sound decisions when planning for college. To accommodate the ever-changing needs of our readers, we’ve recently made some changes to our calculator offerings, including some new additions, highlighted below.

1. The Price of Procrastination Calculator (NEW!)

Waiting for the “right time” to open a 529 account? Before you put off saving another day we highly recommend trying this new calculator, which shows you just how much waiting could cost you.

What you'll get:

  • Learn why the sooner you start saving with a 529 plan, the better. The monthly deposits required to meet your specific goal will increase each year you wait.
  • Find out how much the total price of procrastination rises each year you put off saving.
  • Discover what you’ll need to contribute to cover 100%, 75%, 50% and 25% of your total projected college costs when you start saving now or in one of the next four years.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

2. College Savings Projector (NEW!)

Wondering just how much you need to save for your child’s future college costs? Based on your personalized inputs, this calculator will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to put away to meet your specific goal.

What you'll get:

  • Learn the amount you will need to regularly deposit into a 529 college savings plan in order to meet your goal.
  • Find out the expected balance of your 529 account each year.
  • Review your expected annual 529 plan breakdown, which includes the beginning balance, contributions/withdrawals, earnings and ending balance for each year until college graduation.
  • See individual results for each child in your family.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

3. College Funding Calculator (NEW!)

Let’s face it; most of us won’t be paying for the entire costs of college with our 529 savings. Our new College Funding Calculator gives you a realistic idea about how much you’ll need to save, accounting for grants and/or scholarships. It also gives you an idea of what your repayments will look like if you choose to cover the remaining balance with student loans.

What you'll get:

  • Find out your expected annual 529 plan balance versus your expected annual loan balance after graduation.
  • Learn how much more your expected monthly loan repayment would be compared to a monthly deposit into a 529 savings plan.
  • Discover just how much paying for college with loans ends up costing compared to the actual price.
  • Download our easy-to-read, customized PDF report based on your inputs.

Eight Common 529 Plan Mistakes to Avoid

4. 529 State Tax Calculator (Previously only available to Premium Subscribers)

Wondering whether or not to invest in your own state’s 529 plan? In addition to lucrative federal tax benefits, many states offer state tax deductions or credits for residents. However, the benefits might not always outweigh the costs of higher fees or poor performance. This calculator helps you compare the value of your state’s tax benefits compared with using another state’s plan.

What you'll get:

  • Find out your net upfront state tax savings.
  • Compare the expected value of investing in your own state’s 529 plan versus an out-of-state 529 plan over 18 years.
  • Learn what investment return the out-of-state plan would have to achieve in order to make up the difference from the lost state tax benefit.

5. UGMA/UTMA 529 Conversion Calculator

If you’ve been saving for a child’s future college bills with a custodial account under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA), you may be considering converting the assets to a 529 plan. There are a variety of factors that can determine whether or not this is in your best interest. This calculator helps determine which savings strategy is best for your particular situation.

Remember, other factors may affect your decision of whether or not to convert to UTMA/UGMA assets a 529 plan account, including how it will impact the child's financial aid eligibility.

What you'll get:

  • Learn how much more (or less) money you’ll have available after taxes to pay for college if you do not convert your assets to a 529 plan.
  • Find out your expected annual UGMA/UTMA balance versus your expected 529 plan balance, including withdrawal years.
  • Review a table showing annual UGMA/UTMA balance, including growth, taxes and withdrawals, versus a table showing annual 529 plan balance, including growth, taxes and withdrawals.
  • Download our easy-to-read PDF report based on your inputs.

Compare 529 plans to other college savings vehicles.

6. 529 Savings Vs. Loans Calculator

Learn how much you’ll need to contribute each month to a 529 plan in order to save for the entire cost of college versus what your monthly loan repayments will be if you choose to borrow the full amount instead.

What you'll get:

  • Learn how much you’ll need to contribute each month to a 529 plan in order to save for the entire cost of college versus what your monthly loan repayments will be if you choose to borrow the full amount instead.
  • Find out how much more it will cost you overall to borrow than to save for college.
 

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