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529 Day Q&A Webcast hosted by Savingforcollege.com

Posted: 2014-05-16

by Kathryn Flynn

529 Day Q&A Webcast hosted by Savingforcollege.com

Mark your calendars! In honor of 529 Day, Thursday, May 29th at 1:00pm ET Savingforcollege.com is hosting a live webcast featuring the industry’s top experts. This is your chance to ask questions regarding 529 plans, financial aid and where college savings fits into your family’s financial plan. Everyone who registers will be entered to win a free Amazon Fire TV. This year’s panelists include Moderator Tara Siegel Bernard from The New York Times, our very own 529 Guru Joe Hurley, Lynne O’Shaughnessy, author of the College Solution and Troy Onink, Chairman and CEO of Strategee.

What is 529 Day, you ask?

May 29th (5/29) is nationally recognized as a day to raise awareness about the importance of saving money for future college expenses. A 529 plan is an investment vehicle that allows tax-free growth and withdrawals when the money is used toward qualified educational expenses. Many states also offer state tax incentives for residents and run promotional giveaways during the month of May to celebrate 529 Day.

May 29, 2009 was declared the first “529 College Savings Day” by the College Savings Plan Network (CSPN). As the country faced continued economic turmoil resulting from the global financial crisis, it was more important than ever to remind American families how crucial it is to save for college. During this time, tuition costs continued to rise while many families were experiencing financial difficulties. As they watched their retirement accounts and other investment values plunge, many parents put college savings on hold.

529 Myths

States and organizations that took part in the 529 Day celebration emphasized the fact that even a small amount invested over time in a 529 college savings account can reduce the total student loan debt a child will have to incur. Studies were done to uncover the most common myths regarding 529 plans, and it was revealed that a large number of people believed that college funds were only for the wealthy, saving with a 529 plan would hurt a students chances of receiving financial aid and the tax advantages would expire.

Slideshow: Five popular 529 plan myths

Truths

Unlike other investments, 529 plans only require a small minimum investment as little as $25 a month, allowing families of all income levels to participate. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 ensured that 529 assets would be counted as a parental asset on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 repealed the 2010 expiration date for federal tax benefits of 529 plans.

The need to educate parents and grandparents on the benefits of these savings vehicles became apparent and 529 Day became an annual event. Today, over 30 states hold special events on May 29th such as offering prizes for babies born in the month of May, $5,290.00 toward a 529 account and $5.29 discounted zoo admission. At Savingforcollege.com we also recognize the importance of 529 College Savings Day by dedicating the month of May to promoting the benefits of 529 plans. In addition to our webinar, this year we are featuring a “What Kind of College Saver Are You?“ quiz, a History of the 529 Plan Infographic and college saving success stories.

Don't forget to check out the 529 Day Definitive Guide to see what contests and promotions are going on in your state!