Automatic Investing in a 529 Plan

Automatic investing in a 529 plan is a proven strategy to help families save more for college. Families who have to remember to make a 529 plan contribution each month are likely to forget and miss out on potential tax-free earnings growth. Investors will also benefit from dollar-cost averaging.

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When is a State Tax Break Better than Lower Fees on a 529 Plan?

Sometimes, an out-of-state 529 plan may provide a better financial value than an in-state 529 plan. When saving for college, always consider your own state’s 529 college savings plan, if the state offers a state income tax deduction or tax credit based on contributions to the state’s 529 college savings plan. But, an out-of-state 529 plan may offer lower fees. Which option saves more money?

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The best 529 plans: 5-Cap Ratings

The 5-Cap Ratings provide an independent and objective evaluation of direct-sold and advisor-sold 529 plans. The 5-cap ratings, updated quarterly, help consumers consider their college savings options and choose the best 529 plans. We are pleased to share the top rated plans from our latest quarterly analysis.

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Workarounds for grandparent-owned 529 plans

If a 529 college savings plan is owned by a dependent student or the dependent student's parent, it has a minimal impact on the student's eligibility for need-based financial aid. But, if the 529 plan is owned by anybody else, such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle, it will hurt aid eligibility. There are, however, a few solutions that will address the potential harm.

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When it comes to 529 plans, parents just don't understand

A study from Fidelity shows more parents are saving for college than ever before, but they are still confused about how 529 savings plans work. By missing out on these key benefits, including federal (and sometimes state) tax savings, and favorable financial aid treatment, they could be leaving money on the table.

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