COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Just who is Joe Hurley anyway?
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/just-who-is-joe-hurley-anyway-775

Posted: 2015-05-14

by Kathryn Flynn

And how does he know so much about 529 plans? You may find yourself asking these questions as you browse through Savingforcollege.com, Forbes and other media outlets searching for answers on the best ways to save for college.

We call Joe the '529 Guru', but how did he earn that title? Let's start at the beginning:

Joe Hurley, a mild-mannered certified public accountant, lived with his wife and two children in Pittsford, NY. He graduated from Williams College in 1978 with degrees in economics and psychology, and took his first job with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (Now KPMG). Later, he became tax partner at Bonadio & Co. LLP, an upstate New York accounting firm. His interest in education savings plans began with the signing of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which made major revisions to the rules surrounding Internal Revenue Code Section 529. He was so intrigued by this remarkable tax provision that he wanted to share his discovery, and so he wrote his first book, "The Best Way to Save for College A Complete Guide to 529 Plans". In its tenth edition, the book has sold over 100,000 copies and continues to be a valuable resource for financial professionals and others seeking insight on how to pay for higher education. In 2011, he published "The Family Guide to College Savings", which is geared toward helping parents and grandparents with their family college planning needs.

He launched Savingforcollege.com in 1999 and retired from his accounting firm in 2004. His articles about the tax benefits of college savings plans have been featured in the Journal of Accountancy and The CPA Journal, and he has also been invited to speak at hearings in Washington, D.C. to provide comments on proposed regulations under Section 529. He's also become a familiar name with major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Time/Money. In fact, nationally acclaimed personal finance expert Suze Orman was quoted saying:

"When it comes to 529s, the only person you should be taking advice from is the nation's expert on these plans and his name is Joseph Hurley. When I need to know about plans, he is the man I go to."

But the true source of Hurley's expertise may come from his personal experience. While they were saving for their children's college educations, Joe and his wife, Virginia, opened 529 plans from 33 different states. Was opening so many plans necessary for meeting their savings goals? Probably not, but it was very helpful for his research. Joe's children have since graduated from college, and he made good use of the leftover 529 funds by earning a horticulture certificate from Finger Lakes Community College. That's right, Joe is a man of many hats. In addition to being the '529 Guru', he also runs his own farm. Kettle Ridge Farm, located in the town of Victor, New York, produces pure maple syrup and local honey from Joe's very own bees.

According to new research from Edward Jones, 66% of people still don't know what a 529 plan is, so Joe and Savingforcollege.com still have some work to do. Today, Joe continues to help families by researching, writing, speaking and consulting on the topics of 529 plans and other college-planning issues. Joe will be featured as a panelist on Savingforcollege.com's 529 Day Webcast, Friday, May 29th at 1pm ET. You can also find Joe's insights on the Savingforcollege.com forum, in the professional articles section and in his new Forbes column. His first Forbes article "529 Plan Trumps IRA In Saving For College" was published yesterday, with more to come.

And how does he know so much about 529 plans? You may find yourself asking these questions as you browse through Savingforcollege.com, Forbes and other media outlets searching for answers on the best ways to save for college.

We call Joe the '529 Guru', but how did he earn that title? Let's start at the beginning:

Joe Hurley, a mild-mannered certified public accountant, lived with his wife and two children in Pittsford, NY. He graduated from Williams College in 1978 with degrees in economics and psychology, and took his first job with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (Now KPMG). Later, he became tax partner at Bonadio & Co. LLP, an upstate New York accounting firm. His interest in education savings plans began with the signing of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, which made major revisions to the rules surrounding Internal Revenue Code Section 529. He was so intrigued by this remarkable tax provision that he wanted to share his discovery, and so he wrote his first book, "The Best Way to Save for College A Complete Guide to 529 Plans". In its tenth edition, the book has sold over 100,000 copies and continues to be a valuable resource for financial professionals and others seeking insight on how to pay for higher education. In 2011, he published "The Family Guide to College Savings", which is geared toward helping parents and grandparents with their family college planning needs.

He launched Savingforcollege.com in 1999 and retired from his accounting firm in 2004. His articles about the tax benefits of college savings plans have been featured in the Journal of Accountancy and The CPA Journal, and he has also been invited to speak at hearings in Washington, D.C. to provide comments on proposed regulations under Section 529. He's also become a familiar name with major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and Time/Money. In fact, nationally acclaimed personal finance expert Suze Orman was quoted saying:

"When it comes to 529s, the only person you should be taking advice from is the nation's expert on these plans and his name is Joseph Hurley. When I need to know about plans, he is the man I go to."

But the true source of Hurley's expertise may come from his personal experience. While they were saving for their children's college educations, Joe and his wife, Virginia, opened 529 plans from 33 different states. Was opening so many plans necessary for meeting their savings goals? Probably not, but it was very helpful for his research. Joe's children have since graduated from college, and he made good use of the leftover 529 funds by earning a horticulture certificate from Finger Lakes Community College. That's right, Joe is a man of many hats. In addition to being the '529 Guru', he also runs his own farm. Kettle Ridge Farm, located in the town of Victor, New York, produces pure maple syrup and local honey from Joe's very own bees.

According to new research from Edward Jones, 66% of people still don't know what a 529 plan is, so Joe and Savingforcollege.com still have some work to do. Today, Joe continues to help families by researching, writing, speaking and consulting on the topics of 529 plans and other college-planning issues. Joe will be featured as a panelist on Savingforcollege.com's 529 Day Webcast, Friday, May 29th at 1pm ET. You can also find Joe's insights on the Savingforcollege.com forum, in the professional articles section and in his new Forbes column. His first Forbes article "529 Plan Trumps IRA In Saving For College" was published yesterday, with more to come.

 

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