National 529 Day: Comparing college costs, then versus now

College costs are on the rise, but a 529 plan can help you be ready for the future

Time to read: 2 min

The month of May is filled with celebrations: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduations — and of course, one of my personal favorites: National 529 College Savings Plan Day. Held each May on the 29th (of course), the holiday was originally created to raise awareness of the benefits of 529 plans and the importance of saving for a college education. If you ask me, it’s more than appropriate that this holiday is celebrated in May; after all, you never know how much college costs may rise in the future.

A lot has changed over the years …


Current retirees have greater confidence than workers in retirement plans

A recent study reveals a disconnect between the retirement expectations of workers and retirees

Jon VoglerTime to read: 2 min

Compared with workers, current retirees have greater confidence in their ability to live comfortably in retirement, according to the 2018 edition of the annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

While the RCS found that the share of workers that feel very confident in their ability to live comfortably in retirement remains low at just 17% (with another 47% somewhat confident), 32% of retirees are very confident and 44% are somewhat confident.

The RCS found that


Three college savings lessons I learned from my mother

This Mother’s Day, I’m sharing some of my mom’s most valuable financial advice

Time to read: 3 min

Sunday, May 13 is Mother’s Day. At this time of year, I think fondly of my own mom and the enduring lessons she taught me. Her words of wisdom were a guide through many of the most important stages of my life, including the college savings journey — both for myself and for my own children. In the spirit of the holiday, here are three of the most valuable financial lessons I learned from my mother:


Census survey may understate retirement plan participation

A recent Investment Company Institute report reveals that plan participation increases with age and income

Jon VoglerTime to read: 2 min

In a recent analysis of US tax data, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) found that in 2014, 63% of workers between the ages of 26 and 64 participated — or had a spouse who participated in — a retirement plan. This number is higher than the findings from the US Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), the ICI says.

Ever since the Census Bureau changed its survey in 2014, it has shown a sharp drop in retirement plan participation — first to 44%, and then to 39% in 2016. In contrast to this decline, the ICI’s analysis of tax data shows that participation has in fact held steady since 2008.

This isn’t the first time the ICI has questioned CPS data.


Bipartisan retirement savings bill draws support for passage

Key provisions of the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 would create pooled employer plans and impact lifetime income statements

Jon VoglerTime to read: 2 min

The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 (RESA), a wide-ranging, bipartisan retirement savings bill that supporters hope will be approved by Congress later this year, was reintroduced in the Senate in early March. If approved, the bill could help expand access to retirement plans for employees of small businesses.

Where does RESA stand?


Have college-bound kids? It’s time for some major April decisions.

Families must decide where their seniors will go to college and what to do with their tax refunds

Time to read: 2 min

April showers don’t just bring May flowers. This month brings two major financial decisions that can impact the lives of parents and children for decades. It’s time for graduating high school seniors to select where they will be going to college, and for parents to decide what to do with their tax refunds. If your family is like mine, of course the kids come first, so let’s talk college.

Decision #1: Countdown to college  

Students spend many months