529 plans: An A+ choice for employers?

College savings plans can help companies boost their employee benefits packages

Tom RowleyBusiness owners are always looking for ways to show their employees they care — and with higher education costs rising every year, I believe there’s no better time for corporations to look into adding a 529 college savings plan to their employee benefits packages.

Today, a college education is estimated to cost close to $20,000 per year for an in-state, four-year public school, and $40,000 for a private university — that’s a pretty hefty chunk of change.1 But tuition rates aren’t the only numbers on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the costs to implement employee benefits programs, such as health insurance and 401(k)s, are increasing as well.2 As a result, employers

Continue

529 plans: Not as puzzling as they seem

Piecing together an organized college savings plan on National Puzzle Day

Tom RowleyThe holidays are finally over. Or are they? In reality, every day is a holiday — if you believe the websites that document this type of thing. There’s International Sweatpants Day, National Popcorn Day, Measure Your Feet Day and even Answer Your Cat’s Question Day. (That last “holiday” was Jan. 22, so you have an entire year to prepare for your next feline inquisition.)

Taken in context then, National Puzzle Day sounds pretty reasonable. We don’t know who conceived of this holiday — it remains a mystery, which seems appropriate — but we do know when it is: Jan. 29. What does all this have to do with 529 college savings plans? I can think of at least three things you need to do to be successful at both puzzles and college savings. Let’s take a look.

Continue

Give the gift that will last a lifetime: A college education

A 529 college savings plan can bring a smile to your grandchild’s face for years to come

Tom RowleyThe holidays are upon us again, and many grandparents are looking forward to one of their favorite moments of the season – the delighted smiles of grandkids opening a present they’ve been dreaming of all year. Give it a few weeks, though, and last year’s trendiest toy often becomes this year’s latest giveaway.

This season, consider a gift your grandkids won’t break, wear out or outgrow – the enduring gift of a college education.

Continue

529 college savings plans and financial aid

The ABCs of your EFC

Tom RowleyWith the high cost of college, chances are good that federal financial aid won’t cover all your child’s college expenses, which is why many parents have opened 529 college savings plans to help fund their child’s education.

In fact, one of the biggest questions I receive from parents is, how will a 529 college savings plan account affect need-based student aid?

To answer that question, let’s start with

Continue

Want financial aid for college? The time to act is now.

What parents need to know about the new FAFSA timeline for student financial aid

Tom Rowley

College is expensive, and getting financial aid that doesn’t have to be paid back is every parent’s dream. To achieve that dream for your child in the 2017-2018 school year, you need to be aware of two significant changes to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process. Otherwise, your child could miss an opportunity for federal grants and work-study funds.

The financial aid clock is ticking

The most significant change is that

Continue