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 …

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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:

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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

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Show your love with a 529 contribution

This Valentine’s Day, consider the gift of college savings for a special child in your life

Time to read: 2 min

In the beginning, Valentine’s Day was associated with romantic couples only, but in recent times the day is seen in a much larger perspective. Now, people take the opportunity to wish a happy Valentine’s Day to anyone they love, including friends and family. The idea is to celebrate love, and in that spirit, I believe the best Valentine’s Day gift for a special child in your life is a 529 contribution.

Here’s why.

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Using 529s for K–12 costs: Five things to consider

Tax reform has expanded the scope of 529 plans. Is your saving strategy ready?

Time to read: 3 min

529 savings plans aren’t just for college anymore. Due to changes in federal tax law passed by Congress in 2017, families with children in grades K–12 can now take federal tax-free withdrawals of up to $10,000 a year to pay for tuition at an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school.1 Whether K–12 tuition will qualify for state tax benefits is determined on a state-by-state basis.

This can be a valuable benefit for many families — contributions to a 529 account grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they’re applied toward qualified educational expenses.1 But, making sure your money can potentially last from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of college requires a diligent and consistent saving strategy. Otherwise, families may find themselves with a shortage of college funds after using their savings on elementary through high school costs.

Below are five things to keep in mind as you consider using 529 funds for your little ones.

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