Are 529 plans a good investment?

Many people saving for college choose 529 plans as their investment vehicles, and that’s for good reason. 529 plans offer tax advantages that can help you allocate even more dollars to education expenses. There are a variety of plans available, and you’re not limited to just your own state’s plan.

Why is a 529 plan a bad idea?

A 529 plan could mean less financial aid.

The largest drawback to a 529 plan is that colleges consider it when deciding on financial aid. This means your child could receive less financial aid than you might otherwise need.

Can you lose money in a 529 plan?

You don’t lose unused money in a 529 plan. The money can still be used for post-secondary education, for another beneficiary who is a qualified family member such as younger siblings, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, or even for yourself.

What is the average return on a 529 plan?

A 529 plan, on the other hand, might easily return an average of 6% or more each year, helping you accumulate more cash for when those tuition bills start rolling in.

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What are the disadvantages of a 529 plan?

Pros and Cons of 529 Plans

Advantages Disadvantages
Federal income tax benefits, and sometimes state tax benefits Must use funds for education
Low maintenance Limitations on state tax benefits
High contribution limits No self-directed investments
Flexibility Fees

Is a 529 plan better than a savings account?

529 plans offer a greater return on investment along with the greater complexity and greater risk of loss. Other important benefits of 529 plans include better financial aid and tax treatment of the savings.

Is it better for a parent or grandparent to own a 529 plan?

How Grandparent 529 Plans Affect Financial Aid. Overall, 529 plans have a minimal effect on financial aid. But, the FAFSA treats parent-owned accounts more favorably. For example, you report 529 plans assets as parent assets, which can only reduce aid eligibility by a maximum 5.64% of the account value.

What happens to 529 if stock market crashes?

To claim the loss, the 529 plan account had to be completely liquidated, and any non-qualified distributions would be subject to income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. The total amount of itemized deductions had to be greater than 2% of the taxpayers adjusted gross income.

What is the best college savings plan?

A 529 college savings plan offers one of the best vehicles to save for a child’s educational costs, both for primary school and college. While many families are still leaving billions on the table, it’s easy to set up a 529 plan and take maximum advantage of all it offers.

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Is now a good time to start a 529 plan?

For most individuals, there is never an ideal time to start saving for college. The key is to avoid procrastinating and open a 529 plan as soon as you have someone to save for. If parents have their first child at age 26, the best time to open a 529 plan would be between the ages of 25 and 34.

What if I have too much money in 529?

Saving too much in a 529 plan is an expensive mistake

Money is invested and withdrawn tax-free if spent on qualified educational expenses. But if your savings exceed the cost, you may have to pay tax plus a 10% penalty on what’s leftover.

Which 529 plans have the best returns?

Top 10 performing 529 college savings plans

Rank State Plan
1 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan
1 Alaska Alaska 529
3 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)
4 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan
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