November 1, 2014

529 College Savings

Education is expensive, so it's best to plan ahead. Here are ways to do that.

How Can I Give to My New Grandchild?

child-grandparent-hands_t

My daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first child, and my husband and I want to give some money for the child as a gift. What are my options?

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Some College Degrees Not Worth the Investment

college guy playing guitar

A typical college degree is worth up to a million bucks over a career, but that’s not true for every degree.

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How Much Should I Save for College?

college

I’ve learned to develop a thick skin when sharing ideas with the masses but if these commenters represent some general barometer of financial sanity, we appear to be losing the battle.

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Age-Based Benchmarks for 529 College Savings (2014)

college savings progress

529 Colleges Savings Articles: 1. Power Fund a 529 Account Via ’5 Year Election’ 2. The Beginning of the End for Skyrocketing College Costs? 3. 529 Gift to the Grandchildren

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How to Calculate An Advisor’s Value: Liability-Relative Optimizing

Chess White Queen

Planning on future cash needs allows you to use specific accounts for tax planning purposes.

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The Beginning of the End for Skyrocketing College Costs?

college bound

With this announcement, we are finally starting to see online education cause disruptions that can slow soaring college costs.

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Power Fund a 529 Account Via ’5 Year Election’ in 2013

happy grandparents

Investing a large lump sum amount into a college 529 savings plan using a special ’5 year election’ can offer substantial tax savings.

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Helping New Graduates Get a Financial Life

College Graduates

Matthew Illian says young adults should read one personal finance book a year to expand their financial literacy. See what books we would recommend.

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Essential Financial Advice for College Graduates

Graduation Advice

As the wife of a 2013 college graduate and a 2012 college graduate myself, I can boldly say this was the most helpful advice given to me.

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What Is the Deadline for a 529 College Plan Distribution? ($ ?s)

$ Questions

Learn about 529 college savings plan distribution rules before you need to start taking money out of your accounts. This post answers the timing question for those who are using the 529 to reimburse expenses already paid.

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Can ‘True Love’ Survive Student Loans and Lack of Employment?

Graduates

Such a well-intentioned program which steals our youth, our love, our happiness, our faith and our self-esteem.

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College 529 Savings Plan Distribution Rules ($ ?s)

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Q: We have saved money for our grandchildren’s college expenses with 529 plans, and now the first is set to begin. What advice do you have as we begin to make distributions from these accounts?

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Is Federal Student Aid Among the Best or Worst Government Programs?

Jefferson and the Rotunda in the snow

The unintended consequences of good intentions can do more economic harm than all the mean-spirited greed within capitalism.

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How To Avoid Drowning in College Debt

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Debt burdens are relative. For example, a $58k college debt will feel doable to a doctor making $100k+ per year and overwhelming to a lower wage employee. A degree should not cost more than your future earning power will sustain.

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The 85% College Savings Plan

college books

To assess our progress toward funding all three children, I have created age-based benchmarks that I share here.

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Money Questions: Tips for College Freshmen

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Q: Our son is headed to Virginia Tech as a college freshman. When it comes to finances, he’s clueless. What financial advice should we offer before we drop him off?

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Get More Bang For College Bucks

Rotunda in the snow

Before you spot a single Ivy League or big-name private school, public campuses grab 17 of PayScale’s first 18 spots. Leading is Georgia Tech’s 13.9% return on investment. Next is the University of Virginia’s 13.3%.

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Start Saving for College the Day They Are Born

Baby Picture

My youngest is a first-year student at the University of Virginia. My coauthor Matthew’s youngest child was born only a month ago. There is no such thing as saving too early.

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Video: College Planning is Worth a Million Bucks

Marotta Youtube

Four-years of college currently cost $60,000 at a public university. In eighteen years, it may cost more than $145,000. To stay ahead of rising tuition costs, you should plan ahead and save early. Tax-favored 529 accounts can help you provide an excellent college education for your children and grandchildren.

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Video: What’s More Important, Saving for College or Retirement?

Marotta Youtube

What’s more important, saving for college or retirement?

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Learning to Live on Your Own, Part 2

Swan with Cygnet

Here we offer some sound advice on how to put the money you’ve saved to work for you.

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Learning to Live on Your Own, Part 1

Swan with Cygnet

If you’re like most of today’s college graduates, you may find yourself ill prepared for the real world of financial responsibility. You never saw how your parents lived when they were first married and struggling. Consequently, you may be basing your after-school expectations on an upper-middle-class lifestyle. Here is my financial advice for those of you learning to live on your own.

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University Students: Getting Sucked Dry by Credit Cards

Credit Card in Jeans Pocket

Last week we listed the ways university student are enticed into using credit cards. This week we will examine the economical impact of those initially small and convenient monthly payments.

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University Students: Getting Suckered in with Credit Cards

Credit Card in Jeans Pocket

Every University student knows they should have a credit card. You have to have a second form of ID on many financial transactions. You have to have one to establish good credit. And, the more you use them, the more you will accrue bonus points toward cash, mileage credits and various “free gifts”. P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But it doesn’t have to be you.

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