Last Second 529 Planning Tips

With the holidays in full swing and only a week left in 2014, college planning is not top of mind for many families but it should be.

Rather than stuffing the toy box with another battery powered-something-or-another, how about asking for a contribution to your child’s college savings plan (529)?

There are more than a dozen plans throughout the country that make asking for gifts easy. Fidelity plans allow you to create an online “gift page” with pictures, information and even a greeting from the plan beneficiary. Other plans allow Facebook banner posts to ask for gifts. There are still others that utilize Ugift, a service that sends invites to family, friends and others in your social circle asking for contributions to your 529 account.

For families that want to SUPER-Fund their children’s 529 plans, maximizing the annual gift tax exclusion now will allow a married couple to place as much as $168,000 into a college savings account over the next 10 days! That is $168,000 that can be placed into each child’s 529 removing it from the parents’ or grandparents’ estate while the account owner still retains control over the assets.

Lastly, for families of High School seniors, there is only one week left to increase your financial aid award by as much as 14% by utilizing a 529 plan. If you think this may apply to your family, you need to act immediately.

A 529 account has tremendous benefits when properly utilized. As we wrap up 2014 and head into a new year, put some of the family gift giving toward your children’s future expenses.

Happy Holidays!

Sean Moore, CFP®, ChFC®

SMART College Funding