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College Savings Day 5/29 Shows How You Can Save For College

Posted on Jun 3, 2019 with No comments

Jun 3, 2019

May 29 is referred to as College Savings Day, a play on the date 5/29, as it pertains to the College Savings Account's formal name, the 529 savings plan.

Research has revealed that post-secondary education can bring about increased earnings and better job prospects, but the increasing expense of tuition has actually ended up being a problem for many households.

In truth, a new report finds that since 2009, most families have actually seen state school tuition fees jump 85%, the largest rise in the country. In other words, education is costly, and if you want your son or daughter to finish college debt-free (or as close to debt-free as possible), you could consider saving now.

The benefit of doing this with a 529 account is it was established exclusively for the objective of helping families prepare for the overall expense of college.

Here are a few more reasons that a 529 account is worth looking at:


College is expensive. The earlier you begin saving, the more time to allow your savings to work for you. Even saving small quantities will ultimately gain greater returns down the road.

Cover more than just university tuition. 529 savings accounts can be utilized to pay for all types of the costs related to school, including books, tools, laptops and other essential materials.





Put to use towards technical education. In addition to tuition and fees at public or private colleges, 529 savings can also be used toward trade schools, featuring culinary schools, technical colleges and other courses. These types of schools are ending up being progressively popular due to the required abilities they can teach in addition to the increasing cost of common universities.

Tax benefits. The state of Arizona provides an annual Arizona state income tax deduction for 529 plan contributions of as much as $2,000 for personal tax filers, and up to $4,000 for married couples filing jointly. (Please consult your tax consultant regarding potential tax benefits. All details provided here is meant as a practical source of information. The info is general in nature, is not complete, and may not apply to your specific circumstance.).

Lower student debt. A 529 savings account can help relieve the problem of student loans and lower the amount borrowed.

Flexibility. There are generally two various types of 529 savings accounts: the money market savings and the 1 year time savings accounts. The money market option is a liquid account that permits deposits and withdrawals any time. The one-year time cost savings option is a time account that offers low-risk financial commitment opportunities and greater interest rates by securing your deposits for a specified period of time.

529 Plans are the tools you need to save for college expenses. Open one today!


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How To Save Money While You Are In College

Posted on May 26, 2019 with No comments

May 26, 2019

In your initially year of college, you could be managing numerous things. From going to classes and keeping up with coursework to managing a part-time gig to making new friends, there's a lot to handle, and keeping tabs on your expenses might not be high up on the list.

The financial habits you develop in your initial year of college can help you long after graduation day arrives. Starting the savings habit at an early stage is certainly critical if you wish to start your career with a strong emergency fund available, or eventually buy a house.

Saving money in college is everything about having a plan of action and making the right choices. If you wish to begin establishing your money cushion, keep in mind to follow these guidelines for saving money as a college freshman.

Create a Budget


Making a budget for the first time will not be as challenging as it may seem. A spending plan is simply a plan for spending. To make a budget, add up everything you anticipate spending for the month, then match up that to the money you have coming in.

That includes any money you earn from working or financial support your parents may furnish. The objective is to make sure that you're not spending more than you have coming in. If you are, you'll want to cut back on some of your expenses so you can find money to save.

Choose the Best Bank


The first year of college is a great time to open a bank account and a savings account if you have not already. Your checking account is for paying expenses or making purchases; your savings account is for holding the money that you don't plan to spend at this time.




When choosing a bank, concentrate on 2 things: the fees they require and the interest you can make on savings. Student accounts tend to carry fewer fees, but at the same time, it pays to make certain you're getting the best rate possible on your savings so your hard earned money grows quicker.

Make Use Of Student Discounts


Your student ID can be the secret to discounts on things like sporting events, food, and entertainment. Businesses in college towns offer discounts to students as a motivation to bring in the college crowd.

The next time you head to a restaurant, movie theater, or another neighborhood business, make sure to present your student ID and inquire about a discount. Take the cash you would have spent without the discount and tuck away it away in your savings account.

Cut Costs on Textbooks


Books can easily consume a big chunk of your spending budget in your first year of college and beyond, but it's possible to get the books you require for less. Sites like Amazon.com and Chegg.com offer used textbooks for sale at a reduced rate, and, if you 'd prefer not to purchase, you could also think about renting your books. Another way to save on books as a freshman? Connect forces with another student who's taking the identical class and share books, cutting the cost in half.

Be Wise About Student Loans


Student loans can help pay for college expenses if you do not have a 529 plan or scholarships to fall back on, but they can equally lead you deep into debt. If you're getting federal loans, the number one rules is to just borrow what you need. This saves you money on interest down the road, since you're paying down a small balance.

The same rule applies to personal loans, yet the other consideration to keep in mind is getting a cosigner for those loans. Personal student loan rates are based on your credit score, so if you haven't developed a strong credit rating yet, asking a parent to cosign could help you lock in a lower rate and more savings.

Go Simple on Food Expenses


Your school meal plan can add several thousand dollars to your total expense of attendance each year. One method to avoid that expense and save money is by preparing basic meals, either in your dorm if you're living on campus, or your apartment if you're living off campus.




Steer clear of pricey convenience foods whenever possible and prepare your meals and snack foods each week before you go shopping. To keep expenses down at the supermarket and save your budget, think about shopping at a low-cost chain like Aldi's, buying store labels versus name brands, clipping discount coupons, and using a coupon app for the things you buy.


Make The Most Of School Freebies


Among the very best aspects of college is that there's always something to do on campus when you're not attending classes. That could include movie screenings, theater productions, club get-togethers, or art shows and, on a regular basis, these events are totally free for students.

If you're attempting to keep entertainment from devouring a hole in your spending plan so you can save money, check out as many of these freebees as possible. As an added bonus, they're a fantastic way to get to know new individuals if you're feeling like a complete stranger in your first year of college.

Automate Your Savings


If you have actually started a savings account, you need to make an effort to ensure that the cash you want to save makes its way into it. The simplest way to do that as a busy college freshman is by automating your savings deposits. Go over your budget and decide just how much you can dedicate to saving every month.

Then, set up an automated transfer in that amount monthly, or break it down weekly or once every two weeks, depending upon how frequently you're adding money to your checking out. Even tiny amounts can amount to a sizable savings cushion by senior year.

Saving money in your first year of college can help protect long-term financial success. As you start saving, don't forget to set clear objectives to help you stay motivated in the process.


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529 Plans Are The Best Way To Save For College Expenses And Avoid Student Debt

Posted on May 4, 2019 with No comments

May 4, 2019

Opening a 529 is hands-down the most effective way for mother and fathers, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and godparents to reduce a youngster's dependence on student loans, and the tension and anxiety that comes with paying them off.

Because of compound interest and also tax temptations, parents that put away just $10 a week in a 529, beginning on their youngster's first birthday, could have about $20,000 in the till by the time" Joe College" heads off to school. That's real money. That, in fact, makes a a major difference in a persons life.

529 Plans Are The Solution


Today, the "college costs" figures are starting to change. Since 529's were established in the mid-90s, states have aimed to make sure the strategies work well at all schools. More than 25 years later, we have finally been made known to the public the benefits and necessity of a 529 Plan. Now, mothers and fathers realize that 529 strategies are the way to go to make a large distinction in the family's educational plans.

Up until this time, a great deal of the across the country chatter on student loans has concentrated on what a person should do when they are already drenched in debt. Our message has a special take. We desire individuals to know there is a way to avoid financial debt from the beginning, in addition to this is a technique offered to every person today.



The 529 Plan remedy is not dependent upon the outcome of a political election or a candidates position on the issue. It's not hypothetical. Mother and fathers can take issues in to their own hands today to stop their youngsters from having frustrating financial debt tomorrow.

Will 529s remedy the student debt catastrophe? Heck no. They're not money magic sticks. But they are a clever beginning. As well as they're something everyone must find out about. They're something everybody needs to have.

The 529 Plan remedy


Student loan debt has reached $1.5 trillion across the country. Greater than 44 million Americans have this financial obligation gnawing at earnings, limiting opportunities as well as likewise leading them to postpone acquiring houses and also having kids. Americans of all political stripes, red or blue, must be able to see the ramifications of this dilemma. It has to end and 529 Plans are the solution.


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The Best Way To Save For College Is A 529 Plan

Posted on Apr 10, 2019 with 1 comment

Apr 10, 2019

Are you going to start a family. In the process of getting the babies nursery ready, lining up maternity leave, figuring out childcare plans, as well as making decisions relating to the birth itself, there's something else you need to be thinking of. Just how do you intend on saving for college?

According to George Ihnot, President of Family Financial Advisers, the correct time for folks to plan for college cost savings is "immediately or as early as practical-- even right after your kid is born."

"Investing for college is the hardest type of investing, given that you have a short time span and a certain draw period," Ihnot says. "It's not like retiring, where you can adjust it. If you're not prepared for retired life, you can wait. You do not have that luxury with college."

Now that you know you're require to start right away, how much do you need to set aside?




"The rising price of university in times past has actually been well in excess of normal inflation, typically 6-7%," Ihnot says.

He suggests that you take the present cost of an exclusive 4-year college and multiply it by 5. That's the amount of cash you'll wish to have on hand. Since you understand just how much you need, the question is, what's the best type of account in which to save it?

A 529 Plan Can Help You Save For College


Depending on the state in which you reside, a 529 College Savings Plan is likely going to be your best option for tax-incentive college savings. Ihnot says that you can think of these accounts like Roth IRAs. As your kid nears matriculation, you can start to move assets from more volatile assets, like equities (stocks), to more stable assets, like bonds.

Some states grant tax breaks on contributions to 529 plans and others do not. A couple of states will even allow you take a tax deduction even if you contribute to another state's 529 plan. If you happen to live in a state without income tax or someplace that does not have a 529 plan, you still have alternatives.

"It does not matter what state you reside in, you can put money in every state's 529 plan," Ihnot claims. "And it does not matter what state you save into. You can send your kid to college and university in any state. The general guideline is that if your state charges income tax and there is an advantage for a contributing to a 529 plan, then you're better off contributing to your state's 529 plan."

"the correct time for folks to plan for college cost savings is "immediately or as early as practical-- even right after your kid is born.", George Ihnot, President of Family Financial Advisers

529 plans provide parents who are saving for college and university the benefits of tax-deferred growth and tax-free spending for Qualified Higher Education Expenses (QHEE). Some K-12 tuition is also considered QHEE. A word of caution: Colleges and universities must be accredited so as for tuition to be considered QHEE.

Even More Reasons to Use a 529 Plan


The majority of 529 plans come with a balance limit that varies from one state to another. Normally, it's around $250,000, Ihnot claims.

529 plans also provide you extra property protection in situations such as bankruptcy or a lawsuits.

"In many cases, there's a greater degree of asset protection than an individual or a joint account," Ihnot claims. "There's a public interest in your children being educated."

There's also a great deal of misinformation encompassing the amount that parents can contribute the 529 plans. Many believe that the contributions comprise gifts in the eyes of the IRS and are as a result capped at $12,000. This, however is not the case. Ihnot explains that each parent can contribute as much as $15,000 per kid annually, and more with some additional paperwork.


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Funding Options for Parents Starting Late When Saving For College

Posted on Apr 7, 2019 with No comments

Apr 7, 2019

The school year is going well across the nation, which suggests millions of families in the past year are focusing on how they will pay for school next year. As costs continue to escalate, however, many are stressed they'll never manage to save enough.

In 2017, the typical price of tuition, room and board at a four-year public school was greater than $36,000, a greater than $1,000 rise from 2016-2017. For private colleges, the charge is a lot more pricey, with the price tag close to $47,000. Add that up over the course of four years-- or more-- and it's no wonder that parents are on edge.

Without question, the soundest advice when it comes to investing savings for higher education is to begin early, however there are numerous Americans that, for what ever reason, have not had the ability to do that. If that's you, not all hope is lost because there are strategies to catch up or compensate.

Consider the following:


529 plans. One of the most popular college-funding vehicle is the 529 plan, which are typically structured like a retirement savings program, except the money can be used much sooner and is exclusively meant to pay for qualified education expenses. Pre-paid plans allow you to secure tuition credits at current rates at participating colleges.

Earnings grow tax-free and withdrawals are not subject to federal income taxes, while most states allow you to deduct plan payments. Unlike 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, additions to 529 plans are not tax deductible at the federal level.




While many people think it's too late to invest in a 529 plan when an individual is in high school, such strategies are an ideal instrument for households that are behind.

For one, it's not ever too late to begin saving. Two, there are no contribution limitations, allowing households entering their peak earning years just like their kids become teens-- which is very typical-- a way to make large lump-sum contributions that can generate returns. Three, you can continue to make the payments until the student graduates, indicating the benefits will last longer than most realize.

Choose the optimal fit. When young people begin to think about which school is the most suitable fit for them, they typically look at an assortment of factors, including where their buddies are going, which school is furthest from home or even which one has the greatest football team. However, from a planning viewpoint, figuring out "fit" indicates something else, frequently requiring a thoughtful conversation between parents and children.


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3 Non-Tuition Costs You Should Be Ready for in College

Posted on Apr 2, 2019 with No comments

Apr 2, 2019

As you prepare to take on the financial burden of a college education, your financial planning may be centered around tuition expenses. If you are like many others, you may also include room and board in your budgeting efforts.

However, numerous other expenses also impact the total cost of a college education. While these other miscellaneous expenses are not usually as significant as tuition costs, they can be sizable. More than that, the cumulative impact of numerous smaller expenses that have been overlooked with your financial planning can result in substantial and unnecessary stress. These are some of the non-tuition college expenses to prepare for.

Miscellaneous Education-Related Expenses


Simply paying your tuition bill is unfortunately not sufficient. Numerous other education-related expenses crop up each semester. For example, you will need school supplies for each class as well as a laptop, a printer and its supplies, a special calculator for math courses and more.

Some classes require you to visit various establishments in order to complete required assignments, which may result in extra expenses. You may also have costs related to enrichment opportunities and extracurricular activities. In addition to allocating funds for school supplies, consider maintaining a miscellaneous fund to cover other education-related expenses that may crop up.

Travel Expenses


If you are attending a school far from home, periodic travel may be required. In many instances, a college student will return home in between semesters and for holidays. This may be required for the time period when dorms are closed each year, so the expense must be accounted for in a budget. You may avoid this expense by living off-campus with a 12-month lease.

Emergency Costs


Young adults are still learning the ropes, and they may make a few unfortunate mistakes from time to time. Emergency costs may be related to injury accidents, severe illnesses and even legal expenses. Buying an excellent health insurance policy can offset many medical expenses.





However, you also may need ample funds in savings to pay for lawyer fees, lawsuit settlement funding and other expenses. Your savings account balance should be sufficient to cover the cost of insurance deductibles, unplanned vehicle expenses and more.

Having money available can also save a significant amount of time by letting you avoid having to search for answers about insurance, the pros and cons of pre-settlement lawsuit funding, and other time intensive things.

College is stressful enough without contending with financial woes. As challenging as it is to pay college tuition as well as room and board, additional expenses must also be taken into account. By preparing for these additional expenses in various ways, you can more easily navigate through your college years and reduce the risk of running out of cash before obtaining your degree.


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How to Reduce Future College Debt

Posted on Mar 17, 2019 with No comments

Mar 17, 2019



It is coming to be increasingly difficult for children to have much better lives than their parents. The high price of education and the shrinking middle class are just two of the reasons. Not too long ago you could make plenty of money at a part-time employment to pay for nearly all of your college schooling. And when you finished you can get a really good career without much debt.

Some youngsters still may do that. However there are 42 million Americans that owe $1.4 trillion in student loan financial debt. That's more than $33,000 per person. Just think of if you were marrying, striving to start a family and purchase a home with this debt. Life is difficult enough without starting out in a large hole.

I can not solve this situation in a brief column, but I can offer you 2 suggestions on just how you as parents can help monetarily.

The 1st is the 529 College Savings Plan. It is an excellent method for moms and dads, grandparents and family members to support a youngster's education. The 529 is an unique account you can set up where you as the account holder can assign a beneficiary. All earnings on the money you put in this account is tax free as long as you use it for qualified education expenses.

The account owner is in control of the account. The owner invests the cash and disperses the money. They even can modify the recipient. One more attribute is that the owner can encourage other individuals to add to the account. So Aunt Millie can place a $25 birthday gift in the 529 instead of purchasing a present or a savings bond.





Every state has one or more 529 plans provided and you can invest in any state's 529 and use the money anywhere so it makes good sense to have a plan that has great investment choices and low expenses. The 529 plans that financial advisers promote are all a bad deal. They are pricey with limited high cost investment choices. The direct 529 plans with the state are almost always the way to proceed.

The second method parents can really help is rarely used, although I have been suggesting it for several years as a way to save, grow wealth and teach kids about investing. And that is the ROTH IRA for youngsters. There are 2 points you need to remember. Minors can not open a ROTH IRA account. An adult have to function as custodian till the minor becomes an adult at which time the money comes to be theirs. The other point is that there are restrictions to just how much youngsters can invest in the ROTH IRA

The 2019 ROTH IRA contribution limitation is $6,000. Any youngster who has acquired earnings can add as much as the amount they earned or $6,000, whichever is less. So if a youngster earns $100 trimming lawns, babysitting, working around your company or a real job, $100 can go into a ROTH IRA. The cash that in fact goes into the youngster's ROTH IRA can originate from parents or grandparents.

It is worth doing because $100 saved in a ROTH at age 10 and earning 9 percent per year till that kid retires becomes $11,400, tax free. If you string a couple of those contributions together while your children are young you can truly help them in the future.


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Saving and Spending: Why it’s So Important to Manage Monthly Bills In College

Posted on Feb 26, 2019 with No comments

Feb 26, 2019

We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees. That’s exactly why it’s so indispensable to keep your monthly bills in check. Good spending and saving practices can go a long way in contemporary society. If you fail to take charge of your bills, you can end up with all sorts of financial concerns that can take a toll on everything.

Credit Score


Losing track of your monthly bills can do a number on your credit score. If you want to avoid wreaking havoc on your credit rating, then you need to take control of all of your monthly bills, zero exceptions. Paying your bills late can be disastrous. Failing to pay them entirely can make it harder for you to get a mortgage, purchase a vehicle, and get a credit card.

Budgeting


Not handling your monthly bills can also interfere greatly with all of your budgeting goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving up for a new home purchase. It doesn’t matter if you’re saving to go on a trip to the Caribbean, either. Confusion about monthly bills can make it impossible for you to budget and save like a champion. That can lead to chaos all around.




Mental Clarity


Taking charge of your monthly bills can also be beneficial for your clarity of mind. If you flounder in the financial management department, that can make your brain feel foggy and out of sorts. Mental organization can do a lot for the order of your existence in general. Rock-solid financial management abilities can help you with all different facets of your life.

Other Essential Expenses


If you handle your monthly bills well, then it can help you figure out how much you have to set aside for other costs. Home AC maintenance service is an expense that many homeowners have. Routine cooling system maintenance can keep breakdowns and problems of all kinds at bay. If you want to protect your air conditioner from airflow troubles, odd smells, and more, then you need to make sure that you can cover routine maintenance work.

People who have comfortable and pleasant lives tend to be capable financial planners. If you want to join their ranks, then you need to figure out how to control your monthly bills. You need to grasp how much you have to set aside for everything from utilities to wireless high-speed Internet access. Outstanding financial management abilities can help you soar.


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Why College Arts Students Should Protect Their Portfolios

Posted on Feb 11, 2019 with No comments

Feb 11, 2019

As a college arts student, improving your skills and creating an impressive portfolio may be at the top of your list of goals until you graduate. These are essential in order to move on to the next step after graduation and land a great job with significant growth potential in your desired field. The last thing that you may be thinking about is protecting your portfolio but there are a few critical reasons why this should be a top priority throughout your college career and beyond.

Intellectual Property Theft


When you apply for a creative arts job immediately after graduation or even many years down the road, hiring managers understandably will look at your educational background and previous work experience. More importantly, they want to see what type of creative work that you can produce.

A job applicant with a stellar resume may have trouble landing a great creative arts job without a portfolio or if it appears as though that portfolio includes another person’s artwork. Intellectual property theft is a significant problem for individuals in this field, so you must take every step possible to protect your work. Consulting with an intellectual property lawyer early in your college career about the best way to protect your work is a smart idea.

Physical Damage


While you understandably do not want anyone to steal your work and claim it as their own, this is not the only way that your portfolio of work may be unavailable when needed. If you do not actively safeguard your portfolio, the work can be damaged.

This may be related to a fire in your home, water damage or even a pet getting hold of it. Protecting your portfolio from physical damage is easy to do when you understand the importance of doing so. For example, you may simply store your portfolio in fireproof lock box or safe. This consequently also protects your portfolio from theft.




From a professional perspective, there are few things that are more important to a creative arts professional than their portfolio. You will begin compiling a portfolio of your work early in your college career, and this is the time when you should begin protecting it against theft and physical damage.

Now that you understand what the risks associated with portfolio loss are, you can take action to protect your work going forward. Keep in mind that you will need to continue to protect your expanding portfolio throughout your career.


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How to Make Utilities Affordable on a Strict Budget in College

Posted on Jan 31, 2019 with No comments

Jan 31, 2019

When you’re on a tight budget, it’s so important to stay within the lines. When you don’t, it can lead to debt and more negative financial scenarios. It’s one thing to cut down on your expenses for food. There are food banks, coupons and other ways to make food stretch. However, this same concept doesn’t apply to your utility bills. Thankfully, there are ways you can make your utilities more affordable when you’re on a tight budget. Consider the following four ideas.

Limit Energy Consumption


This doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to sleep in a cold home during the winter. However, it does mean that you need to be intentional with your usage. Keep the thermostat at a consistent temperature like 69 degrees during the seasons. Use space heaters with timers for rooms that you’ll spend a lot of time in.


Wear a layer or two as well. Try to cook meals no more than twice a week. When you cook major meals ahead of time, you won’t have to heat up the stove for longer periods of time. Turn off the lights once you leave a room. Unplug your items when you’re finished watching television or using the toaster. These small tips add up.

Find an Affordable Internet Service Provider


It might be a wise idea to let go of your cable and internet package. There are many an internet service provider to choose from, so make sure you find one that works for you and your needs. Plus, you can also watch your favorite shows through inexpensive subscription programs online.

Implement Ways to Cut down on Water Usage


Check to see if there are any leaks. If water is continuously running in one of the toilets, make sure the issue is fixed quickly. Take shorter showers. It’s also a good idea to use a low-flow showerhead. It’ll help you conserve water, get clean and keep your water bill low.

Talk to Your Utility Providers


Always remember to talk with your utility service providers. Ask about any potential programs they offer that can help you decrease your monthly bill. Sometimes, it’s just about making a phone call to inquire. In other cases, they might send someone to your home in order to give a free consultation. Many utility companies will provide free consultations so that you can learn more about ways to conserve energy and spend less.

As you implement these tips and become used to them, you might find yourself preferring this way of living. When you do get some financial margin, these tips aren’t bad to maintain. After all, you can still live comfortably. The bills will be paid and you’ll get to put more money into other areas like savings or travel.


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4 Plans to Save For Private Education Expenses

Posted on Jan 20, 2019 with No comments

Jan 20, 2019

Preparation and saving for private school tuition now is possible and more economical than financing the cost from future cash flow. While some restrictions may exist, there are tax advantaged ways of making the costs more budget-friendly and more efficient with your overall financial planning.

529 Plan


The most largely employed education savings account. Contributions are non-deductible inside a 529 plan, however they grow tax free inside the account. The contribution limitation for 2018 is $15,000 annually per contributor or $75,000 per contributor as a 5 year "pre-paid" gift. 

If applied toward qualified secondary and post-secondary education costs, distributions are tax free. There are distribution limitations for K-12 costs. The adult retains full control as the owner of the account.

Coverdell Savings Account (ESA)/ Education IRA


The non-deductible additions grow tax free inside the account. If the funds are employed for qualified education costs, distributions are tax free given they are used for qualified costs relating to private schools, but they can be utilized for both secondary and post-secondary academic expenses.



Contribution restrictions contain several factors including amount ($2,000 annually for 2018), income limits, and age limits of the minor. Contributions are deemed a gift to the child and effectively become the property of the beneficiary if they are not used for qualified educational expenses.

Regular Custodial Accounts (UTMA/UGMA)


This account is similar to the ESA in that contributions are a gift to the college student. At age 18 the student takes possession of the account. The tax benefit is different from 529s and ESAs. Distributions do not carry additional taxes as the earnings are taxed throughout the duration of the account. 

The taxation of UTMA accounts have shifted for 2018, making it very necessary to understand how this account would be taxed for you. This account usually has a dual-purpose because the goal is to pay for education with the intention that the child will receive the balance as a "graduation gift" once he/ she has completed school. The contribution limit into an UTMA is $13,000 annually per donor for 2018.


Pre-paid State Tuition Plans


Although not available in every state, some have particular plans for resident students attending an in-state university that allows for a parent to pre-pay college expenses. The adult pays for tuition at a reduced rate and can "secure" the tuition cost for that child, years in advance. This plan is seldom used, nevertheless, because of the restriction on where the child can attend. Each state program is unique and requires further study, if being considered.

As with retirement, it is important to prepare for college costs as early as possible to take advantage of long-term growth opportunities. Any one of these options will assist in saving for those costs and relieve the pressure of tuition expenses when they come due. It is recommended that one look for the advice of a Certified Financial Planner ™ expert or tax expert when deciding which plan is best for each unique circumstance.


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Side Hustle: 4 Easy Ways to Make Extra Cash in College

Posted on Jan 16, 2019 with No comments

Jan 16, 2019

Getting money can seem like one of the hardest things in the world. It doesn’t have to be that difficult for anyone, however. If you’re clever and resourceful, earning spare cash shouldn’t be too complex for you. There are all sorts of options out there for ingenuous folks who don’t want to take “no” for an answer in life.

Throw a Garage Sale


Organizing a yard sale can help you earn spare cash rapidly and easily. All you have to do is browse through your belongings. If you find things that you no longer want or use, then you should consider selling them. Putting together a neighborhood garage sale can be excellent for people who want to unload and make money simultaneously.


Sell Your Possessions on the Internet


Selling belongings on the Internet can be suitable for people who want to easily and rapidly score spare cash. There are so many websites online that are fitting for the sales of old items. There are many auction sites that are fitting for them, too.





Create comprehensive listings for any items you wish to sell. If you want to sell an old acoustic guitar, write about it in great detail. Include clear photographs of it from numerous angles as well.


Look for a Part-Time Position


Part-time work can be helpful to people who need spare money. You don’t have to get a part-time job at a boutique or a grocery store, either. If you’re unable to find the time to squeeze in a conventional part-time position, you can think about starting a pet walking or sitting business in your neighborhood. You may be able to feed cats that are alone while their owners are away on business or on vacation. You may be able to walk dogs that have busy owners as well. Be sure to explore all of your available job paths.

Recycle Scrap Metal


Scrap metal recycling can be a superb option for people who are in need of more money. Be on the lookout for scrap metal services that are accessible to your household. You can even look around your community. Scrap metal recycling can help people simply and confidently make money. It doesn’t call for a substantial time commitment in any way, either.

Earning extra cash can make you feel smart. It can help you save for all kinds of essential purchases as well. Resourceful people can explore all sorts of money-making avenues nowadays.


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Withdrawing Money From A 529 College Savings Plan

Posted on Jan 11, 2019 with No comments

Jan 11, 2019

Parents who've been saving for years know the benefits of putting dollars into a 529 college savings account. They get huge tax breaks on the cash. However what goes on when it's eventually time to take the money out? Financial experts at Money Magazine say there are smart techniques to accomplish it.

If you don't spend the money on a valid 529 expenditure, you'll pay income tax on the gains in the 529 and a 10 percent penalty on the amount you saved. Legitimate 529 expenses consist of common things, such as tuition and supplies, like books and personal computers. You can additionally use the money towards room and board if the trainee is registered in school at least half-time.

As you spend, be sure to keep all your receipts. The IRS may have questions later. Know that when you spend the money also make a difference. You need to spend it in the corresponding year that you make the withdrawal. That means the fiscal year, not the academic year.




If you're lucky enough to have left over 529 funds, you can avoid taxes and penalties by saving it for graduate school, moving the money to another child, a family member or perhaps apply it to advance your own education.

- Managing Your Strategies For 529 Plan Withdrawals -


Money Magazine says that in some cases you can even use 529 money towards education expenses for kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade, but only up to ten thousand dollars per child, per year. Simply be sure to get in touch with your plan administrator to find out what's covered.





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4 Home Additions To Save Up For Years Before Undertaking

Posted on Jan 3, 2019 with No comments

Jan 3, 2019


While many home renovation projects are simple and inexpensive, there might be a few major upgrades that you are interested in. If that sounds like your own situation, then you need to start figuring out your finances a few years in advance. Here is a look at four large projects that are going to require careful planning and a solid budget.

In-ground Pool


Installing an in-ground pool is going to turn your backyard into an outdoor getaway, but there are a few major expenses to consider. In addition to the initial installation costs, you also need to think about how the pool is going to impact your home insurance. As a general rule, most basic home policies don’t cover any liability issues with a new pool unless the owner has purposefully added that coverage.

Upgrade Major Mechanical Systems


Adding a new electrical outlet or faucet generally won’t be a big deal, but replacing all of the wires and pipes in your home is a serious undertaking. That being said, you should consider carrying this project out if those systems haven’t been updated within the last few decades.




Old pipes often contain a wide variety of unwanted contaminants, and frayed wires are a fire hazard. This project should only be carried out by licensed and insured professionals who have permits to work in your state.

Outdoor Patio



Depending on where you live, installing one of many outdoor patios is another major project that can drastically increase the resale value of your home. This upgrade is also going to extend your living area and give you an excellent place to relax with family and friends throughout the year. Before your contractor breaks ground on this project, you will need to consider a few different variables including the overall size, what types of materials you would like to use, and what amenities you would like inside the covered area.

Remodel the Kitchen


Even though remodeling an outdated or unattractive kitchen will make a home much more appealing, it is a serious undertaking that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You might even need to leave your home for a few days if the contractors are going to turn off your water or electricity. That being said, this is a great option for anyone who would like to increase the value of their property as much as possible. Simply installing new appliances and cabinets could boost your home’s resale value by tens of thousands of dollars.

When it comes time to pay for one of these projects, homeowners need to consider all of their financial options. Some homeowners might benefit from taking out a small loan while others will actually save money by putting the expenses on a low-interest credit card.


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