Wait. What’s a 529 Plan Anyway? Krista C December 13, 2016 Parenting There are a lot of scary parts about parenting. The first day of kindergarten. That first crush. Teenagers. (That’s a class all by itself.) And just when you think you’ve survived the worst, the sleepless nights are over, they’ve learned to drive without killing themselves, and high school is done…you get to figure out how to pay for college. It used to be that you could set aside a little bit of money in a savings account each month, take out a small student loan and your kids were set. That’s what I thought we’d be doing when our kids were born. Then the economy changed, college tuition started raising dramatically, we added a few more kids to the mix, moved halfway across the country, and the next thing I knew we were looking at college expenses for four kids in a state where tuition for A SINGLE YEAR can run to $34,000 or more. Are you kidding me? Options. It was time for options. Better than the ones we’d used so far. Chances are, you’re looking for options too, but you aren’t entirely certain where to start. For us, the answer was a 529 savings plan for each kid. Here’s what we found when we went digging: While contributions aren’t tax free, the money stored in a 529 plan isn’t taxed, and you don’t have to pay any taxes when the time comes to use it to pay for college. It’s one less thing for you and your accountant to worry at the end of the year. There are many colleges across the US that will allow you to pay using a 529 plan. Which means you can live in California, send your kid to a school in Massachusetts, and use your 529 to pay for it. Some states offer additional tax breaks for a 529 plan. Extra money back at the end of the year is a good thing. A very good thing. Especially with the way my kids outgrow shoes! Set it. Forget it. You can set up automatic deposits, and your plan will handle the rest. If I wanted to constantly manage an account, I’d be a stockbroker. It’s not my gig. And I have enough things to keep track of in a day, I REALLY don’t need one more! For me, more money with less hassle means I can focus on what matters now while still doing what’s best for my kids’ future. Find out more by swinging over to ScholarShare. There’s no obligation, no one’s going to hound you on the phone, and you’ll have access to everything you need to make the right decision for you and your kids. We are proud to be a Scolarshare Ambassador. The views and opinions stated here are our own.