If you’ve ever tried to figure out how much it will cost to send your child to college, the number probably shocked you. But don’t feel bad—it shocks everyone. In fact, 28 percent of people lose sleep over saving for college, according “Parents, Kids, & Money,” a 2014 survey by T. Rowe Price.
But take a deep breath and let a 529 college savings plan help. Here are a few facts about 529 plans:
Tax-Free Potential. You don’t have to pay taxes on any earnings while your money is invested in a 529 plan. And, when withdrawals are used for qualified higher education expenses, you don’t pay taxes when you take it out—even on your earnings.
Go Anywhere. Savings can be used at nearly any college in the country. And it doesn’t have to be a four-year college—you can use your savings toward qualified trade and technical schools, too.
Friends and family can contribute. Friends and family can help you save through gifting. So come birthdays, graduations, and other special days, you can add to your savings, not to your clutter.
It can help with expenses. The money from your 529 plan can be used for education expenses like tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies.
Remember, everybody stresses about saving for college. But even saving a little bit can help in the long run. The most important thing is to make a plan and get started. For more information, visit College Savings Chill Out for six easy steps to start saving for college.
Please note that a 529 plan’s disclosure document includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing. You should compare these plans with any 529 college savings plan offered by your home state or your beneficiary’s home state. Before investing, consider any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in the home state’s plan.
The availability of tax or other benefits may be conditioned on meeting certain requirements such as residency, purpose for or timing of distributions, or other factors, as applicable.