Question: When A 529 Plan Is Not The Best College Savings Option?

What happens if you don’t use all your 529 money?

If you truly have no other use for your leftover 529 plan savings, you can always take a non-qualified distribution.

Your contributions will never be taxed or penalized, since they were made with after-tax dollars.

Any earnings on your investments, however, will be subject to income tax as well as a 10% penalty..

How much should I have in a 529?

Choosing a 529 plan could mean a much lower monthly contribution since the money grows over time. With a 529 plan, solid monthly contribution amounts for a child born in 2017 would be about $165 for a public in-state school, $260 for public out-of-state, or $325 for a private university.

Can I buy a computer with 529 funds?

Can you use 529 funds to buy a computer? … Savings can indeed be used to buy a computer or pay for internet access as a qualified higher-education expense. An iPad used for college would also qualify, as would any related peripheral equipment, such as a printer.

Is 529 the best way to save for college?

529 Plan. If you want to save more for your children’s college education, or if you don’t meet the income limits for an ESA, then a 529 Plan could be a better option. Look for a 529 Plan that allows you to choose the funds you invest in through the account.

Should I open a 529 in my name or my child’s?

Don’t save for college in your child’s name. … However, assets in a student’s name (except 529 plans and education savings accounts – ESA) will increase expected family contribution more than if the assets were in the parents’ names.

Which state has the best 529 savings plan?

The Best 529 PlansCollegeAdvantage (Ohio)my529 (Utah)Bright Start (Illinois)Invest529 (Virginia)NY’s 529 College Savings Program (New York)

Do I need 529 for each child?

While it’s technically possible to use one 529 plan for multiple children, rather than making things simpler, it actually makes them more complicated. From beneficiary rules to investment strategies to ultimate fairness, having a separate 529 account for each child is the preferred way to go.

What are the drawbacks of a 529 plan?

Disadvantages of using a 529 plan to save for college529 plan funds must be spent on qualified expenses to avoid tax and penalty. Non-qualified distributions are subject to income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. … 529 plans owned by a third-party can hurt financial aid eligibility.

What is the best college savings account?

But 529s and ESAs are generally considered better choices for college savings because of their tax advantages. There are two types of tax-advantaged college savings plans designed to help parents finance education: 529 Plans and Education Savings Accounts (also known as ESAs or Coverdell accounts).

How much can you withdraw from 529 per year?

​529 Participants may take up to $10,000 in distributions tax free per beneficiary for tuition expenses incurred with the enrollment or attendance of the designated beneficiary at a public, private, or religious elementary or secondary school per taxable year.

Why is a 529 plan a bad idea?

A 529 plan could mean less financial aid. The largest drawback to a 529 plan is that colleges consider it when deciding on financial aid. This means your child could receive less financial aid than you might otherwise need.

Can you lose your money in a 529 plan?

If you invest in a 529 college savings plan, and that plan puts your money in a variety of investments as most do, you can lose money. That’s because these investments, ranging from stocks to bonds, can go down in value. It’s just like your retirement accounts.

Is a 529 plan better than a savings account?

529 plans offer a greater return on investment along with the greater complexity and greater risk of loss. Other important benefits of 529 plans include better financial aid and tax treatment of the savings.

Are 529 accounts worth it?

529 plans typically offer you unsurpassed tax breaks. Earnings in a 529 plan grow tax-free and are not taxed when they’re withdrawn. This means that however much your money grows in a 529, you’ll never have to pay taxes on it. However, you do not get to deduct your contributions on your federal income tax return.

What is the average return on a 529 plan?

According to the Financial Research Corporation, a typical 529 plan offered through a state has an average annual fee of 0.69%, whereas a 529 sold through a broker has an average annual fee of 1.17%. Although the difference may seem negligible at first, it adds up.

What happens if beneficiary decides not to go to college?

If the beneficiary decides not to go to college, account owners have three options: … If the withdrawal is not used for qualified higher education expenses, account earnings are subject to federal and state income taxes and are also typically subject to an additional 10% penalty tax.

Can you have 2 529 accounts?

The short answer is yes, the same child can be the beneficiary of multiple 529 plan accounts. If several people — parents and two sets of grandparents, for instance — want to help fund a child’s education, they can either contribute to a single 529 account, or set up separate plan accounts.

What happens to a 529 plan if not used for college?

If assets in a 529 are used for something other than qualified education expenses, you’ll have to pay both federal income taxes and a 10 percent penalty on the earnings. (An interesting side note is that if the beneficiary gets a full scholarship to college, the penalty for taking the cash is waived.)