This post is sponsored by the ACPE. All opinions expressed are my own
Time sure has flown. I have a son who is ready to go to college in just threeshort years. With the rising costs of education, my husband and I need to consider how we are going to offset some of those costs. My 15-year-old son Tyler, has a 4.5 GPA, and plays three Varsity level sports so the hope is that there is a scholarship in the midst but even if there is not, we are prepared to find ways to pay for his education. Not to mention the fact that Tyler’s first choice school is Stanford and my husband and I learned the costs associated with being a Cardinal!
When the opportunity to learn more about the AZ529 plan presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. We had a California 529 plan so I am familiar with the plans in general but since we moved here a year and a half ago, I had not researched Arizona’s plan.
The A529 College Savings Plan is a tax deductible/tax incentive savings plan similar to a 401(k) or an IRA. For Arizona taxpayers contributing to a 529 plan, the new increased deduction is up to $4000 married/$2000 single. The plan is designed so that a parent, grandparent or anyone wanting to contribute to a child’s education can do so and the contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis.
Plan benefits include: Tax-free withdrawals, low minimum investment required, professional money management, funds usable at most accredited colleges, tax-deferred earnings, no income restrictions and a wide array of investment choices.
You can open plans for very little and the plan has other advantages such as assets not being considered when determining financial aid awards and being able to change account beneficiaries at any time. This is a huge benefit for us in the event that Tyler does get his education paid for through sports or scholarships, we can transfer it to baby J’s name.
The plan is offered through three financial providers which offer an array of options such as mutual funds and age based portfolios, all being targeted in a way that you can meet your investment goals with your given timeline. For example, with Tyler leaving for college in three years, we will probably need to invest very aggressively but with our daughter who is only two, we can take a more passive approach.
To open an account, you must visit one of the financial planners directly (College Savings Bank, Fidelity Investments or Ivy Funds). You can also download a financial planner on the AZ529 website that was developed by the AZ Commission for Postsecondary Education to help begin the college preparation process. The planner helps look at what it will cost to attend college through a savings plan worksheet and compares some of the different methods of paying for college. It also describes some of the different forms of financial aid and where to get started.
More information on the 529 College Savings Plan/Planner can be found here.
My hope is that with enough contributions and gifts from family, Tyler will have a little something saved up to help offset the cost of school.
Since now is the time that grandparents and relatives start to think about Holiday gift giving/charitable donation, opening or contributing to a AZ529 is a great way to contribute to a child’s future and leave an impact.
The Arizona Family College Savings Program (529 Plan) is a Section 529 College Savings Plan sponsored by the State of Arizona through the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. The 529 Plan is designed to help families meet the rising costs of a higher education. The Program offers an easy, flexible, and tax-advantaged way to save for college.
Small gifts today can furthers their education tomorrow.
Learn how you can contribute to a child’s future education and receive valuable tax breaks at az529.com
For more information, check out the Arizona College Savings plan Facebook page #AZ529 #AZCollegeSavings