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California Section 529 College Savings Plans
 

 

     529 Plan Comparison


 

529 Plan Comparison
 

Drawn by tax breaks with improved investment choices, many parents are looking to 520 college savings plans to help fund their child’s college tuition. How do you what plan is best for you? We’ve done some research to help you get a leg up in the world of the 529 College Savings Plan.

Look first at your own state’s 529 plan, as they may offer you a hefty tax break for students to attend school close to home.

Look next at fees proposed for your 529 plan, and any underlying expenses that may rack up. Any expenses over 1.5% are considered expensive.

Find out which plan have investment choices that suit your investing style. If you want socially and ecologically sound stocks, do your research and find out what 529 plan offers them. If you prefer a live person handling your stock options, choose an actively managed fund as opposed to an index fund. Buying through a broker might incur an extra charge.

Many plans have portfolios that appeal to different types of people. Feel free to look at packages that contain a healthy mix of stocks and bonds, one that is strictly mutual funds or even an interest bearing option, with little to no risk.

It’s also important to research the performance of the stocks over the last three years to see if they had positive returns. Regardless of which plan you choose to go with, it is best to research and find out which is the best for you and your family.



 

    While the Section 529 plans may sound like the answer to all your questions, there are downfalls and disadvantages. There may be annual fees associated with having a college savings plan account, pre-paid tuition plans can drastically impact your financial aid status, and early withdrawal will not only incur an income tax, but a 10% tax penalty is added to the lump sum of the withdrawal. When finding a Section 529 plan, make sure to read the fine print and select the one that best fits your need.