Education Planning

Thinking about children’s college needs can be overwhelming for parents considering the yearly cost estimates we hear thrown around in the media. Before your children even think about college, you may also face costs associated with their elementary and secondary education.

Rather than wonder what the financial burden will be and how you’ll manage it, Vantage Investment Services Group * offers you the opportunity to be proactive and educated so you have a solid idea of how much debt may accumulate over the time your student will spend in school.

While there are a lot of options for financial aid, the more you can pay upfront, the less debt you and/or your student will have at graduation. To give you a solid indication of what type of cost you’re looking at, here are some estimates in the average cost of tuition, fees, and room and board for the 2017-2018 academic year by the CollegeBoard.org Trends in College Pricing:

Institution Estimate
In-state public 2-year ** $7,140/year
In-state public 4-year $19,940/year
Out-of-state public 4-year $51,240/year
Private non-profit $69,480/year

** Assuming no room and board costs.

Fortunately, there are many ways to start saving today. And, Vantage Investment Services Group is here to help you find the options that work best for you.

529 Plans

A 529 plan is kind of like a 401k for education savings. This investment account is specifically to save for education expenses (its name is derived from the Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which defines the tax advantages of the plan). Many 529 plans are sponsored by states, and have a good number of advantages:

  • Investments grow deferred from federal and state income taxes
  • Qualified withdrawals are free from federal and state taxes (non-qualified withdrawals may result in federal income tax and a 10% federal tax penalty on earnings)
  • May be used to pay for up to $10,000 per year, per student for enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school
  • Savings can be used at any eligible college, university or vocational institution in the U.S. and at some foreign universities
  • Funds can be used for tuition, books, fees, equipment, supplies, and room and board
  • The plan may have additional state tax benefits for state residents

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan, investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.

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