Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

What is the best way to save for my child's education?
I have only completed "money for life" chapter of the WiseUp program. I have not started saving for my four year old child's college, we are also planning to have a second child. I have tried to research different 529 plans, but became confused by the number and types of plans available. I would like to find simple research tools for picking the right savings vehicle for my child's education.
Gary Silverman, CFP:
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Absolutely THE best site to go concerning 529 plans (and other college savings vehicles as well) is
Carrie Bailey Morey:
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In my opinion, a 529 is the best route to take when saving for a college education, and the best resource for 529 plans is On this site, you can look up your state's plan--to see what benefits you might be offered by choosing your state plan. This site will give you ratings of each state's plan and tell you other benefits they offer.
For instance, the SC plan offers tax deductions for going with their plan. I also like the plans that offer the "automatic allocation" choice which changes with your child's age. This is a great way to go because it's going to be more aggressive when the child is younger and more conservative the closer you get to needing to use the money. A lot of state plans will also allow you to "self-administer" the plan, so you don't have to go through a broker--which will save you money. And if there is an automatic allocation choice, you don't really need a broker to do that for you--the programs does for itself!
Other benefits to a 529 plan are:
~The money stays in the owner's name, never transferring to the child like some other plans do at age 18 (you or whoever opens the account)
~You can transfer the account beneficiary to another child--(if your first doesn't need it or didn't use it all)
~Anyone can contribute to this account, so if you have family members that are looking to reduce their estate for tax purposes, they can give a good bit without incurring penalties... As well as it's a great gift idea for birthdays from grandparent's/aunts/and uncles
Michelle Beneski, Esq.:
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I always look at I have found it very helpful.
Frank Wells:
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The site: is very helpful. Search for your state to
review the plans available and check for the following items:
1. is there a tax deduction for the money you contribute
2. does the plan allocate by age and automatically re-balance
3. does the plan allow you to choose the investments from a well diversified
4. what is the account value limit for contributions
5. does the plan allow for changes to the beneficiary
Claudia James:
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In the book, Yes You Can...Afford to Raise a Family, author Sam Goller gives a side-by-side comparison of 529 Plans, CESA, UGMA/UTA, Tradional IRAs, and Roth IRAs. Mr. Goller is with Stowers Innovations, an American Century Company. I believe you will find the actual comparison most benefical. Just contact Stowers Innovations and ask them for the comparison.