Visit us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin

Category Archive:
Education Planning

College Loan Confusion

2016 02 Laurens signatureCollege students have steep learning curves. In high school, they were tasked with doing well academically, participating in extracurricular activities, complying with the rules of their parents’ homes and, possibly, having a job. At college, they must decide what to study, how many credits to take, and other important decisions, while adapting to a new environment and learning to manage time, communicate with professors and administrators, network with peers, and manage finances.

Continue Reading »

What Will the Money in a 529 College Savings Plan Cover?

2016 02 Laurens signatureIf you have a child or grandchild who will be heading to college soon, and you have set up and contributed to a 529 College Savings Plan, it’s almost time to tap into those funds.

The reason many people start tucking money aside in college savings plans when their children are young is any earnings grow tax-deferred in 529 plan accounts, and are federally tax-free (and often state tax-free) when withdrawn, as long as they’re used for qualified education expenses for a designated beneficiary. Qualified expenses include tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Continue Reading »

A New Tool for Parents of Children with Special Needs

LynnTwenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, guaranteeing disabled Americans – people with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities – equal opportunity in employment, transportation, government service, and public accommodations. The most recent statistics show about one-in-four Americans has a disability. Many are children with special needs.1 So, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate the advent of 529 Able accounts.

They’re not available yet, but the federal government authorized states to create 529 Able accounts – tax-advantaged accounts for disabled individuals – in December of 2014 when the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law.2 So far, 40 states and the District of Columbia have either passed laws making the accounts possible or have legislation pending. Able accounts are expected to make their debut during 2016.3

Continue Reading »

Paying for College

2014 12 Lauren signatureWhile your high school student is taking standardized tests, parsing college choices, and raring for graduation, you’ll probably find yourself spending some time with net income calculators on college websites. Whether your family’s income level qualifies you for significant aid or limits you to merit scholarships, you’ll quickly discover that tuition is not the only expense you need to consider.

Continue Reading »