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529 Plan Series: Virginia College Savings Plan

May 16th, 2008 at 06:20 pm

Let me introduce you to the Virginia College Savings Plan.



This 529 plan is managed by one of my favorite mutual fund companies - American Funds.

What I Like About The Virginia College Savings Plan
* CollegeAmerica. This is the partnership between the Virginia College Savings Plan and American Funds. You can read about it in detail HERE. I really like American Funds' mutual fund offerings.
* Choices. American Funds offers 22 different mutual funds as part of the CollegeAmerica plan. You can also choose to put together a selection of the 22 different mutual funds and take an age-based approach toward your investment.
* Low Initial Investment Requirement. You only need $250 to get started with the CollegeAmerica plan. That makes this available to everyone!
* State Tax Deduction for Virginia Taxpayers. If you are a Virginia resident and contribute to this fund, you are most likely eligible to deduct those contributions from your state taxes! Virginia residents are allowed to deduct up to $2,000 PER ACCOUNT per year with unlimited carryforwards. NICE!

What I Would Like To See Improved
* This is a general improvement that I would like to see with all 529 plans, not just the Virginia College Savings Plan. I would really like to see contributions to ANY state's plan be DEDUCTIBLE from one's own state taxes. I know. I know. I am dreaming again, BUT it would really provide a huge incentive for states to have a great and competitive 529 plan.

Read reviews of other state 529 college savings plans HERE.

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529 Plan Series: Pennsylvania’s “PA 529 Investment Plan”

April 30th, 2008 at 06:49 am

Today, I will review Pennsylvania's 529 plan - the PA "529 Investment Plan".



This 529 program is managed by Upromise Investments and the investments are managed by Vanguard [I have reviewed Vanguard HERE].

What I Like About The PA 529 Investment Plan
* Investment Management By Vanguard. I really like Vanguard's performance and low expense ratios.
* Upromise Linked. You can link your Upromise qualifying purchases to this 529 which can help boost your savings.
* Tax Deduction For PA Taxpayers. From the PA 529 Investment Plan website: "For each beneficiary, PA residents may deduct up to $12,000 in contributions annually from their Pennsylvania state taxable income ($24,000 if married filing jointly, provided that each spouse has taxable income of $12,000)." If you have two children and have established two separate 529 accounts, then you can take an even larger deduction!
* Investment Options. There are three age-based options and ten individual investment portfolio options available. I like choices!

What I Would Like To See Improved
* This is a general improvement that I would like to see with all 529 plans, not just the PA 529 Investment Plan. I would like to see an option that allows one to withdraw money from the 529 plan penalty-free if one has paid for a child's college and there is no need for the college savings plan any longer. Right now, there is a 10% federal penalty tax if one pulls the money out of any 529 plan for anything other than qualified educational expenses. I would like to at least have the option to roll any extra money over to a Roth IRA - free of penalties.

Read reviews of other state 529 college savings plans HERE.

Receive each post automatically in your E-MAIL by clicking HERE.