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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 311074  
Subject: Re: Affording college. Date: 8/13/2012 10:35 AM
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Who also suggests not putting college savings in the kids' names as they could use that money for anything they want, but with a 529 college savings plan, if they don't use it you can always designate a new beneficiary...

I'm not a big believer in 529 plans, but would point out that this is only one of many options to be used for college savings. Personally, we saved a pittance in 529 plans for the kids because I wanted that we hadn't left any stone unturned, but the vast majority of their college savings were kept in taxable accounts in our names. That meant it counted less in terms of financial aid, which didn't matter because they didn't qualify anyhow, that we could use the money for anything that we wanted including their college or a new car for us, that we could spend it in any amount or proportion for the kids so that we ended up spending to their need and not equal amounts just because they are twins, and we can use whatever is left over to do whatever we wish with that including adding it to our retirement account or opting to give it to the kids to get them started in life.

Personally, I found this to be the most flexible for us, and I would encourage anyone saving for college to look at all options and not just plunk money into a 529 because it is 'a college account.' There are pros and cons to all options, and so all options should be weighed in terms of the big picture.
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