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No. of Recommendations: 3
Started researching in 1997 when son was born. We live in NY state but chose the Utah plan,highest rated at the time. NYS improved over the years, and opened an account there, and also for daughter in 2002 (born 2001). Kids are in college now and very happy with our decision. Some comments:

1. We are dual income couple and didnt want our kids to start in debt
2. Our goal was to be able to pay for at least a 4 year degree from a public institution.
3. I started $25/ month,and increased each year. At one point our monthly contribution was our highest monthly expense (several hundred per month per kid),because we could, we thought the trade off of 2 full time jobs vs a stay at home parent was the right thing to do, even if it delayed retirement.
4. Almost all financial info says fund your retirement first, but we wanted to fund our kids education. We talked to other parents and felt the same way and never regretted putting their kids education first.
5. Savingforcollege.com was a great resource, and still is.
6. We are in NY, and the NY plan became very attractive. State tax deduction, and tax free withdrawals for qualified expenses.
7. Balances can be moved between family members
8. The qualified expense definition has expanded, and may offer additional benefits.
9. Although funds can be moved, we started to be concerned about contributing too much, and started backing off contributions. If you contribute too much, you can move funds to another family member, or pay a penalty for withdrawing. I think this is the biggest watch out.
10. Son graduates in the spring, and has enough for a year of grad school. Daughter is a freshman, and has 3.x years paid for. My strategy is to pay the last bit out of pocket if we need to.
11. My opinion is finding a 529 was one of my best financial decisions based on our goals, but make sure to shop around and look at different plans!
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