Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
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. 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!
Print the post  


Paying For School Guide
Trying to Tackle Tuition? The Motley Fool's Guide to Paying for School will help you fight those rising education costs.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.