Pomp and Circum$tance?

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Lately my mind has been drifting to thoughts of college days. It is the time of year for graduations, and our family recently proudly celebrated my nephew’s graduation from Villanova University. In addition, and I hate to admit it, last weekend visited my alma mater for my 25th year college reunion. To top it all off, Sunday was 5/29, which is our annual opportunity to help you brush up on the use of the Section 529 savings plan, to help the children in your life prepare for the expense of college tuition!

The Section 529 plan can be an excellent tool to save for college expenses. The primary benefit is that investments in a 529 plan will grow tax free, and if used to pay for qualified higher education the recipient won’t have to pay income taxes upon withdrawal either. It is also a little known fact that 529 plan funds are “portable”, which means that if one of your children doesn’t need to use all of her funds because she got a scholarship, or went to a less expensive school, you can shift those funds to another child.

Here are some good resources for FAQ’s about how 529 plans work:

What the Fool is a 529 Plan?

529 Plan FAQs

Statistics show that the income opportunity gap between college graduates and those who didn’t attend college is large and growing. In an exhaustive research review of the return on investment of a college education, the University of Toronto’s Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic find that college is as good an investment as ever.



Of course, whether you use a 529 plan or some other savings plan, the important thing is to DO SOMETHING to save for the high costs of educating your children and grandchildren. A college education could be the best gift you ever give your child!


About the Author:

Erik is one of the co-founders of Concentus Wealth Advisors and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the firm. With over 25 years of industry experience, Erik guides the firm’s overall strategy. After graduating from Amherst College in 1991, Erik spent a year working with Rittenhouse Capital Management, before joining Gerald in 1992. Erik currently holds his general securities registrations and insurance licenses, as well as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Consultant designations. In addition to his formal designations, Erik has appeared on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange, Fox News’ America’s News HQ, Live Well’s Mary on Money, CN8’s Money Matters Today and The Real Estate Connection. In 2012, Erik was one of thirteen advisors named to Main Line Today’s Top Financial Advisors list. Erik lives in Bryn Mawr, PA with his wife and three children. He serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Salvation Army, Acting Without Boundaries (serving young people with disabilities) and The Holy Child School at Rosemont. In addition, he is on the financial advisory board of the Sisters of St. Francis in Media, PA.

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