Editor's Picks

– 529 Essentials: 529s vs. Trusts
– Data: Market Sizing Update
– Article Round-Up
– Research: Survey Stats on the Go
– 529 Conference 2016 Update
– ABLE Act Column
– Top New Resources

529 Dash, Required Reading for Your 529 Education: The goal of the 529 Dash is to address the specific needs and concerns of advisers, accountants and estate planners who sell and service families and institutions in the college financial planning process by providing industry relevant news, product training and best practices. Building upon the product training and trends will be our editorial insight, market data and research. Also, the 529 Dash will provide opportunities for you to learn from and network with your peers based on real life case studies and forums such as the Strategic Insight 529 Dash LinkedIn Group. By reviewing these success stories on college financial planning from your peers of advisers, accountants and estate planners, the barriers to supporting your clients and building your book of business will be reduced.

Please Read, Engage and Share.

Paul Curley, CFA
Editor-in-Chief of 529 Dash
Director of College Savings Research
Twitter: @PaulCurleyBC
LinkedIn: Strategic Insight 529 Dash LinkedIn Group

529 Essentials: 529s vs. Trusts

What are the key product feature differences between 529 plans and Trusts?

This week, we will compare and contrast 529s and Trusts for the purpose of college financial planning.

Two Basic Types of Investment Vehicles Designed for Intergenerational Wealth & Education Planning: 529 plans and Trusts. Both investment types allow families to save money for children and grandchildren. In this article, we will be specifically referring to Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) custodial accounts when we refer to Trusts. While the two types of trusts are very similar, one main difference is that UGMA limits gifts and transfers to bank deposits, securities and insurance policies while UTMA allow almost any kind of asset to be transferred to a minor. Also, UGMA accounts can generally be used until the beneficiary is 18 or 21, while UTMA accounts can be used until 25 years old. While 529s are dedicated investment vehicles for saving and paying for higher education, UGMA and UTMA assets are available to the minor when they reach age of majority per state law and can be used in any way including higher education. Given the complexity of the issues, you as an advisor can provide value by knowing these differences and selecting the right investment vehicle based on the unique needs of your client.

Learn More.

Data: Market Sizing Update

This section provides the latest market sizing data of the 529 industry overall, and provides a breakout by 529 savings plans and 529 prepaid plans.

Quarterly 529 Market Sizing Data
– 12.9 million accounts invested in $267 billion assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans as June 2016
– 11.8 million accounts invested in $243 billion assets in 529 savings plans as of June 2016
– 1.1 million accounts invested in $24 billion assets in 529 prepaid plans as of June 2016

Read more
Article Round-Up

Here is what you need to know from stories released this week.

Wall Street Journal, “Wealth Adviser Daily Briefing: 5 Things to Watch on Money Funds, Corporate 529 Plans.” Editor’s Take: Plan advisors and plan sponsors should note the uptick in corporate 529s as a differentiator.
Institute for HealthCare Consumerism, “A new important benefit consideration: Student loan repayment” by Bobbi Kloss, Human Resource Director, Benefit Advisors Network. Editor’s Take: Plan advisors and plan sponsors should note the trend towards offering student loan repayments as part of employee benefits.
InvestmentNews, “Financial advisers help clients graduate from student debt.” Editor’s Take: Advisors can add value by supporting clients throughout the entire college financial planning cycle of saving, paying and repaying.
– LinkedIn Pulse, John Hesse, Director of Distribution – Funds and 529 Unit Trusts, Morgan Stanley, “View from the other side: Omnibus is the future of 529 college savings plans.” Editor’s Take: The continuous expansion of 529 brokerage (“omnibus”) will make the 529 business easier to do, which will help you work with clients on college financial planning.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

Here is what you need to know from data and research released this week.

19% of millennials are concerned about saving or paying for their children’s education, while 24% are concerned about paying off their own student loan debt.
7 million are currently in default of student loans.

529 Conference 2016 Update

The 529 Conference 2016 will take place from September 12-14, 2016 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando. Updates to the agenda will be announced in this section. Register today.

Andrew Dickens, Wealth Advisor and 401(K) Plan Specialist, Summit Wealth Partners, to participate on “Engagement Strategies for the Independent RIA Channel” panel.

ABLE Act Column

This section will cover this week’s top legislative updates, product developments, news and resources relating to 529A ABLE Accounts. ABLE Accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families. Income earned by the accounts will not be taxed when used for qualified expenses. For training on the product’s fundamentals and an update on the product’s trends, register for the upcoming ABLE Afternoon Summit on September 14, 2016.

Round-Up of News & Resources:
ThinkAdvisor, “ABLE Accounts: What Advisors Need to Know.” Editor’s Take: ABLE 101 primer with industry update and quotes from product providers.
ABLE National Resource Center, “ABLE: Comparing Programs” YouTube video webinar

ABLE Afternoon Summit Update: The following session description was added to the “ABLE Implementation: Consumer, Marketing and Distribution Perspective” panel:
– The issues that families with disabled individuals face
– The importance of ABLE programs to the disability community
– How and why consumer insight was aligned with program creation
– The uniqueness of marketing and distribution for this community

List of Open ABLE Programs:
Ohio STABLE Program
Nebraska Enable Savings Program
Florida ABLE United Program

Top New Resources

This section spotlights the top new resources released this last week. This week we highlight the following:

– “Back to School” Twitter Chat: Join Paul Curley, Editor of the 529 Dash, on August 17th from 12pm to 1pm ET for “Back to School on 529s” discussion using the #KidsCollegeChat hashtag. Discussion will include insider insights and strategies on using 529 college savings plans. Learn more.

August 15th, 2016
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