Editor's Picks

Issue 259:
– 529 & ABLE News & Research
– 529 & ABLE August 2021 Webinar
– 529 Conference 2021

529 Dash, Required Reading for Your 529 Education:
 The goal of the 529 Dash is to help institutions and financial professionals who help families and employers in the college financial planning process by creating and sharing industry relevant news, product training, and best practices, while also building awareness and understanding of the importance of 529 plans and ABLE accounts.

Please Read, Engage and Share.

Paul Curley, CFA
Director of 529 & ABLE Research
ISS Market Intelligence
Twitter: @PaulCurleyBC

News & Research: Article Round-Up

Here is what you need to know from stories, research and data released this week:

  • Sallie Mae, “How America pays for college.” Editor’s Take: Important and timely study that shows trends in how families are paying for college. Learn more and bookmark for future reference.
  • Nerd’s Eye View by Kitces, “Leveraging 529A ABLE accounts for disabled beneficiaries to gain the emotional benefits of greater financial autonomy.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Michael Kitces, Andrew Komarow, and Elizabeth Yoder for raising awareness and understanding of ABLE accounts and special needs planning. Read the article to learn more.
  • Ignites (subscription required), “Direct tech is cheaper, but getting investors is hard.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Carmen Germaine and Ignites for quoting me and ISS Market Intelligence in the article. Specializing in 529s and ABLE will differentiate your business, platform, product, and career. Read to learn more if you have a subscription.
  • Education Trust Board of New Mexico, “Executive Director.” Editor’s Take: The Education Trust Board of New Mexico is searching for a new Executive Director, and click the link to learn more.
  • ABLEnow, “Feeling Secure with ABLEnow.” Editor’s Take: Catherine Sokol provides her firsthand perspective and story board about the importance of ABLE for her own life. Read to learn how ABLE accounts help real people solve real issues, and thank you ABLEnow for helping to get the message out.
  • 529 Insiders, “2Q 2021 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Highlights.” Editor’s Take: What was the 529 and ABLE market sizing as of 2Q 2021? Click to learn more.
  • ABLE Age Adjustment Act Status Board: The bill would increase the age of onset for eligibility to open an ABLE account from 26 years old to 46 years old. As of August 12, 2021, the bill sponsorship was as follows:
    • Senate (S331): 1 sponsor and 12 cosponsors
    • Congress Sponsorship (HR1219): 1 sponsor and 68 cosponsors
529 & ABLE August 2021 Webinar

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 1pm EST
Hosted by Paul Curley, CFA, Director of 529 & ABLE Research at ISS Market Intelligence, this webinar will provide an overview of the U.S. college financial planning landscape.

Firstly, we review the increasing demand for higher education by families in the United States. Secondly, we evaluate how tuition inflation continues to outpace most workers’ pay increases and, therefore, their ability to pay from their current incomes. The combination of these factors results in a widening of the college affordability gap between cost and ability to pay and, furthermore, leads to rising levels of student loan debt to fill that gap. This trend has created multiple downstream issues within the context of goal-based investing. It is here that we start to present both the concept of saving and that of saving efficiently with 529 plans as the solution to the widening college affordability gap.

Additionally, the session will cover updates in 529 and ABLE plans from a 2Q 2021 market data, legislative, product, marketing and distribution perspective.

Read more
Events: 529 Conference 2021

What & Why: The 529 Conference is a highly interactive and educational industry gathering where you’ll learn from and network with the entire 529 and ABLE ecosystem to ensure product training, insight and networking across the 529 and ABLE community.

When: November 2-4, 2021

  • 529 Essentials: November 2
  • 529 Conference: November 3 and 4
  • ABLE Summit: November 4

Where: Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grade Lakes, Florida, U.S. 

How: Registration now open here. Early bird registration rate available through August 31, 2021.


  • Agenda: 
    • Jennifer Tierney, Executive Director, Product Development Manager, Morgan Stanley, has been confirmed as a speaker on the “National Broker-Dealer’s View on Marketing and Distribution Strategies” 529 Conference panel.
    • Peter M. Greenberger, CFA, CFP®, Director, Mutual Fund & 529 Plan Product Management, Raymond James, has been confirmed as a speaker on the “Business Building with 529s” 529 Conference panel.
    • PNC has been added as the ABLE Summit Networking Refreshment Break Sponsor on November 4th.
August 16th, 2021
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