Editor's Picks

– 529 Insiders Article of the Week
– News
– Research
– Data
– ABLE Act Column
– Events
– Quote of the Week

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.

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 Insiders Article of the Week

Reader’s Perspective: Question and Answer with Peter D’Arruda, President and Founding Principal of Capital Financial & Insurance LLC

How does this financial firm founder approach college financial planning with his clients?

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News: Article Round-Up

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

Legislative Updates and News Relating to H.R. 1, The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”: Effective 2018, H.R. 1 will allow 529 college savings plans to expand its list of qualified expenses to include tuition up to $10,000 per beneficiary for elementary or secondary schools (including K-12 public, private or religious), excluding home schooling. Effective December 26, 2017, 529 college savings plans will be able to rollover assets to ABLE accounts without a penalty.
Capital Ideas from Capital Group, “U.S. tax reform: 6 key takeaways.” Editor’s Take: This article provides a high level overview of the impact of H.R. 1, and Capital Ideas also published “What 2018 tax reform means for investors” to provide a more specific set of impacts that include discussion on 529s and who the changes to 529s impacts. Thank you Rachel for sharing the article.
EFC Plus, “Tax cut and job act impact on education.” Editor’s Take: Building upon the investor article by Capital Group, Fred Amrein, founding partner of Amrein Financial, provides an even more detailed round-up of direct and in-direct impacts to college financial planning by H.R. 1.
Journal of Accountancy, “What the tax reform bill means for individuals.” Editor’s Take: Good round-up of the impact of H.R. 1 for individuals. Has details, but not too granular. Review it to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
PLANADVISER, “Tax bill affects IRA conversions, loans, 529s, NQDC plans.” Editor’s Take: Good round-up of the impact of H.R. 1 for and by retirement plan advisers.
New York Times, “Yes, you really can pay for private school with 529 plans now.” Editor’s Take: More complexity means that advisors have a greater opportunity to help their clients to save, pay and repay the cost of education for their family from kindergarten to graduate school. Have the conversation with your client today.

Other News:
Robert W. Baird, “Setting financial resolutions that last in the new year.” Editor’s Take: As we close out 2017, now is the time to work with your clients to create new and update existing long-term goals to ensure that 2018 is a success. In the meantime, Happy Holidays and hope you have a successful 2018.
Morningstar, “Grandparents, be smart about giving money this holiday season.” Editor’s Take: As we enter the final week of year-end planning, this article will provide some last minute year-end tips.
S&P Dow Jones Indices, “S&P target tuition inflation index.” Editor’s Take: Click the article to learn about the new index that launched on August 31, 2017, and click here to watch an introductory video to learn more about the index.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

75% or more of U.S. employee live paycheck to paycheck. Editor’s Take: Advisors add a high level of value by helping clients to save and save efficiently for higher education. This is especially the case as more and more employees are having trouble savings or making a financial plan for themselves.

Research: Subscription-Based Report Released

529 Distribution Analysis 2017: Released in December 2017, the annual 529 Distribution Analysis 2017 report is the only proprietary and dedicated survey of advisers in the marketplace that explains how to get more advisers to help clients with college financial planning and use your 529 plan from a product, marketing and distribution perspective.

Key Themes:
– New sections evaluate the potential impact of recent legislative proposals
– Insights on how to expand 529 distribution to and through advisers based on product selection, distribution and support preferences
– Insights for meetings with broker-dealer distributions executives
– Aligning with the trend of plan advisers helping plan sponsors set up and maintain college financial planning employee benefits

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Data: 3Q 2017 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Update

Here is the latest 529 and ABLE market data by Strategic Insight that can be used by the media and other organizations.

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ABLE Act Column

This week’s top news, resources, legislative updates and product announcements relating to ABLE accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for certain individuals with disabilities and their families.

News, Research, Data & Resources:
House Republicans, “McMorris Rodgers statement on the tax cuts & jobs act conference report.” Editor’s Take: H.R. 1 will allow ABLE to Work and Saver’s Credit provisions to go into effect in 2018, and allow ABLE Financial Planning Act provisions to go into effect on December 26, 2017. As such, ABLE accounts continue to grow in strength.
NHPR, “Investment account aims to help individuals with disabilities in N.H.” Editor’s Take: The 529 Insiders list of open ABLE programs has been updated to reflect the launch of STABLE NH.
YouTube, “NC ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save and keep benefits.” Editor’s Take: The video is part of a series by the NC ABLE program. Great videos, and take a look.
529 Insiders, “529 & ABLE 3Q 2017 529 Data Highlights.” Editor’s Take: ABLE is successfully helping a growing number of families to save for qualified expenses.


Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2018 will be held on September 26, 2018, at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes.
Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2019 will be held on September 25, 2019, at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island


Save the Date:
– 529 Conference 2018: September 24-26, 2018 – JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
– 529 Conference 2019: September 23-25, 2019 – Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

– 529 Conference: A highly interactive and educational industry gathering with the entire college financial planning ecosystem.
– 529 Essentials:
A pre-conference session to train professionals on 529 plans in a constantly evolving market.
– ABLE Summit: A post-conference session to deliver insight and networking opportunities to support the successful implementation and growth of ABLE accounts.

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Upcoming Presentations

Please email Paul at paul.curley@strategic-i.com to inquire about having him provide a 529 continuing education or industry landscape update presentation.

Quote of the Week

“Where these families are desperate for help is how to shop for a college within their budget and how to actually pay the tuition bill every year.”

– Joe Messinger, CFP, ChFC, CLU, Partner and Director of College Planning at Capstone Wealth Partners

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December 26th, 2017
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