Editor's Picks

– Question and Answer with Brett Tushingham, CFP, Founder of Tushingham Wealth Strategies
– News: Article Round-Up
– Research: Survey Stats on the Go
– Data: Market Sizing Update
– ABLE Act Column
– Events: 529 Conference 2017: Save the Date
– Recruiter’s Corner

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

Question and Answer with Brett Tushingham, CFP, Founder of Tushingham Wealth Strategies

What is working for Brett Tushingham, founder of Tushingham Wealth Strategies and speaker at the 529 Conference 2016, in terms of college financial planning?

This article features an interview with Brett Tushingham, CFP, Founder of Tushingham Wealth Strategies. Based currently in Wilmington, North Carolina, Brett’s insight is build off of over two decades of experience in wealth management and corporate finance. After working on Wall Street for 10 years at Chase Manhattan Bank, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Canada, Brett moved to North Carolina in 2003, obtained his Certified Financial Planner certification in 2006 and worked with a private wealth management firm for 10 years. Since then, he established his own financial planning business that aligns with his passion for helping families plan for college and protect their retirement. You can learn more about Brett Tushingham and Tushingham Wealth Strategies at the website of https://www.tushinghamwealth.com/. Last but not least, thank you Brett for your time, insight and support for working with me on the article, and for participating on a panel at the 529 Conference 2016. Please read the question and answers to learn about his perspective on college financial planning, and hope that the article provides you with an opportunity to learn more from your peers.

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News: Article Round-Up

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

Sona Financial, “4 Year-End Must Dos To Make The Most Of Your 529 Plan.” Editor’s Take: Overview of key college financial planning topics to discuss with your clients. Are you missing any of them? Read the list today.
Steve Stanganelli, CFP, “Does a 529 Plan Make Sense with Less than 10 Years to College?” Editor’s Take: Given the short time frame that most parents seriously start saving for higher education, this is a timely article by a RIA on what to consider in the college financial planning process when short duration is a factor.
Federal Reserve, “College or the Stock Market, or College and the Stock Market?” Editor’s Take: There is a direct relation between level of education and participation in the stock market. There is not a correlation between student loan debt level and participation in the stock market. Therefore advisers should note that the existence of student loan debt or even the level of student loan debt does not preclude them from becoming a client. Separately, the focus by the Federal Reserve on student loan debt should be an indicator that college financial planning is a prevalent issue for many families, and should be prioritized as such in discussions with clients.
Bloomberg, “Hundreds of colleges saddling students with unaffordable debt, Feds say.” Editor’s Take: The awareness of college financial planning as a means to reduce and eliminate student loan debt and its negative long-time impacts is increasing.
MarketWatch, “Here’s how to save money for your children’s futures.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Ali Malito for quoting me in the story, and much appreciated.

Top Clicked Article from Prior Week’s 529 Dash:
Wells Fargo Advisors, “529 college savings plans – help your grandchildren and get tax and estate plan opportunities.” Editor’s Take: 1-pager providers a graphical example of how to remove $700,000 from a grandparent’s estate, and read our article on the topic of intergenerational wealth planning here.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

68% of students graduate with debt, even though 72% of parents are saving for higher education.
61% of parents are saving in general savings accounts, while 37% are saving with a 529. Editor’s Take: Therefore while the majority of parents are saving, they are not saving enough and are not saving in the most efficient investment vehicle. This shortfall and mismanagement provides you with the ability to add value to your client’s college financial planning process.
50% of alumni strongly agree that their higher education was worth it. Editor’s Take: The percentage would be higher if the alumni paid a lower total cost due to a lower level of student loans. This can be achieved through efficient college financial planning with 529s. Help your clients today with college financial planning.
40% of student loan borrowers 65 years or older are in default. Editor’s Take: This failure to plan for higher education results in parents carrying student debt into retirement. Therefore success in college financial planning drives a higher probability that the parent will achieve their retirement goal as well.
3% was increase in the cost of living to raise a child from birth to age 17 in 2015. The total amounts were $233,610 for middle-income families, compared to $174,690 for lower-income families and $372,210 for higher-income families.

Data: Market Sizing Update

Here is the latest market data by Strategic Insight that can be used by the media and other organizations, and contact Strategic Insight for more information on its proprietary data, research, consulting and presentations for subscribers.

3Q 2016 Quarterly 529 Market Sizing Data
– 13.0 million accounts invested in $272 billion assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans as September 2016
– 11.9 million accounts invested in $248 billion assets in 529 savings plans as of September 2016
– 1.1 million accounts invested in $24 billion assets in 529 prepaid plans as of September 2016

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ABLE Act Column

This section will cover this week’s top legislative updates, product developments, news and resources relating to ABLE accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for certain individuals with disabilities and their families. After-tax contributions grow tax deferred, and distributions from the accounts are tax exempt when used for qualified expenses.

Article Round-Up, News and Resources:
Webinar on January 17th at 12pm ET, “Learn more about ABLEnow”
Hobson-Williams, P.C., “Changes to the ABLE Act.” Editor’s Take: Primer article that shows how an adviser, accountant or estate planner can grow their book of business with ABLE plans.
CalABLE, “Analysis: CalABLE survey of potential participants.” Editor’s Take: In the fourth quarter of 2016, CalABLE fielded a survey of potential users for its upcoming plan and a summary of the results can be found in the link.
Money, “ABLE Savings Accounts: An Updated, State-by-State List of Programs”
ABLE National Resource Center, “Accomplishments and Outcomes Report.” Editor’s Take: A great round-up of where we are today, an outlook for where we are going in 2017 and an interview with two current ABLE account owners. Thank you Michael Morris, Chris Rodriquez and the NDI team for publishing and sharing the report.

List of Open ABLE Programs:

ABLE for All Savings Program
Alaska ABLE Plan
Florida ABLE United Program
Nebraska Enable Savings Program 
Ohio STABLE Program
Oregon ABLE Savings Plan
STABLE Kentucky

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Events: 529 Conference 2017 - Save the Date

The 529 Conference 2017 will take place from September 11-13, 2017 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando. Updates to the agenda will be announced in this section below. In the meantime, please save the date.

529 Conference 2017:
– The event’s website has been updated with 2017 information, including dates and a new photo loop on the landing page
2017 529 Media Kits are now available

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Recruiter's Corner

Please email job descriptions that would be of interest to the readership of the 529 Dash to paul.curley@strategic-i.com.

Ascensus College Savings, Vice President of Relationship Management in Newton, Massachusetts
Columbia Management, Marketing Manager of Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan in Boston, Massachusetts
John Hancock, Internal Wholesaler – Investments in Boston, Massachusetts

January 17th, 2017
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