Editor's Picks

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

Due to the holiday last week, this week’s 529 Insiders Article of the Week rounds up last month’s 529 Insiders articles.

Target Market Analysis: Income of 529 Users, Non-529 College Savers & Non-Savers
Reader’s Perspective: Question and Answer with Pam Horack, CFP, Financial Planner with Pathfinder Planning LLC
529 Webcast Replay: Developing an Effective College Funding Strategy
Target Market Analysis: Trend in Parents Saving and Using 529s

News: Article Round-Up

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

BBC, “10 charts that show the effect of tuition fees.” Editor’s Take: Timely article that reviews education and college financial planning from a few different international perspectives. Thank you Tony White for sharing with me.
Bloomberg, “Why millennials won’t be buying your house.” Editor’s Take: The value of college financial planning as a means to reduce or eliminate student loan debt continues to rise. Charts in the article are worth reviewing.
Savvyfi, “Netflix, Jam, and 529s.” Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to add value by selecting the right vehicle, selecting the right product and using the product the right way. Timely concept that reminds advisors of where they add value in the college savings process.
WealthManagement.com, “How to bring teenage children into the college planning process.” Editor’s Take: The concept explained in the article successfully ties in engagement of families members through college financial planning. Read the article to learn how to build deeper relationships with your clients as well.
Family Finance Favs, “Review 529 statements with your teen every quarter.” Editor’s Take: The concept successfully ties in financial literacy through teachable moments, and read the article to learn more for your clients as well.
Washington Post, “Can 529 plan savings be used to buy a computer? Software? A car?” Editor’s Take: Read the 529 Insiders product training article here for an overview of qualified expenses and 10% non-qualified distribution penalty exemptions.

Last Week’s Most Read Articles:
RBC Wealth Management, “Infographic: 4 things to do in the 4 years before college.” Editor’s Take: Financial aid planning and 529s are discussed in the 529 Insiders article here.

Pop Culture Corner:
The House, “Official website.” Editor’s Take: The story line of parents relying too heavily on the false hopes of scholarships to cover the cost of college is becoming so prevalent and mainstream that movies such as The House are leveraging it to pivot into main stage comedy movies. Make sure college financial planning is taken seriously by having the college financial planning conversation with your clients today.
Broke, Busted and Disgusted, “Official website.” Editor’s Take: The summer movie season is in full swing with not one, but two movies pivoting off of college financial planning, affordability and accessibility. While this movie lacks the marque celebrities of The House, characters in the movie are real life and do nudge your clients on the need to plan financially and academically for higher education by having a clear goal in mind. Help your clients to create and execute their clear goal by having the conversation today.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

32% of employees feel that they are saving enough for their children’s education. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to help their corporate clients by presenting college financial planning as an employee benefit.
75% of 529 users are in middle-class families. Editor’s Take: 529s help families of all income levels to save and save efficiently for higher education. Also, thank you College Savings Foundation (CSF) for quoting and sourcing Strategic Insight.

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 and commentary on its proprietary data, research, events and digital publications.

March 2017 Quarterly 529 Market Sizing Data
– 13.3 million accounts invested $289 billion in assets in 529 savings and prepaid plans 
– 12.2 million accounts invested $266 billion in assets in 529 savings plans 
– 1.1 million accounts invested $23 billion in assets in 529 prepaid plans
– 7,286 accounts invested $25.5 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts

Read more
Events: 529 Conference 2017

When: September 11-13, 2017
Where: JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
Overview: Strategic Insight’s 529 Conference 2017 is a highly interactive and educational industry gathering where you’ll meet and network with the entire college financial planning ecosystem. The pre-conference optional session of the ‘Essentials Seminar’ provides an understanding of the granular details of 529 plans in a constantly evolving market, while the post-conference optional session of the ‘ABLE Afternoon Summit’ provides insight and networking opportunities to support the successful implementation and usage of ABLE accounts.

Registration for the event is now open.

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.

News, Research & Resources:
Webinar, “PA ABLE Savings Program” on July 13th and 26th
ABLE National Resource Center, “Louisiana launches ABLE program.” Editor’s Take: The list of open programs in the 529 Insiders website has been updated to reflect the launch.

Industry Events: Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2017 on September 13, 2017 at the JW Marriott, Orlando Grande Lakes. Agenda Updates:
– Maria Padin, Director, Intuition ABLE Solutions, has been confirmed as a panelist of the “ABLE Implementation: Consumer, Product, Marketing & Distribution Perspective” session.

List of Open Programs: 529 Insiders
Product Training Primer:
529 Insiders
Market Data: Strategic Insight – 7,286 accounts invested $25.5 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts as of March 31, 2017


Please contact Paul Curley at paul.curley@strategic-i.com if you are seeking a speaker for an upcoming event.

– Dimensional Fund Advisors Annual Defined Contribution Conference, “Comprehensive Financial Wellness Panel” with Paul Curley, CFA, at the The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Gleacher Center in Chicago, Illinois, on July 13th from 2pm to 3:15pm.
– Wirehouse branch-wide continuing education presentation, “The Best of 529 Essentials Seminar” with Paul Curley, CFA, in Manchester, New Hampshire, on July 18th at 2pm

Quote of the Week

“We all need to help young people develop strong skills that will sustain our economy into the future.”

– Pam Horack, CFP, Financial Planner with Pathfinder Planning LLC

Read more
July 10th, 2017
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