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

Reader’s Perspective: Question and Answer with Joe Messinger, CFP, ChFC, CLU, Partner and Director of College Planning at Capstone Wealth Partners

How does this fee-only advisor leverage his proprietary “College Pre-Approval” process to help families with college financial planning?

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News: Article Round-Up

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

New York Times, “What you need to know about saving for college.” Editor’s Take: Coverage of college financial planning in major metropolitan areas such as New York will help increase the awareness and prioritization of saving, paying and repaying the cost of higher education in a more efficient manner.
Sallie Mae, “How America Pays for College.” Editor’s Take: Annual study that provides insight into, you guessed it, how families in American pay for college. Have a look.
Wall Street Journal, “Five common mistakes people make when paying for college.” Editor’s Take: Good reminder list of the fundamentals.
Capstone College Partners, “How does a gap year affect financial aid?” Editor’s Take: Timely topic given the rise in high school students opting to take a gap year, and looking forward to Joe Messinger presenting at the upcoming Strategic Insight 529 Conference 2017 in Orlando this September. Thank you Joe for your time and insight!

Last Week’s Most Read Articles:
Wall Street Journal, “Which state’s ‘529’ should you pick?” Editor’s Take: Advisors should create and document a process for selecting 529 plans for their clients.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

80% of employees in 2017 would like to work for a firm that provides student loan debt repayments as an employee benefit compared to 70% in 2015. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to expand financial wellness offerings for their corporate clients by incorporating a college financial planning component into employee benefits packages.
30% of student loan borrowers estimate that it will take between 11 and 30 years to pay them off. Editor’s Take:  Going to college should not mean a lifetime of debt. Have the college financial planning conversation today, and create a better reality for your clients for a lifetime.
25% of Millennials report paying accumulated debt as their number one financial priority. Editor’s Take: College financial planning encompasses saving, paying and repaying the cost of higher education.
19% of the cost of college was paid through student loan debt in 2017, compared to 13% in 2016. Editor’s Take: Advisors have an opportunity to help their clients to reduce or eliminate the college affordability gap by helping them to save and save efficiently.

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

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.

Agenda Updates:
Jeremy Kelley, Alumni Manager, Buffalo Bills, has been confirmed as a panelist of the “Key Trends in Financial Wellness and the RIA Channel” panel.
Tim Kohn, Head of Defined Contribution Services and Vice President, Dimensional Fund Advisors, has been confirmed as a panelist of the “Key Trends in Financial Wellness and the RIA Channel” session.
– The session title of “Engagement Strategies for the RIA Channel” has been updated to “Key Trends in Financial Wellness and the RIA Channel”
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 on July 25, “ABLEnow Information Session.” Editor’s Take: Learn about the program.
Webinar on July 27, “ABLE United account basics.” Editor’s Take: Learn the ABLE 101 fundamentals.
ABLEnow, “Now, it’s easier to give a beneficial gift.” Editor’s Take: The functionality enhancement reiterates the perspective that ABLE supports participation by friends and family.
NPR, “For people with developmental disabilities, food work means more self reliance.” Editor’s Take: Reinforces the goal of ABLE as independence, and thank you ABLEnow for sharing via Twitter.

Industry Events:
Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2017 on September 13, 2017 at the JW Marriott, Orlando Grande Lakes.
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.

– Strategic Insight 529 Conference 2017, “Chairman’s Welcome and State of the College Financial Planning Industry” in Orlando, Florida on September 12
– Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2017, “Chairman’s Welcome and State of the (ABLE) Industry” in Orlando, Florida on September 13

Quote of the Week

“Patience pays off through the power of compound interest.”

– Paul Curley, CFA, Strategic Insight

July 24th, 2017
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