Editor's Picks

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

Target Market Analysis: Income of 529 Users, Non-529 College Savers & Non-Savers

What percentage of 529 users, non-529 college savers and non-savers earn certain levels of income?

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News: Article Round-Up

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

Student Loan Guru, “Student loan interest rates are going up — Here’s who’s affected.” Editor’s Take: The value of college financial planning as a means to reduce or eliminate student loan debt continues to rise.
Moyers & Company, “College students lose Obama-era protections.” Editor’s Take: College financial planning and selecting the right institution is becoming increasingly critical. Therefore, advisors have an increasing opportunity to add value by helping clients navigate the process.
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.
Plansponsor, “Younger investors show good savings habits.” Editor’ Take: Saving is the first step in college financial planning. The second is saving efficiently. Help your clients today.
Planadviser, “Student loans stump boomers.” Editor’s Take: Prevalence of student loan debt symbolizes its importance in the financial planning process.

Last Week’s Most Read Articles:
Washington Post, “Parents, do you have the best 529 college savings plan? (Yes, you can choose.)” Editor’s Take: Residency requirements of 529s are discussed in the 529 Insiders article here.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

66% of investors that are younger than thirty years old report student loan debt is a major barrier to their retirement planning. Editor’s Take: Advisors should note that college financial planning is a retirement issue, as failure to plan for one will derail the planning of the latter goal.
4% of employers offer student loan debt repayment assistance. Editor’s Take: Plan advisers and employers should note the growing demand for college financial planning as part of employee wellness benefit packages.
0.25% increase in Fed Fund Rate will impact student loan interest rates. Editor’s Take: The value of college financial planning will increase as interest rates continue to increase. Plan how to save and pay now, or plan to repay an even larger amount later.

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

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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 of ABLE accounts.

Peter M. Greenberger, CFA, CFP, Director, Mutual Fund & 529 Plan Product Management, Raymond James and Associates, has been confirmed as a moderator of “The Future of Product Strategy” session.
Joe Messinger, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, Partner & Director of College Planning, Capstone Wealth Partners, has been confirmed as panelist of the “Engagement Strategies for the RIA Channel” session at the 529 Conference 2017. http://www.529conference.com/ #529Conference
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. After-tax contributions grow tax deferred, and distributions from the accounts are tax exempt when used for qualified expenses.

News, Research & Resources:
– On June 28th, Louisiana launched the LA ABLE Account Program for state residents only. Editor’s Take: The list of open programs in the 529 Insiders website has been updated to reflect the launch.
Webinar, “PA ABLE Savings Program” on July 13th and 26th
KMOV, “MO State Treasurer launches phase two of MO ABLE”

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

Keith Bernhardt, Vice President, Retirement and College Products, Fidelity Investments, has been confirmed as a panelist of the “ABLE Outlook: Challenges & Opportunities” 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

“More financial planners are focusing on the college-bound market to help with everything from saving and investing for school to choosing cost effective colleges and majors.”

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

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Question of the Week

Click “Read more” to take this week’s 529 Dash Question of the Week. Results will be reported in next week’s 529 Dash e-newsletter.

Results from last week’s question of the week, “Media coverage of student loan debt has increased client demand for college financial planning over the past five years.”
– Agreed: 55%
– Not Sure: 40%
– Disagree: 5%

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July 3rd, 2017
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