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. 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

529 Insiders Article of the Week

Target Market Analysis: Trend in Parents Saving and Using 529s

What percentage of parents do not save for college, save for college, save for college with 529s and save for college without 529s?

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News: Article Round-Up

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

Bloomberg, “Trump’s America is facing a $13 trillion consumer debt hangover.” Editor’s Take: Student loan debt is a growing issue, and you as an advisor needs to proactively work with your clients to reduce or remove the negative impact of student loan debt on your clients ability to create a fly wheel of wealth creation.
CNBC, “This student debt strategy can save you more than $18,600.” Editor’s Take: College financial planning has expanded from saving and paying for higher education to repaying as well. Advisors should consider expanding their skill set and offering menu to include student loan repayment planning as well.
Business Wire, “Parents prioritize academics over cost when considering their child’s college.” Editor’s Take: Help your clients financially prepare for college, before their hopes and dreams are reduced to meet their finances. Inversely, help your clients grow their college savings so that they can expand into their goals and dreams.
Morningstar, “College keeps getting less affordable.” Editor’s Take: Timely article on the rise of college costs, increase in student loans and uncertainty in college affordability due to the U.S. budget proposals.

Last Week’s Most Read Article:
529 Insiders, “Target Market Analysis: Trend in Age of Beneficiaries”

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

74% of parents report that they are concerned about having enough money to pay for their children’s college education. Editor’s Take: Help your clients to achieve the clear and compelling financial goals that they are communicating with you. Have the college financial planning discussion with your clients today.
10% of college students transfer every year. Editor’s Take: Advisors need to help their clients save for four or more years of undergraduate cost as a high percentage does not graduate in four years. While over saving in 529s are not a concern as the assets can be used for graduate school, mid-career transitions or other family members, under saving is a considerable issue with multiple downstream negative impacts.
9% increase in tuition every year from 2012 to 2017. Editor’s Take: Advisors need to nudge their clients to act before the college affordability gap becomes to wide to get bridged from savings or current cash flow.

Proprietary Research: Strategic Insight 529 Industry Analysis Study Released

This annual report is the only dedicated 529 source in the marketplace that explains how to get more families to plan financially for college from the perspective of product, marketing and distribution. The survey utilizes a choice model method that maps the target market into three categories: 529 users, non-529 college savers and nonsavers. This approach provides firms with strategies on how to convert non-college savers to college savers, college savers to 529 users and 529 users to 529 power users. The foundation of the report is a survey of over 1,000 U.S. households with children under the age of 18.

Click the link to learn more, or contact Paul Curley at paul.curley@strategic-i.com with any questions.

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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: The 529 Conference is a highly interactive and educational industry gathering where you’ll meet and network with the entire 529 ecosystem. Using a 360-degree perspective, the conference drills down into the most significant trends and challenges facing the industry today and includes critical conversation and debate surrounding the latest legislative developments, product innovations, investment options, distribution strategies, marketing initiatives, consumer trends, regulatory announcements and much more.

Optional sessions are available in conjunction with the 529 Conference to offer attendees additional education and training. The pre-conference ‘Essentials Seminar’ provides an understanding of the granular details of 529 plans in a constantly evolving market, and the post-conference ‘ABLE Session’ provides insight and networking into successfully implementing ABLE accounts.

Anwiti Bahuguna, PhD, Senior Portfolio Manager, Asset Allocation Team, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, has been confirmed as a panelist of the “Evaluation and Selection of an Optimal Investment Line-Up” panel.
– See the ABLE Summit 2017 agenda updates in the ABLE Act Column below.
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:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “New PA ABLE program helps disabled save funds without risking penalties”
Recruiters Corner: The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is seeking to hire an ABLE Field Representative, and click here to learn more.

Industry Events: Strategic Insight ABLE Summit 2017 on September 13, 2017 at the JW Marriott, Orlando Grande Lakes
– Agenda Updates:
Mary Morris, CEO of Virginia529/ABLENow, has been confirmed as a panelist of ABLE Summit’s “Landscape Update from a State, Product Provider and Recordkeeper Perspective” panel.
Chris McGee, General Counsel of Virginia529/ABLENow, has been confirmed as a moderator of ABLE Summit’s “ABLE Outlook: Challenges & Opportunities” panel.
Ashley Nabors, Senior Director of Financial Empowerment, Tennessee Treasury Department, has been confirmed as a panelist of ABLE Summit’s “ABLE Implementation: Consumer, Product, Marketing & Distribution Perspective” panel.

List of Open Programs: 529 Insiders
Legislative Update: 529 Insiders on “ABLE 2.0″ 
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.

Quote of the Week

“Most parents don’t want their children to graduate with a debilitating amount of student loan debt, so it forces them to think about how they can help pay for as much of their student loans as possible.”
– David Carlson, Author of Hustle Away Debt and Founder of Young Adult Money

Read more
June 12th, 2017
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