Editor's Picks

– News
– Research
– Data
– Presentations
– 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

News: Article Round-Up

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

The Simple Dollar, “How to Choose the Right 529 Plan to Save for College” by Matt Becker, a fee-only financial planner.
Investor.gov, “Saving for Education – 529 Plans.” Editor’s Take: New 529 primer by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee.
Alestle, “A look at financial aid from behind the counter.” Editor’s Take: Ever wonder what it’s like to work the front counter at a college or university financial aid office? Read this article.
Winnie Sun, Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners, “Why you need to stop spending money right now.” Editor’s Take: Great story line and stats for anyone with clients that spend more than they earn. For example, there has been a 186% increase in student loan debt over the last 10 years compared to 28% increase in average median household income. Thank you for sharing your insight Winnie, and please join us on the #WinnieSun Twitter chat on Wednesdays at 2pm ET.

Last Week’s Most Read Article:
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “2017 Press Briefing: Household borrowing, student debt trends and homeownership.” Editor’s Take: The Webcast and PPT provide a wealth of information on college financial planning, college affordability, and college accessibility. Student loan debt levels continue to increase, and repayment rates are slowing down.

Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

76% of student loan borrowers want student loan debt employer benefits. Editor’s Take: College financial planning employee benefits are in demand by employees. Help your institutional and retail clients with college financial planning as it is in demand.
70% of women report taking on debt increases stress, compared to 47% of men. Inversely, 44% of women report paying off debt reduces stress, compared to 37% of men. Editor’s Take: College financial planning that reduces or removes student loan debt improves the lives of your clients beyond the numbers. For a list of the top-3 reasons to do the college financial planning business, read here.
53% of American use their tax returns to pay off necessary expenses such as student loan debt. Editor’s Take: College financial planning helps pay for education and remove hurdles to other financial goals such as retirement.
24% of Generation Z believe debt should be avoided and plan to pay for college through personal savings, while 23% plan to work during college. Editor’s Take: Advisors should help clients achieve their financial goals, and clients want a college financial plan. Have the conversation today.

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

This section provides a list of upcoming live presentations and webcasts, and please contact Paul Curley at paul.curley@strategic-i.com if you are seeking a speaker for an upcoming event.

– NAPFA, “Everything you wanted to know about 529 plans (Using them with holistic fee-only planning)” by Paul Curley, CFA, in Edina, Minnesota, on May 9th from 5pm to 7pm. This in-person live continuing education presentation is designed for advisors, but the general public is welcome. Register here.

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.

529 Conference Agenda Updates:
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:

Presentation Deck, “ABLE Accounts.” Editor’s Take: ABLE Primer presentation by the Elder & Disability Advocacy Firm of Christine Alsop, LLC, based in St. Louis, Missouri.
Howard Clark, “ABLE accounts: A tax-free way for disabled students to save for college”
Webinar, “Understanding saving and investor choices for ABLE account owners” by the National Disability Institute (NDI) on May 24th
LEAD Center, “The ABLE Act: A tool for financial stability and employment outcomes online dialogue.” Editor’s Take: An online portal that creates an environment for learning through engagement.
529 Insiders, “List of Open Programs”
529 Insiders, “Editor’s Letter: ABLE Act Update, 2017 NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington and How to Justify Your Fee as an Adviser”
529 Insiders, “529 Essentials: 529 Plans & ABLE Accounts.” Editor’s Take: Primer on ABLE for those that typically cover 529 plans.
Strategic Insight: 7,286 accounts invested $25.5 million in assets in ABLE (529A) accounts as of March 31, 2017.

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

Quote of the Week

“It is worth my time to help my clients with their greatest financial concern of college financial planning, and to manage that goal alongside their other goals as well.” – Mark Struthers, CFP, CFA, Founder of Sona Financial

Read more
May 8th, 2017
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