Editor's Picks

– 529 Essentials: 529s and Intergenerational Wealth Planning
– Article Round-Up
– Data & Research: Survey Stats on the Go
– 529 Conference 2017 Update
– ABLE Act Column

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 Essentials: 529s and Intergenerational Wealth Planning

How can college financial planning help intergenerational wealth planning?

Based on recent studies, ultra high net worth individuals across the globe are expected to transfer approximately $4 trillion between generations over the next decade. Quantitative and qualitative research also suggests that roughly 90% of beneficiaries will change financial advisers when the assets are received upon death of the account owner. Therefore you as an adviser, accountant or estate planner can gain a client through client retention when the assets do matriculate. Ideally, the retention can be earned through building a relationship with the next generation by helping the children and grandchildren efficiently save and pay for college. Secondly, advisers have an opportunity to build a relationship with the next generation by helping the children and grandchildren through the creation and execution of a budget to management the student loan debt repayment process. For either tactic, college financial planning can help you grow and protect your book of business, and this article explains one path on how to achieve this goal.

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Article Round-Up

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

Robert W. Baird, “Save early, save smart.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Susie Bauer for your time, insight and support on college financial planning in the article, and during your presentation at the 529 Conference 2016. We appreciate all that you do.
New York Times, “How to pay for college with less stress.” Editor’s Take: A rare article that focuses equally on efficiently saving, paying and repaying the cost of higher education, and so congrats to the editor, Ron Lieber.
– Advisor Perspectives by Michael Kitces, “Liquidate appreciated securities tax-free for college funding by avoiding the kiddie tax.” Editor’s Take: The article explains the strategy, as well as the pros and cons of the strategy. I agree with the article’s perspective that the strategy has limits, and especially in comparison to 529 plans from a tax, financial aid and estate planning perspective.
CNBC, “College savings rise but returns are paltry.” Editor’s Take: Thank you CNBC for sourcing Strategic Insight.
Sallie Mae, “How America Saves for College 2016.” Editor’s Take: College financial planning industry statistics from a few different perspectives including generational differences.

Data & Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

66% of Americans believe college is more difficult to pay for now than it was 10 years ago.
65% of advisers recommend clients to use direct-sold 529 plans (4% always, 61% sometimes), while 35% only use adviser-sold 529 plans. Editor’s Take: Strategic Insight’s annual study provides insight on your fellow adviser’s college financial planning product, marketing and distribution tactics with clients.
3.4% increase in 529 savings plan assets to $242.7 billion in the second quarter of 2016. Editor’s Take: Thank you CNBC for sourcing Strategic Insight.

529 Conference 2017 Update: Save the Date

The 529 Conference 2017 will take place from September 11-13, 2017 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando. Updates to the agenda will be announced in this section below. In the meantime, please save the date.

Download the 529 Conference 2016 App for the slides from the event.

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.

Legislative Update: The Senate Finance Committee has discharged the ABLE to Work Act which increases the savings limit in ABLE Accounts, and the ABLE Financial Planning Act which would allow rollovers from 529 college savings plans to (529A) ABLE Accounts. This means that budget scoring of the bills were not an issue, and the bills will now be sent onto the full Senate where they can potentially be passed as such bills, or passed in a repackaged bill.
Product Training: 529 Insider, “529 Essentials: 529 plans & ABLE accounts”
Thought Leadership: Marquette Associates & AKF Consulting Group, “A broad overview of 529 plans and the ABLE Act.” Editor’s Take: Building upon a foundation of product fundamentals, this well thought out whitepaper explains how to establish an ABLE account from an investment and administrative perspective. Congrats on a well put together publication.
Research: White Paper by Michael Morris, Christopher Rodriguez, and Peter Blanck, “ABLE Accounts: A Down Payment on Freedom.” Editor’s Take: Product fundamentals in textbook format, and key factors in program implementation going forward.

List of Open ABLE Programs:

Florida ABLE United Program
Nebraska Enable Savings Program
Ohio STABLE Program

Quote of the Week

“Four years of college, a lifetime of success.” – Paul Curley at 529 Conference 2016

October 3rd, 2016
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