Editor's Picks

– Editor’s Letter: Top 3 Tips for Year-End Planning
– Article Round-Up
– Data & Research: Survey Stats on the Go
– ABLE Act Column
– 529 Conference 2017: Save the Date

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

Editor's Letter: Top 3 Tips for Year-End Planning

Happy Halloween, the unofficial kick-off to year-end planning. Now that we are one month into the fourth quarter of 2016, it’s time for you to start strategizing your year-end meetings with clients. Typically this is the meeting to allocate time to confirm, update or create a long-term plan, including college financial planning. Given the tight time frame that the goal of paying for college takes place in when compared to other financial goals, it is more important to use a detailed plan based upon a set and methodical strategy. Beyond saving and investing, college financial planning involves creating an efficient strategy in terms of tax planning, financial aid and estate planning. In turn, one size fits all types of solutions rarely have the capability to solve this multi-factored goal, and especially in light of multi-goal holistic planning. Therefore, this week’s article provides the top three tips on how you can incorporate college financial planning into your annual review process with clients.

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Article Round-Up

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

PLANSPONSOR, “Making financial wellness ‘fun’ could boost retirement savings.” Editor’s Take: New data that reinforces the point that student loan debt is hindering the ability of employees to save for retirement.
ThinkAdvisor, “To attract students, colleges offering loan debt insurance.” Editor’s Take: Colleges increasingly demand students that are both academically and financially prepared for college. Therefore, advisors should help families become financially prepared for college as a means to help them get into and through higher quality institutions.
Morningstar, “Morningstar names best 529 college-savings plans for 2016.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Leo Acheson for your insight on the industry in creating and reporting on the rankings, and for presenting at the 529 Conference 2016. We appreciate your time, insight and support.
Chicago Tribune, “Ask Kim: What should I do with my grandson’s 529 plan?” Editor’s Take: Read our response here.
Grow Rich Slowly, “529 Plans vs. Prepaid 529 Plans.” Editor’s Take: 529 Primer, and read my version here.

Data & Research: Survey Stats on the Go

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

$23 trillion of household assets are managed outside of the RIA channel. Editor’s Take: The most efficient way to build the trust of clients is to help them with college financial planning for their children and grandchildren. Inversely, not helping will be detrimental to trust and your relationship with the client, which will act as a barrier to your ability to grow going forward.
71% of employees confirm that their employer is the base of their financial safety net. Editor’s Take: Employers should include college financial planning into their employee benefit packages to ensure their employee’s top concerns are addressed.
44% of millennial workers have student loans, compared to 26% of generation X and 13% of Baby Boomers. The average repayment amount is $3,000 per year.
30% of millennials want incentives by employers to encourage them to take steps to improve their financial well-being. Editor’s Take: Don’t turn your back on what your employees want by not offering college financial planning employee benefits. As an advisor, accountant or estate planner, you should help firms become aware of this demand and support them in the process to offer.

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.

U Can 2, “Top 50 most influential disabled people announced.” Editor’s Take: Congrats to Rich Donovan for placing 14th on the list, and thank you for presenting at the ABLE Afternoon Summit 2016 on the topic titled, “Translate Different into Value – Return on Disability.” Slides from the presentation can be found in the event app here.

529 Conference 2017: 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.

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October 31st, 2016
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