The Best College Savings Accounts
The best college savings accounts can differ depending upon where you live. Each state has at least one 529 plan offering and they all have different investment options and structures. Fortunately, you can open a 529 plan account from any state no matter what state you live in. You can use that 529 plan to pay for college in any state as well, so there is no need to limit yourself to your home state.
However, some states offer a state tax deduction for money deposited by residents into the state's 529 plan. For example, Colorado offers a state income tax deduction for all contributions made into either of Colorado's 529 plan offerings. This means approximately a 4.5 percent tax savings on every dollar contributed. Put $10,000 into little Johnny's 529 plan, and take $450 off of your state taxes. For states with a full dollar for dollar deduction for 529 plan contributions, the home state 529 plan is almost always the best college savings account available.
For states without any tax benefits, most financial professionals -- at least the ones not getting a commission on your 529 investments -- recommend shopping around for the 529 plans with the lowest fees and expenses and best investment options. Look for a 529 plan with no account maintenance fee. There are plenty of options that do not charge an annual fee, so there is little reason to lose $30 per year or more right off the bat.
Some of the best college savings accounts are the Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 plan and the Utah 529 plan, both of which have low fees and expenses and solid investment choices.
To find the best college savings plan for you, consider visiting Saving For College. It has ratings, comparison charts, and useful information that parents from any state can use.
- IRS Educational Tax Benefits
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