Saving for College the Smart way - 529 Plans          

 

Virginia 529 Plans

Virginia offers three 529 college savings plans, one direct plan called Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST), an advisor-sold plan called CollegeAmerica, and a pre-paid tuition plan called Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP).

Virginia 529 inVEST

VEST is a traditional 529 plan that allows you to invest money today and reap tax benefits when you withdraw it to pay for qualified education expenses.

Type:  Direct – this VA 529 plan can be purchased directly through the state.

Fund Family:  Various

Minimums:  To get started you can deposit $25.

Maximum Contributions:  Currently, you can contribute until your balance reaches $350,000 in all of your Virginia 529 plan accounts per beneficiary.  Of course, your total amount in the plan can be higher as your investments group.  529 plans typically increase the contribution limit over time, so you may be able to contribute more.

Tax Benefits:  Good news for Virginia residents – by investing in a VA 529 plan, you can deduct up to $4,000 from your adjusted gross income.  You also get federal income tax benefits as you do not pay income tax on your earnings.  Out-of-state participants still get the federal tax benefits.

Residency:  VEST is open to all United States residents, not just those in Virginia.

You can learn more about this Virginia 529 plan at the official website.

 

CollegeWealth

Don't like the idea of your 529 account balance dropping in the current market? CollegeWealth 529 is an FDIC-ensured 529 savings program.

Type: This fund can be set up direct

Fund Family: Two banks: BB&T Bank and Union First Market Bank

Minimums: To get started you can deposit $25 ($1,000 for the Cash Management Trust of America). Minimum subsequent contributions are $50 and $25 with payroll deduction.

Maximum Contributions: Currently, you can contribute until your balance reaches $350,000 in all of your Virginia 529 plan accounts per beneficiary. Of course, your total amount in the plan can be higher as your investments group. 529 plans typically increase the contribution limit over time, so you may be able to contribute more.

Tax Benefits: Good news for Virginia residents – by investing in your state’s 529 plan, you can deduct up to $4,000 from your adjusted gross income. (Cap does not apply to account owners 70 and above.) You also get federal income tax benefits as you do not pay income tax on your earnings. Out-of-state participants still get the federal tax benefits.

Residency: CollegeWeaith is open to all United States residents, not just those in Virginia.

You can learn more about this Virginia 529 plan at the official website http://www.americanfunds.com/college/college-america/index.htm?r=l

 

CollegeAmerica

CollegeAmerica is a traditional 529 plan that allows you to invest money today and reap tax benefits when you withdraw it to pay for qualified education expenses.

Type:  Advisor.  Please contact a financial advisor in your state for assistance.

Fund Family:  American Funds

Minimums:  To get started you can deposit $25 ($1,000 for the Cash Management Trust of America).  Minimum subsequent contributions are $50 and $25 with payroll deduction.

Maximum Contributions:  Currently, you can contribute until your balance reaches $350,000 in all of your Virginia 529 plan accounts per beneficiary.  Of course, your total amount in the plan can be higher as your investments group.  529 plans typically increase the contribution limit over time, so you may be able to contribute more.

Tax Benefits:  Good news for Virginia residents – by investing in your state’s 529 plan, you can deduct up to $4,000 from your adjusted gross income.  (Cap does not apply to account owners 70 and above.)  You also get federal income tax benefits as you do not pay income tax on your earnings.  Out-of-state participants still get the federal tax benefits.

Residency: CollegeAmerica is open to all United States residents, not just those in Virginia.

You can learn more about this Virginia 529 plan at the official website http://www.virginia529.com/collegeamerica/index.php.

 

Virginia Prepaid Education Program (VPEP)

Virginia also offers a pre-paid tuition plan that lets you lock in today's rates for college.   It can be used at any qualified institution of higher education, public or private, anywhere in the country, and some schools around the world.  However, private and out-of-state college expenses will be prorated and may not be fully covered.

For more information about VPEP, visit the official website Virginia529.com.

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