Amy Irvine knows her share of tactics to save for college — she’s been helping families do just that for 20-plus years as a Certified Financial Planner, most recently at her own agency, Rooted Planning Group. When parents come to her to talk college savings, a 529 savings account is typically on the table. But sometimes what parents think they know about 529s is way off base.
In a series of three quick conversations, Amy debunks popular myths about 529 plans — so families can make the best decisions for their finances with all the facts.
In this video, Amy starts with the basics.
Myth: There is only one type of 529 plan.
“Many of my clients have this misconception,” reveals Amy. “In reality, there are many [plans], and it really depends on your individual situation which plan or combination of plans works best for you.”
What are the various types of 529 college savings plans?
“The good news is there is definitely more than one type of 529 college plan,” says Amy. “There’s the state college savings plan. There’s also a state prepaid tuition plan and then finally a private prepaid tuition plan.”
How can I get started?
“Planning for one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your child should start early,” recommends Amy. “I know it’s difficult to know where a newborn might go off to college, but knowing the projected costs for a couple of different college types is truly helpful in automating savings.”
Amy suggests two action steps to move forward:
“Determine the amount you would like to cover of your student’s education.”
“Sit down and educate yourself about the 529 plans that exist,” says Amy. “Don’t let analysis paralysis get in your way. If this stuff is confusing to you, reach out to somebody who specializes in college savings. They’ll be there to guide you.”