529 Plans - Clifton Heights,PA

Updated on June 05, 2009
T.B. asks from Clifton Heights, PA
18 answers

Hi Moms. My son recently inherited some money that is to be out into a 529 Plan. In order to release the money the lawyer hadiling the estate needs ro know what financial institution we are going to open the 529 Plan with. So my question is-does anyone have any suggestions where to open up a 529 Paln. Thanks in advance for the advice!

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V.A.

answers from Philadelphia on

I work at Merrill Lynch and they are the firm that handle my daughters 529. If you are interested in opening an account there you can call up and ask for the broker of the day. Even if you decide to go with another firm the brokers there are very nice and would be happy to answer any questions you have. HOpe that helps.

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K.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

T.:

I have two boys that I opened 529 plans for a few years ago at PNC Bank in Bellevue. The person that opened the accounts for me no longer works there. PNC has been doing very well in this economy right now. I'm not familiar with 529 plans anywhere else. You can call the main number at ###-###-#### and ask to set up an appointment with Drew S. I can't think of his last name at the moment. However, when you mention 529 plans, they will know with whom to connect you. Tell them that K. told you to call.

Good luck! Congratulations on the new baby!
K.

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T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T.,

I work for a Certified Financial Planner and we handle 529 accounts all the time. If you are interested in learning more about 529 accounts and which company we would recommend, please feel free to contact our office at ###-###-####.

T.

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi T.,

Whatever you do, get it out of the hands of the attorney as soon as you can.

Edward Jones is a good financial consultant.

Good luck. D.

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T.M.

answers from Allentown on

hi T.,
contact a ' good; financial advisor .
thisis your childs monies / taxes levied on you and dad if done incorrectly .
also; I WOULD consider adding BOTH children to the fund ....
and all future children .[ to be split up as yong adults] many ways to re organize monies .. [ perhaps , this tax year ; you must keep in 1 sons name to recieve the funds ]
Edward Jones in cooperburg has a great team
pnc was ' fishy' ?
do RESEARCH ...BE careful w/ your taxes and think LONG TERM w/ all your children.
a mommy

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would contact Vanguard. Check out their website as well. www.vanguard.com

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D.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

We were looking at Vanguard and Utah before we went to our Financial adviser. They told us the best one is Nebraska. The Financial adviser company is one of the top one hundred in the US. They told us to put two years worth, for it can only go to higher education of any kind. and can go to the next child if the older one does not us it. There are penelty for taking out money in a 529 plan for any other reasons then higher ed. Good luck

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K.L.

answers from Erie on

I see that you received some comments on plans in other states vs PA. It is important to speak with someone who is knowledgeable about PA and specifically about 529 plans. Our advisor told us that some states have a reciprocal relationship with PA, while others do not. He also assured us that there is no requirement that our child attend school in state (either where we live or where the plan is hosted). He recommended the plan from Virginia, but there are several others that may work well for you. Once you have the fund set up, you may want to consider having a few dollars auto-invested each month. Good luck and remember that setting the money aside in a school fund is more important than stressing about minor differences in interest rates . . .

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B.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I second Lori...go with a no load fund manager like Vanguard that way all the money goes towards the investment and not towards a saleperson's commission.

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N.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

hi,

I opened my sons 5129 plan with U Promise. I did it on line. It was very easy and they send me the statement in the mail. You can also earn money towards the plan by setting up accounts attached to the plan and using those accounts to shop at certain stores. They have a huge list online. Look into it. It has worked fine for me.

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P.P.

answers from Erie on

I would start at your bank and get info there and research online. A finanical advisor can be hard to trust unless you actually know someone. I got ripped off by one a few years back who was a friend of a friend. I do my own investing now and use Vanguard and T. Rowe Price for mutual funds.
A 529 plan can be a great tax savings - and is better in some states than others. My parents have one in NY that has great benefits which I could not get in Pa, so I don't own one as I don't see any advantage.

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D.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

We have ours through Fidelity and are very happy. They are doing well!

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T.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Get yourself a copy of Parent Savvy - from the group that does most of the major legal books out there - Nolo.
http://www.amazon.com/Parent-Savvy/lm/3HXTO5917WL0B

There is a big difference in 529s that are tied to states vs. institutions. We thought about a state-tied one as it can give you some significant tax breaks, but the PA plan doesn't have the best reputation, and as we have both lived/gone to school elsewhere, we wouldn't be surprised if our daughter did the same.

Get a copy of this book, read the section, and make your own decision. We currently have our daughter's cash in a savings account, but do have our eye on the Vanguard account mentioned by some of the other moms. There is a minimum required to start though - $3000 I think?

http://www.vanguard.com/us/accounttypes/college/ATS529Ove...

Good luck! How lucky for your son!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

That's a great way to invest his money. Even though the market is tanking right now, we're betting on recovery by the time our son is in college....any financial advisor should be able to help you set up your plan. Perhaps you can start with the financial planning dept at your local bank. Be aware of what fees are charged.....good luck!

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D.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

talk to your local bank. that should be able to help you out with that. could even do a financial planner who handles a multitude of things like meryll lynch. good luck

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M.P.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T.,
I agree with all the Moms about Vanguard. We did our research too and went with Vanguard 529. We went with a "target" fund; as the child ages the balance shifts more to bonds (less risky). We just really trust Vanguard; especially during this economy. Just remember that Financial Advisors make a commission on who they recommend. You can apply online at Vanguard yourself with your child's SSN. The paperwork will be mailed to you to sign. Mail the paperwork back in with your child's inheritance. The inheritance check should have the Vanguard Fund Name and Child's Vanguard account number (provided on the paperwork sent to you). Congratulations on getting your child's education fund started so early!!!
M

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B.W.

answers from Erie on

Hi T.,

A 529 plan is a great way to save for college expenses, but it does require some research. Where you put the money depends on the amount. As mutual fund companies go, I like Vanguard, because they are a no load fund, but you have to have a good sized deposit to open accounts. You can go to vanguard.com to research funds, they even have a computerized planner that will help you to decide what types of funds, or mixes of funds would suit your risk-tolerance the best.

Know that if you go with a mutual fund, you are investing in the stock market, or bond markets, or money markets, and all are subject to growth and contraction. It is best to invest spread the money around a little into different types of funds, so you have some in growth, some in balanced (stocks and bonds), and in international (all countries, not just USA), etc. When you "invest" the money, you want to invest it for at least 5 years. This is a particularly good time to invest in the markets, too, as prices are still lower than usual, and are beginning to climb out of the trough.

If the ups and downs of the market are scary to you, and you will cringe with anxiety every time the market contracts, then go with a bank plan. You'll earn less (or your son will), but you won't be worrying about the money.

Whatever you eventually do, be sure you understand what you are doing and how the funds work. You can do a lot of research online, but if you have questions, I know at Vanguard, you can call an 800 # and they people on the other end (people, amazing !) are very helpful.

This is a fantastic gift someone has given your son ! It will be a wonderful thing for you later, too, when he needs the money for school. I think the hardest thing about receiving the money at this particular time, however, is that there's no way you can go back and say, "thank-you." So, do your best with the money, make good choices, use more than one fund (if there's enough $$ to do that) to spread the risk around a little, and live your life with thankfulness of spirit knowing that you and your son were loved enough by this person that they started the educational funding for you ! It's wonderful !! :-)

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A.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My husband researched this a lot before we decided to go with Vanguard. Make sure that you pick the right fund tailored to your needs when you do this. Also whatever 529 you do choose make sure that they do not have restrictions about which states the money can be used in.
No load funds are always good.
Read all the fine print before you sign it.
good luck

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