College Savings Plans

Updated on January 01, 2012
K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ
9 answers

My husband and I would like to start a 529 college savings plan for our 20 month old daughter but aren't sure where to start. Can anyone give some advice?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

More Answers



answers from Denver on

If you dont mind, I will put in my 2 cents worth. We started a 529 plan for our son and I really wish we didnt now. We only started it with 500 dollars a couple years ago. Guess what it is worth now? $250. Wow, really saving our money huh? Plus, that money HAS to be used for school expenses. What if your son does not end up going to school? What will you do with that money? Take a lot of cooking classes maybe? LOL! We started some regular investment accounts for our kids and they are doing much better than the 529, and if they decide to take a different path in life the money can be used for something else. I am definitely going to push college, but you never know!
Anyway, sorry about that rant! Do whatever you feel is right for your family and good luck!
PS we opened ours through a banker at our local bank.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on - This website is wonderful.

I opened up a 529 through my state for the tax breaks. It also has some tax benefits if I move out of state also. You don't have to open a plan in your state. There may be a better option in another state based on your particular circumstances. The website above lets you compare plans.

Yes, there are risks with the 529 plan, but for me the benefits outweighed that. Whatever sort of plan you go with, you need to decide how to invest it. When I opened mine, the plan had 6 options, so I chose three to split money between. That has worked out well for me as one is a guaranteed return, the other is age based, and the other is pure stock. So I have a balance of risk that I am taking on and all of them have increased in value in the four years I have had it open. You might also check into who you can add on to the plan. My plan allows for me to add any family member (child, cousin, sibling, etc) as long as they are under a certain age. So if my son doesn't use it, I still have the option of having that money being available for someone else. I am not fully funding my son's education and even if I could, I wouldn't put it all in a 529. Of the money I save for my son, about 30% goes in the 529 and the rest in other savings accounts that are not designated for educational expenses. Great job starting early on college savings!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If your state offers a tax deduction for your contributions, then go with whatever one your state sponsors. If your state doesn't, then you can pick whatever one you like. Below is the website for your state's plan, and it does appear that your state offers a tax break so I would go with that (and your state has partnered with Fidelity...there's a saying in my industry that no one get's fired for picking Fidelity as a plan provider):


answers from Dallas on

We do 529s at State Farm.
If you call your insurance company, they may be able to help you.



answers from Pittsburgh on

We use a financial adviser.


answers from Dallas on

This is a great time to start! It is never too early.

If you do not understand the financial markets, into the numbers, etc. Don't do this alone. Find a trusted financial advisor who can guide you.

We have multiple accounts set up for our daughter with the main one being a 529. Yes, 529's are used for education only and they can be rolled over to your grandchildren if your child does not use it all. Some people will say they are worthless because of that and say not all kids go to college, etc. In our family, college is not an option... it is an extended 4-6 school year. It's just the way we were raised.

We also have other savings avenues such as numismatics, savings bonds, savings accounts.

Our daughter is 17 and a Jr in high school. We are actively scoping colleges now so she can find the right fit. We will not limit her choices due to money. She is currently looking at Duke and Baylor.

She is also fully funded and knows the sacrifice it takes to do that. I'll get ripped here but we feel as parents, we brought her into the world, it is our job to get her started out in life debt free. She is a good student and well rounded with grades that can put her where she wants to go.

Others say save for your retirement before college and just leave their kids hanging on college to do it themselves or not go. Yes, retirement is very important and we made sacrifices to have that in tact as well.

Find a good financial advisor and go from there. We had a goal of a specific $ amount to add each year and we did that and sometimes more. The current 529 has grown enough to cover the majority of her expenses. Someone mentioned 529 being bad because it didn't gain much... You have to continue to invest for it to grow.

Best wishes.



answers from Boston on

Our financial advisor had us set up accounts at Fidelity.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions