Saving for College Just Got Easier

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Searching through 529 college savings plans to find the one that’s right for you or your child may be much easier now that mutual fund research site Morningstar.com is providing information on the various plans available to savers.

A 529 plan is an investment vehicle that lets savers invest money in a variety of mutual funds without having to pay federal and state taxes on investment returns.

Parents can open them for their children and students planning to go to college or graduate school can open them for themselves, and choosing the right one requires a lot of research by the consumer.

Morningstar has already been offering a list of the best and worst state-sponsored 529 plans, notes the Associated Press, but now they are providing even more detailed data, including easy-to-find fee information, minimum contribution amounts and information on the historical performance of various funds.

That makes it simpler for consumers to make sure they’re not being charged excessive fees and making smart choices about the amount of risk they’re willing to take depending on how long they plan to invest.

Consumers can open a 529 plan in any state they choose, regardless of where they live or where the student chooses to go to school.

For more information on how to save for college, read MainStreet’s story, Saving for College at Every Age.  If you find saving for college challenging, automatic savings with rewards cards just might be able to help, MainStreet explains.  And for those who see college in their near future, check out our roundup of online tools that can make the application process easier.

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