A 529 plan is a state-sponsored education savings program that allows an individual to save in a tax-deferred account to pay for a beneficiary's post-secondary education at any accredited school in the United States. Unlike Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, which excludes joint filers with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) above $220,000 and single filers with AGIs above $110,000, there are no income restrictions on those contributing to the plan.
Like auto insurance coverage, it is sometimes difficult to see the true value of life insurance coverage until you actually need it. In the meantime, the only way you will feel comfortable with your life insurance policy is if you understand, and agree with, the reasons you bought it in the first place.
There are many reasons for an individual to own life insurance coverage. Perhaps the most compelling reason is to purchase a death benefit which will provide for the financial needs of their survivors.
The federal government imposes a substantial tax on gifts of money or property above certain levels. Without such a tax someone with a sizable estate could give away a large portion of their property before death and escape death taxes altogether. For this reason, the gift tax acts more or less as a backstop to the estate tax. And yet, few people actually pay a gift tax during their lifetime. A gift program can substantially reduce overall transfer taxes; however, it requires good planning and a commitment to proceed with the gifts.
Often it is necessary to borrow money in order to make large purchases like cars, home improvements, college expenses and emergency purchases. Fortunately, our financial institutions make such loans readily available, and fairly easy to get. However, such loans can be fairly complex financial transactions. The more you know before going into a loan, the better prepared you will be to select the loan that best meets your objectives.
Budgeting is the systematic allocation of one's limited resources (income) to a potentially unlimited number of needs and wants (expenses.) Budgeting your income, though oftentimes tedious and difficult to maintain, can help you better control how your income is being spent.
Once you have determined that you need life insurance, and calculated how much coverage you require, you will have to choose between several types of life insurance. There are two very different types of life insurance contracts -- term and permanent.
Variable annuities offer more choices than fixed or guaranteed annuities. Some of the things they offer that are not the same as a fixed annuity are, tax deferred earnings, a choice of payouts, plus the opportunity to make unlimited contributions if the annuity is nonqualified. The things that it offers different from the fixed annuity is that you have a potential for making more money and it also gives you more involvement on how to allocate your assets among your investments.
College should be considered a lifetime investment rather than just a four-year expense. It requires financial planning and personal sacrifices. The earlier you start saving and investing, the less money you will have to save and invest later.
Furthermore, the earlier you start saving, the less risk you'll have to take in your investment choices because long-term investing generally carries less risk.
There are many investment alternatives suitable for college savings. Here is a partial list of some such investments: