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Paying for a college education may be the greatest gift you can give. However, it also may be the most expensive. It is no secret that college expenses have been increasing at an alarming rate. According to the report of the College Board, Trends in College Pricing "tuition has risen at twice the rate of inflation in the last 20 years (2001). This means that in another 18 years parents can anticipate the payment of approximately $ 115,000 for expenses in a total of 4 years public university or about $ 250,000 in a private institution.

This is what we can do now to help with the rising costs of higher education in the future, is called the 529 College Savings Plan. The name of a section of the Internal Revenue Code that permits a very favorable tax treatment, this state-sponsored savings plan for college can be withdrawn completely tax free if the money is spent on qualified education expenses.

General account owners may amortization up period of one year at $ 55,000 ($ 110,000 for married couples) per beneficiary once every five, without incurring a federal gift tax. For example, a pair of potentially rich can send their 4 grandchildren to college and immediately eliminate $ 440,000 (4 x $ 110,000) of taxable assets.

Moreover tax incentives, there are some additional features that make 529s a logical choice for college funding. There are no age restrictions or Income and contribution limits are high, some reaching $ 268,000. Account owners maintain control of assets. If for any reason, the owner must close the account, a 10% penalty will be assessed on income and the balance may be used at the discretion of the owner. Additionally, they offer the possibility of 529s to change the beneficiaries of the plan. So if little Johnny decides to go to college the account can be reassigned to his little sister. If you win a scholarship, money, even can be withdrawn without penalty.

Each state's 529 plan has its own features and benefits. All state plans are not equal, and some state plans are better than others. (Be careful, some state plans do not offer diversified portfolio options.) Fortunately, most state plans allow you to invest through state lines, which means that if you do not like the plan your state has to offer, you can look to other states and go with a plan you feel comfortable. Currently Very few states offer tax incentives in their 529 plans, so investment selection and management experience more weight should choose a plan.

With a savings plan for college, you can select investment options based on their objectives and time horizon. One of the most common investment choices is based in the current age of the beneficiary. Investment allocation will change over time, so that the older the child gets and the closer he / she reaches college age, the most conservative of the underlying investments become.

Understand the various offsets between the different plans can be confusing. N type account or investment option is suitable for every investor. Be sure to consult a knowledgeable investment advisor before investing.

About the Author:/
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/Robert Valentine is a well-known expert in the matters concerning investors. His popular /
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/ articles have been published by several publications throughout the United States. Please visit his website, /
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/http://www.themoneyalert.com/
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Article Source: ArticlesBase.comSend Your Kids to College and Avoid the Tax Man

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