It takes a whole family (and sometimes many friends) to prepare a child financially for college. How many times have relatives and friends asked what to give a child for his or her birthday? Now you can answer the question with the Tomorrow’s Scholar 529 Plan online gifting platform. Just look at the selection on the right side of this page. What better gift than an education? And what better time to give than at birthdays, graduations, holidays, achievements and other milestones? Engaging loved ones to help with a child’s education is easy:
Online Gifting Platform
- Create an account or log on to the Active Investor portal here
- Setup a gifting page and set a goal
- Share your gifting page via email or social media with a customized link
Here are some tips on how to involve the whole family. By sharing college saving as a “family experience” you not only make it more enjoyable, you help bring a child’s education within reach.
- Talk to everybody. There are so many things you have to do on your own as parents, educational funding should not be one of them. There’s usually a wide circle of influence each child has. All of them can be a part of helping them achieve the dream of higher education.
- Use the low contribution requirements to your advantage. One of the great things about 529 plans is that anyone can contribute, at virtually any amount. Don’t be afraid, at any one of the child’s milestones, to suggest the gift of a contribution. All contributions can go into the one account for the child (under parental control).
- Start saving as soon as you can. Investing a fixed amount each month can really add up over time, especially with the tax-free earnings provided by 529 plans.
- Involve the child. Education is more meaningful if a child has a financial stake. Gifts, allowance, part-time job income can all be contributed into a 529 plan as they come in.
- Very soon, distributions from grandparent-owned 529s will no longer count toward student income and impact the student’s needs-based financial aid.
- Gifting. 529s allow grandparents to gift up to $34,000 per year as a couple ($17,000 per grandparent) free of gift taxes. All contributions are removed from the grandparents’ taxable estate.
- Accelerated Gifting. A special provision of 529 allows for accelerated gifts of up to $170,000 (married filing jointly) or $85,000 (single) to each grandchild’s 529 accounts. No further gifts can be made for 5 years. These gifts reduce the size of the grandparent’s taxable estate by the amount of the contribution.
- Multiple Grandchildren Savings. If a couple has 5 grandchildren, they could feasibly reduce the size of their taxable estate by $850,000 in a single tax year while leaving an education legacy for their grandchildren.
- Control. The grandparent always has control of the account and can name a successor owner.
- Flexibility. If the beneficiary decides not to attend college, the account holder can change the beneficiary at any time.
Friends and Family
- Use special occasions to show that you value education. Helping underwrite the high cost of higher education means a lot more in the long run than the latest toys and games.
- Remember that anyone can contribute to a 529 plan. The plan’s flexibility, plus high maximums, makes it a perfect place to hold the special gift you want to give to a child.
- Gift and estate tax benefits apply to everyone, too. Each year you can remove up to $34,000 (married) and $17,000 (single) from your estate per child free of gift tax. Or, with accelerated gifting, you can make a one-time contribution of up to $170,000 (married) or $85,000 (single), also free of gift tax and out of your estate (as long as you don’t make other college savings gifts to that child within five years).