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Learn How To Start Saving For Your Children's Education Today


Public, 4 year university (in-state resident).


Private, 4 year University

*Average annual undergraduate costs (tuition and fees, room and board) for 2016-2017. Source: Collegeboard.

Many people put off planning for their children's educations until the kids are well into their teens only to discover they've waited too long. A late start leaves little time to accumulate the assets they need, and results in missing the chance to plan opportunities to maximize financial aid. With college costs increasing at a substantially higher rate than inflation, it is important to start saving early. With a strategy in place, you can help fund your child’s college education. Get the information you need to compare different savings options and determine how much you’ll need to save.

Future 4-Year Private College Costs¹

12 Year Old
6 Year Old
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¹Source: JP Morgan Asset Management, using The College Board, "2012 Trends in College Pricing."

Comparing College Savings Vehicles

Compare college savings plans

Choosing the right college savings account can be an enormous and confusing task. Understanding the different tax benefits and features of each college savings vehicles can help you choose the right one for your needs.

529 Savings Plan

529 College Savings Plan

  • Tax-free investing and withdrawals for any qualified higher education expense¹
  • Account owner control for the life of the account
  • No income limits on contributors
  • High contribution maximums
  • Low impact on financial aid eligibility

¹Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes.

Section 529 College Savings Plans
529 plans are tax-advantaged accounts designed to pay for qualified higher education expenses ("529" refers to section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code). They can be used for a student of any age, and be used to pay for education expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, and equipment, as well as certain expenses for special needs students. Most states offer a 529 plan, however, the programs can differ regarding participation requirements, investment options, state tax advantages, use of contributions, and other benefits. You should compare other 529 plans with any college savings program offered by your state.
Uniform Gifts to Minors/Uniform Transfers to Minors Accounts (UGMA/UTMA)
These are custodial accounts invested in the child's name, and can be used for any expense for the benefit of the child, not just education expenses. It's important to note that any unused money must be distributed to the child by the time they reach the age of majority (age 18 in California), and can be used at the child's discretion. Unlike Section 529 plans and Coverdell ESA’s, there’s no ability to transfer the account to another child or change beneficiaries.
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
Formerly known as the Education IRA, these accounts offer tax-deferred growth and are designated for a child’s educational expenses. These accounts have lessened in popularity due to the higher contribution limits of 529 plans.

Start Saving For College Today

Take the first step towards your child’s future.

Education Planning

Tax-deferral can have a dramatic affect on the growth of an investment. With a state-sponsored 529 College Savings Plan your contributions can grow tax-deferred (some states allow contributions to be partially or completely deductible) and withdrawn tax-free as long as the funds are used for qualified education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board at higher education institutions. The sooner you start saving for college tuition, the more time your money has to grow. Help your children go to college and receive the education they will need to succeed by investing in their future today. Use our college savings calculator and contact San Diego based, Integrated Financial Concepts today to schedule a free, introductory college financial planning meeting.

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