Skip to main content

Feed aggregator

Surfer paints stunning waterfront murals

CNN World - 13 hours 18 min ago
From his floating studio, a paddle board, Sean Yoro creates stunning portraits of women, whose lifelike features barely escape the waterline.
Categories: International News

529 College Savings Plans Can Help Ease Your Top Financial Concern

Lifestyles - 13 hours 38 min ago
Five words or less(NewsUSA) - People who worry about financing a college education for children or grandchildren have got plenty of company. More than 70 percent of parents with children under 18 say that paying for college is their top financial concern, according to Gallup's 2001-2015 Economic and Personal Finance survey. Young adults are worried too. Asked by Gallup to identify the top financial problem facing their families, more than one in five respondents aged 18 to 29 said it was paying tuition or college loans. Fortunately, there's a way to put money aside for education in an investment account where the savings can grow over the years, free from federal income taxes. What's more, the student doesn't have to pay federal income taxes on withdrawals from the account, as long as the money is used for qualified higher education expenses, which include tuition, books, fees, supplies and other approved expenses at accredited institutions. "With the costs of higher education continuing to rise, knowledgeable families are taking advantage of 529 college savings plans," says Kris Spazafumo, Vice President, Investment Services, at Los Angeles-based American Funds, which manages CollegeAmerica. It's the country's largest 529 plan, with nearly $50 billion in assets, as of March 31, 2015. "More than 1.2 million families nationwide are now saving for college with CollegeAmerica on behalf of 2.1 million future college students, and we expect that number to grow as more people become aware of the many benefits that 529 plans offer." Flexibility is a key feature of 529 plans. Parents and grandparents maintain control of the account, decide when and if to disburse the proceeds and retain the ability to change the beneficiaries. For example, if the child originally named as beneficiary doesn't need the money or doesn't go to college, the account beneficiary can be changed to another family member who might benefit. Account owners can even use the money for their own qualifying educational expenses to obtain a graduate degree, for instance, or specialized career training. Anyone can open a 529 college savings plan, regardless of income, and can contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) annually without gift-tax consequences, and that money isn't considered part of the account owner's estate. Since 529 plans are long-term investment vehicles, it's important to choose a plan that offers a wide range of investment options and proven management expertise, says Spazafumo, who notes that CollegeAmerica offers a number of choices from the highly rated American Funds mutual fund family. Financing higher education requires saving consistently over the long term, but it's not impossible. "A college education is a great investment, resulting in an estimated 70 percent more lifetime income and a 50 percent lower chance of being unemployed," Spazafumo says, adding that saving for college is a much less costly approach than borrowing. "Earning an 8 percent return, rather than paying 8 percent interest, a family with a goal of $10,000 in college savings can attain that by saving a total of $7,000 over 10 years, as opposed to repaying a total of $14,000 over 10 years if they had borrowed the $10,000." Not only is borrowing more costly than saving your way to college, Spazafumo points out that there's evidence many students aren't able to keep up with their loan obligations. According to the Department of Education, borrowers who were due to start repaying their student loans in 2011 had a 13.7 percent default rate last year, thus damaging their credit ratings just as they were beginning their working lives. Education has always been the pathway to higher incomes and job satisfaction, and that's likely to be truer than ever in the years to come. Combining a disciplined savings program with the right 529 college savings plan can help make your family member's dreams of college a reality. CollegeAmerica is sponsored by Virginia529 and is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. Interests in CollegeAmerica are sold through unaffiliated intermediaries. Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides tax and other benefits not available through CollegeAmerica. If withdrawals are used for purposes other than higher education, the earnings will be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectus, summary prospectus and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

529 College Savings Plans Can Help Ease Your Top Financial Concern

NEWSUSA - 13 hours 38 min ago
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - People who worry about financing a college education for children or grandchildren have got plenty of company. More than 70 percent of parents with children under 18 say that paying for college is their top financial concern, according to Gallup's 2001-2015 Economic and Personal Finance survey.

Young adults are worried too. Asked by Gallup to identify the top financial problem facing their families, more than one in five respondents aged 18 to 29 said it was paying tuition or college loans.

Fortunately, there's a way to put money aside for education in an investment account where the savings can grow over the years, free from federal income taxes. What's more, the student doesn't have to pay federal income taxes on withdrawals from the account, as long as the money is used for qualified higher education expenses, which include tuition, books, fees, supplies and other approved expenses at accredited institutions.

"With the costs of higher education continuing to rise, knowledgeable families are taking advantage of 529 college savings plans," says Kris Spazafumo, Vice President, Investment Services, at Los Angeles-based American Funds, which manages CollegeAmerica. It's the country's largest 529 plan, with nearly $50 billion in assets, as of March 31, 2015. "More than 1.2 million families nationwide are now saving for college with CollegeAmerica on behalf of 2.1 million future college students, and we expect that number to grow as more people become aware of the many benefits that 529 plans offer."

Flexibility is a key feature of 529 plans. Parents and grandparents maintain control of the account, decide when and if to disburse the proceeds and retain the ability to change the beneficiaries. For example, if the child originally named as beneficiary doesn't need the money or doesn't go to college, the account beneficiary can be changed to another family member who might benefit. Account owners can even use the money for their own qualifying educational expenses to obtain a graduate degree, for instance, or specialized career training.

Anyone can open a 529 college savings plan, regardless of income, and can contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) annually without gift-tax consequences, and that money isn't considered part of the account owner's estate.

Since 529 plans are long-term investment vehicles, it's important to choose a plan that offers a wide range of investment options and proven management expertise, says Spazafumo, who notes that CollegeAmerica offers a number of choices from the highly rated American Funds mutual fund family.

Financing higher education requires saving consistently over the long term, but it's not impossible.

"A college education is a great investment, resulting in an estimated 70 percent more lifetime income and a 50 percent lower chance of being unemployed," Spazafumo says, adding that saving for college is a much less costly approach than borrowing. "Earning an 8 percent return, rather than paying 8 percent interest, a family with a goal of $10,000 in college savings can attain that by saving a total of $7,000 over 10 years, as opposed to repaying a total of $14,000 over 10 years if they had borrowed the $10,000."

Not only is borrowing more costly than saving your way to college, Spazafumo points out that there's evidence many students aren't able to keep up with their loan obligations. According to the Department of Education, borrowers who were due to start repaying their student loans in 2011 had a 13.7 percent default rate last year, thus damaging their credit ratings just as they were beginning their working lives.

Education has always been the pathway to higher incomes and job satisfaction, and that's likely to be truer than ever in the years to come. Combining a disciplined savings program with the right 529 college savings plan can help make your family member's dreams of college a reality.

CollegeAmerica is sponsored by Virginia529 and is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. Interests in CollegeAmerica are sold through unaffiliated intermediaries.

Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides tax and other benefits not available through CollegeAmerica. If withdrawals are used for purposes other than higher education, the earnings will be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectus, summary prospectus and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.

Meet the 'Soul-Sucking Dementor' Wasp

CNN World - 13 hours 40 min ago
Scientists have documented more than a hundred new species in southeast Asia. One of them is a wasp named after a "Harry Potter" character.
Categories: International News

Painting a 'human canvas'

CNN - 13 hours 41 min ago
Keyana Tahmaseb explores the idea of feeling trapped and fading into one's surroundings in her surrealist photo series "Human Canvas." In this series, the subjects literally blend with settings and objects through paint and other materials.
Categories: National News

Ex-FIFA official cites 'Onion' article in defense

CNN World - 13 hours 44 min ago
A former FIFA official is ridiculed after citing an article by satirical news outlet The Onion in an attempt to defend himself against criminal charges.
Categories: International News

Official trained by U.S. to fight terror joins ISIS

CNN World - 13 hours 46 min ago
CNN's Brian Todd reports that ISIS released a new video online, and the man in the video was a special counter-terror commander who defected to ISIS.
Categories: International News

Rare fossils discovered in basement

CNN World - 13 hours 48 min ago
CNN affiliate CBC News reports that an Alberta, Canada, man discovered rare fossilized fish while digging up a basement.
Categories: International News

Komodo dragon bites zoo worker

CNN - 13 hours 53 min ago
A Komodo dragon at a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, bit a worker from inside a cage. CNN affiliate KETV reports.
Categories: National News

Man caught slashing tires after bingo dispute

CNN - 13 hours 53 min ago
CNN affiliate Bay News 9 reports that an elderly man was caught on video slashing a woman's tires because he said the woman stole his bingo seat.
Categories: National News

Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

Business News - 14 hours 31 min ago
Read full story for latest details.

Microsoft announces Windows 10 release date: July 29

Business News - 14 hours 46 min ago
Windows 10 finally has an official release date: July 29.

The shows you should watch this week

CNN Entertainment - 15 hours 26 min ago
It looks like a busy workspace, but the presence of chunky computer monitors and 1980s movie posters gives it away.
Categories: Entertainment News

Singer Colbie Caillat engaged to boyfriend Justin Young

CNN Entertainment - 15 hours 30 min ago
He made her want to say "I do!"
Categories: Entertainment News

Iran hosts anti-ISIS cartoon competition

CNN World - Sun, 05/31/2015 - 4:37pm
Political cartoonists from around the world are flying into Iran, not exactly a bastion of free speech, to take part in a competition featuring anti-ISIS cartoons.
Categories: International News
Pasta, bread, pizza crusts, peanut butter, fried foods, beef, even certain types of chips — these are all foods that...
The memories of April 21, 2008 when we went to the Boston Marathon still lingered in our hearts and souls on April 15...
Emily Jones Deluded Diva My neighbor, (I'll call her Brenda for the sake of anonymity), is one of the best things that...
By RUTH MORGAN For Starkville Daily News General Wiley Norris Nash was one of Mississippi as well as Starkville’s most...
Creation is imagination, and being a visual artist I'm attempting to be creative, inventive, and imaginative. To...

 

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes