There’s never been a better time for a 529 plan

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Even during a pandemic, the cost of college keeps rising. And so does investor anxiety. 529 plans offer flexibility and benefits that can provide some relief.

Many investors don’t realize that 529 plan assets can be used to pay for much more than books and tuition. In fact, distributions can be used to cover a long list of qualified education expenses at eligible institutions.

The recently passed Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act expanded qualified expenses to include registered apprenticeship programs and repayment of college debt. And since account owners have full control over 529 plan assets, they can even be the beneficiary of their own account — a huge benefit to anyone looking to go back to school themselves right now to advance their skills for the new work environment.

 

Perhaps the best kept secret of 529 plans is that money saved can be used to purchase computers and other equipment or to pay for internet access. This will be especially important if remote learning continues in states across the country.

 

Bottom line

As experts debate what college will look like in the future — classes on campus, remote learning or a mix of both — the benefits of having a 529 plan have never been more meaningful.

 

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