Tag Archives: 529 Plan

14 Things to Consider for Your Year-End Financial Checklist

The last few weeks of the year are always a mad rush to wrap up loose ends, often in a frantic fashion. In the spirit of the season, we thought it a good time to share a checklist of important items to consider before the calendar year ends, all related to your investments and finances. We also wanted to reiterate some key topics we’ve already discussed, but that are especially important to review by end-of-year. Here are some brief pieces of financial advice on several fronts that could benefit you and yours in multiple ways, and that could ultimately add to your long-term bottom line, not to mention peace of mind. 1. Establish or Tune Up Your Emergency Fund If you […]

529 Plans: The Benefits of Superfunding

One of the largest financial obligations that many parents decide to take on is funding their child’s college education.  With the four-year cost of a public college education in California at $121,300 and private college at $172,600, this can be a daunting task even for professionals with high-paying careers. The 529 plan is the most popular of several deferred savings plans for college. While contributions to a 529 plan are not deductible (like a Roth IRA), capital gains and dividends compound tax free, and no taxes are owed on spending from the account used towards higher education for approved beneficiaries. Many parents choose 529 plans because of their large annual contribution limits (up to $14,000 per parent per year).  However, […]

Eight Financial Planning Actions You Should Consider for the New Year

Many of our clients like to use the beginning of a new year to create a plan for their personal finances.  They often ask us what we think are the most important issues to consider.  We believe there are eight critical actions to focus on: Create an emergency fund Pay off high interest debt If you own a home don’t pay off your mortgage If you’ve yet to purchase a home determine how much home you can afford Set up a 529 plan for your kids Evaluate early exercise of your options Create a long-term investment account Avoid Angel Investments Create an emergency fund As you have read in many of our posts, we believe the first thing every young […]

529 Plans and Saving For College

When it comes to saving for college, there are five important questions: How much should I save? On what schedule?  In which kind of plan?  Which state 529 plan?  What underlying investments should I pick? Based on the fact that you’re reading this blog, you likely already know how important it is to save for your kids’ college education. You may have already started the process. If you have a newborn daughter, you’ll need roughly $490,000 to pay for her engineering degree at Stanford, or $240,000 for a poli sci degree at UCLA, assuming higher education costs increase by 4% a year. Multiply that by two or three to take into account your other (future) children, and the amount seems […]

People in Their 20s & 30s: Become a Savvy Investor

People in their 20s or 30s, you face some of the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities of any investor. (See Preventive Medicine for One Young Doctor’s Growing Portfolio). If you have a solid income stream, you face a bewildering array of demands on your money. You may want to save to buy a house; you probably have college loans to pay off; and you’re already thinking about socking money away for “big ticket” items in your future like cars, vacations and kids’ college! One crucial realization you’ll have as a young investor is that different goals will require different investment vehicles. Key Investment Vehicles The Rainy Day Fund There’s no clear consensus among experts as to exactly how much […]

Why Watching Media Reports On The Market Is A Waste Of Time

Americans concerned about their portfolios (everybody) woke up to more bad news Thursday, as headlines about a global selloff permeated the media. If you believe, as we do, that it’s important to invest for the long term, rebalance in a disciplined way, and limit your emotionally driven moves to the level of tweaking (if you really need to), then getting consumed in these reports is counterproductive. Here’s a great piece on the topic: There’s no reason why stocks are down today. Check out the graph at the bottom of the post that shows the long-term gain in U.S. equities. Thanks to Abnormal Returns for the link. Investors are taking out their fear and frustration with the political system on the […]

When A 529 Plan Is Not The Right Option


This is a guest post by Kira Botkin. Kira contributes to the Money Crashers personal finance blog and specializes in financial topics like saving for retirement, finding commonly overlooked personal tax deductions, living a frugal lifestyle, and getting out of debt. You’ve probably by now heard the conventional wisdom: If your children are planning on college (or you’re planning on college for them), a 529 college savings plan is a great way to save for tuition and expenses. In many states, contributions to 529 plans win you a tax deduction for state tax purposes, and the earnings are federal- and state tax-free. That’s the conventional wisdom and it may be right in some cases. But changes in the investing environment […]