When your children are young, your top priorities are getting dinner on the table, scrubbing grass stains out of baseball jerseys, and remembering to take the trash can to the curb (because smelling those diapers for another week is NOT an option). It seems like a lifetime will pass before they make it to college, and figuring out how to pay for it is the last item on your to do list. Then, in what feels like the blink of an eye, you’re filling out college applications and financial aid paperwork.
Missouri (along with many other states) offers a 529 plan to help you get a jump start on your college savings. A MOST 529 plan can be set up in as little as 10 minutes and provides some pretty awesome benefits to both the account holder and beneficiary.
- It’s FREE to open! That’s right- there are no fees to create your MOST 529 account. You can easily open one online here: Open a MOST 529 Account.
- Even though your account is state specific, the benefits can be used at any eligible university or college in the United States or abroad.
- If you’re an account owner and you live in Missouri, you can deduct up to
$8,000 ($16,000 if you’re married filing jointly) of your MOST 529 Plan
contributions when you file you state income taxes.
- You can contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 if married filing jointly) per year without triggering federal gift tax. You can contribute up to $325,000 total with a MOST 529 plan!
- A 529 plan isn’t just used for 4-year degrees. It can be used to pay for any eligible 2 or 4 year college, vocational or trade school, or even postgraduate studies. This can also be used on some housing, textbook, and even computer costs!
- You can set an account up for virtually anyone that has a valid social security number: children, cousins, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or even yourself!
- Qualified withdrawals are tax free, too! If the original beneficiary decides not to continue their education, you can transfer the benefits (with no penalty) or withdraw the balance (penalties and taxes will be assessed upon withdrawal).
On Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00 p.m. CST, we’ll be co-hosting a Twitter Party with experts on the MOST 529 plan. You can follow me on Twitter HERE or with the handle @SensibleFamily We’ll be using the hashtag #MOSave4College and will be giving away some great prizes!