Business & Personal Checking Accounts – MutualBank

 

College Prep: Five Reasons to Study Up on 529 Plans

Millions of families striving to meet the mounting costs of college have flocked to 529 college savings plans.

For most investors, the plans' main attractions are the potential for federal tax-deferred earnings growth and federal tax-free qualified withdrawals.1 The plans' aggregate asset limits, which often exceed $200,000, also appeal to contributors concerned about the potential for a six-figure price tag on a four-year degree. But a closer look at the rules governing 529 plans may reveal other attractive reasons to consider putting them to work as you make one of your most important investments — in your child's or grandchild's future.

Avoid federal gift taxes and accelerate giving — You can contribute up to $13,000 (or $26,000 if you and your spouse give and file jointly) to a 529 plan each year without owing federal gift taxes, provided you haven't made other financial gifts to the plan beneficiary in the same year. In addition, you can elect to make a lump-sum contribution of up to $65,000 ($130,000 for married couples filing jointly) in the first year of a five-year period, provided you don't give the beneficiary additional taxable gifts during the five-year period.2

Create an educational funding legacy — A 529 plan offers the owner control over the plan, including flexibility in naming and changing its beneficiary. The beneficiary can be any age and generally can be changed to a qualified relative when needed. For example, if the original beneficiary decides not to attend college, you can designate a new beneficiary. This flexibility may enable you to establish a college funding legacy for current and future generations. For example, you could open a 529 plan account to pay your child's college bills. Then, if there's money left over after he or she finishes college, you can change the beneficiary to another qualified family member and perhaps later to a grandchild.

Consolidate assets — Consolidating college funding assets for one beneficiary in a single 529 plan can make them easier to manage. Depending on plan rules, you may be able to arrange transfers from a Coverdell Education Savings Account, a custodial account or another 529 plan without triggering federal income taxes. Be sure to review the tax implications with a tax professional, however. Transfers of assets from Series EE and I bonds may also be allowed under certain conditions.

Maximize financial aid eligibility — Money in a 529 account is usually considered by colleges to be the account owner's asset, which often means the parents' asset. As a result, a maximum of 5.6% of the balance is generally assumed to be available for college annually, compared with 35% if the assets were the student's. With a custodial account, on the other hand, the assets are considered the student's. And according to the Department of Education, qualified distributions from a 529 plan are not counted as parent or student income and therefore do not affect aid eligibility.

Look into state tax savings — Depending on the state you reside in, plan contributions to that state's 529 plan may be eligible for state tax deductions. Don't overlook this potential benefit when choosing a plan.
There may be other advantages of 529 plans to consider, as well. Be sure to talk with your financial advisor and tax professional for help assessing how a 529 plan may affect your tax situation.

1The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals is subject to federal income taxes, a 10% federal tax penalty and possible state taxes and penalties.
2If you die before the end of the five-year period, a prorated portion of the contribution will be considered part of your taxable estate.

Section 529 plans are established and maintained by state governments or agencies or eligible educational institutions. Contributions must be kept in a qualified trust in order to be treated as a qualified tuition program.

You should consider a 529 Plan’s fees and expenses such as administrative fees, enrollment fees, annual maintenance fees, sales charges, and underlying fund expenses, which will fluctuate depending on the 529 Plan invested in the investments chosen within the plan.

© 2010 Standard & Poor's Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

Mutual News
  • Mutualfirst Financial, Inc. Announces Agreement With Major Stockholder 

    Muncie, Indiana - February 27, 2015 – MutualFirst...

    Monday, March 2, 2015

    READ ARTICLE

View Archived Releases
Mutual Blog

Proactive Steps to Take in Light of Anthem Data Breach

Chances are you are a person who has Anthem insurance coverage or you know someone who does. As a result, either you or your friend has a reason to be concerned.

A typical data breach includes a compromise of debit card numbers or partial personal identifying information. This kind of breach, though inconvenient, can typically be ‘fixed’. An initial investigation indicates that the Anthem breach includes a compromise of name, birthday and/or social security number. This kind of information is all one needs to steal someone’s identity.

According to Anthem this particular breach could affect up to 80 million people. Instead of trying to ignore this has happened or just being upset, it’s now time for you to be educated and try to protect yourself as best as you can. We have some tips that will help you accomplish that.


1. Review Your Statements


First, take a moment each month to view your eStatement or monthly statement. You can monitor your accounts throughout the month with Online Banking and the MutualBank App. Monitoring your accounts will give you the quickest opportunity to see if your accounts have been compromised. If you notice any transactions that are unfamiliar or questionable, please get in touch with your MutualBanker. Call us at 800-382-8031.


2. Be Cautious with Any Anthem Emails You Receive


Next, if you receive an email stating it is from Anthem, be cautious. Anthem’s website warns customers not to reply with information, click any links or open any attachments within the email. Anthem is not calling their customers and will not ask for information. Never give your credit card information, social security number, or other sensitive information to someone via email or over the phone.


3. Consider Freezing Your Credit


If you are a resident in Indiana, the Attorney General’s office website (http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2853.htm) is offering and encouraging you to sign up for a free credit freeze with each of the three credit bureaus. A credit freeze places a hold on your credit where a new line of credit could not be obtained without you unfreezing your credit. This doesn’t affect already open credit lines like an existing credit card, yet helps to protect you against someone opening new lines of credit in your name.


4. Keep in the Know


Finally, try to keep in the loop on the Anthem Breach. The best source for current information about this breach can be found at Anthem’s Frequently Asked Questions. (http://www.anthemfacts.com/faq)

MutualBank is here to help inform you of ways to help protect against identity theft. Thank you for trusting us.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

READ BLOG ENTRY

View Archived Posts

Connect with us:

(800) 382-8031

  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • twitter
  • RSS Feed
 
 
College Prep: Five Reasons to Study Up on 529 Plans

Millions of families striving to meet the mounting costs of college have flocked to 529 college savings plans.

For most investors, the plans' main attractions are the potential for federal tax-deferred earnings growth and federal tax-free qualified withdrawals.1 The plans' aggregate asset limits, which often exceed $200,000, also appeal to contributors concerned about the potential for a six-figure price tag on a four-year degree. But a closer look at the rules governing 529 plans may reveal other attractive reasons to consider putting them to work as you make one of your most important investments — in your child's or grandchild's future.

Avoid federal gift taxes and accelerate giving — You can contribute up to $13,000 (or $26,000 if you and your spouse give and file jointly) to a 529 plan each year without owing federal gift taxes, provided you haven't made other financial gifts to the plan beneficiary in the same year. In addition, you can elect to make a lump-sum contribution of up to $65,000 ($130,000 for married couples filing jointly) in the first year of a five-year period, provided you don't give the beneficiary additional taxable gifts during the five-year period.2

Create an educational funding legacy — A 529 plan offers the owner control over the plan, including flexibility in naming and changing its beneficiary. The beneficiary can be any age and generally can be changed to a qualified relative when needed. For example, if the original beneficiary decides not to attend college, you can designate a new beneficiary. This flexibility may enable you to establish a college funding legacy for current and future generations. For example, you could open a 529 plan account to pay your child's college bills. Then, if there's money left over after he or she finishes college, you can change the beneficiary to another qualified family member and perhaps later to a grandchild.

Consolidate assets — Consolidating college funding assets for one beneficiary in a single 529 plan can make them easier to manage. Depending on plan rules, you may be able to arrange transfers from a Coverdell Education Savings Account, a custodial account or another 529 plan without triggering federal income taxes. Be sure to review the tax implications with a tax professional, however. Transfers of assets from Series EE and I bonds may also be allowed under certain conditions.

Maximize financial aid eligibility — Money in a 529 account is usually considered by colleges to be the account owner's asset, which often means the parents' asset. As a result, a maximum of 5.6% of the balance is generally assumed to be available for college annually, compared with 35% if the assets were the student's. With a custodial account, on the other hand, the assets are considered the student's. And according to the Department of Education, qualified distributions from a 529 plan are not counted as parent or student income and therefore do not affect aid eligibility.

Look into state tax savings — Depending on the state you reside in, plan contributions to that state's 529 plan may be eligible for state tax deductions. Don't overlook this potential benefit when choosing a plan.
There may be other advantages of 529 plans to consider, as well. Be sure to talk with your financial advisor and tax professional for help assessing how a 529 plan may affect your tax situation.

1The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals is subject to federal income taxes, a 10% federal tax penalty and possible state taxes and penalties.
2If you die before the end of the five-year period, a prorated portion of the contribution will be considered part of your taxable estate.

Section 529 plans are established and maintained by state governments or agencies or eligible educational institutions. Contributions must be kept in a qualified trust in order to be treated as a qualified tuition program.

You should consider a 529 Plan’s fees and expenses such as administrative fees, enrollment fees, annual maintenance fees, sales charges, and underlying fund expenses, which will fluctuate depending on the 529 Plan invested in the investments chosen within the plan.

© 2010 Standard & Poor's Financial Communications. All rights reserved.

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

Contact Us
Mobile Capture

24 Hour MutuaLine:

765-747-2931 or 800-289-4376

© MutualBank | Member FDIC | Privacy Policy