{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I'd like to start on my kid's college fund. Looking for recommendations on the best types of accounts to do so. I don't want to restrict them to particular colleges and the 529 options are confusing to me.", "post_id": "600eefa90b9ef10024805a20", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

I'd like to start on my kid's college fund. Looking for recommendations on the best types of accounts to do so. I don't want to restrict them to particular colleges and the 529 options are confusing to me.

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Start a 529 in the state in which you pay state taxes to reduce your state tax burden. The earnings will then grow free from taxes at the federal and state level. 529 contributions and their earnings can be used to pay tuition, rent/housing, books, laptops, and other applicable costs for college. The official list can be found in your 529 plan or on the federal government list.

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Also to add to this - 529s can be used to pay for both private and public colleges in and OUT of the state you create the 529 in. Just make sure it’s a legit school (accredited or the like) and the geography won’t matter.

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Look at the best 529 plans available. Each state offers one. Select one among the top 5. If your state makes the cut, go with that. Otherwise, the one that you feel most comfortable with. There are a few that are administered by Vanguard. The tax benefit of opening one in state is negated if the plan has poor and expensive options.

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This is a good point, I created my 529 through the New York State plan, which has been really beneficial because of the reduction from my taxable income in New York, but also because the investment options are really good. I honestly didn’t consider any other states plans because the NY allows me to deduct up to 5K from my taxable income which is a big benefit for me, but would look into other plans if I did it over!

Piggy backing on OP’s question- What is the benefit of opening 529 plan over creating an S&P account to pay for college?

The tax free growth is really such a benefit, especially if you open it when your kids are very young and start contributing early

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