How to Open an Advisor-Sold 529 College Savings Plan

Advisor-sold 529 plans are only available through licensed financial advisors who work for a broker-dealer or registered investment advisor. A financial advisor may help a family select and open a 529 plan, create a college savings investment strategy and offer guidance when it is time to pay for college.

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New SEC rules require financial advisors to act in investors' best interests

The SEC recently adopted new rules to help protect investors from bad advice, high fees and conflicts of interest when buying investment products from financial advisors. Under the new rules, financial advisors who earn commissions (brokers) will be held to a higher standard of conduct when recommending investment products such as IRAs and 529 plans.

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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Early or Save for College?

Instead of saving for college in a 529 plan, some families pay off their mortgage early to free up future cash flow. Families should consider their mortgage interest rate, the liquidity of their assets and whether or not they plan to stay in their home before deciding to pay off their mortgage early.

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Advantages of Advisor-Sold 529 Plans

Families saving for college may choose to invest in an advisor-sold 529 plan or a direct-sold 529 plan. Direct-sold 529 plans typically have lower fees, but advisor-sold 529 plans offer unique advantages that may be worth the extra cost to some investors.

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How much can you contribute to a 529 plan in 2019?

There are no annual contribution limits for 529 plans. However, each 529 plan has an aggregate contribution limit, ranging from $235,000 to $529,000. Families making a large 529 plan contribution should consider the annual gift tax exclusion amount and find out if they qualify for state income tax benefits.

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