The following are some of the key factors that are critical to granting 529 plan ratings: –
1. Tax exemptions
Many people see 529 plans as a way to avoid some taxes. Currently, there are 31 states in the US and the District of Columbia that offer tax-deductible features with their state 529 plans. Tax breaks could be as high as $ 10,000. In most states, the tax deductibles for people filing as a married couple are twice that of people filing as single. That means the tax breaks can be so good that they will overcome some of the other shortcomings of the plans.
Based on the tax breaks provided by the plans, the plans with the highest rankings for 529 plans are in the states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. With that said, the advice is that if your state provides you with a tax deduction, then you don’t need to consider an out-of-state plan. If not, you can choose from these four states. These plans have good investment options and low expenses to start and maintain.
two. Investment flexibility
The number of investment options a plan offers is an important factor in deciding 529 plan ratings. Most states will offer at least three investment options, and depending on the type of investor you are, you will find these investments range from the most conservative to the most aggressive. There are also options to change your investment options as the plan ages. Such age-based portfolios would allow investors to start investing in stocks during the child’s childhood and then move on to more robust investment options, such as bonds and money market, as the child approaches the age to attend school. college. Many plans are classified according to the number of investment options they offer. The Virginia state plan has 21 investment options in US funds.
Most investors are concerned about the costs they will have to bear to open 529 plans and then maintain them. Maintenance expenses are recurring costs that investors will have to bear and therefore are very significant when deciding the 529 plan rankings. Plans are better ranked if they have no enrollment fees, annual maintenance fees, and program administration fees. However, if the plans are started through an advisor, as some states make it mandatory, the costs will be higher. The states that rank high for low-spending 529 plans include the states of Utah, Alaska, and Michigan.