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This month’s CenterStage features Kevin Hagerty, a Financial Advisor at Saxon. With over 18 years of experience specializing in financial planning solutions, Kevin provides his best advice on educational funding, specifically on 529 Savings Plans.

Educational Funding from Every Angle

In the long run, saving for your children’s education is considerably less costly than borrowing money later. Now more than ever, parents and grandparents are interested in alternate forms of schooling, such as private school. This means educational debt takes place long before college and is why President Trump implemented tax law changes to allow 529 Savings Plans to be used on more than just college.

A key benefit of 529 plans is the potential for compounded, tax-free growth on account funds. Similar to other investments, the earlier the account is started and left untouched, the more funds can grow over the years.

Kevin says, “Whether it’s a car, a TV, a refrigerator, education, retirement, or healthcare – the cost of everything continues to increase.” Having savings to fall back on through the 529 Savings Plan is immensely helpful but most importantly, it gives you options. One of the most frequently asked questions by parents is when they should start saving for their children’s education, and the unfortunate fact is – with inflation – you’re likely already behind. It’s tough for parents, especially new parents, to juggle the high costs of every little thing. “I recommend plugging estimates into an online cost calculator,” Kevin suggests. “Nowadays, those calculators will take into consideration everything – from taxes to inflation to annual income. It’s a great way to see how much a parents’ savings account should aim for.

What is a 529 Savings Plan?

“529 plans are versatile savings accounts that offer federal, and sometimes state, tax benefits. depending on the state you live in, plans are operated in many different ways. You may be able to purchase prepaid tuition credits to use in the future or invest in mutual fund options that grow your 529 account value toward the future educational cost of your child.”

K-12 Educational Funding & Unused Funds

Kevin cites the 529 Savings Plan as one of the best educational saving plans on the market due to the new tax law changes. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, families can now use up to $10,000 annually on tuition expenses at a private elementary or secondary school, increasing educational opportunity for many families. Additionally, under this type of plan, anyone can contribute to the savings – not just the parents. So, family members who would like to help the kids out can contribute.Many people mistake the 529 Savings Plan to just be for tuition, when in fact the list of eligible educational expenses that it covers is quite broad, including things like books, room, board and supplies. So, that expensive laptop your child’s school requires? Covered. Ask your advisor for a complete list. As far as unused funds in an account go, if you have more than one child and the first child doesn't use all the funds for his or her educational expenses, then you can transfer the funds into the other child's name.


Like most financial planning matters, what will ultimately benefit your family most will be unique to your specific situation. Working with a financial advisor, such as Kevin, to discuss factors unique to your situation and design an appropriate strategy can be easier than you think. Contact Kevin today at 513.333.3886 or shoot him an email at for more information.</span style>

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