Avoid Extra 529 Taxes Triggered By A University Refund?

Published on Sunday, December 10, 2023

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

On Saturday, October 7th, I awoke to find a text from my daughter telling me to not worry and that she was safe. Of course her text had the opposite effect! In her senior year, she was attending a study abroad program in Jerusalem.

The university ended the program early and sent the students home. My daughter was pretty sure the university wouldn’t refund any of the program fees but we were pleasantly surprised when they posted a refund to her university account at the beginning of December.

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Boost Your College Savings with a Bonus $100 from Virginia 529 (June 2023)

Published on Saturday, June 17, 2023

Virginia 529 has a new giveaway to boost your college savings: contribute $250 to a Tuition Track portfolio by June 30th, 2023, and Virginia 529 will kick in another $100!

Unlike the recent giveaway in May, the June offer has a state residency requirement. To open a Tuition Track account, either the account owner or the beneficiary must be a resident of Virginia.

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Using a 529 when facing a bear market

Published on Saturday, October 22, 2022

My second oldest started her freshman year this fall. In January, when I realized I was going to be a little short on her 529, I made some last minute contributions to start catching up.

Then the market dropped. And kept dropping throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Stocks and bonds have both taken a beating this year. As of today (10/22/2022), the S&P 500 is down 22%, year to date. Bonds are also down, with Vanguard’s Total Bond Market Index Fund ETF (BND) down nearly 15%.

To date, my daughter’s 529 has lost 14% of its value. However, I'm not sweating it.

If you’re using a 529 to pay for college this fall, Here are some strategies that you can use to lessen the impact of a bear market.

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Buying a Laptop for School

Published on Saturday, July 16, 2022

My second child starts her freshman year at college in a few weeks. As part of preparing her for college, we ordered her laptop this week. I’m picking up much of the tuition tab and a significant portion of their housing, but I expect my kids to purchase their own laptop. By owning the purchase, they have maximum skin in the game, both in buying one that’s appropriate for their needs and later, as they take care to avoid damage.

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