Here’s a recommended reading roundup — informative articles to help with life, from career insights to college planning to managing holiday stress.
More American families are asking advisers for help saving for college, and nearly all of those families have accumulated much more toward their goal than the typical family, according to a recent Fidelity Investments survey.
“This year’s findings are consistent with what we hear from our customers – parents recognize the importance of defining their college priorities and setting a strategy to save regularly,” said Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college planning at Fidelity Investments. “If families commit to saving, planning and talking about college priorities early, they are better prepared to meet college costs and help their children avoid significant student debt in the future.”
Did you know that there’s a wealth-transfer technique you can use to reduce your taxable estate and keep more of your assets for your heirs? You can make annual gifts of up to $13,000 ($26,000 per married couple) to as many people as you wish without incurring federal gift taxes.
An example: A married couple with three children could reduce their estate by $78,000 each year if $26,000 were given to each of their children.
Gifting can be used in a number of unique ways. You can use annual gifts to help build a college fund for a child, grandchild, relative or even a friend — by contributing to a 529 plan account, a Coverdell Education Savings Account, or a UGMA/UGTA account. In fact, 529 plans have special rules that allow you to make five years’ worth of contributions in one year without incurring any gift taxes — that’s $65,000 for individuals and $130,000 for married couples.
Gifts can also be used to build wealth for future generations, as well as help a child, relative or friend fund a down payment on a home, buy a car or start a business. Your financial advisor can help you determine how annual gifts might fit into your overall financial plan.
Portions of this article were provided through the Financial Planning Association, the membership organization for the financial planning community (through McGraw-Hill Financial Communications), and is brought to you by Perspective Financial Services, a local member of FPA.
“Managing your finances isn’t just about compound interest or credit cards, individual retirement plans or 401(k) plans. It’s really about the kind of life you want to have.” This sums up the main ideas in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Money Lessons for Every High-School Graduate.”
The article stresses the connection between how you manage your money and how you manage your dreams — and why new graduates must do both to get off to a good financial start. The author, a recent college grad himself, outlines five things he says every high-school graduate should try to remember.
The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has put together the perfect gift for the college bound person in your life. By providing these 40 money-management tips, you are offering a path toward independence that most of their peers will not have. Whether your student is already in college, or soon to be, this a gift in which they will reap benefits for years to come. Best of all, it’s free!
From the NEFE website:
Graduation 2010: Cover the Basics Before Your Child Leaves the Nest
Parents provide the most influence on their children’s financial knowledge, attitude and behaviors. Our four-part graduation series provides information and topics weekly to help your start a conversation with your kids.
For more information and to download NEFE’s 40 Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Know, visit: