The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Quarantine Chore #5

05/29/2020

Today is May 29th – traditionally financial planners use this date to remind their clients about 529 plans, which are tax-efficient ways to fund education expenses for kids and grand-kids (and other relatives).  These plans were initially very popular and still should be.

The very wealthy can put $150 thousand in an unlimited number of 529 plans for an unlimited number of kids and grand-kids.  This could significantly reduce estate taxes.  However, since the Trump Tax Cut of 2018 significantly decreased the number of taxable estates, 529 plans are less useful to them.

While most 529 plans also provide some savings on state income taxes, their popularity has still faded.  Clients struggle with the unreasonable fears that (1) their money will be controlled by the government, with zero flexibility or (2) their kids and/or grand-kids will never need an education or (3) it is too late, as the kids are older.  If you have any of these unreasonable fears, pick up the phone and call your financial planner . . . today, on 5/29!

I am concerned the 529 plans have also been spiked by the coronavirus pandemic.  The free-floating anxieties of (1) will the college experience require dormitory costs in an online world or (2) will college expenses continue to rise so rapidly with a falling demand for college or (3) do I want to encourage or enable someone to go to college if it is no longer worth it?

If you have been procrastinating, let’s deal with both your unreasonable fears and your free-floating anxieties.  You cannot deal with them without calling your financial planner . . . today, on 5/29!

Like Nike demands, “just do it” – pick up the phone . . . today, on 5/29!

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