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Thinking About Using Your IRA to Pay for A College Student’s Tuition? Make Sure You Evaluate Your Options First

August 2, 2017

Filed under: College Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Approaching the overwhelming cost of college is a challenge that many parents are thinking about this summer as they are preparing to send off their new graduates to college. With the cost of graduate school as well as college on the rise, many prospective students and parents are looking towards retirement accounts as an effective way to pay for school.

According to a recent study conducted by Sally May & IPSOS, up to 6% of parents withdrew from their retirement savings such as an IRA or a 401(k) to help pay for a child’s college. Since the price of college has gone up, it may the case that parents do not have enough set aside to pay for college. There are some considerations to evaluate before using an IRA to pay for school:

  •       Withdrawals prior to age 59 and a half can lead to a 10% penalty except in situations like putting down a payment on a first home or higher education expenses. The expenses have to be for a child, grandchild, a spouse or yourself. When withdrawing from an IRA, a student or a parent can pay for tuition, books or other qualified education expenses with no penalty.
  •       There are major differences between using a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA for higher education costs. The best approach is to use a Roth IRA to pull out without a 10% early withdrawal penalty.
  •       You can roll a 401(k) into an IRA to pay for educational expenses.

A withdrawal from an IRA can impact financial aid. Students who apply for need based financial aid have to report asset information and income on the free application for federal student aid. Money inside a retirement account such as a traditional or a Roth IRA are assets that are exempted from being evaluated on the FAFSA, but withdrawing funds from an IRA account does count as income over the following years.

Include Planning for Higher Education in Your Estate Planning Goals

May 8, 2017

Filed under: College Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

The assets you have in mind for your loved ones may include your thoughts on how they will be used, too. That’s why some people choose to use tools such as trusts to maintain some level of control over how the assets are used. Were you hoping to leave behind some assets for your loved ones to help with educational costs?estate planning for college 

 

Higher education is only becoming more expensive. Recent data points showed that it is outpacing inflation by an average of at least 4%. Within the last five years, tuition has increased by at least 9% in most cases and many families are struggling with how they will be able to plan for college.

 

While there are traditional opportunities such as a 529 savings plan, it is also important to consider that you may wish to include planning ahead for higher education in your estate planning. Leaving behind a specific type of account or using a life insurance policy to assist a loved one with paying for college are just a few of the ways you can assist a beneficiary with accomplishing his or her goals comprehensively.

 

Do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced estate planning lawyer, if you have questions about the different ways that you can incorporate assets that will be gifted on to others that they can use for the purposes of higher education. If something were to happen to you, your loved ones would be able to tap into those financial resources to accomplish their educational goals.

Estate Planning Tips: A 529 Savings Plan

October 20, 2014

Filed under: College Planning,Estate Planning,Estate Planning for Children — Tags: — Neel Shah @ 9:34 pm

If you’ve already looked into getting one, you know that Section 529 savings plans are able to accumulate earnings without federal income tax (and in many cases, state income tax). Once the beneficiary of the account reaches the age where he or she is going to college, that individual can take out withdrawals tax-free to pay for college expenses.

For the most part, relatives set up 529 plans, but no family relationship is actually required. Another little-known fact about these is that most of them will accept larger lump sum payments. Making these larger payments into a 529 plan can be beneficial for your estate planning because they are treated by the IRS as “completed gifts”. Likewise, they also fit into the yearly gift tax exclusion ($14,000). If you decided to spread your lump sum over several years, you could benefit from this gift tax exclusion every single year that you’re making a contribution.2014-10-20_1436

This is a great tool for grandparents who want to help support their grandchildren’s future, because you can be making contributions for numerous grandchildren over several years. As an added bonus, 529 accounts can be a bit flexible, like if you need to change account beneficiaries without facing any penalties. Contact our offices today to learn more about estate planning tools and options to minimize taxes and pass on your legacy. Call us at 732-5521-9455.