PA529 - College Saving Plan

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GreenBinary
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:58 am

PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:14 pm

Hi Folks,

My info: Mid-30s, 25% tax bracket, 2 kids under 5, State: Pennsylvania.

Alright so have been researching to invest in college saving plan for my kids.
I came across PA529 & Vanguard (administered by NV state) 529 plans. I think they both provide state tax deduction, tax free earnings and tax free withdrawals (of course for qualified expenses).

I got a little hard time which one should I pick. Please share your thoughts if you have experience or aware of these plans.
Also please let me know if you know any other better plans related to my this goal.

Thank you for your time and insights in advance.

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obafgkm
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by obafgkm » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:21 pm

I live in Pennsylvania as well. Take a look at the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP). It uses Vanguard funds as well.

When I researched 529 plans in 2007 (a long time ago, I know) for my daughter, Utah's was very good (certainly better than PA's). I think UESP still gets good reviews nowadays. As you probably know, PA gives an income tax break on a 529 anywhere in the country.

gwrvmd
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Location: Calabash NC

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by gwrvmd » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:32 pm

Both Nevada (which Vanguard sells as its own) and Utah are excellent
To get a comparison of all states go to: SavingForCollege.com or collegesavings.org.........Gordon
Disciple of John Neff

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gnosis
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Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by gnosis » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:09 am

Agree with above posts. I'm in the same boat as you. Married in PA with two kids under 5. First child has PA 529. Just to make things interesting I decided to go with Utah 529 for our younger one. You can always switch to another state anyway.

One reason I'll probably always have at least one 529 with PA though is for their Sage Tuition Rewards program which gives free tuition discounts for over 50 colleges in PA and over 300 nationally. More info on the PA 529 website: http://www.pa529.com/learn/

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Kosmo
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Location: Philadelphia

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by Kosmo » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:14 am

I live in PA and use the New York 529 plan for my 2 kids. PA's plan has gotten much better in recent years.

Topic Author
GreenBinary
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Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:08 pm

Thank you all for sharing the info.

gnosis, I just realized the "SAGE" feature of PA529.
Seems like if one earns 20,000 SAGE tuition reward points then $20,000 will be the discount he/she will receive. Pretty nice!
Do you know this feature is available with Vanguard 529 Nevada?

Now It became a bit more difficult for me to pick one. Earlier I was more inclined to Vanguard 529 Nevada, but now with SAGE feature of PA529...it seems more preferable!

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gnosis
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Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by gnosis » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:15 pm

Based on what I see on the SAGE website it seems that the only 529 participating with this program is PA:

https://secure.tuitionrewards.com/sp/

(Unbelievable!!)

AllenSmith
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 1:35 pm

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by AllenSmith » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:24 pm

GreenBinary wrote:Thank you all for sharing the info.

gnosis, I just realized the "SAGE" feature of PA529.
Seems like if one earns 20,000 SAGE tuition reward points then $20,000 will be the discount he/she will receive. Pretty nice!
Do you know this feature is available with Vanguard 529 Nevada?

Now It became a bit more difficult for me to pick one. Earlier I was more inclined to Vanguard 529 Nevada, but now with SAGE feature of PA529...it seems more preferable!
I have a Vanguard 529 for our child. Can anyone explain this SAGE part? For example, if we have a $25k balance in the 529 now, do we get $2,500 worth of SAGE points per year (which we can use for college tuition) by having these assets with 'participating financial institutions'

Who are the participating institutions / are they good funds, etc....seems too good to be true....

Topic Author
GreenBinary
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:58 am

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:37 pm

Thanks for that info gnosis.
To me (as of now), PA529 seems better choice than VG529. Even though the Expense Ratio of VG529 is lesser than that of PA529, the SAGE part of PA529 is big bang for the bucks.

Do you agree?
Also please share your thoughts on which plan to choose between 529 Guranteed Savings Plan (GSP) & Investment Plan (IP).

Topic Author
GreenBinary
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:58 am

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:41 pm

AllenSmith wrote:
GreenBinary wrote:Thank you all for sharing the info.

gnosis, I just realized the "SAGE" feature of PA529.
Seems like if one earns 20,000 SAGE tuition reward points then $20,000 will be the discount he/she will receive. Pretty nice!
Do you know this feature is available with Vanguard 529 Nevada?

Now It became a bit more difficult for me to pick one. Earlier I was more inclined to Vanguard 529 Nevada, but now with SAGE feature of PA529...it seems more preferable!
I have a Vanguard 529 for our child. Can anyone explain this SAGE part? For example, if we have a $25k balance in the 529 now, do we get $2,500 worth of SAGE points per year (which we can use for college tuition) by having these assets with 'participating financial institutions'

Who are the participating institutions / are they good funds, etc....seems too good to be true....
Hi AllenSmith,

Please check out below resources:
http://www.pa529.com/learn/#why-choose-pa
https://secure.tuitionrewards.com/index ... howitworks

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gnosis
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Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by gnosis » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:05 pm

GreenBinary wrote:Thanks for that info gnosis.
To me (as of now), PA529 seems better choice than VG529. Even though the Expense Ratio of VG529 is lesser than that of PA529, the SAGE part of PA529 is big bang for the bucks.

Do you agree?
Also please share your thoughts on which plan to choose between 529 Guranteed Savings Plan (GSP) & Investment Plan (IP).
Yes I'd have to agree. It's as close to a no-brainer or free lunch as you can get for a 529 choice. I actually didn't read much into SAGE until today since it was nearly effortless to sign up for it upon opening the PA 529. Next year I might just switch from Utah to PA just for SAGE. Heck, I've never even been to Utah!

Regarding GSP vs IP, I'm a Boglehead and I like simplicity so I naturally gravitate toward the IP.

Topic Author
GreenBinary
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:58 am

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:46 am

Kosmo wrote:I live in PA and use the New York 529 plan for my 2 kids. PA's plan has gotten much better in recent years.
Hi kosme,

I don't know much about NY529, but if you live in PA...you should check PA529.
Maybe you end up from NY529 to PA529!

By the way any particular/specific reason you choose NY529? Thanks.

Topic Author
GreenBinary
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:58 am

Re: PA529 - College Saving Plan

Post by GreenBinary » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:50 am

gnosis wrote:
GreenBinary wrote:Thanks for that info gnosis.
To me (as of now), PA529 seems better choice than VG529. Even though the Expense Ratio of VG529 is lesser than that of PA529, the SAGE part of PA529 is big bang for the bucks.

Do you agree?
Also please share your thoughts on which plan to choose between 529 Guranteed Savings Plan (GSP) & Investment Plan (IP).
Yes I'd have to agree. It's as close to a no-brainer or free lunch as you can get for a 529 choice. I actually didn't read much into SAGE until today since it was nearly effortless to sign up for it upon opening the PA 529. Next year I might just switch from Utah to PA just for SAGE. Heck, I've never even been to Utah!

Regarding GSP vs IP, I'm a Boglehead and I like simplicity so I naturally gravitate toward the IP.
Thanks gnosis.
I am too more lean towards PA529 IP - Age based funds.

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