What Is Taken Into Account While Assigning 529 Plan Rankings?

The following are some of the key factors that are instrumental in giving 529 plan rankings:-

1. Tax Breaks

Many people look upon 529 plans to be their ways of circumventing some taxes. Currently, there are 31 states in the US and the District of Columbia that are providing tax-deductible features with their 529 state plans. The tax breaks could go up to $10,000. In most states, the tax deductibles for people who are filing as a married couple are double than those for people who are filing with a single status. That means the tax breaks can be so good that they will overcome some of the other shortcomings in the plans.

Based on the tax breaks the plans provide, the plans with the best 529 plan rankings are those of the states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. Having said that, the advice is that if your state is providing you with tax deduction, then there is no need for you to consider an out of state plan. If it is not, then you can take your pick from these four states. These plans have good investment options and low expenses to begin and maintain.

2. Investment Flexibility

The number of investment choices a plan provides is an important factor to decide the 529 plan rankings. Most states will provide at least three investment options, and depending on what kind of an investor you are, you will find these investments ranging from conservative to aggressive. There are options to change your investment options as the plan becomes older too. Such age-based portfolios would allow investors to begin investments in stocks during the infancy of the child and then move on to stronger investment options such as bonds and money market as the child approaches the age to attend college. Many plans are ranked according to the number of investment options they provide. The plan of the state of Virginia has 21 options of investing in American funds.

3. Expenses

Most investors are concerned about the costs that they will have to bear in opening the 529 plans and then maintaining them. The maintenance expenses are recurrent costs that the investors will have to bear, and hence they are very significant when deciding the 529 plan rankings. Plans are ranked higher if they have no enrollment fees, annual maintenance fees and program management fees. However, if the plans are started through an adviser, like some states make it compulsory, then the costs will be higher. The states who have high 529 plan ranking for low expenses are those of the states of UtahPsychology Articles, Alaska and Michigan.

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