Even if you don't have kids, 529 plans are a great investment option
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Even if you don't have kids, 529 plans are a great investment option

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Even if you don't have kids, 529 plans are a great investment option

Great gifts and great tax benefits - a win-win

I got curious about investment much later in life than I should have.

I missed important years of serious investing in my 20s before I got curious. I want to help others avoid my mistakes. Even though I didn't have much money then, those lost years represent enormous losses.

An overlooked, but important, investing tool is the 529 education savings plan. I started one for myself for my masters and doctorate. I got huge tax benefits by putting money in my 529 before paying my college bills. Now, I keep a 529 plan for myself for random education activities I want to take on and I keep them for kids in my life. They make a fantastic gift and they have huge positive tax benefits for me.

There are a variety of types of 529 plans and states have different rules about how they work so you will have to do a bit of research to get started. Some employers will even match contributions made to 529 plans through payroll deduction or at least make the contribution for you through payroll deduction. While my employer did not make matches, if they had, I would have been sure to maximize every penny of that. Employer matches, when available, are benefits that are very often left on the table.

I think 529 plans are often overlooked. What other financial tool do you think not enough people take advantage of?

I am not an accountant, financial adviser or lawyer so please do your own research and make your own decisions. I am sharing what has worked for me.