How to Claim Your Edvest Wisconsin State Tax Reduction for 2014

With the new year in full swing, it’s time to start preparing for tax season.

New for the 2014 Wisconsin state tax return, Edvest College Savings Plan holders – as well as Tomorrow’s Scholar account holders – must file a Wisconsin Department of Revenue Schedule CS to be eligible for any potential reduction in Wisconsin state taxes.

To review, download and print the Schedule CS, please visit: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/2014/ScheduleCS.pdf

For Schedule CS instructions, please visit: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/2014/ScheduleCS_inst.pdf

You may also print copies at public libraries throughout Wisconsin. Please note, if you use online tax preparation software, you may need to contact that service directly to ensure the form is filed appropriately.

 

Have questions? Contact the Edvest College Savings Plan directly at 1-888-338-3789, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST or visit the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Web site at http://www.revenue.wi.gov/. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

 

Also, don’t forget these additional updates made to the Edvest College Savings Plan!
  • You have until April 15, 2015 to contribute in order to be eligible for a potential reduction of your Wisconsin 2014 taxes – up to $3,050 per beneficiary. The amount increases to $3,100 for 2015!
  • Friends and family members may also qualify for the state tax reduction as long as they are Wisconsin residents. No immediate familial relationship to the beneficiary is required.
  • Contributions greater than the eligible amount each year may be used for subsequent years’ state tax benefits until exhausted. For example, a $10,000 contribution may qualify for benefits over three, four, or more tax years.

 

Logo.Horizontal

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.

 

Make Saving for College a Priority in 2015

If saving for college, either for your children or your own continuing education, is one of your resolutions this year, here are four tips to help you get started:

Set a Goal

$33,000 is the average student debt per borrower for the class of 2014. With that number continuing to rise, it’s important for families to estimate what college might cost down the road and how much they need to save.

Although this task may seem daunting, Edvest’s College Savings Planner  can help. Using your child’s current age (or your own) you can get a better picture of how much college will cost once your child is college-age, as well as how your contributions will add up.

 Create a Plan

Once you have a clearer picture of how much college will cost, it’s time to evaluate your financial situation. How much can you afford to contribute each month? Are you planning to save for full or partial tuition?

From there, set your goals! The more you invest and the earlier you start, the more your money has an opportunity to grow. $50 per month could mean $26,806 in 18 years, whereas $200 per month could mean $85,200.* Whatever amount you can save, remember that every little bit helps!

Once you have determined how much you can afford to save, the next step is to identify which savings tool is best for you and your family. Edvest offers 22 different investment options, ranging from age-based options to multi-fund portfolios. Each plan varies in investment strategy and degree of risk, allowing you to select one option or a combination of options that will match your investment style and savings goals.

Make it a Habit

After identifying which college savings plan is best for your family, start saving and make it a habit!

Automatic contributions and payroll deductions make it easy to “set it and forget it.” Consistent contributions ensure that your college saving goals stay on track.

Ask for Help

Family members and friends can open an account for your child or contribute to an existing account through Edvest’s gifting program. Contributions can be made online or via the mail and may be eligible for estate and tax benefits – up to $3,100 per beneficiary in 2015. And don’t forget, you may open an Edvest account or contribute to an existing account and still potentially qualify for the Wisconsin tax reduction if you are a Wisconsin resident.

If you’re ready to start saving for college today, or have questions, please visit www.edvest.com  for more info or give us a call at 1-888-338-3789 (Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST)

 

 

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax.

Edvest Holiday Gift Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the Edvest Holiday Gift Giveaway Winners!

EDVT_1015_470x394FBpost

Child’s first name Prize
Hunter  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Vivian  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Fayth  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Beverly  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Jacob  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Emelynn  Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Owen and Theo Autographed Football
Ella Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Samuel $529 Edvest Account
Anya Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Cayden Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Campbell Return to Titletown book
Ella Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Sarah Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Gavin Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Mya Return to Titletown book
Ashley $200 ProShop Gift Card
Jeremy $529 Edvest Account
Bryanna Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Connor Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Kien Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Deacon Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Flinn Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
 Maelie Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Adriana Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Roman Return to Titletown book
Jaimie Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Adam Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Jace Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Rachel Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Haylee Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Archer Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Leo Green Bay Packers Kids Club membership
Javan $529 Edvest Account

 

Official rules can be found here – 2014 Edvest Gift Giveaway Official Rules.

News Roundup: December 2014

Curious what Edvest has been up to lately?

Click on the links below for our most recent coverage and to hear what Jim DiUlio – the director of Edvest – has to say about increasing cost of college, the benefits of giving the gift of a college education this holiday season, and how easy it is to contribute.

Money Talk with Annex Wealth Management

wtmj

Listen Now

 


Your Talk Show – WCLO

wclo

See Photo


My Women Magazine

mywomenmagazine

Read Article


WAYY – 790 Today

wayy

Listen Now

Give a Gift They Won’t Outgrow

Edvest recently sat down with Jenny Nemke of Mequon, Wis. to discuss her family’s experience with planning for the cost of college.

With two young children at home, Jenny and her husband know that the cost of higher education will be even more expensive than it is now.

“I work on a college campus and see firsthand how difficult it can be for students to afford school,” Nemke says. “Saving even a little each month ensures that we are giving our children a great head start.”

For the Nemkes, saving for college has become a family affair.

When the kids were born, grandma and grandpa opened an Edvest College Savings plan for each of them. They continue to contribute to the accounts on holidays, birthdays, etc. – giving a gift that the kids won’t outgrow.

“Saving for college can be overwhelming, but it’s easier to swallow if you are saving a little at a time,” said Nemke. “Edvest is easy for our whole family to use and small contributions add up, giving our kids a really solid start.”

It’s now easier than ever to give the gift of college savings with Edvest
  • Edvest offers several ways that parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and other family members can give the gift of education for any special occasion throughout the year.
      • The e-Gifting feature allows you to invite friends and family to contribute online, securely and at no cost to a child’s existing account.
        • The invitation goes out via email and the contribution is made in a secure portal.
        • Share the news by printing out an Edvest gift certificate and enclose it with the card or gift you’re already giving to the child.
      • Friends and family members can also mail a gift for an existing Edvest account.
        • By visiting Edvest.com, a gifter can download and complete a gift deposit form, include the account number on the form, and then mail it to Edvest along with a check.
      • New to Edvest? You can open an Edvest account today, and ask friends and family to help you save.
        • You can enroll online or by mail.
        • Note: You will need to know the Social Security Number of the child to finalize the enrollment process.
  • At only $25 to start, Edvest can fit within many holiday shopping budgets.
    • Additionally, Wisconsin residents may be able to reduce their Wisconsin taxable income up to $3,050 per beneficiary if the beneficiary is your child, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, nephew or yourself.

Edvest Receives Bronze Rating from Morningstar Inc. ™

Morningstar

We’re excited to announce that the Edvest College Savings Plan was upgraded to a Bronze rating by leading investment research and management firm, Morningstar, Inc. ™

As part of the firm’s annual review of the largest 529 college saving plans, Edvest’s 2014 rating improved from Neutral to Bronze; one of only three new programs to join the bronze-rated group this year.

Why does this matter?

The Morningstar rating is a forward-looking, qualitative ranking that evaluates college savings plans based on five key pillars – Process, Performance, People, Parent and Price.

Designed to help families save for higher education expenses, Edvest is consistently working to ensure plan options meet the evolving needs of account holders. Program upgrades made since October 2012 include:

  • State tax benefits on contributions are now indexed with inflation and for 2014, the first $3,050 qualifies, up from $3,000 last year
  • Increased access to include 22 different investment options, across investment styles ranging from principal-protection to age-based options
  • On average, lowered fees 66 percent so that Edvest ranks among the nation’s lowest fee 529 plans for the second year in a row
  • Improved online and digital access – making it easier for individuals to obtain information, set up accounts and manage funds at com and stay informed at Edvest’s Facebook page , Twitter feed and YouTube Channel
  • Introduced online eGifting – allowing family and friends to contribute online, securely and free of administrative fees

The Bronze ranking from Morningstar comes on top of the 5-Cap Rating, which Edvest received in June from SavingforCollege.com. A 5-Cap Rating indicates a 529 program that offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits. SavingforCollege.com also recently ranked the Edvest College Savings Plan as 7th in the nation in 12-month performance.

“We’re honored with Edvest picking up a second national award this year,” said James DiUlio, director of the Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program. “Morningstar recognized the mix of investment choices, low fees, and tax benefits that make Edvest a wise choice for families here in Wisconsin, as well as nationwide.”

 

In an annual review of the largest 529 college-savings plans (64 total), Morningstar identified 29 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2014. These forward-looking, qualitative ratings signal Morningstar’s conviction in the plans’ abilities to outperform their relevant benchmark and peer groups on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. Morningstar evaluates college-savings plans based on five key pillars–Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. Gold- and Silver-rated plans are those that Morningstar analysts consider the most appealing to college savers, with reasonable fees, strong investment options, and capable oversight. Analysts award Bronze ratings to those plans that also have attractive features, although these plans don’t garner as much conviction as the Gold- and Silver-rated plans. Before establishing a 529 account and making contributions, it is imperative that investors read and understand all enrollment materials and disclosures from the programs.
 

Saving for college? Five things all families should know.

Although College Savings Month is coming to an end, saving for your child or grandchild’s future is an important conversation all year long.

With the cost of postsecondary education continuing to rise, figuring out how and where to start can be overwhelming. As Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan, Edvest is an important resource for families who have made the decision to start saving; as well as those just looking for more information.

Below are five important facts to consider as you work to identify your college savings goals:

5 Facts Infographic

Back to School – Start Saving for College Today

students in a class

With many families welcoming a new school year this month, MarketWatch estimates that parents will spend more than $8.4 billion this year on back-to-school gadgets alone.

As costs rise just to get kids out of the door and into the classroom, it’s no wonder that Sallie Mae reported that only 50 percent of American families save for higher education. Additionally, of those polled, only one-third has a plan to pay for college.

Although these statistics are sobering, the importance of a college education as an investment in your child’s future is undeniable and there is no better time than now to start saving.

Where to start?

So often we hear from parents and grandparents from across the state that they want to start a college savings plan for their child or grandchild, but don’t know how. Regardless of where you are at in the process, how much –or how little – you have already saved, Edvest is here to help.

Before another school year slips away, we encourage you to start preparing. To learn more, visit Edvest.com and be sure check out our College Savings Planner. This tool will help you to estimate how much your child will need for school (based on current age, anticipated college/technical college/university and planned or existing college savings) and help identify the best savings plan to meet your financial needs and future goals.

Edvest College Savings Plan Fast Facts:
  • Only $25 needed to start
  • Open an account in minutes
    • Visit com or call us at 1-888-338-3789
  • Easy and accessible contribution options
    • Contributions can be setup through an automatic contribution plan (ACP) from your bank account, electronic deposits or mail checks
  • Relatives and friends can help
    • Use eGift to invite family and friends to contribute at birthdays, holidays and graduations (Wisconsin residents may qualify for a reduction in Wisconsin state income tax)
  • Wisconsin residents may reduce state taxable income
    • Up to $3,050 per beneficiary in 2014
  • Edvest is the fourth lowest cost 529 plan in the country.
    • Lower fees means potentially more money is available for higher education
  • Edvest received a 5-Cap rating from SavingforCollege.com.

Edvest Receives 5-Cap Rating from SavingforCollege.com

5StarCapRating

We’re excited to announce that Edvest was awarded a 5-Cap Rating by SavingforCollege.com!*

What is a 5-Cap Rating? A 5-Cap Rating indicates a 529 program that offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits. Every state-sponsored program in the country is reviewed by SavingforCollege.com on a variety of factors that are important to families who are saving for higher education.

Our 529 program was awarded the highest possible score based off a variety of factors, including: performance, costs, features, and reliability. The following are a few of the program’s highlights:

  • Edvest accounts are flexible, not limited by household income, annual contribution limits, or withdrawal schedules
  • Edvest offers 22 investment portfolios varying in style and degree of risk
  • Contributions to Edvest may reduce the taxable income of Wisconsin residents, even non-family members.

James DiUlio, director of the Wisconsin 529 College Savings Program, says “We’re flattered to be recognized by SavingforCollege.com. This recognition reiterates why Edvest is such a great college savings tool for families in Wisconsin.”

 

* Source: Savingforcollege.com, June 4, 2014.
The Edvest College Savings Plan received a 5-Cap Rating for Wisconsin residents and non-residents. A 5-Cap Ratings represents the attractiveness of a 529 plan, relative to all other 529 plans, by assigning an overall rating to each 529 program ranging from 1 Cap (least attractive) to 5 Caps (most attractive). 5-Cap Ratings represent an assessment based on many considerations such as flexibility, liquidity and availability, ownership rights, state benefits, investment approach and safety, program resources and financial aid impact. It is not strictly a measure of historical returns, and it is not a predictor of future investment performance, level of investment risk or financial solvency of the program funds. These ratings are not the result of a fixed formula and a significant portion of the analysis is subjective.
Before establishing a 529 account and making contributions, it is imperative that investors read and understand all enrollment materials and disclosures from the programs.

Big Dreams Require Planning Ahead

Edvest sat down with Mr. and Mrs. Cuong Truong of Milwaukee, Wis. on December 3, 2013 to discuss their experiences with planning for the cost of college.

 

Although their children are only three and four years-old, Mr. and Mrs. Cuong Truong have big dreams for them, including having the financial resources to help each of them attend the college of their choice.

“I was able to attend college through a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and assistance from my parents,” said Mr. Truong. “However, I’m concerned that my children will not have the same scholarships and grants available to them.”

Recognizing this possible reality, the Truong’s decided start planning early for their children’s higher education needs. They opened an Edvest 529 college savings plan for each of their children when they were born.

“As a Wisconsin resident, investing in Edvest’s program just made sense to me because it provides additional tax benefits that I would not get if I chose a different plan. I started building their accounts with birthday and holiday gift money from family and friends. Then, I added automatic monthly contributions.”

Now, as their children prepare to enter kindergarten, the Truong’s are well on their way to helping their children afford a higher education someday – no matter what careers they choose. Truong’s oldest son says he wants to be either a fireman or an engineer. When it comes to selecting which college to attend, his dad may already have something in mind.

“It’s still kind of early for my children to know where they want to go. But, my wife and I are both proud alumni of Marquette University.”

Their advice for parents trying to save for college?

“Get started early and use the power of compounding interest.”