Category Archives: Edvest News

Where in the world do Edvest funds go?

Funds saved through Edvest can be used at higher education institutions nationwide, and even at some schools abroad. So where are students going with their Edvest college savings?

From Wisconsin to California, Edvest dollars can be used at thousands of eligible institutions including technical schools, four-year colleges and graduate schools. In fact, just over 60% of funds are used at out-of-state schools. Check out the infographic to see exactly where students are going.

Top 100 Infographic 2016

For more information and to view a list of eligible institutions, please visit edvest.com.

Your March Edvest newsletter is here

 

Wisconsin's College Savings Plan, Edvest

Ready for Tax Time?


Tax time is here, which means if you contributed to an Edvest account in 2015, you could be eligible for certain Wisconsin state tax advantages. If you didn’t, don’t worry. You can open or contribute to an Edvest account right up until April 18th, 2016 and still be eligible for 2015 Wisconsin state tax benefits. 
As a Wisconsin resident, you may be able to reduce your state taxable income by $3,100 per beneficiary. This applies to family and friends who may have contributed too, as long as they reside in Wisconsin. If mailing your contribution, please make sure we receive it by April 18th.Reducing your taxable income isn’t the only tax advantage to saving with Edvest. Any investment earnings can grow tax-deferred at the federal and state level. And, they may be withdrawn tax-free so long as they are used for qualified higher education expenses.The chart below shows the difference between investing in a tax-deferred savings account and a savings account that does not offer tax-free growth potential. As you can see, the difference adds up.

You can learn more about the tax advantages of saving with Edvest by visiting our website, reading our blog, and talking with your tax advisor.

Contribute now, or by April 18th!

Graph

This example assumes an initial investment of $5,000, monthly contributions of $100, and a 6% annual rate of return over 18 years. The taxable account assumes a 28% federal and 5% state tax rate. This is a hypothetical illustration that does not represent the performance of any specific investment portfolio. Results will vary with general market conditions and are not guaranteed.

Edvest is proud to sponsor
children’s programming on PBS

Edvest Sponsors PBS Children's Programming
What can adorable woodland creatures tell us about saving? Quite a bit as it turns out. Watch for our latest video on Wisconsin Public Television and Milwaukee Public television to see what we mean. Or, watch it here right now!
Did you know?

 

QUICK LINKS

Visit the new Edvest.com

Make a contribution

Open an account

eGift

 

Check out our blog for all the latest news from Edvest.
All Edvest social media platforms and blogs are managed by the State of Wisconsin.

Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non-qualified withdrawal may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state in which you our your Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan that offers favorable state tax benefits that are available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Edvest College Savings Plan. Please visit www.Edvest.com for a Plan Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

Neither TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., nor its affiliates, are responsible for the content found on the external website links contained in this newsletter.

This is a commercial message. Please note that we cannot receive responses to this email. If you feel that you are receiving this email by mistake, please unsubscribe. Written inquiries and comments can be sent to:
TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Program Manager, 8500 Andrew Carnegie Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262

The Edvest College Savings Plan is administered by the State of Wisconsin. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Plan Manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for Wisconsin College Savings Plans.

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Boost Your Savings this Tax Season

diploma and piggy bank isolated on whiteTax time is a great time to think about opportunities to save more money. Really! Consider the contributions you make to Edvest accounts for your children or grandchildren. If you are a Wisconsin resident, you may be eligible for reductions in your state taxable income of up to $3,100 per child. You do not have to be related to the child to take advantage of the state tax benefit – just a Wisconsin resident.

For example, if you contributed $3,100 per child for two children, it could reduce your state taxable income by $6,200. The lower your taxable income, the lower your taxes. Depending on how much you contribute, if you contribute more than $3,100 per child, you may be eligible for several years of state income tax deductions after your contribution.

Save your refund

Reducing your taxable income is one way to save money. Another is by putting your refund to good use.

If you get a refund, consider using some or all of it as a contribution to your child or grandchild’s Edvest account. It’s a simple way to contribute a little bit more to your child’s future. And, any earnings have the opportunity to grow free from state or federal taxes – another way your savings can add up.

Visit our website to learn more about the tax advantages of saving with Edvest including Wisconsin and Federal tax benefits as well as the opportunities for estate planning and accelerated gifting.

Have questions? Contact the Edvest College Savings Plan directly at 1-888-338-3789, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and visit http://529.wi.gov/ for the latest state tax information.

For more info or to open an account, visit www.edvest.com

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’s tax advantages add up

If you save with Edvest, you probably already know that you are eligible for some tax advantages. But, do you know what they are and how they add up? Read on to find out.

Tax-free earnings

Investment earnings grow tax-deferred – at both the federal and state level. They may be withdrawn tax-free so long as they’re used for higher education expenses such as tuition, room/board, books, computers/tablets and related technology costs such as Internet access.

Consider this example: If you initially invested $5,000 in your Edvest account, contributed $100 per month at a 6% annual rate of return over the course of 18 years, you would have $54,958 dollars saved for your child’s education.

Now, if you had invested the same way in a savings account that did not offer tax-free growth, your savings would amount to $46,788 (assuming a 28% federal and 5% state tax).

That’s a difference of $8,170, and when it comes to paying for higher education expenses, you can be sure it could be put to good use. *

Other tax advantages

Along with tax-free growth, Edvest accounts also offer advantages for estate planning and Wisconsin state income tax deductions. Wisconsin residents may be able to reduce their taxable income by $3,100 per beneficiary per year. You don’t need to be a family member to claim this benefit, though you do need to be a Wisconsin resident.

If you contribute greater than the eligible amount, it may be used for subsequent years benefits until exhausted. Depending on how much you contribute, you may be eligible for several years of state income tax deductions after your contribution.

Visit our website to learn more about the federal and state tax advantages of saving with Edvest.

Have questions? Contact the Edvest College Savings Plan directly at 1-888-338-3789, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and visit http://529.wi.gov/ for the latest state tax information.

For more info or to open an account, visit www.edvest.com

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.

 

*This example assumes an initial investment of $5,000, monthly contributions of $100, and a 6% annual rate of return over 18 years. The taxable account assumes a 28% federal and 5% state tax rate. The illustration does not represent the performance of any specific portfolio.

Edvest Fees Ranked Fourth Lowest in Nation among Direct-Sold Plans

Inspirational ideaEdvest was recently ranked as the fourth lowest fee direct sold college savings plan in the nation by Strategic Insight, an Asset International Company that has been providing mutual fund industry research for over 25 years. Strategic Insight analyzed plan documents, websites, disclosure statements, and press releases to ensure data quality and categorization.

What this means for you

Plain and simple, lower fees means your money goes further.

As a direct-sold plan, Edvest does not charge sales commissions, transfer fees, application fees or annual maintenance fees. Additionally, you can start saving with just $25 when you open an account.

As some of the lowest in the nation, the fees that are associated with the Edvest College Savings Plan are used to cover the cost of investment management and administrative services.

For more info or to open an account, visit www.edvest.com

Edvest Director Named Vice Chair of the College Savings Plan Network

MADISON, Wis. (February 8, 2016) – Edvest Director James DiUlio has been elected to serve as the vice chair of the College Savings Plan Network (CSPN). DiUlio has been a CSPN board member since 2012 and will serve as the vice chair in 2016 and 2017.

JimDiUlio

Established in 1991, CSPN acts as a clearinghouse for information regarding state-administered college savings programs, with the goal of making higher education more financially attainable. CPSN also monitors federal activities and promotes legislation that will positively impact Section 529 plans.

In his new role, DiUlio will work to with the organization to promote 529 plans, as well as educate families about the importance of planning early for college.

“CSPN represents more than 80 state plans and I’m honored to have been elected as vice chair,” said DiUilo. “The collaborative nature of the program allows us to share best practices across state lines, as well as shine a spotlight on available resources for those planning for higher education for themselves or their families.”

He is joined by Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer, who will serve as chairman of CSPN, as well as new board members, Rachel Biar of Nebraska, Hon. Kelly Mitchell of Indiana and Kevin Thompson of Florida.

As the director of Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Program, DiUlio oversees Edvest, as well as the Tomorrow’s Scholar savings plan. He previously served as a registered securities principal with retirement plans in Wisconsin and is a frequent speaker and panelist on financial issues.

For more information, please visit www.edvest.com

About College Savings Plans Network (CSPN)

Founded in 1991, the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN) is a national non-profit association and the leading objective source of information about Section 529 College Savings Plans and Prepaid Tuition Plans—popular, convenient and tax-advantaged ways to save for college. An affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST), CSPN brings together administrators of 529 savings and prepaid plans from across the country, as well as their private sector partners, to offer convenient tools and objective, unbiased information to help families make informed decisions about saving for college. For more information, visit the CSPN website at CollegeSavings.org; and follow CSPN on Twitter and Facebook.

About Edvest

Edvest is Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 to start an Edvest college savings plan, and account owners can choose from more than 22 investment portfolios while enjoying one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S. along with in-state tax advantages for Wisconsin residents.

SavingforCollege.com recently ranked Edvest as one of the Top 15 in 529 Performance, the eighth Lowest Cost 529 plans, as well as awarded the program a 5-Cap Rating, which indicates that a 529 plan offers outstanding flexibility, attractive investments and additional economic benefits.

 

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Financial Aid Facts

Smiling teenage student outdoors with a girl at the backgroundFor many families it’s not uncommon to use both college savings and financial aid to pay for higher education. However, even if you started saving the day your child was born, it’s easy to feel unprepared and overwhelmed when the time comes.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Plan ahead and Start early – Applying for financial aid can be stressful. One way to lessen that stress is to know what documentation will be needed, as well as keeping in mind important deadlines.
    • To get started, you can go online to get the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). Your local high school, community college or library will also have this information.
    • Most financial aid programs have a limited amount of funds each year and funding can be first come first serve. As such, it’s important to file early. Deadlines vary by state and school, which is why it’s important to do your research and make note of key filing dates.

 

  • Eligibility and 529 Plans
    • All non-retirement investments, including those in a 529 account, may affect your student’s eligibility for financial aid. However, so long as the account owner is mom or dad and not the student, the funds are treated as belonging to the parent, not the child, minimizing the impact on financial aid.
    • The FASFA is the starting point for financial aid assessment. Even if you think you may not qualify, it is still a good idea to have the FAFSA, as it is the gateway document for financial assistance, including loans, work-study and scholarships.
    • To learn more about eligibility, visit studentaid.ed.gov

 

  • Overwhelmed? Don’t be, there’s help! – In addition to school counselors and admissions officers, many resources are available to help guide you through the financial aid process. Here are a few places to start:
    • College Goal Wisconsin – A national event that provides free information and assistance to families who need to complete the FAFSA.
      • In Wisconsin, College Goal Wisconsin will take place on Saturday February 13, 20, 27, and on Wednesday evenings February 10, 17, and 24, 2016. For more information and locations, visit collegegoalwi.org/locations.
    • FinAid – The SmartStudent™ Guide to Financial Aid
    • S. Department of Education – Federal Student Aid Information

 

 

For more info or to open an account, visit www.edvest.com

 

Jump Start Your Tax Return

As January comes to a close, tax time is right around the corner. For those of you getting a jump start on your 2015 tax returns, here are a few things to remember:

  • $3,100 – Contributions up to $3,100 per beneficiary are eligible for a potential reduction of your 2015 taxes!
    • Contributions can be made up until April 18, 2016.
  • Gifting – Friends and family may also qualify for a state tax reduction – as long as they are Wisconsin residents.
  • Carry Forward – Contributions greater than the eligible amount each year may be carried over and use for subsequent years’ state tax benefits until exhausted.
    • For example, a $10,000 contribution may qualify for tax benefits for three or more years
  • Forms – In order to be eligible for any potential reduction in Wisconsin state taxes, account holders must file a Wisconsin Department of Revenue CS.

Have questions? Contact the Edvest College Savings Plan directly at 1-888-338-3789, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more info or to open an account, visit www.edvest.com

_________________________________________________________________________

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Edvest College Savings Plan. Please visit Edvest.com or click here for a Plan Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

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 from an independent tax advisor based on their own particular circumstances. Non-qualifified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional 10% federal tax.

Before investing in a 529 plan, consider whether the state in which you or your Beneficiary resides has a 529 plan that offers favorable state tax benefits that are available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan.

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Plan Manager. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., program manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for Wisconsin College Savings Plans.

All social media platforms are managed by the state of Wisconsin.

What To Do When Markets Are Volatile

MarketVolatire_ImageIf recent market volatility has you second-guessing investments in your college savings plan account, that’s a normal reaction. What’s important is to avoid making quick investment decisions. Before taking any action in your college savings plan account, consider the tips below.

1. Diversify – One important way to manage investment risk is through diversification. When you spread investments across different types of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and cash, you can help protect your account from succumbing to the declines of any single investment. Broadly speaking, assets such as stocks and real estate respond well to growth trends such as expanding corporate profits, increasing incomes, or even population growth. Other investments, such as bonds and cash-type vehicles, can provide stability when markets are volatile. Several investment portfolios available through the Edvest College Savings Plan already offer exposure to multiple asset classes to simplify the diversification process for you: Age-Based Investment Options and our Multi-Fund Investment Options. Edvest also offers stable principal investment options that seek to preserve capital and maintain a fixed rate of return.

2. Rebalance – It makes sense to review your account regularly and consider rebalancing periodically.* For example, if stocks have fallen for a significant period of time while bonds have risen, adding stocks may help return your account to its original allocation. As your beneficiary moves closer to college, increasing the portion of your account that is in bonds and guaranteed assets may help stabilize returns as you prepare to take withdrawals. A simple way to ensure regular rebalancing of your account is to invest in one of the Age-Based Investment Options. This investment portfolio automatically adjusts your holdings based on the age of your beneficiary. The closer your beneficiary gets to college age, the more conservative the investment mix in your account becomes.

3. Avoid chasing returns, focus on consistent savings habits – Over time, asset classes will take turns as leaders or laggards. Impulsively selling an underperforming investment can lock in losses, while buying an investment that has enjoyed a run of strong returns could mean you are getting in at the top. Since the market’s future direction is impossible to predict, staying the course and maintaining consistent savings habits over time with a diversified portfolio may be the best way to reach your investment goals with less stress.

Please visit Edvest.com for more information. Additional market commentary is available at tiaa-cref.org including the article “Market Volatility – What You Need to Know Now”.

Source: tiaa-cref.org

*You are allowed to rebalance your 529 plan account twice per calendar year under federal law.