• College,  Savings,  Taxes

    Using Your VA529 Plan to Pay for Private K-12 Education

    Are you paying for private school for a kid in grades K-12? It's a little painful, isn't it? Well, now there's a way to reduce the sting (a little bit). With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 parents can use their VA 529 plan to pay for K-12 private school tuition. Each state is different but the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan has adopted their policies to allow Virginia residents to take advantage of this new strategy. Virginia residents can use the VA 529 plan to get a little extra tax deduction on your VA state income taxes (plus some tax-free growth for the super…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Planning,  Savings

    Don’t make this tax mistake: 529 account edition

    A lot of people don't realize this but (real) financial planners review client tax returns as part of the financial planning process. This helps us point out ways to help clients save money on taxes, correct errors, or identify an investment manager that may be churning (trading frequently) or simply generating a lot of taxable gains and dividends.  One frequent Virginia state income tax deduction that many VA 529 account owners forget involves VA 529 plan contributions. Don't make this same mistake!  Check out this video (please ignore the ridiculous thumbnail image...) and find out how you might save more money on your VA state income taxes! https://youtu.be/7lbf9CfF_-A **This is…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Savings

    Maximize Your Virginia 529 Plan

    How can I maximize my tax-savings using a Virginia 529 account? What happens if my kid gets a scholarship? These are the kinds of questions I frequently hear from parents as they start saving for college. The Virginia 529 College Savings plan is pretty straightforward (especially after you read my post about the VA 529 plan that breaks it all down for you here!). However, there are a couple nuances that parents and other family members should be aware of to maximize their 529 account. Let's review four things about the Virginia 529 Plan that you will definitely want to know! VA 529: What Changed Under The 2017 Tax Law?…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Savings

    Which Virginia 529 Plan Is Best?

    You’re ready to start saving for college. You go to sign up for a Virginia 529 College Savings Plan, but are immediately faced with a decision about which plan is the right one for you. Or maybe you have been pitched some expensive-looking mutual funds from a broker but you just aren’t sure that’s the right path for you. No worries. Today we’re going to dive into the three Virginia 529 College Savings Plans so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family. In no particular order, let’s get started. Virginia 529 Option #1: Invest529 The Invest529 is the option you can buy directly…

  • Cash flow,  College,  Planning

    Do I Qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness?

    Student loans are the bane of many young professionals’ existence. I have worked with several physicians with $200,000-300,000 in student loan debt. Fortunately one of these physicians met the 4 requirements for Public Student Loan Forgiveness. Which means that if he continues working for a qualified employer and makes 120 on-time qualified payments on his Federal Direct student loans, a good portion of that debt will be erased. Tax-free. There are 4 important requirements you must meet to qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness and to stay qualified until your remaining loan balances are actually forgiven. Today we’ll go over four things you need to make sure you’re doing so…

  • College,  Planning,  Savings

    Is there a college savings rule of thumb?

    Let’s talk college savings. Just when you thought you were starting to get a handle on saving for retirement/your post-career phase now, we have to add college savings into the mix. As if you needed another thing to worry about! Let’s go ahead and ask the hard question. Are you on track with your college savings? No clue? You’re not alone. Most people have no idea. With crazy high inflation and large cost differentials between schools, it can be hard to know if you are in a good place when it comes to your college savings, or if you need to “kick it up a notch.” With that in mind,…

  • College,  Kids and Money,  Planning

    How To Talk About Student Loan Debt With Your Teen

    Feeling overwhelmed about the high cost of college? You’re not alone. A 2016 study Citizens Financial Group survey said that 57% of millennials wished they hadn’t borrowed so much money to attend college. This statistic leaves parents in a difficult position. Selecting a college tends to be a highly individualized and stressful situation for the student (and their family). We want to support our children’s choices, but we also want to make sure our children’s choices are as informed as possible. Talking to our kids about their choice of college can become even more confounding when you consider this tidbit from a 2014 study by Citizens Financial Group: 46% of…

  • parent baby mom kid save
    College,  Savings

    Should You Save For Retirement Or College?

    The struggle is real. I talk to parents all the time who ask me flat out - should I save for retirement or save for college? Many parents who had some or all of their college education paid for feel intense pressure to provide the same opportunity to their children. However, the incredible rise in college costs makes that goal feel impossible. The case for saving for college I see new medical professionals with enormous debt loads starting their careers and their families at the same time. To them, saving for their kid’s college is vitally important because they don’t want their children to experience the same stress they feel…