CollegeCounts 101 - How to Save for College
We all want the best for our children. And we do the best we can. But sometimes, it’s hard to plan ahead—especially 18 years ahead.
CollegeCounts is Alabama’s 529 fund. Your family can save for your child’s college education while enjoying a number of excellent benefits. Best of all, it’s easier than you might think!
Here’s what you need to know before you embark on your college savings journey.
What are the Advantages?
Investing with CollegeCounts allows you to enjoy many benefits including certain tax benefits, school choice, and flexible contributions. And once you’re ready to start withdrawals for college, your children can use their funds on much more than just tuition.
Why Should I Start Early?
Children and grandchildren grow up quickly. Give them a start on the college savings they’ll need for higher education by opening an account with the CollegeCounts 529 Fund. As the days fly by, your investment will have the potential to grow right along with your child or grandchild. By saving early, you have additional time to set dollars aside for their future college costs.
The value of higher education is immeasurable, so don’t wait. With no minimum initial investment and no ongoing contribution requirement, it’s easy to start saving for college.
Once you have an account set up, you can stay on top of saving for college by adjusting your savings amounts upward each year, periodically reviewing your investment strategies and goals, and including lump sum gifts such as a financial bonus from work or the extra money you’ll have if you pay off an existing loan.
*This hypothetical example illustrates the accumulation potential with a $2,500 initial investment and a monthly contribution plan at a 5% projected average annual return. The above example is based on projections and does not reflect your actual investment in the CollegeCounts 529 Fund. If fees were included, the returns would be lower. Your actual results may be more or less.
What is the Best Way to Contribute?
With CollegeCounts, there’s no minimum or regular contribution required, so you can invest the amount that meets your budget and savings goals. Contribute at any time or set up an Automatic Investment Plan for an easy and convenient way to make regular electronic contributions directly from your bank account. Family members and friends can also make gifts to your beneficiary for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions.
How are Contributions Invested?
CollegeCounts offers a number of investment options from quality mutual funds families like Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, DFA, Fidelity, PIMCO, and more. Learn more about our investment options to find a strategy that makes the most sense for your family. Take our Risk Tolerance Questionnaire and talk to your financial professional for more information.
How Do I Get Started?
Once you’re ready, getting started is easy. GrandView is here to help you create your 529 account. It takes about 15 minutes, and all you’ll need is basic information about you and your children. Once your account is set up, it’s easy to review and manage the account through secure CollegeCounts online access.
Once you see those caps flying on graduation day, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to start saving early.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with the municipal fund securities carefully before investing. The issuer's official statement contains this and other information about the investment. You can obtain an official statement from your financial representative. Read carefully before investing.
Prior to investing in a 529 Plan, investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.