Friday, October 19, 2012

Wisconsin's 529 Plan Changes

Previously I have blogged about the upcoming changes to Wisconsin's 529 Plan, called EdVest.  The plan allows parents (and others) to save money for college in a tax efficient manner.  Deposits result in an income tax deduction, growth is not taxed, and withdraws are not taxed if used for higher education.  All of these make 529s quite attractive for parents thinking ahead to college.

When Wills Fargo was the plan administrator when we opened our accounts, and for both we opted for an index fund because the expense ratio was low.  This means more money goes into our investment and less to the company's pockets.  As Wells Fargo is moved out and TIA-CREFF is moved in as the plan administrator we are disappointed to read in the materials that only ranges of expense ratios and not ratios for each fund now available.  Without this data it is challenging for us to compare the funds under Wells Fargo to the new options.

In the end what matters most is putting money into the 529s, and not how much went to administration fees.  But the frugal lawyer in me cannot help but be a bit annoyed.  Ranges do not offer the level of specifics I desire.  Details matter, especially when we'll be making deposits for the next 18+ years (our kids are 4 and 2).

One comment my husband offered made me laugh about the situation -- later this month we'll learn more about whether this change is a trick or a treat.  Enjoy the Halloween season, and I'll be back with more thoughts on illness, death and taxes for the middle class next week.

Image Credit :  M. Gustafson Gervasi -- front steps, Oct. 2012

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