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Facts About Hawaii's 529 Plans

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:33 PM

Saving for college expenses in Hawaii can be made easier when using a state-backed 529 college savings plan, HI529. Hawaii's plan is managed by Ascensus College Savings, which uses Vanguard funds in its age-based option, and offers four multi-fund fixed options and two individual-fund options. Accounts may also be linked to the Upromise rewards service. Here are some facts about HI529 that may be useful.

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  1. HI529 offers tax benefits including that the earnings from HI529 are tax-deferred for both federal and state income tax. Additionally withdrawals for expenses at qualified higher education facilities are tax-free while contributions up to $14,000 per beneficiary per year ($28,000 for married couples filing jointly) do not incur federal gift-tax.

  2. Hawaii's plan has a high contribution limit. It has expert investment management, and the plan has flexibility and a choice of investment options

  3. HI529 allows account holders to add to the plan when they shop with America's leading companies through the Upromise rewards service, which offers 5 percent cash back on online purchases through its service, 8 percent back at participating restaurants and another 5 percent back when booking hotels and travel with Upromise partners. The Upromise account can be linked to a 529 plan so those earnings are automatically transferred to the HI529 account. This is an easy way to contribute to the plan that boosts the balance quickly.

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  5. Income levels have no bearing on who can establish an HI529 account. Contributors can include parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even friends. In fact, anyone from any state can establish an HI529 account, and an account can be opened with as little as $15.
  6. Flexibility is seen in options such as families with Fixed Asset Allocation Options and a Money Market portfolio that can be tailored to specific goals. There is an age-based option where, as the beneficiary ages, the assets are moved to a less-aggressive portfolio.

  7. You can change beneficiaries whenever needed. Gift contributions are accepted through a program called "ugift," where friends and family can contribute to the account.
  8. Account balances are capped at $305,000 per beneficiary with minimum contributions set at $15. There are fees involved in the HI529 plan that include an annual $20 maintenance fee, and a .75 percent manager fee.
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Saving for college expenses in Hawaii can be made easier when using a state-backed 529 college savings plan, HI529.
529 plans, Hawaii, facts
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 12:33 PM
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