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State Treasurer: The Perfect Time to Open a 529 Future Scholar Account

By Curtis Loftis
South Carolina State Treasurer

web posted March 18, 2011

OPINION – Tax filing time is almost here which means you’re probably sifting through records and receipts, completing the forms and writing the checks that come with tax season.  The good news is that you can save money and do well by your loved ones and perhaps find a little happiness hidden away in those IRS forms.   

Kids stay young for only a short time, so now is the time to plan for them and receive a tax break on your investment.  South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan is one of the finest 529 College Savings Plans in the country.  If you don’t have kids, you can give the program as a gift and still benefit from the tax deduction.

Benefitting from the plan is easy.  If you deposited $5,000 into a Future Scholar account, that’s an automatic 7% state tax deduction of $350 into your pocket.  Now imagine doing that over say, 15 years?  Your $5,000 a year would equal $75,000 and your tax savings would equal $5,250.  You can start with an automatic monthly investment plan for as little as $50 per month. Earnings on contributions and withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses are both exempt from state and federal income taxes.

In South Carolina we like to debate which college is best:  Gamecocks or Tigers, Terriers, Eagles, Paladins, Bulldogs and Bearcats too.  But when it comes to saving money for college, we’re all together on this one.

When I graduated from the University of South Carolina in the early 80’s, we didn’t have laptops or any of the techno gizmos the students have now.  But college was still expensive.  Today, Future Scholar accounts can be used for educational expenses like books, supplies plus room and board at any public or private two or four year institution eligible for federal financial aid.  So if your child doesn’t dream of being a Gamecock or a Tiger, you’re still covered.

More than 50,000 South Carolinian’s are taking part in the Future Scholar plan: they know a good plan when they see it.  South Carolina’s Future Scholar plan has been consistently rated as one of the top college savings plans in the nation, receiving the highest rating possible, “5-Caps”, by the savingforcollege.com website. 

So the bottom line this tax season, why not keep more of your money and put it to use by helping paying for college now.  For more information, please go online to www.futurescholar.com or call 888-244-5674.

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