ways to grow and protect wealth is to constantly strive to slash financial fees and minimize our tax burdens.
But what most casual investors fail to understand is the absolutely destructive power of taxes. Managed improperly, taxes can hack away at more than a quarter of your profits.
We must do everything we can to keep Uncle Sam where he belongs… out of our pockets.
For my family, that’s where the kids come in.
One of the riskiest financial decisions today’s generation of youngsters must make is the decision to go to college… and how much to pay for it.
If they make poor decisions, they will be riddled with debt (I know several people with school debt that easily rivals a mortgage) and will earn a degree that’s virtually useless. It’s one of the greatest threats to American kids.
I refuse to let my children get sucked into the trap. They will graduate from college with zero debt.
They certainly won’t get a free ride. They’ll need to work their way through school and will have plenty of their own financial burdens. But there’s no doubt I’ll have to pay a majority of the load.
I’m fine with that. In fact, I welcome it.
Done right, not only am I letting Father Time do the majority of the heavy lifting (remember, compounding is the most powerful force in the financial universe)… but I can slash my tax burden.
Most serious investors have heard of 529 plans. But few realize their true power.
They are not just for young parents. Far from it.
Congress created the plans in 1996 as a way to spark interest in saving for college education. Earnings generated through the plans are not subject to federal tax and, in most cases, are not subject to state tax when the money is used to pay for necessary college expenses (the list of qualified expenditures is actually quite expansive).
Right off the top, that could boost your profits by as much as 20%.
But in most states, the tale gets even better. You can deduct 529 contributions from your state income tax each year. Because I live in Pennsylvania, that means my wife and I can remove as much as $28,000 worth of income… per beneficiary.
And what’s really powerful is the law allows you to transfer funds from one beneficiary to another without triggering a taxable event.
In other words, in many instances it makes sense for high-income earners to open their own 529 plans just for the annual deduction on their state income taxes. They may never use the money, but it can easily be transferred to their children or grandchildren. (Many 529s, like Pennsylvania’s plan, also provide appealing inheritance and gift provisions as well.)
Another unknown benefit of the plans is that you can open an account in any state. You’re not locked into your home state’s plan.
I recommend looking at Utah’s plan. It allows savers to invest in an Oxford Club favorite… ultra-cheap Vanguard funds. Its most expensive option comes with an annual fee of just 0.38%.
The bottom line is that your kids, your grandkids… or even the neighbor’s kids… are going to college. And it will be expensive. Managed poorly, they could start their working lives overwhelmed with debt.
Managed properly, however, you can invest for their education and lower your tax burden along the way.
Kids are great fun… they’re also a great way to slash your taxes.