TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As Floridians face the April 15 deadline for filing taxes, now is the time to think about building tax-free savings for college. With the Florida College Investment Plan, Florida's 529 college savings plan, investments are tax-exempt.
Leading financial advisors, including financial reporter at USA TODAY Matt Krantz, explain that 529 college savings plans have many advantages, a main one being that they "give your savings a 15% edge" over individual investments that incur capital gains and other taxes.
This year, instead of splurging with your tax refund, save it in a Florida College Investment Plan. To open an account, anyone including parents, grandparents or friends, make an initial deposit of at least $250 or a $25 per month automatic bank withdrawal. Plan holders choose from any combination of five different investment options.
Once enrolled, investment plan holders can decide how much and how often to contribute. Plus, with the Florida College Investment Plan, friends and family are able to easily add in to help pay for college expenses - a lasting gift ideal for any special occasion.
"Every grandparent would like to see their grandchildren get a college education. You want the best for them, and one of the best things you can give them is a head start towards college," says Justine Kellner McGeehan of Tallahassee, with grandchildren in the Florida College Investment Plan.
Purchasers may use earnings to pay for qualified higher education expenses, including tuition, fees, room and board, books, computers, supplies and equipment. The plan can be used at most accredited public or private universities and colleges, including graduate or professional schools. Neither the owner nor the beneficiary of a Florida College Investment Plan must be a Florida resident.
The Florida Prepaid College Board oversees the Florida College Investment Plan and the separate Florida Prepaid College Plans. Both are 529 plans authorized under the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
Sign up online for a Florida College Investment Plan at www.myfloridaprepaid.com or call 1-800-552-GRAD (4723) to speak with a customer service representative.
About The Florida Prepaid College Plans:
The Florida Prepaid College Board, which operates and oversees the Florida Prepaid College Plans, is a State of Florida agency. The Florida Prepaid College Board is committed to helping Floridians save for future qualified higher education expenses by providing a cost effective, financially sound Prepaid College Plan and other college savings programs. The Florida Prepaid College Plan is the largest and most successful prepaid college plan in the nation. One out of 10 Florida children from newborns to high school students has a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Families are offered two ways to save for their children and grandchildren's college education: the Florida Prepaid College Plan and the Florida College Investment Plan. Created by the 1987 Legislature, the Florida Prepaid College Plan was first sold in 1988. It was designated as "The Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program" in 2006 to honor its founding chairman. No taxpayer money is used to operate the Florida Prepaid College Plans.
NOTE: The Florida College Investment Plan is not a prepaid plan. Investments in the plan are not insured or guaranteed, and you could lose all or a portion of your investment. Participation in the plan will be sold only by means of a Disclosure Statement and Participation Agreement. A copy of each will be sent upon request. Read them before investing. Nothing within this document should be construed as financial, investment, legal or tax advice. Consult your own advisors before investing. The Florida College Investment Plan can also be used to cover tuition, tuition differential fee, local fees and dormitory housing.
SOURCE Florida Prepaid College Plans