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Last Minute Holiday Gift Idea! Try a 529 Plan Recurring Gift

We've all been there: it's the day before Christmas and you haven't quite completed your gift list yet. You're tired of shopping, tired of wrapping, but a few names remain. What do you do?

This becomes especially problematic as your kids begin having children of their own, and shopping for grandchildren occupies most of your attention (and appropriately so). And it seems, the older our children get, the less they want to give us Christmas lists!

We recommend giving a look. This website is Pennsylvania's portal to the IRC 529 Educational accounts that have been in place for several years. We think they're worth a look for several reasons:

First, congress keeps making them better! They are not limited to college student benefits, but can assist in paying for many post-secondary education expenses, including trade schools and apprentice programs. That may expand even further in the years to come.

Second, they are relatively easy to establish in a few minutes. Go to and enter your information and some information for a beneficiary (you will need your child/grandchild's social security number). Then, you can set up a one-time transfer, or a recurring monthly transfer. Elder law attorneys tend to prefer the recurring transfers, since it keeps donors below the $500/month Medicaid gifting cap.

Oh, did I mention the gifts are tax deductible against your Pennsylvania state income tax (up to $15,000 single/ $30,000 married couple)? There's more--the growth inside of the 529 is federal and state income-tax free, provided those amounts are used on qualified educational expenses.

Finally, if you are a parent of young children who is regularly hounded for gift ideas, how about establishing a 529 and giving your loved ones your U-Gift Code so that they can establish one-time or recurring contributions? It's very easy, and can be set up in 15 minutes on Christmas Eve.


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