May 27, 2024

What is 529 Day? Celebrating the Path to Smart College Savings

Mother with daughter while on a swing smiling while celebrating 529 Day with Future Scholar.

What is National 529 Day, and Why Does it Matter?

Saving for their future education is one of the most important things you can do for your children or grandchildren. Many of the fulfilling and high-earning careers they will dream of pursuing will require some further education after high school. Whether it’s a four-year college degree or an apprenticeship, those education pathways each come with tuition and other related expenses. Luckily, there’s a great way for families to help meet those costs.

It’s the reason we celebrate National 529 Day each year. We want to show families that a traditional savings account isn’t the only way to save for a child’s future education. Take a closer look at what 529 Day is, why it’s important, and how you can celebrate it.

National 529 Day – Explained

Observed each year on May 29, National 529 Day is a fun way to raise awareness about the importance of saving for future education expenses. But the main purpose of National 529 Day is to highlight the benefits of saving with a 529 plan for those education needs – whether that means college, trade or technical school, or a registered apprenticeship program.

When you save with a 529 plan, you enjoy significant tax advantages. Your earnings not only grow tax-free, but they also won’t be taxed upon withdrawal when used for qualified education expenses, such as tuition fees, room and board, books, and even computers.

A 529 plan enables families and friends to contribute collectively to a child’s future education. And you can combine the funds with financial aid to make college and other higher education more affordable. All in all, 529 plans are excellent tools to open new doors and unlock exciting futures for any child in your family.

What’s the Best Way to Celebrate 529 Day?

529 Day isn’t just a special day for current account owners or contributors. You can celebrate your own savvy saving and participate in the national effort to show others the wisdom and value of contributing to 529 accounts.

Want to make the most of this once-a-year occasion? We’ve got a few ideas!

Start a 529 Plan for Your Child

Mark your calendar to make 529 Day the day you begin saving for your child’s future. With 529 plans, such as South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan, it’s easy to open an account for a child in your family and make an initial contribution that will start you saving right away. With a variety of ways to invest and no minimum contribution, there’s certainly a savings option that suits your budget and savings goals.

One of the many great benefits of a 529 college savings account is that your earnings are compounded. Through the power of compounding, you can make more gains on your gains – all tax-free. With that kind of earning potential, the sooner you start a 529 plan for your child or grandchild – and the more contributions you make – the better.

Make a Bonus Contribution

Already have a 529 account for your child and make regular contributions? In that case, why not celebrate 529 Day by making a bonus contribution?

Every contribution added to an account could make the total sum grow not only larger but also faster. Did you get a promotion at work, earn a bonus, or come into some unexpected cash from an inheritance? Avoid lifestyle creep and put that money to good use in a 529 savings plan. Remember, you can contribute up to $540,000 per beneficiary in South Carolina, and 100% of every contribution can be deducted from your state income tax return.

Invite Friends & Family Members to Contribute

529 Day helps boost awareness of 529 plans each year, so it’s also a good time to approach friends and family members to contribute to your child’s savings for education. If they’ve never heard of a 529 plan before, you can direct them to helpful resources like Future Scholar’s website and gifting page. And 529 plans are flexible in terms of who can contribute. A person doesn’t have to be related to a beneficiary to help give them the financial freedom to learn whatever and wherever they like.

Or Make a Gift to Another Child’s 529 Account

What if you don’t have a child of your own? You can still celebrate National 529 Day by contributing to an account that benefits the child of a family member or close friend.

Your contribution is still tax-deductible, and it provides a unique and meaningful gift. When a child in your life has plenty of toys, there's no better way to offer your support and show you care than by helping them achieve their future dreams.

Look for Local Events & Celebrations

Many states that celebrate 529 Day, such as Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina, have their own special events to raise awareness and get people excited about saving for education.

South Carolina celebrates with the PalmettoBaby Program. Every child born on May 29, 2024, in South Carolina is automatically eligible to receive $529 in a privately funded grant. It's the perfect sum to begin a new Future Scholar College Savings Plan.

To make the most of this year’s 529 Day, ask around in your local community to see what special events are going on. And if you or someone you know is welcoming a new family member who could be a PalmettoBaby, point them to Future Scholar!

Celebrate National 529 Day with Future Scholar

529 Day will be here before you know it. If you haven’t already started a 529 savings plan for your child or grandchild, today is a stellar time to begin. Visit us online today to learn more about Future Scholar’s 529 plans and resources or to get in touch with us