Can I use One 529 College Savings Account for All of my Kids?

I recently had friend ask me this question.  The answer is “yes, you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”  There are main reasons for this:

Investments:  529 College Savings plans are generally invested in pre-packaged funds whose aggressiveness is based on the child’s age.  The younger the child, the more stocks are in the portfolio.   As the child ages, the account is automatically shifted to more bonds and cash.  So, unless all of your kids are the same age, having only one account means that the investments are only right for one of your kids at a time.

Beneficiary Changes:  529 accounts allow for one named adult and one beneficiary (usually a child) on each account.  This beneficiary can be changed only once per year.  If you have more than one child in college at one time, you can only pay for one child’s tuition per year out of the account.  Maybe they can take turns going to school every other year?

529 college savings accounts are designed to be for one student at a time.  You can combine accounts to one, but it is probably more trouble than it’s worth.

If these topics sound like they would be of interest to your employees, sales conference, or professional organization, contact me at 303-324-0014 or for more information.

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