Which investment portfolio is right for me?
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When it comes to investing in a 529 plan, we all have the same goal: to help pay for college. However, everyone’s investment strategy can look quite different.
To help determine the right strategy for you, answer the following questions as you are choosing your investment portfolio:
- How much do I want to save?
- How fast do I want to save?
- How comfortable am I with risk?
- How hands-on do I want to be?
ScholarShare 529 investment choices
Choose from multiple portfolios to fit your preferences—aligning with your risk tolerance, preferred level of involvement, and desired results. The Risk Tolerance questions can help determine what’s best for you.
Enrollment Year Investment Portfolios
Consider this if:
You’re looking for an investment customized for your student’s expected enrollment year.
- Can be a good, all-in-one solution to manage your savings over the long term without any extra work on your part
- Risk level automatically becomes more conservative as the enrollment year approaches
Consider this if:
You’re an experienced investor and you want more control over your investment option’s diversification and investment strategy.
- Select from a range of investment objectives
- Suitable for a variety of risk profiles and asset allocation blends
Guaranteed Portfolio Option
Consider this if:
You’re in a position of having a short-term investment horizon or are looking for a low risk, conservative investment.
- Seeks to preserve capital and provide a stable return
Wide range of investments. Simple steps.
Watch this short video that provides an overview of how we make it easy to make investment choices that work for you.
Have any questions? ScholarShare 529 is here to help!
Yes. Whether you have recently moved to the state, have an underperforming or higher-cost 529 plan, or just want to simplify, consolidating 529 accounts into ScholarShare 529 is easy. You can transfer funds from another 529 plan to your ScholarShare 529 account for the same beneficiary once within a 12-month period without incurring tax penalties.
Consolidating education savings into ScholarShare 529 also gives you a single view of your savings and performance as well as single-step payments to colleges, universities, K-12 schools, etc.1
You may also save money that can go right back into your college fund. ScholarShare 529 expenses are less than half the national average for 529 Plans.2 You pay no sales charges, start up or maintenance fees.
The 529 plan from which you are transferring funds may be subject to different features, costs and surrender charges. As such, you should consult your tax advisor or the other 529 college savings plan prior to making any decisions. For more information, see How to manage an incoming rollover from another 529 saving plan account.
- 1Withdrawals for tuition expenses at a public, private or religious elementary, middle, or high school can be withdrawn free from federal tax. For California taxpayers these withdrawals are subject to state income tax and an additional 2.5% California tax. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances. K-12 withdrawals are limited to $10,000 per year for K-12 tuition.↩
- 2Source: ISS Market Intelligence 529 College Savings Fee Analysis 1Q 2023. ScholarShare 529’s average annual asset-based fees are 0.22% for all portfolios compared to 0.51% for all 529 plans.↩
With your ScholarShare 529, you’re never locked in. You’ll always have access to several options for this money:
- Your funds can be used to pay for a variety of eligible education expenses, including at any accredited college, university, apprenticeships, community college or postgraduate program in the United States—and even some schools abroad.1
- Your 529 can be used for student loan repayment up a $10,000 lifetime limit per individual.1
- Up to $10,000 annually can be used toward K-12 tuition (per student).2
- You can transfer the funds to another eligible beneficiary, such as another child, a grandchild, yourself or a friend.
- If you just want the money back, you can withdraw the funds at any time. If funds are withdrawn for a purpose other than qualified higher education expenses, the earnings portion of the withdrawal is subject to federal and state taxes plus a 10% additional federal tax on earnings (known as the “Additional Tax”). Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to an additional 2.5% California tax on earnings. See the Plan Description for more information and exceptions.
- Or you can always wait because the funds never expire, and often the choice to go to school is a delayed decision. So if your child changes their mind down the road, your savings will still be available.
- 1Withdrawals for registered apprenticeship programs and student loans can be withdrawn free from federal and California income tax. If you are not a California taxpayer, these withdrawals may include recapture of tax deduction, state income tax as well as penalties. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances. Read about eligible education expenses.
Apprenticeship programs must be registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act.↩
- 2Withdrawals for tuition expenses at a public, private or religious elementary, middle, or high school can be withdrawn free from federal tax. For California taxpayers these withdrawals are subject to state income tax and an additional 2.5% California tax. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances.↩
Yes. Each time you make a contribution, you may select from any of the ScholarShare 529 investment portfolio options. Once invested in a particular portfolio, contributions and earnings may be transferred to another investment option twice per calendar year or upon transfer of funds to a plan account for a different eligible beneficiary (see the Plan Description for more information).
To transfer funds between investment portfolios, log in to your account, click “View Details” for your beneficiary, then choose “Change investment options.” You may also request and submit by mail the Change of Investment Form.
A ScholarShare 529 can be started with any amount. How much you need to save will depend on what you plan to use the money for and when.
A few helpful tools:
- Check out the College Savings Calculator to estimate the cost of college.
- Use our College Planning Calculator to see how your savings could add up over time.
More resources to explore
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