Guest Editorial from State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald
While I am always encouraging families and loved ones to save for the children in their lives no matter the time of the year, September is especially noteworthy as it is College Savings Month. With many children back in school, it serves as a great time to remind the community how important it is to invest in the education dreams of our youth.
To encourage more people to open a dedicated savings account for education, College Savings Iowa is hosting a giveaway! One winner will receive a $1,000 College Savings Iowa contribution and an iPad. From September 1 – September 30, Iowa residents have the opportunity to register children under the age of 18 in the giveaway. Celebrate College Savings Month by entering at Iowa529Contest.com.
College Savings Month is a national campaign dedicated to sharing how impactful investing in a 529 plan like College Savings Iowa can be. In fact, according to education researchers, children are six times more likely to attend an institute of higher education if they have a savings account in their name. Talk about impactful! So whether your child wants to be a teacher, electrician or veterinarian, setting up a College Savings Iowa account is an easy and inexpensive way to take the first step in making their dreams a reality.
College Savings Iowa is a tax-advantaged way to save for the costs of education on behalf of a child in your life. Qualified withdrawals – such as tuition, room and board, supplies, computers and more – are tax-free.* While this may already be enticing, Iowa taxpayers also have another advantage. For 2021, participants can deduct up to $3,474 of their contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income for Iowa.** It only takes $25 and 10 minutes to set up an account.
The plan has over 276,000 total accounts with $6.3 billion in assets. In addition, there have been $3.5 billion worth of qualified withdrawals since the plan was established in 1998. While these numbers are extraordinary accomplishments, nothing means more to me than the personal testimonials and praise I hear from participants. Last month at the Iowa State Fair, parents, grandparents and other participants stopped by the College Savings Iowa booth to share their gratitude for College Savings Iowa and the feats they were able to accomplish with their investments. These kind words from participants reveal the positive impacts of saving with a plan like College Savings Iowa.
It’s no secret; children grow up fast. Don’t wait to save! Celebrate College Savings Month by opening a College Savings Iowa account today and entering the giveaway.
About the author: Michael L. Fitzgerald is the State Treasurer of Iowa. He serves as the State’s banker, coordinates bonding and invests Iowa’s money. Under Treasurer Fitzgerald’s leadership, Iowa launched important programs including the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt unclaimed property program, College Savings Iowa 529 education savings plan and IAble, Iowa’s ABLE plan for individuals with disabilities. To learn more about the Treasurer, visit IowaTreasurer.gov. For more information on College Savings Iowa, visit CollegeSavingsIowa.com.
* Earnings on nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.
**Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.