Ask Money

529 for Adults?

Chris Farrell Jul 29, 2008

Question: I’m curious to hear your opinion–is a 529 plan a good idea for adults who are planning on graduate school?

I’m planning to enroll in a PhD program sometime in the next 5-10 years. Is a 529 a good idea? Bridget. Sioux Falls, ND

Answer. We don’t hear enough about adults planning on college, which is why I like your question. The answer is that a 529 plan can make sense for someone like you. Students of all ages can save in a 529 and tap into it for undergraduate and graduate degrees, paying for everything from tuition to textbooks to computers. One drawback for adults is that you’re giving up flexibility with the money. It has to go for your graduate degree (or you can transfer it to a family member). Otherwise, you’ll pay taxes plus a penalty if you end up using the money for any reason other than education.

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