Friday, February 2, 2018

A Brief Overview of Alabama’s 529 Plan

For more than a decade, Michael Mullis has worked in the finance industry in Alabama. A managing partner at Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management in Birmingham, he has won numerous awards throughout his career and has established a strong reputation for giving personal attention to clients. One of the many services provided by Michael Mullis and his firm is college and education planning that focuses on 529 plans.

Alabama offers two 529 plans to residents: the CollegeCounts 529 Fund Advisor Plan and the CollegeCounts 529 Fund. Both of these plans are managed by Union Bank & Trust Company and are designed to help adults build college savings through flexible investment options. The plans are technically the same; however, the CollegeCounts 529 Fund Advisor Plan is sold through a broker who can provide individuals with assistance and advice related to the plan. The CollegeCounts 529 Fund is sold by state agencies.

When choosing an investment, people with either type of CollegeCounts 529 Fund can choose from six target portfolios, 26 individual fund portfolios, or three age-based options to ensure they find the best investments for their situation. Investors who own a CollegeCounts account also have complete control over the account and can change the beneficiary, change their investments, and direct where withdrawals go from their online accounts.

Aside from saving for college, a CollegeCounts 529 Fund comes with several benefits. Individuals can have an account balance of up to $400,000 and are free to use the money at nearly any accredited college or university in the country. There are no age restrictions for contributions or withdrawals, nor are there any income restrictions connected to the account. Account owners are also eligible for a state income deduction of up to $10,000 for married couples who both contribute to the fund.