Pave the Way

Preparing for the future includes providing opportunities for the next generation. We can help you plan ahead for education expenses.

Plan for the Future

Developing a plan for meeting education expenses is a key priority for many CCM clients.

Providing funding support for a child or grandchild’s education is among the most important ongoing financial commitments many parents and grandparents make. With that in mind, developing a plan for meeting education expenses becomes a key priority. While such a plan involves various elements such as gathering hypothetical tuition information, selecting investments, and evaluating lump sum funding, the development of a plan begins with establishing goals.

For planning purposes, the College Board recommends assuming an annual 5% college cost inflation rate. The numbers make it so that few families are able to fund educational expenses through cash flow.

529 Education Savings Plans

A 529 education savings plan allows a saver to open an investment account to save for a beneficiary’s future qualified higher education expenses. While the tax benefit is marginal for funding the plan, dollars in 529 accounts grow tax-free and can be distributed tax-free if used for qualified expenses. These expenses can include tuition, room, board, and other mandatory fees. Withdrawals from education savings plan accounts can generally be used at any college or university in the United States, and in some cases can be used abroad as well. Education savings plans can also be used to pay up to $10,000 per year per beneficiary for tuition at any public, private, or religious elementary or secondary school.

Choosing a 529 Plan

Some states offer tax incentives for using the plan in your state of residence. For residents of states that don’t offer such tax benefits, we generally recommend considering Utah’s my529 plan. We selected this option based on the high quality of the holdings, the overall strength of the plan, and its longstanding status holding a 529 Gold medal rating from Morningstar. Selecting the plan that is right for you is a very personal choice that ideally considers many factors. Our team stands ready to assist.

529 Plan Pros & Cons


  • Funds grow and can be distributed tax-free if used for qualified education expenses.
  • Many states offer a tax deduction in each year that you contribute to a 529 plan.
  • If one beneficiary does not utilize the full 529 balance, the remainder can be transferred to another family member.
  • You can retain control of the assets. Meaning you direct the investments, beneficiaries, etc.


  • If funds are not utilized for a qualified education expense, distributions are subject to a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the withdrawal in addition to state and federal taxes.
  • Investments are limited to a set menu of options within 529 plans.

Further Insight

Read what our advisors have to say about education savings plans.


We Can Help You Prepare for the Future

Contact your CCM Advisor for assistance with education planning today.