529 Plans: The Tax-Wise Way To Go
Mississippi offers two 529 college savings plans. A 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families prepare and save for future college costs. These plans are named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code that created these types of savings plans in 1996. There are two types of 529 plans, prepaid and traditional savings plans.
In 1996 the Mississippi legislature created MPACT (Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition), the state’s 529 prepaid plan. MPACT is guaranteed by the State to cover the cost of college and mandatory fees at Mississippi’s public colleges. If a student attends an out-of-state or private school, the plan will pay Mississippi’s average tuition rate. MPACT offers four-year university plans, two-year college plans, as well as combination plans. The plan also offers a variety of payment options to fit your budget. Click here to learn more about MPACT.
In 2001 the Mississippi legislature created MACS (Mississippi Affordable College Savings), the state’s 529 savings plan. MACS is an easy and flexible way to save for college expenses. With a minimum contribution amount of just $25, MACS is very budget friendly. The plan offers investment options that appeal to all types of investors, from the conservative investor (Guaranteed Option) to the aggressive investor (Diversified Equity Option), MACS has an option that is right for you. Click here to learn more about MACS.
As 529 plans, both programs offer a state tax deduction as well as tax deferred earnings. Can’t decide which program is right for you? There is no need to choose, MACS and MPACT were created to complement each other so you can participate in both plans.
Both the MACS and MPACT plans are administered by the Office of the State Treasurer, Lynn Fitch, and governed by the College Savings Plans of Mississippi Board of Directors.
College Savings Mississippi:
The Way To Go
Let’s face it. College is expensive. But the benefits of a college education can far outweigh the costs.
College-educated individuals have better job opportunities and typically earn more money than those without college degrees. Higher education through a trade or technical program, a two-year college, or a four-year university can translate into thousands of dollars a year in extra income. Over a 40-year working career, a college education can mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Families who begin planning and saving for college when their children are young have a much better chance of reaching their college savings goals than families who wait until their children are in high school.
The earlier you begin saving, the sooner you can take advantage of the compounding effect of time on your investment. While your individual financial situation might not allow you to contribute as much as you’d like to today, you can still get on the right track. By starting early and contributing regularly – even just a small amount each month – you could see your savings add up. As your financial situation changes, you can always reassess your plan based on your college savings goals.