Featured Editorial

Smart Start Guide to Financial Gift Giving That Really Counts

This post is sponsored by Linqia but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Excitedly unwrapping generous gifts from family and friends has always been an emotional rollercoaster ride for me filled with thrilling highs and disappointing lows. I think it’s safe to share here that simply because my birthday is in December, the gift of green velvet slippers have justifiably earned the highest recognition of my disappointing lows. We’ve discovered a genius way to make sure that you’re a gift giving MVP minus the emotional rollercoaster. If only I had this information when my daughter was younger! Take a look at our smart start guide to financial gift giving that really counts.

Smart Start Guide to Financial Gift Giving That Really Counts

Future Planning

What’s the big deal about financial gift giving? Selecting just the right gift for anyone can sometimes be as much of a rollercoaster ride as receiving gifts. More than sliding bills into a card or grabbing a random retailer gift card for loved ones, financial gifts as an investment help to save money for the future. When it comes to saving money, the best part is you can start saving at any time. We started NY’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan account for my son during high school to fast track college savings, there's a little more time to save for my second grader's education. Anytime is the right time to save for a financial future, whether you have a toddler or a teen, it's never too early or too late to save for higher education. Plus, they have an easy gifting portal called UGift that allows you to give friends and family members a unique code to add to your 529 account.

Financial Flexibility

How helpful is it to know that your financial gift is going toward a better future? Contributing a gift to a NY 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan account helps put money aside today, for tomorrow’s higher education expenses. With the future being uncertain, there’s always the
flexibility for you to change your beneficiary if needed- if the child doesn't use the money in the account, you can choose an eligible family member, such as another child, or even yourself, to be the beneficiary without paying a penalty.

Higher Education Planning

Thankfully, my son is staying steady on his college planning track, however, what if he changes his goals after high school graduation? With the gift of a NY 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan contribution, there’s the option to choose from any eligible school, kids can attend any eligible higher-education institution, not just a 4-year college or university. This includes vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges, and graduate schools.

Tax Advantages

Here’s a bonus gift for you! Did you know that you can save on your taxes and lower the cost of college? With NY’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, you benefit from tax-deferred earnings as well as tax-free withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses. Since you're paying less in taxes, you can save more, which lowers the total cost of college. If you're a New York State taxpayer, you may be able to deduct contributions on your state income tax return. Check out NYsaves.org for the specific details and be sure to check with your tax advisor for any tax advice. With this smart start guide to financial gift giving, you see why the NY’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan really counts! For more information check out NYsaves.org.

This site abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in the honesty of relationship, opinion, and identity. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.


Up to $10,000 is deductible annually from New York State taxable income for married couples filing jointly; single taxpayers can deduct up to $5,000 annually. State tax benefits for non-resident New York taxpayers may vary. State tax deductions may be subject to recapture in certain circumstances such as rollovers to another state's 529 plan, nonqualified withdrawals, or withdrawals used to pay expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school. Please consult your tax advisor. 

Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. Tax and other benefits are contingent on meeting other requirements and certain withdrawals are subject to federal, state, and local taxes.

Investment returns are not guaranteed, and you could lose money by investing in New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan.

For more information about New York's 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, download a Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreement at www.nysaves.org or request one by calling 877-NYSAVES (877-697-2837). This document includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information. You should read and consider them carefully before investing.

Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in that state's 529 plan. Other state benefits may include financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors.

The Comptroller of the State of New York and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation are the Program Administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering the Direct Plan. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, serves as Program Manager
and, in connection with its affiliates, provides recordkeeping and administrative support services and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Direct Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as the Investment Manager. Vanguard Marketing Corporation provides marketing
and distribution services to the Direct Plan.

No guarantee: None of the State of New York, its agencies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), The Vanguard Group, Inc., Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, nor any of their applicable affiliates insures accounts or guarantees the principal deposited therein or any
investment returns on any account or investment portfolio.
New York’s 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans. The Direct Plan is sold directly by the Program. You may also participate in the Advisor Plan,
which is sold exclusively through financial advisors and has different investment options and higher fees and expenses as well as financial advisor compensation.