Do you have a modest income and a limited amount to invest? Are you looking for a safe, simple way to invest it? Are you interested in tax breaks that’ll free more of your other money for college savings bonds? If so, think about college savings bonds. Here are the fundamentals . . .
The U.S. Treasury Department sells education savings bonds. They’re extremely low-risk because they’re backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
There are two types of education savings bonds. You can buy Series “EE” bonds at half their maturity value and they slowly grow into that amount based on a fixed interest rate that never changes. You can purchase Series “I” bond in denominations of $50 to $10,000 they grow into those amounts by paying interest based on inflation every 6 months.
You, or you and your spouse, may buy education savings bonds for your child (also for your spouse or yourself) directly from the Treasury at http://treasurydirect.gov/. You can redeem them as soon as a year after buying them, but if you do this less than 5 years after buying them you’ll lose the last 3 months of the interest they earn.
That interest isn’t subject to state and local income taxes. It’s also excluded from federal income taxes if:
- You’re a single taxpayer whose Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is less than $76,000; or
- You’re married filing jointly and your MAGI is below $113,950.
Your tax exclusions will cover whatever savings bond principal and interest you use to pay tuition and required fees at an accredited U.S. public, nonprofit, or for-profit college, university, or vocational school. If your student receives money from scholarships, other college investments (e.g. 529 plans), and carious educational benefits such as VA benefits, employer-provided educational assistance, etc. your tax exclusions could be limited.
Want to know more? Check out the Treasury Department’s publication called Using Savings Bonds for Education and its Education Planning webpage. And remember, every penny you invest and save makes your child less reliant on student loans to pay for college!
College Affordability Solutions can help you evaluate various strategies for paying for college. Call (512) 366-5354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.