Morgan Stanley

Education Planning Center: 529 Plans and More

With education costs rising, paying for college has become a major life expense that requires smart planning. Find answers to key questions here.


What Is a 529 Plan?

529 plans are flexible, tax-advantaged investment accounts that help you pay for your family’s education. They offer tax-free growth and withdrawal potential, estate tax benefits and a high degree of control and versatility for the account owner. Learn more about how a 529 plan can help you fund educational needs as part of your holistic goals-based wealth plan.

Tax Advantages

Once you fund a 529 account, any growth of that money is generally income tax-free. And it can normally be distributed income tax-free if it’s used to pay for qualified education expenses, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies.1

Estate Tax Benefits

Because contributions to a 529 plan are generally excluded from a donor’s gross estate calculation,2 you can typically move money from your taxable estate to beneficiaries estate tax-free, without ever losing control.

Versatility & Control

Help pay for private K-12 education, graduate school, semesters abroad, apprenticeship programs and student loans.1 Stay in full ownership of your account even as you change beneficiaries or withdraw funds.3


How Else Can I Fund Educational Needs?

Beyond 529 plans, there are a number of ways to fund education costs that could save you time, headaches and money. Explore some strategies here.

What More Can I Do to Set a Child Up for Success?

Planning for your family’s education expenses is an investment in their future. Provide financial education at home to help equip them with skills they’ll need for success.

Developing the Right Strategy for You

When it comes to planning for a child or grandchild’s education, remember that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Work with your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor or Private Wealth Advisor to help identify the right education funding strategy for you, in the context of your overall wealth plan.
Find a Financial Advisor, Branch and Private Wealth Advisor near you. 

Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's Broker/Check.