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Money expert Clark Howard releases annual rating of 529 plans by state

10/31/2018, noon | Updated on 10/31/2018, noon
According to money expert Clark Howard, a 529 plan is the best way to save for college. However, plans vary ...
Money expert Clark Howard says a 529 plan is the best way to save for college. He reviewed every commission-free plan in each state and selected the top options for consumers.

Money expert Clark Howard releases annual rating of 529 plans by state

According to money expert Clark Howard, a 529 plan is the best way to save for college. However, plans vary so wildly by state that it is crucial to carefully select the right plan for you and your family. For this reason, Clark reviewed every commission-free plan in each state and selected the top options for consumers.

“I am so excited about 529 plans this year because the best plans have the lowest management fees ever,” said money expert Clark Howard. “Many plans around the country have slashed costs to the point that only those charging less than 0.20% per year in total management fees make my top-tier list.”

Both Nevada and Ohio are new to Clark’s elite group — the Dean’s List — this year. California, Illinois and New York are Clark’s favorite options in the country because of the extremely low costs. While Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin were on the Dean’s List last year, those plans are now just a step behind the best in the Honor Roll category.

Not all states have a recommended plan included in Clark’s 529 guide. Texas is off of the list because the size of its population does not match its passive plan. Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi are rolling off of the Honor Roll this year, and Wyoming does not currently offer a plan.

“A 529 plan is a beneficial way to save for a child’s education because the money grows tax-free and is spent tax-free for eligible expenses like tuition, books and fees,” notes Clark. “Even better, 529 plans can help younger generations avoid student loans and better prepare for the cost of college so they are not in a mountain of debt after graduation.”

This is Clark Howard’s opinion as of October 2018, and these plans are subject to change.

To see the full list and learn more about 529 plans, visit https://clark.com/education/clarks-529-plan-guide/. Clark hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show, prominent podcast and provides advice on television stations around the country. In 1993, he opened the Consumer Action Center helpline — 404-892-8227 — to provide the community with free advice and education to resolve money problems.