Author Topic: Returning to school soon - is a 529 the best choice?  (Read 1000 times)

livewire516

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Returning to school soon - is a 529 the best choice?
« on: December 26, 2015, 09:18:10 AM »
Hello Mustachians,

It seems as though in all likelihood, I will be returning to school this fall semester. I already have a BS in Nutrition and have been working at a public health non-profit since graduating a few years ago. I've decided to return to school to become a nurse practitioner (and thanks to some of you talking sense into me, I'm focusing on more affordable accelerated bachelors programs first, and then will pursue the professional degree after becoming an RN).

I have about $10k in savings, not including retirement funds. With a recent promotion, I now take home about $1450 twice monthly. I'm considering putting in as much money as I can into a Pennsylvania 529 plan. PA 529 contributions are deductible against state income tax (3.07%). Since the investment period is so short, I'd put it in a conservative portfolio, probably just enough to cancel out cost/fees. But I feel as though a guaranteed 3% return this next year is my best bet, no? Also, if I am not mistaken, PA 529s aren't "visible" to financial aid offices, and considering that I already have a degree, I'll need every bit of help I can get.

The tuition of the program I'm most interested in is ~$29k, before scholarships (although I have no idea how much that may be) so I'm aware I need to save more aggressively than I have in the past, esp. because I still want to max out my IRA in 2016.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and hope you've all had awesome holidays.