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Category: investing

The 529 Plan Hack For Current Students

We don’t often think about 529 plans as a way to reduce our immediate tax liability. But I was recently talking to a friend of mine who pointed out an interesting strategy that might help him reduce the amount of state income taxes he would owe this year.

Traditionally, 529 plans act sort of like a Roth IRA for college. You put money into the 529 for your child’s future college expenses, allow that money to grow over time, and then withdraw that money tax-free so long as you use it for college expenses. If you start right when your children are born, you can basically get yourself 18-22 years of tax-free growth. Considering the fact that the S&P 500 has never lost money over a 20 year period, you’ve got pretty good odds you’ll come out with some tax-free money for your kids by the time they enter college.

The above scenario is the traditional way to use a 529 plan. But a 529 plan can be opened up in anyone’s name, including your own. This opens up a number of interesting possibilities that most people don’t think about…

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What Does Financial Panther Invest In?

Welcome to Part 3 of my series detailing how I invest in my employer sponsored retirement plans. Today, we’re going to look at the exact funds I contribute to in each of my employer sponsored retirement plans. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1, where I discuss my general investing philosophy, and Part 2, where I discuss the different types of employer sponsored retirement plans.

For those of you that don’t know, back in June 2016, I switched jobs (taking a $50,000 pay cut in the process). I ended up rolling over all of my 401(k) contributions from my prior employer into my new employer’s 457 plan. Then I needed to figure out how to put my money to work.

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The Solo 401(k): The Side Hustler’s Bonus Retirement Account

One of the great benefits with starting up a side hustle is the ability to get paid as an independent contractor. When you consider all of the sweet benefits you get from side hustling, you have to assume that the government must want us to side hustle.

Take tax deductions, for example. The government lets you deduct expenses related to your side hustle for things you might already be doing anyway. With a little planning, someone driving for Uber in their spare time could easily offset the costs of driving that they’re already doing anyway.

Perhaps the most amazing thing that the government lets you do as a side hustler is to save money into extra retirement accounts that other people don’t have access to. Start up a side hustle and you can save some- or in some cases, almost all of your side income – into a Solo 401(k), a SEP-IRA, or a Simple IRA. Depending on how much you make and what type of retirement accounts you already have, you could potentially save thousands more per year in tax-advantaged savings.

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How I Invest In My Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Part 2: Know Your Plans

Welcome to Part 2 of an ongoing series detailing the process I went through in picking investments for my new employer sponsored retirement plans. Back in June, I switched jobs, moving from the private sector into the public sector. In addition to a huge change in salary, the job change also meant a whole new set of retirement plans and employee benefits that I had never heard about.

My hope is that this series can help those of you who are just starting a new job or have just switched jobs to learn more about the benefits that your employer probably offers . If you haven’t already, I recommend first reading Part 1: My Core Investing Philosophy, which details the key principles I follow when investing.

Part 2 of this series is pretty straightforward, but is something that is often overlooked (even by people who are good at saving). You need to ask yourself the basic question – what type of retirement plans does my employer offer?

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How I Invest In My Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Part 1: My Core Investing Philosophy

I started a new job back in June and with it, I needed to set up my new employer sponsored retirement accounts. I’ve never switched jobs before, so I thought it’d be a good bit of education to share how I chose to invest in my employer sponsored retirement accounts.

My original plan was to write about it all in one post, but as I was doing so, I realized that I was talking about things without really giving any background as to why I was making those decisions. Needless to say, as I started writing, I realized my post was getting way too long!

So, instead of writing one ridiculously giant post, I thought I’d do my first series of posts! Part 1 is right here and deals with my core investment philosophy. It’s the foundation for how I pick the investments for my employer sponsored retirement plans.

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