On Wednesday, Eric Schmitt made his first stop in Sedalia since being sworn in as Missouri Treasurer last month to help more Missourians learn about investment accounts.
Schmitt told both Daly and the Democrat that MOST 529 and the ABLE program are a “primary focus for our administration.”
“We’re being very deliberate about getting out and promoting the things that we do, especially the 529 and ABLE stuff, we want to make people aware of it,” Schmitt told the Democrat after his visit. “We want to increase the number of accounts that are open on the 529 MOST side, but make people aware — it’s amazing the number of places I talk about ABLE accounts and no one’s heard of that.”
A 529 college saving plan is a type of investment account citizens can use for higher-education savings, usually sponsored by a state, according to MissouriMOST.org.
Every day, hundreds of millions of Americans wake up, hop in the shower, brush their teeth, and head to school or work. They may walk or bike on sidewalks, drive on roads or highways then park on the street or in a public garage. Maybe they ride a subway, bus or regional train. Neighborhood police and fire stations protect their homes and businesses; hospitals and clinics stand ready to treat the injured or ill; and trash is hauled to dumps or incinerators. At the end of the day, we can relax in neighborhood parks, study at the local library, or attend a council meeting in the town hall.
These are the things that we take for granted, but which are absolutely essential to our lives and wellbeing, our businesses and our commerce. They can be built privately and often are built with some amount of direct federal aid. In reality, though, roughly two-thirds of all core infrastructure built in the U.S. is built by state and local governments and financed with tax-exempt municipal bonds.
For example, Washington D.C., may be considered a federal city, but much of its infrastructure – its bread and butter – is being financed with municipal bonds. More than 200 public elementary and secondary schools serving nearly 50,000 students are maintained and modernized by the issuance of tax-exempt municipal bonds.
The Children’s National Medical Center, Columbia Hospital for Women Foundation, and the Greater Southeast Healthcare System all fund capital projects by issuing tax-exempt municipal bonds. The District of Columbia Water & Sewer Authority uses tax-exempt municipal bonds to keep water flowing to taps and to collect and treat the wastewater that results. And all across America, in small towns and big cities, municipal bonds play the same vital economic role.
CT Dollars & Sense:
A One-Stop Shop to Help Plan, Save, and Pay for College
Hartford, CT – A partnership of State agencies today launched CT Dollars & Sense, a new on-line portal that provides one convenient website for Connecticut students and parents to find out how to plan, save and pay for college.
CT Dollars & Sense, www.CTDollarsandSense.com, combines college planning and financial literacy information from five separate agencies: the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET), the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA), the Office of Higher Education, the Department of Banking, and the Department of Consumer Protection.
Students can get information on scholarships, loans, and college savings plans, and also learn how to budget their money or find internships. In addition, iGrad provides financial literacy information and resources on the site.
The site’s welcome message reads, “Welcome to CT Dollars & Sense, Connecticut’s one-stop shop for helping you plan, save and pay for college. We have the information that you need – whether you’re trying to save, looking for scholarships, considering a loan, or just want to figure out how to put it all together. CT Dollars & Sense – a great resource for Connecticut students and their families.”
State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, Trustee of CHET, Connecticut’s 529 College Savings Program, stated, “College affordability has become an important issue for families across the state and the country, with a lack of adequate financing causing an increasing number of students to go deeply into debt or, in some cases, drop out. CHET is proud to play a part in making college education more accessible for Connecticut families despite the headwinds of our time. This new website – by offering information on saving for college, student loan options, financial aid, and scholarships, all in one place and in easy to understand language – should prove invaluable to our State’s students and their families.”
CHESLA Executive Director Jeanette W. Weldon added that “this new website is informative and easy to use. Students can learn how to handle their finances and plan for future careers using a lot of fun, interactive content that will help improve their financial literacy.”
Keith Norton, Acting Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education also emphasized that “Financial literacy is a critical skill which our young people must possess as they prepare for both careers and running their own households. CT Dollars & Sense provides students the opportunity to develop a keen understanding of personal financial responsibility while at the same time providing critical information used to determine how best to finance higher education costs.”
CTDollarsandSense.com is accessible on a computer or mobile device. The site is being promoted through school counselors and financial aid offices, and will be regularly updated with new information.
– By Young Boozer, Opinion Contributor
Young Boozer is the 39th state treasurer of Alabama and chairman of the College Savings Plans Network.
As a father, I understand the coveted gift all parents dream of giving their children: debtless college educations. However, I also understand how short-term financial necessities and unexpected extras can often overshadow long-term saving goals. From diapers to daycare and family vacations to holiday presents, it’s often tempting to put college savings on the back burner. But the truth is, “college savings procrastination” can be quite dangerous.
According to the College Board, the average cost for tuition and fees at four-year public institutions has increased 225 percent over the last 30 years (after adjusting for inflation). These costs will almost certainly continue to rise. Furthermore, student financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz recently calculated that students in the class of 2016 graduated with a record-breaking average of $37,172 in college-related debt. Fortunately, these striking statistics can be combatted by saving.
Saving for higher education can set your child on the road to a secure future. The earlier you start, the more time you can grow your savings. For example, if you set aside $50 a month between your child’s birth and 18th birthday, you can accrue over $21,000 in a 529 college savings account that returns 7 percent interest per year. Spreading out your savings in smaller increments from the start will save you from heavy hits to your finances in the future….
By GREG O’DONNELL, INVESTMENT ADVISER | O’Donnell Financial Group
More than $40 billion in unclaimed cash & property waits to be returned. At first glance, that figure seems staggering, unbelievable — and, yet, it is true. To be more exact, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), a coalition of state unclaimed property programs, puts the total at $41.7 billion.
How do you find out if some of this money is rightfully yours? First, you can either go to missingmoney.com (a NAUPA website), or the website of your state’s unclaimed property program. A search should let you know the answer. Aside from searching in the state where you currently reside, you can also search for unclaimed assets in states where you previously worked or lived.
In all 50 states, financial institutions and insurers must escheat (i.e., hand over) account assets to the state if the owner has failed to contact the institution or insurer for a year or longer. The onus is then on the state’s unclaimed property department to find the owner, or at least make public that such assets are waiting to be claimed. How long does an original owner or an heir have to claim the forgotten assets? Usually, there is no statute of limitations.
All kinds of assets are held by these state programs — payroll and dividend checks that were never cashed, death benefits from life insurance policies, distributions from trusts and, of course, stock certificates and property that once occupied safe-deposit boxes.
This is just at the state level. More unclaimed money awaits at the federal level; although, no convenient central database exists to find it. (Unclaimed.org, another NAUPA site, is a good place to start.) In March 2016, the Internal Revenue Service announced that this year’s tax deadline is also the deadline for Americans to claim almost $1 billion in federal income tax refunds from the year 2012. (Next April will represent the last chance to claim 2013 refunds.) Beyond what the IRS has, federal coffers contain unredeemed U.S. savings bonds, checking and savings account deposits from failed banks and credit unions, refunds on FHA-insured home loans and unremembered pension money.
The Office of the Nevada State Treasurer, in accordance with its responsibilities to administer the Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program, is requesting proposals from qualified actuarial firms to perform actuarial services including the annual preparation of an actuarial study as required in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS §353B.190) and develop annual pricing models as allowed by NRS §353B.l10(3).
The Nevada Higher Education Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund, created for the Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program, was approved by the Nevada Legislature during the 1997 biennial session (NRS §353B, College Saving Plans of Nevada). This authority also created the Board of Trustees of the College Saving Plans of Nevada chaired by the State Treasurer. NRS §353B can be found on the web at http://leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-353B.html. Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) §353B contains the regulations of the Program and can be found on the web at http://leg.state.nv.us/NAC/NAC-353B.html. Information on the Program may also be obtained from the web at www.nevadatreasurer.gov
The Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada (Board) reviews the annual actuarial valuation report prior to approving pricing for the prepaid tuition contracts before each enrollment period. The actuaries will provide a recommended pricing schedule based on certain Board-approved assumptions. The Board endeavors to establish rates sufficient to compensate for anticipated tuition increases, administrative expenses and a stabilization reserve.
The resultant contract will be for a four-year period beginning July 1, 2017.
Deadline for Submissions: February 16, 2017 @ 2:00 PM