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Michigan Education Savings Program

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Michigan Education Savings Program

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MESP 529 Plan - A Good College Savings Program


from Undisclosed

Comments about Michigan Education Savings Program:

Most parents are worried about how we'll pay for college for our children.  In uncertain times, this is especially worrisome for many of us. 

That's why I'm thankful that I opened a **Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP)** account after my first child was born.  The **MESP** is a **529 College Savings Program** that is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The benefits of an **MESP** account include:

* Earnings used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and Michigan state income taxes.

* Contributions of up to $10,000 for joint filers ($5,000 for single) can be deducted from your Michigan taxable income.

* Contributions may qualify for an annual gift tax exclusion of up to $12,000 per donor, per beneficiary.

* Currently, there are no sales charges, start-up, or maintenance fees.  

* There are seven investment options ranging from conservative to aggressive.

* No annual limit on the amount that you may contribute.

* It only takes $25 to open an account. 

* The beneficiary can use the funds at thousands of eligible colleges nationwide and abroad.

* If the beneficiary decides not to attend college, the funds can be transferred to certain family members of the original beneficiary.

* Money from other 529 plans can be rolled over into the **MESP** account.

* Funds from the **MESP** account can be applied towards tuition as well as other expenses such as books, supplies, required fees, and certain room and board costs.

* Easy online account access and excellent communication via regular mail too.

Currently, the State of Michigan is offering the opportunity to receive a matching grant of $1.00 per every $3.00 contributed to a new account.  The deadline to apply is September 30, 2008 and there are certain eligibility requirements. 

As with other investments, the **MESP** account is not immune to market fluctuations.  While the account balance has mostly increased, there has been a time when the balance declined.  However, this plan is for the long-term and I'm confident that the account will continue to grow until the funds are needed. 

I am extremely happy with my decision to open a **Michigan Education Savings Program** account for my children.  There is a peace of mind knowing that money is being set aside for their college costs and the tax benefits are a big plus too.

Most other states have **529 College Savings Programs**, so if you are not a resident of Michigan and are interested in opening an account, check with your state.  

Lastly, if you already have a 529 account and want to earn even more money, it may be worth the small effort of opening up a [Upromise][1] account.   


[1]: http://www.viewpoints.com/Upromise--115220-review-74826

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