Michigan Education Savings Program Reviews
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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] account.