Henry W. (bookers) reviewed The Best Way to Save for College: A Complete Guide to 529 Plans, 2002/2003 (Best Way to Save for College, 2002-2003) on
Saving for their children's higher education is a daunting task for most American families. State-sponsored savings programs referred to as "529 plans" provide Federal (and often State) tax advantages to many savers, but parents need to evaluate all the options. Furthermore, a burgeoning array of 529 plans makes the decision of how to save for college more confusing than ever. Enter author Joseph Hurley, who presents all the key issues in deciding whether and how to choose a 529 account in a straightforward, reasonably easy-to-read style. He lets you know what questions to ask, and then provides the answers when possible.
The first section of the book provides an explanation of 529 plans, including their history and benefits; an overview of how they work and what to look for in a 529 plan; comparison with other means of saving for higher education; and income tax, financial aid, and estate planning issues. The second section of the book provides a description of each state's plans, using a common format that answers the most basic of his "what to look for in a 529 plan" checklist. Contacts to get further information from each state are also included.
Much of this information is available on the author's excellent "saving for college" web site. This book will be most helpful to you if you want to learn a lot about 529 plans without scrolling through screen after screen of information (i.e., if you'd rather curl up with a book than stare at a screen). For looking up specific bits of information, the web site may be all you need.