ideal 529 savings plan
What is it?
The IDeal 529 is a savings plan designed to help families and students save money on educational expenses. Originally this plan was designed as a way to save for college, but thanks to recent changes in tax law families can now also use money in this account for tuition payments to a K-12 school, such as Nampa Christian!
How will choosing this option save me money as opposed to a traditional savings account?
All contributions to your child's 529 plan grow tax deferred, and any money used towards qualifying educational expenses is exempt from both Federal and State taxes. This account also can get you a State Tax Deduction of up to $6,000 when filing single ($12,000 when filing jointly).
What is a "qualifying educational expense"?
- Tuition for an accredited K-12 public, private or religious school (i.e. -- your Nampa Christian tuition!)
- Limited use of $10,000 from this account for this purpose per student, per year
- College expenses, including:
- Tuition for private and public colleges/universities, two and four-year programs, vocational/technical schools, and career retraining programs.
- Room and board (it can be used towards off campus room and board as long as it does not exceed what room and board would be on campus)
- Books and required supplies
- Laptops/computers, internet access, and software
- No limits on amounts used per student, per year
How do I use the money from my child's 529 plan to pay their NCS tuition?
You can designate IDeal to deposit the needed amount from the 529 plan into your bank account, and then you pay Nampa Christian directly.
How do I make contributions to my child's 529 plan?
You can have funds electronically drafted from your checking or savings account, you can send a check made payable to IDEAL - Idaho College Savings Program, or you can designate an amount to be automatically drafted from your paycheck.
How do I open a 529 savings plan?
You can open one easily online by clicking here -- you'll just need to have your address, you and your child's Social Security numbers, and at least $25 to open the account with.
This sounds kind of complicated...is anyone actually using this?
Many of our NCS families have opened 529 plans for their students. They found the process easy and are already seeing major benefits! Check out what a few of our parents had to say...
“The fact that I can deduct my tuition to Nampa Christian is great, and it was very easy to set up an Ideal 529 account. I can also do transactions from a mobile device if I want which adds to the convenience of it.” -- Glenn Vanderwoude
“We opened 529 college savings accounts when our kids were little, and over the years we made small contributions each month that were automatically drafted from our bank account. Over time, these accounts have really grown and have averaged more than a 5% annualized rate of return. When the tax laws changed last year and we were able to use these accounts for our Nampa Christian tuition, it has saved us a lot of money. We are able to make authorized withdrawals and at the beginning of the school year and Ideal (Idaho's college savings 529 Plan) directly deposits the money into our personal bank account. We then write a check directly to Nampa Christian for tuition. This helps our school by giving them more money upfront, and it also gives us a 2% discount for full annual payments. However, the best part is our Idaho tax savings on our contributions-- We continue to make monthly payments back into the 529 plan just like we would if we were paying monthly tuition at Nampa Christian. We get a tax credit for contributions up to $10,000 per year (per child), and in 2018 that gave us a $750 credit on our state taxes. Our 529 plans have been an excellent investment for us, and we would encourage you to consider if this would be a good option for your family.” -- Cary and Jennifer Hill
What if I have more questions?
IDeal has an extremely thorough and user-friendly website you can check out here. You'll find more in-depth descriptions of the plan, the various investment options, and everything you need to know about managing and contributing to the account.