Behind the Scenes: What the SH&J Team Has Been Reading


Did you know many members of our team are avid readers? Whether it is a good story or a book to help us improve as planners, you will often find our noses in a book during our downtime. Today we thought we would share our latest book reviews with you. We’d love to hear what you’ve been reading as well in the comments below!

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The 411 on 529 Plans: Taking Saving for College to the Next Level

Having children creates a host of concerns, the least of which is how to save money for college. On top of paying for sports equipment, piano lessons and karate classes, parents’ thoughts soon turn to paying for tuition, books and housing. But a little early planning can help mitigate a lot of worrying down the road, and a lot of people find that a 529 College Savings Plan is a good solution.

What is a 529 Plan?

Developed in 1996, 529 plans were designed to help families save money for higher education without paying taxes on the investment. As such, 529 plans are exempt from federal taxes if the proceeds are used for qualified higher education purposes. Most states, including Colorado, will also allow you to deduct your contributions to the plan for state tax purposes.

Any adult can open a 529 plan account for themselves or for someone else, usually a child or grandchild. Another benefit of such a plan is that anyone, whether they own the account or not, can contribute to the account. So if you open an account for your child, anyone you know can make a contribution directly to the account.

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How much should I save for college?

Most of our clients are saving for college at some point during their time with SH&J. Some are saving for their children and others for their grandkids. As Harold highlights in the video, the number one rule when saving for college is:

Save for retirement first.

That said, when you are looking at how much you should save, consider the following factors:

  • Private or public college
  • In-state or out-of-state tuition

Working with a financial planner can help you look at these factors along with your retirement and other financial goals to decide on the best path for your college savings goals.

At SH&J, we usually start with 529 plans for college savings. 529 plans:

  • Receive federal & state tax breaks
  • Are low maintenance
  • Allow you to maintain control of the funds
  • Grow tax free as long as the money is used for college education

Take a look at our College Planning page for more information about 529 plans and other college saving questions.

If you are looking at saving for college soon, we’d love to meet with you to hear more about your goals. Give us a ring at 303.639.5100 and let’s set up a time.

Sharkey, Howes & Javer’s Advisory Team Makes the List as 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers

(DENVER, CO) Sharkey, Howes & Javer’s team of financial advisors has been recognized as 2014 FIVE STAR Wealth Managers in the November issues of 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines.

Eileen Sharkey, CFP®, Lawrence Howes, CFP®, Joel Javer, CFP®, Mimi Hackley, CFP®, Karlton Childress, CFP® and Harold Kirschner, CFP® of Sharkey, Howes & Javer, are among the Denver area wealth managers with at least five years of experience and no regulatory actions against them to be recognized as 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers.

There were 4,385 award candidates in the Denver area that were considered for the Five Star Wealth Manager award. Only 528 (approximately 13% of the award candidates) were named 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers. Continue reading