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Which 529 Plan Options Are Best for Me?

With age-based and fixed-allocation options, and direct-sold and advisor-sold plans, college savers have a lot of choices, but it's often a gut-check decision as to what's right for them.

Adam Zoll: Once you've decided on a 529 college-savings plan, which one you want to use to save for college, there are other decisions that you also need to make.

Laura Lutton: Absolutely, and that's often where a lot of families get overwhelmed because there's a lot of choice in 529 plans and so you've got to sift through that. I think the first decision you want to make is do you want to set it and forget it and put your asset allocation in the hands of the professionals and that's what the age-based options--the ones that have the child's age in the name or maybe their graduation year from high school or some of them just have a random name--but what they all have in common is the asset allocation starts off, when your child is very young, to be very equity-heavy. And then as [your child] gets closer to college, [the allocation] steps down and has less exposure to stocks and more exposure to bonds and cash; it's more of a wealth-preservation vehicle at that point.

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