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McRAE: A gift that keeps on giving | Mississippi Politics and Current Affairs

Treasurer David McRae

Submitted by State Treasurer David McRae

“If you want to avoid the mall rush and endless Amazon scrolling, consider funding a 529 college savings plan instead,” McRae writes.

I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet (and the weather is hardly wintry), but fall decorations have already been removed from most store shelves and replaced with stocking stuffers, trees and treats. Yes, the holidays are definitely upon us.

And while there’s a lot of joy this season, there’s often some pressure to find the perfect gift for everyone in our lives. But read a little further and we may be able to find a way for your Treasury to help you this Christmas.

If you want to avoid the mall rush and endless Amazon scrolling, consider funding a 529 College Savings Plan instead.

529 plans make it easy and affordable to plan the cost of higher education. They are also flexible, being able to be used for almost any level and type of schooling you can think of! Use it for K-12 private school tuition, for example. Use it for a technical or trade school. Use it at community college. Use it at a four-year college or university. Use it on tuition. Use it on books. Use it on computers. Use it on room and board…. You get the point. These backgrounds have a wide range of applications, making them a great idea regardless of your child or grandchild’s interests.

Additionally, these accounts often offer tax benefits to the account holder, compounding the financial benefits and making them a great investment for many grandparents this holiday season.

Here in Mississippi, you have three options when it comes to using the 529 savings system. The first option is an MPACT plan. This plan lets you lock in today’s tuition and prepay for your child’s or grandchild’s college. With tuition fees rising almost every year, this can mean huge savings for you and your family. (Pro tip: If you have out-of-school grandkids who would love to go to school in Mississippi, this is a perfect option for you.)

The second option is to open a MACS account. These accounts start with a contribution as small as $25. From there, your investment has room to grow through interest. Once you are ready to use it, the money can be applied to almost any education-related expense.

The third option is a combination of MACS and MPACT. Use MPACT to save on tuition and MACS to pay for all other educational expenses!

If I piqued your interest, so much the better. Please visit Treasury.MS.gov/CollegeSavings to learn even more now.

But if you’re still skeptical because you’re one of those people who enjoys watching their grandkids rip open the wrapping of a new gift, know that there are plenty of ways to be creative when sharing the news. Consider slipping the announcement into a new book or wrapping it up with a trip to a college town of their choice!

We hope you consider a 529 as part of this year’s giveaways. Talk about it as a family during the Thanksgiving festivities and contact my team if you have any questions. However you choose to wrap that gift, know that a college savings plan is a gift that will keep on giving for years and years to come.

From my family to yours, have a safe Thanksgiving!


Submitted by Mississippi Treasurer David McRae. He is the 55th Treasurer of the State of Mississippi. In this role, he helps manage the state’s cash flow, oversees College Savings Mississippi, and has returned more than $60 million in unclaimed money to Mississippians.