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Charleston Business

Curtis Loftis Delivers Birthday Gifts to Babies Born on May 29

May 30, 2018 11:13AM ● Published by Chris Haire

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis

Compared to the puntastic Star Wars Day -- May the Fourth be with you -- and the snicker-snicker stoner holiday 4/20, 529 Day doesn't quite have the same cool and hip cache.

However, there's no doubt that for state Treasurer Curtis Loftis, May 29 is arguably the most important day of the year.

After all, it's the day that Loftis not only hits the road to sing the praises of his office's Future Scholar 529 Savings Program, but hands over $529 to each baby born that day in the form of a deposit in a brand-new college savings account.

If that money stays in the account, it will grow tax-free until it's time to be used for tuition. 
"You can use it at any accredited two- or four-year school in South Carolina or anywhere in U.S. and about 600 schools around the world," Loftis says, noting that if you use the money for school, "it's tax-free again."

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchanged Commission, a 529 Plan "is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529 plans, legally known as 'qualified tuition plans,' are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

While in Greenville, Loftis stopped by Patewood Hospital, where he met with Holly and Joe Goshorn and their 5/29 baby, Maxwell. 
Holly and Joe Goshorn and their children, including their newborn Maxwell

Loftis says there are currently 150,000 accounts and $3.4 billion in the program, up from $1.1 billion when he first took over when he was elected state treasurer. 

Recently, the Future Scholars program has begun allowing account holders to send evites to family and friends, encouraging them to deposit money into the tax-free account. (Psst ... you get a tax deduction if you donate.)

Last year, Loftis says, the program received $2 million from evites, adding, "This year we’ll think it should go up significantly."

The program is entirely privately funded.

For Loftis, the Future Scholars program is a smart way to help would-be students from amassing student loan debt and avoid the decades-long slog of paying it off, a tiresome task that forces some graduates from pursuing the opportunities that will best make them happy in favor of those that will help them pay off their loans the quickest.

"By opening a college savings account," Loftis says, "you give them the ability to live the life of their dreams, not their debt."