Expat 529 College Savings Webinar

Please enjoy the following webinar presented by Frederic Behrens on saving for college as an American living abroad. This is a replay of a September 16, 2014 Webinar conducted by Thun Financial for a group of Americans from around the world. The presentation covers a wide variety of topics including 529 college savings plans, Coverdell ESA, and implications of saving for college as an American living abroad.

Specifically, it is essential for Americans abroad using a college savings plan, like a 529 or Coverdell, to consider cross-border tax implications. There is no mention of educations savings plans in tax treaties. Investment gains or distributions could be subject to local country tax laws and receive no preferential treatment. This could mean no deferral on income or a tax on withdraws.

In addition, investment strategy implications are analyzed from a perspective of an investor living outside of the United States. The webinar provides a lengthy discussion of how to integrate a 529 plan into a broader investment portfolio. In the context of a larger investment portfolio, it may make sense to place that more aggressive portion into a 529 savings plan. This will maximize tax-free withdrawal benefit. The webinar provides a comprehensive overview of how Thun Financial allocates assets across different investment accounts to maximize the benefits of their specific tax characteristics. For more information, see the Thun Research article, Saving for College as an American Abroad with 529 Plans.


Feel free to contact Thun Financial with any questions related to College Savings or other financial issues facing Americans living abroad.



College Savings and 529 Plan Topics Discussed

  • Introduction to Thun Financial Advisors
  • Saving for College Overview
  • Overview of 529 College Savings Plans
  • Unique Circumstances Faced by American Expats
  • College Savings as a Part of Integrated Financial Planning and Investment Management

Thun Financial integrates 529 college savings plans into an investor’s broader portfolio which includes retirement accounts, taxable brokerage accounts, and pension plans to maximize tax advantages.

Please see the Americans Living Abroad page for more information about the investment management and financial planning services that Thun provides for American expatriates.