Where to put $5,000 now

What would you do with a million bucks? That's easy. But what about five grand? With a handful of broad goals in mind, here are Money Magazine's picks.

College cost finder
Enter school name
(or part of name)
OR
Choose a state

Goal: Protecting your family
Best college savings plan: A 529 plan
With investment returns and withdrawals free from federal taxes, and additional tax breaks in many states, 529 plans are your best choice (so long as you sidestep pricey broker-sold ones).

Check to see if your state offers a tax break by visiting savingforcollege.com. If it doesn't, there's no penalty for using another state's plan.

Go with an age-based portfolio that dials down risk as your child approaches college age.
Michigan's low-cost 529, managed by TIAA -CREF, is your best bet if your state cuts no tax break.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
The experts have spoken. Now it's your turn. (more)
A remodeling trend may look good on paper, but it may not make your home more livable - or more valuable. These five alternatives will. (more)
The Ultimate Dream: How to achieve financial freedom long before 65. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.