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The award-winning Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan offers a flexible, low-cost investment program that helps families save for their children’s future education. Future Scholar offers residents of South Carolina, including our military members and their loved ones, the ability to deduct their contributions from their South Carolina income tax returns. The money in a Future Scholar account isn’t taxed as it grows and can be withdrawn tax-free when used to pay for qualified education expenses, such as tuition, room and board, books, supplies and equipment. There’s no requirement to live in-state to have an account and no requirement to use the funds at a South Carolina institution. Funds can be used at any eligible two- or four-year college, university or trade school throughout the U.S. and at more than 600 international institutions. The plan offers a great amount of flexibility, and account holders can even invite their friends and family to make contributions, via online or direct mail so that even the most distant of loved ones can participate in a military child’s dream of a higher education. Palmetto ABLE Savings Program In 2017, an estimated 12 percent of the U.S. population was reported to be living with a disability, with that number rising to 14.8 percent in the state of South Carolina. The State Treasurer’s Office administers the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program, which provides individuals with disabilities and their loved ones the opportunity to save and invest for the future. For our military community, this program offers value to families with spouses or children who developed a disability before age 26, as well as any armed forces members who may have developed a disability prior to that age as a result of military service or any other circumstances. Like its college savings counterpart, contributions to a Palmetto ABLESM account are deductible on South Carolina tax returns and earnings grow tax-free. Account owners can use the funds for a number of qualified expenses that improve their quality of life, such as basic living expenses, healthcare, job training and education, transportation, and assistive technology, to name a few. Most importantly, Palmetto ABLE accounts provide account owners and their families with peace of mind that they won’t lose their existing needs-based benefits, creating a pathway to financial stability that hasn’t existed before. This Thanksgiving Day and every day, we are grateful for the many sacrifices our military personnel, our veterans, and their families make to serve our country, and we hope the programs provided by the State Treasurer’s Office will provide assistance to our military community. For more information about Unclaimed Property, Future Scholar, or Palmetto ABLE, please visit treasurer.sc.gov.