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Pink piggy bank on money (Image: Shutterstock) (Image: Shutterstock)

Changing financial and market landscapes are having an impact on individuals’ savings strategies, according to new research from independent benefit plan administrator Ascensus. For one thing, as tuition expenses continue to rise, families are increasingly seeing the value of investing in 529 education savings accounts, the company said Tuesday, citing the findings of its annual savings trends research.

Although the market downturn in 2018 had only a “minor impact on overall 529 account balances across all demographics,” the average balance reached almost $23,000 as of Dec. 31, Ascensus said in announcing its findings. “Another key trend tied to this landscape of higher education expenses is the entrance of older generations of account owners into the 529 market,” it said, noting that account owners ages 55 to 64, and those over 65—with average beneficiary ages of 17 and 13, respectively—had the second- and third-largest average balances of all age groups, both exceeding $22,000.

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