Is it worth the effort?
Want to start putting money away for my 2 year old child's education.
Am I better off just setting up a small cap index fund on my own?
Curious if there are any older folks around with some experience doing this sort of thing...
In theory it's a good idea because you will save on taxes with the money you put in a 529. You do tie the money up though so if your kid ends up not going to college for whatever reason things can get kinda fucked. I would use it, but don't just go ham with the contributions like you would a 401k.
No - It doesn't keep up with the inflation rate for college tuition.
Better off putting the money elsewhere and get him involved with a sport at a young age so he can get an athletic scholarship. It will also deter him from becoming a fatass who plays video games and browses anime imageboards all day.
Please check their investment plans. A lot of 529s are absolute shit and offer a return of like 2% maximum per year because they are just buying munis.
It can be worth it but you need a good one.
Also consider just having them take loans and then pay them off as a reward for graduating with a good gpa or something.