Raising a family today is hectic – full of multiple demands like schoolwork, soccer practice, and sleepovers. The financial costs of these activities only increase as children get older, and can make it tough to save for the future. Did you know that a majority of careers require some form of a post-secondary education? This can add up to significant costs upon graduation should your child decide to enrol in college, university, trade school or other educational programs. As your child goes back to school this fall, it’s a good time to consider investing for their future education through a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), if you don’t already.
What’s the Big Deal?
Contributing to a RESP can make a big difference in terms of how much it will directly cost you and your child in the future for education. RESPS have many benefits specifically geared to students that other savings plans may not. These include:
- Affiliated government grants. You can apply to the federal and provincial government for grant and tax incentive programs, which will match a portion of the money saved in a RESP.
- Tax-deferred growth. You can contribute up to $50,000 per child to a RESP without any taxes being payable on the money earned until it is used. When the money is withdrawn, income earned is taxed at the student’s tax rate – which could be minimal as most students have little or no income.
- Impact of compounding interest. The sooner you start contributing to a RESP, the more that can be saved! For example, you can earn an additional $20,000 by beginning contributions when your child is age 1 versus age 10:
*Assumes $200 monthly contribution and a 6% rate of return compounded annually until the age of 18
As you can see, it is a big deal – for you and your child. The benefits of a RESP can add up quickly. “Education is becoming increasingly expensive. Starting early to save for post-secondary education can go a long way in supporting your child’s lifelong success” said Alison Trollope, Director, Communications & Investor Education.
As with any investment, there are certain things you should consider before contributing to a RESP. A handy RESP Checklist can be found on the ASC website that discusses fees, investment risks, and researching RESP providers. The Canada Revenue Agency also provides useful information on the program and their grants.
Helping to provide for post-secondary education is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child – and an investment in their future.
For more helpful information
Canada Revenue Agency
1 Job Openings 2011 – 2020, Canadian Occupational Projection System