Wave 108 – Financial planning – Think ahead about your children’s higher education

Translation by GoogleTranslate (not edited)

For parents of babies or young children, it is difficult to imagine the moment when that child will be ready to start a University or College. But as we hear from so many families of teens and older children, time flies, especially when it comes to parenting time.

Illustrative image (Orangeline | Dreamstime.com)

Before you know it, that newborn baby will be finishing Grade 12 and ready to move on to Post-Secondary Education and take the first steps towards his career and working life. And at that moment, we will also be faced with the high costs related to the Tuition of Post-Secondary courses, in addition to so many other expenses involved.

For families that aim to support their children in accessing Higher Education opportunities, it makes sense to organize financial planning at an early age. Mainly, when we consider that the Government of Canada offers help – in the form of Grants – for families that plan to save in a disciplined way, through plans called RESP – Registered Education Savings Plans.

The cost of Higher Education in Canada is considerably high – and tends to increase even more in the coming years, until our children are ready for this stage of life. After buying a home, paying for their children’s college education is the biggest challenge facing a typical Canadian family.

According to Statistics Canada, the cost of 1 year of Tuition in Canada can currently range from CA$5,000 to CA$10,000 approximately (depending on the teaching modality, course and location of the Educational Institution in question). If we include living costs for a student who does not live with their parents in the equation – including accommodation, food, transportation, teaching materials, among others – the estimate is that a student will have expenses close to CA$20. 000 per year – according to current values.

Considering these values, devising a strategy that allows access to Grants and preparation from an early age becomes important. A well-thought-out strategy for Savings in Education allows access to significant amounts made available by the Government in the form of Grants (up to CA$9,200 available through the CESG and CLB Programs).

Spreading the cost of Higher Education across monthly or annual contributions — over the 17 years it takes to attract the Grants made available by the Government, combined with a plan that allows tax-protected return on investments — could mean the difference for our children to start their academic and professional lives without the burden of debt, or as it is said in English “debt-free”.

Natalia Payne Sarti – RESP Specialist Licensed by RESPDAC for Ontario