This post is guest-written by Nest Wealth.
For many Canadian students and families, the climbing cost of post-secondary education isn’t surprising. The fact is, university and college education is one of the biggest expenses students and families incur in their lifetime. Our research at Nest Wealth found that the average cost of tuition for a four-year undergraduate program in Canada is about $27,628, according to this report by Statistics Canada.
So for those interested in preparing for the costs of university, there are options that can help you—like RESPs.
Also read: The Ultimate Guide To Personal Finance For College And University Students.
But first – what’s an RESP?
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a tax-sheltered education savings account that’s meant to help parents save for their children’s post-secondary education.
1. RESPs Are Actually Pretty Flexible
You can open an RESP when your child is born and you can contribute to the RESP up to 31 years after it’s opened. If your child graduates from high school and wants to delay their post-secondary education, that’s OK too.
RESPs can be used to fund a beneficiary’s education for up to 36 years. That means if you open an RESP when your child is born, they have 36 years to use it.
2. RESPs Can Give You Government Grants (And That = Free Money)
Outside of making your child’s professional dreams come true (no pressure), another benefit of RESPs come from the government grants available while using this account. Here’s how that works in more detail.
The government will give you money if you use an RESP, which is a pretty great deal. Depending on the province you live in, there are a couple of government grants that could apply to you. Here are a few grants to consider:
Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG):
The federal government will match 20% of the money contributed to an RESP. The annual limit is $500, and a lifetime limit of $7,200. If your family income is less than $91,831, more money may be available to you.
Canada Learning Bond (CLB):
You can receive up to $2,000 in RESPs to help pay for education after high school for children born on or before January 1, 2004. This includes $500 for the first year of eligibility and $100 for each year they are eligible until they turn 15. In addition to this, you’ll also receive $25 in an RESP to help cover the costs of opening a plan
3. RESP Money Grows Over Time
Like any account accumulating interest, your child’s RESP will grow quicker with more contributions made to it. Plus, there’s no tax on any investment earnings as long as they stay in the RESP, meaning, more growth. Friends and family can contribute on special occasions, perhaps in place of a birthday present or even as a graduation gift.
Many Canadians consider opening their RESPs with a wealth manager to help accumulate more savings. Whether you have an RESP or are looking to open one for the first time, you can run your own numbers to see how much you can save by building a free portfolio with Nest Wealth. Try Building A Free RESP Portfolio.
Nest Wealth is Canada’s digital wealth manager that offers some of the lowest management fees in the country. With sophisticated advice starting at just $20 a month, Nest Wealth helps Canadians reach their financial potential faster and with more wealth. To learn more about Nest Wealth and your investment opportunity, visit www.nestwealth.com.