Planning for baby

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Planning for baby

October 5, 2011

It’s on every parent’s mind as we prepare for the new school year.  For some, it’s one of the first to do on the “To-Do” List when baby enters our world.  For others, it hits us the day we drop our “babies” off on their first day of Preschool.  We can’t help but wonder what lies ahead for them and what they will grow up to become.  While it’s an exciting time, for many, the reality of it can be stressful…planning and preparing for our children’s future education.  How will My child go to school?

Gone are the days where student’s were able to easily qualify for a student loan to fund their full education.  A $69,000 loan today with interest added to it by the time they pay it off could be as high as $101,000 and is accumulating at a rate of $400/month. This is one person’s story from September 19th’s Headline story of the Financial Post, “Education pays in the long run.” YIKES!  My question is, “How many students out there feel defeated even before they begin?  Is this really motivating kids to go to school?” I say, ABSOLUTELY NOT, especially when the cost of a 4-year undergraduate degree from a Canadian University in the year of 2029 is expected to range between $90,000 – 143,000 (living at home and away)…and that doesn’t include interest added, if one were to borrow the money. 

 Though the numbers seem daunting, it is possible for parents and grandparents to save with the help of our Government of Canada. The Government of Canada recommends saving for their children’s post-secondary future education from a newborn age.  Many families do not take advantage of the program early enough.  Regardless of income, every Subscriber will receive the Canada Education Savings Grant added to their contributions, amounting to a 20% top-up of up to $500/year per beneficiary.  Depending on income, you may also be eligible to receive the Additional CESG and Canada Learning Bond.  A RESP Specialist can assist you in applying for the various grants applicable to you.

 Try parting with your monthly Child Care Benefits or a portion of it, such as the Universal Child Care Benefit of $100/month.  It could pay for nearly half of the expected cost of a 4-year program in 2029.  It’s a wise way of making your money work for you and your child!

  Keep in mind that there are three types of RESPs available in Canada.  Not all advisors are permitted to provide all types to you.  I recommend seeking out a Specialist in RESPs and remember that there are many factors that make up a great RESP: the safety and security of the investment (low risk is optimal), return on investment (should be consistent and competitive), comparatively lower fees (consider the “total” projected fee over the 18-year period), and flexible payout options.  For more information about the types of RESPs, Government-related programs and incentives for new and expecting families, attend a one-time FREE educational seminar for new and expecting parents called PLANNING FOR BABY, located at Birth Rhythms Pregnancy and Parenting Center in Saskatoon.  Next seminars are scheduled for October 12th and 15th.  You can register online at www.PlanningforBaby.ca or call (306) 244-1067. 

All the Best,

 Christie Sondergaard

 RESP Expert

Educator of Planning for Baby

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