Planning for your kids’ higher education isn’t always top of mind. It can be hard to imagine your little ones eventually heading off to post-secondary school after you’ve just spent the last few years chasing them around. Luckily, with a Registered Education Savings Plan, it’s easier than you think to help your child go to college when the time comes.
“Education will open many doors for your children, but with education costs rising faster than the cost of living, those doors can be expensive to open. That’s why it’s best to have a plan” states Investment Advisor Charmaine White at Prospera Credit Union.
The first year of tuition for students enrolling in a Canadian university without residence in 2025 is estimated to cost as much as $13,071– that’s more than $54,135 over a four-year program. The same first year of tuition for students enrolling in a Canadian university back in 2000 costed $3,380 – $13,520 over a four-year program. That’s a staggering 300% increase in tuition fees over 25 years.
“If you start saving when your child is born, the greater timeframe will allow you to save more money for their education,” says Jeff Olensky, Wealth Management Specialist at Prospera. “With an RESP, you can earn more money in the end with government grants and compound growth.” Over time, as you contribute money into an RESP, those investments will earn you tax-deferred income. That means you will pay absolutely no tax on the money your RESP earns as long as it remains in your plan.
Another great benefit of an RESP is the use of government grants and the Canada Learning Bond. “Only an RESP is eligible for government grants, which truly makes it the best way to save for post-secondary education,” says Olensky. The Canada Education Savings Grant can contribute up to $7,200 to your child’s future, and depending on your financial situation and your province, other education grants can add even more. For low-income families, the government will make an initial Canada Learning Bond deposit of $500 into your child’s RESP with additional deposits of $100 automatically made to the RESP each year up until your child is 15.
Your approach to saving for post-secondary education will be as unique as you and your child, the key is to choose an approach that works and get started. “While saving the maximum amount is a definite benefit, it’s important to balance what you want to achieve with what you can afford,” says White. “Set yourself up for success by setting a realistic goal, one you know that you can attain. An RESP allows you to save up to $50,000 as a tax-deferred investment, which could be higher than the available amount in your Tax Free Savings Account. You can maximize your child’s education savings grants by contributing $2,500 per year, which is $208 per month.”
Every student and family is unique, with different preferences and needs. That’s why, at Prospera Credit Union, we offer more than one kind of investment vehicle for your child/children’s RESP. It’s never too late to start saving for your child’s Post Secondary Education. Visit prospera.ca for more information, or call 1-888-440-4480 to book an appointment with an advisor.