3 Simple tips to save for your child’s education

By Valeria Cori-Manocchio

Saving for your children’s post-secondary education does not have to be stressful – in fact it’s as easy as meeting with BMO. After 20 years at BMO and 11 years as a financial planner at the LaSalle branch, Danny Mirabella has helped families and individuals create unique savings plans, easing parents and children from the pressure of paying post-secondary tuition and fees.

Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) are government grants designed to help parents save for their children’s post-secondary education. The government matches each contribution by 30 per cent, 20 per cent from the federal level and 10 per cent from the provincial level. Families with multiple children are allotted the 30 per cent grant for each child and they have the option to carry over the savings onto other siblings, should one child decide not to pursue post-secondary education.

The funds can be withdrawn the moment the child is accepted into a post-secondary institute. Many people think that they need to present bills from these institutes, but all you need to do is show that your child is registered in a recognized post-secondary institute. The funds can be used to pay for rent or other student expenses, says Mirabella.

Whether it’s saving for one child’s education or an entire family, BMO has the tools and experience to maximize your RESPs. By establishing a continuous savings plan, putting funds aside becomes a lot easier and builds up quickly. If parents save $96 on a bi-weekly basis, they will reach the maximum grant amount allocated by the government by the time the child is 14 years old, leaving the family with approximately $46 000 for tuition and other costs, explains Mirabella.

Some of BMO’s RESP strategies include Target Education Portfolios, which base saving for an education plan around a set time in the future. Setting a date allows financial planners and parents to manage the RESP accordingly.

He emphasizes another important part about meeting with a financial planner: in order to benefit and plan for the future, Mirabella encourages incorporating an RESP into an overall savings strategy. A larger plan acts a roadmap of your finances, letting every BMO client design their perfect savings equation.

Financial planners are available at every BMO branch and are ready to help anyone begin saving.
BMO’s Tips for the Best Education Savings Plans

1.Visualize Your Family Goals: Set up a meeting with a BMO financial planner to determine a concrete savings plan that fits your needs.
2. Make Savings Part of Your Routine: Establish a continuous savings plan, either bi-weekly or monthly.
3. Keep Track of Your Plans: Incorporate RESPs into your family savings plan with BMO’s numerous saving accounts and portfolios including their Target Portfolios.

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