I recently posted about the benefits of starting education funds for our kids as well as my experiences with paying for my own education when I was in university. I also let you guys know about an awesome Twitter chat happening with RBC on September 17th that offered up some real time answers to any questions that were thrown their way. If you were there, I hope you walked away with a few nuggets of information that have helped you start (or continue) to plan out your kids’ future. That’s what I love about these chats: you can ask your questions and get answers from a professional.
In case you weren’t able to be there, here is a great resource of questions that came up during the course of the evening as well as some answers that will hopefully help you fill in any of the blanks you may have regarding RESP’s and whether or not you can contribute or how much you can contribute or even if there is any guarantee that your money will evolve to anything even remotely helpful.
Q. What is the latest I can contribute to my child’s RESP?
A. We recommend you contribute to an RESP up to the end of the
year of your child’s 17th birthday.
Q. At what age is it best to start buying RESPs?
A. You can’t open an RESP account until the child is born because
of the SIN # requirement, but the sooner the better.
Q. When the RESP is withdrawn, who pays the taxes?
A. If the student is enrolled in post secondary education, they pay
Q. What happens to an RESP if a child decides not to pursue postsecondary
A. The plan can remain open for 36 years. Upon cancellation, you
could transfer money to a sibling or rollover to your RRSP.
Q. Is there a maximum amount of RESP that can be withdrawn
A. No, there is no maximum amount that can be withdrawn
Q. What’s the max amount the government contributes this year
(the 20% of your contribution)?
A. 20% of your contribution to a maximum of $1,000 per year.
Q. Do you have to take it all out at once or can you do it as
A. You can take it out over time, it doesn’t have to be at once.
Q. What is the value the RESP can grow to?
A. Depends on how you invest it, if you start early & invest regularly
you could get over $50,000 in 18 years.
Q. Families struggle as it is, is there any plan for the low-income
A. Low income families may qualify for up to an additional $2,000
without ever having to contribute.
Q. What happens to the money if your kids don’t decide to go to
A. Original contribution can be withdrawn and wouldn’t be taxed,
earnings in plan could go over to your RRSP; grants money must
Q. Can a grandparent open an RESP for a grandchild?
A. Yes, it is possible for a grandparent to open an RESP for a
grandchild, even if they are in a different province.
The questions I always have revolved around how taxes work with RESP’s and what happens if my kids don’t attend university (after all, our dreams for them won’t necessarily be what they decide to do for themselves!)
For more information check out the RBC website or visit your local RBC branch and inquire with one of their professional financial planners.
Don’t forget, RBC is also holding a contest where you have a chance to win one of four $500 prizes to put toward an RESP. Contest ends October 04, 2015 so head over and enter to win!
Happy saving and good luck with the contest!