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Get free money for your child’s education with an RESP

Posted by Maria Chami September 24, 2020 • 3 min read

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  • How to automatically receive 20% return on contributions
  • What the lifetime contribution limits are per child
  • The difference between an Individual and Family RESP
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It’s back to school time! Through the shuffle of school shopping lists, setting up a home study station, and making sure you have plenty of masks, it’s easy to forget about saving for education after high school. You want to set your children up for success, and we want to help you do that. An RESP provides you with peace of mind knowing that you are saving for their education. Let’s show you how.

What is an RESP?

A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is an account with built-in government incentives to maximize savings for your children’s post-secondary education.

RESPs are one of the best ways to save for higher education. Here’s why:

  • Every year, you’ll receive a 20% grant on the first $2,500 you deposit. That’s up to $500 per year, per child, up to a lifetime maximum of $7,200. This is the Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG). The CESG can be retroactively claimed if you started an RESP later and missed the first few years of grants.
  • You can also qualify for the Canadian Learning Bond (CLB) depending on the number of children in your household and your household income. More information can be found here: Canada Learning Bond Eligibility.
  • You can contribute up to $50,000 to each child’s RESP.
  • Investments you make in an RESP grow tax-free until it’s time for your children to withdraw for post-secondary education.

When you open a Questrade RESP, you’re automatically applied for the CESG and CLB, there aren't any additional steps for you to take. All you have to do is make a contribution to the account, and the grants will be applied automatically within a few weeks.

Individual RESP vs. Family RESP

There are actually two types of RESPs you can open, individual and family. They both have all the benefits listed above, so it's up to you to decide which one is right for your children.

An Individual RESP, like the name says, is for one child (or beneficiary) only. So if you only have one child, you can open one right away and start saving for their future. This is also a great option if you are thinking about opening an RESP for a child not directly related to you.

A Family RESP is ideal when you have more than one child, provided they are all siblings. Funds within a Family RESP can be shared amongst the beneficiaries, but each individual child cannot exceed $7,200 in lifetime CESG benefit, and the lifetime contribution of $50,000 each.

For the grandparents reading this, opening a Family RESP is a great option if you want to contribute to multiple of your grandchildren's education. Don’t forget: a Family RESP can only be opened for siblings. Any other grandchildren would need their own separate account.

Why you need an RESP

Whether your children are in high school or just starting to talk, an RESP ensures that you are creating financial stability for your children's future. RESPs are investment accounts like any other. Within the account you can take advantage of market growth for up to 2 decades, and even have your dividends reinvested automatically through a DRIP program.

Free money that the government provides sounds like a great idea, but can you really rely on an RESP to pay for the entirety of your child’s college or university education? We investigated and did the math. Find out more by reading Can You Pay for Your Child's Full Education with an RESP?

If you’re interested in using an RESP to save for your child’s future, open an account today. You can manage the investments yourself with a self-directed RESP or get a portfolio managed by our team of experts with a Questwealth Portfolios RESP.

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The information in this blog is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as financial or investment advice by any individual. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable, but no representations or warranty, expressed or implied is made by Questrade, Inc., its affiliates or any other person to its accuracy.