Ward Report 6: Planning for a Higher Education

4 August 2015
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Did you know that now 2 out of every 3 jobs require some form of post-secondary education? College and university are more important than ever before and it is no secret that the cost of post-secondary education is rising. By planning in advance, you can make the dream of a higher education for your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or yourself possible.

As with all financial goals, the best way to save for a higher education is by working with your financial advisor. Your advisor will be able to help quantify your education-savings needs, looking at the various options, in order to best develop a plan that balances your education-savings goals with your other financial priorities.cropped education savings plan example

Although putting off saving for education is always tempting (especially if it seems like a distant priority), but the best way to make education more affordable is to start saving right away. By starting to set money aside for education early on, you will have to save less money overall due to compound growth.

 

According to Statistics Canada, the 2014/2015 average annual cost of tuition for a full-time student is $5,959.00. Now, if you child (or grandchild) wants to be a lawyer, pharmacist, doctor or dentist, the average annual cost of tuition can range anywhere from $10,508.00 to an astronomical $18,187.00!

In order to start saving for higher education, you first need to understand what your education saving options are. Click on the link below to see a printable version of the various education savings plans options available.

Education Savings Plan Options Chart

Accounting for the cost of tuition and related fees in your education savings plan is a great place to start; however, these fees represent only 1/3 of the expenses that students face each year! Add in accommodation, food, transportation, books and computers, and leisure, and the costs associated with higher education begins to increase substantially.

A student can avoid crippling debt, by family members developing a plan of action early on in the student’s lifetime. In order to help your advisor do their best possible job to help you, be sure to:

  • Provide an accurate and complete picture of your current situation as well as future aspirations; and
  • Review any recommendations, address any concerns and ask questions so that you are completely comfortable before your plan is implemented.

Also, remember to keep your advisor informed of any changes that could influence your plan when they happen so that you advisor can recommend the appropriate adjustments before it is too late to do anything about it.

After all, always remember that a post-secondary education is not just about improving your children’s earning potential and standard of living. It also contributes to their personal growth and broadens their horizons.

Written by Michael A. Ward CFP - Certified Financial Planner

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