• Ward Report 6: Planning for a Higher Education

    4 August 2015

    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.

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  • The Ward Report 2: Life Changing Events

    30 August 2014


    Over the course of the journey we call life; there will undoubtedly be important events that will impact the course of our lives from this day forward. These different happenings will alter our lives as we know it and we will be forced to take a detour off our chosen life path. There are events that we willingly choose and we anticipate that will change our lives assumingly for the better: a wedding, a new career, starting a family, purchasing a new home or retirement. Or there are also events that we are plunged into without warning that threaten to drown us: a breakup, job loss, an incurable diagnosis, or divorce.

    Whether the event has a positive or negative impact on you, it will most certainly change your financial plan. Any time a major life event happens, you should consult with your financial/insurance planner to ensure that you are still on track to achieve any set goals or to adapt your goals to your new circumstances.

    Use the chart below to determine the probability and impact certain life events will have in relation to your life path.

    file_pdf Download this chart as a PDF
    Life EventProbability (High-Low)Impact (High-Low)
    Change in living arrangements
    Moving in with a partner
    Buying a home
    Major purchase
    Having children
    Adopting a child
    Paying for children’s education
    Children leaving home
    Children returning home
    New job
    Job Loss
    Major change in finances
    Starting a business
    Legal issues
    Personal health issues
    Family health issues
    Caring for parents
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