School’s expensive – ask around

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about schooling and how expensive it is. We’re rounding the corner to the return of what used to be a treasured Christmas song; now a funny- but- true sentiment expressed by lots of parents after their kids’ 9 week absence from school.

Specifically though, I’d like to talk about how expensive school is. The later years stuff that costs a lot of money. Canadian college and education costs continue to rise at 2-3 times the rate of inflation. The average Canadian graduate from post secondary education now has a $27,000 millstone of student debt to drag along into their first career.

Basic tuition costs in a recent study, for a child born in 2017, are forecasted to be $85,000 by their 18th year. And double that if kids are able to go away for schooling. Yikes!

What about starting a dialogue with the greater community that loves and cares about your kids? Or an outreach examining how your larger family community feels about the challenges of providing an education for our nation’s children?

We have amazing provisions here in Canada through the RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). EVERY family of kids under 17 should have one; preferably a family plan (ask us how). And no family should be without a strategy that uses both the RESP and the CCB (Canadian Child Benefit) to put LOTS OF FREE MONEY into their kid’s education funds.

But I’d like to push the envelope a bit and suggest parents (respectfully) explore three options:

Ask and you might receive

Make it a point to ask people who give your kids gifts to consider instead (sometimes, maybe not always; ‘cause we all love giving fun gifts too), making the gift a financial one. A $50 present goes to $60 with the CESG (Canadian Education Savings Grant) inherent in the RESP.

Build a community

Ask the elders and the broader community if they’d consider being a partner in the children’s education. I know of one family whose grandfather has offered to fund the education of any of his grandkids who elect to pursue engineering. In another, the Uncle in the family offered a cash prize for a well written essay by the child on the education they want and why they want to pursue it.

Ask your employer…

if they have thought of support like this that would definitely have an out-sized impact on employee loyalty? If they know their workplace chooses to have skin in the game when it comes to their kids’ schooling costs, loyalty skyrockets!

These are only three ideas. There are more. Share yours here! The point is, I am surprised and I think you’d be too, at the availability of innovative, creative and meaningful assistance that could be out there.

You might just want to ask!

Make sure your motives are right, that your tone is respectful as you look for ways to loop in the greater stakeholder community as you plan to tackle the expensive investment in your kid’s education.

I hope this helps you learn a little bit more about us and our passion to help you to experience better with your money.


Peter Fraser, RFP CFP® CIM® FCSI®

HollisWealth, a Division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.

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