Education: the seed that grows
At Oaken, we’re all about planting for the future—and one of the best ways you can plant for the future is to start an RESP now for your children or grandchildren. While we currently do not offer RESPs at Oaken, we still feel they should be part of your overall savings strategy. Here are the Coles Notes on RESPs:
RESPs can be used for just about any kind of postsecondary education—from apprenticeships and trade schools to college and university. They’re a simple, straightforward way of giving the gift of education, with two basic restrictions:
- you can only contribute up to $50,000 per beneficiary
- the beneficiary must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) and be a resident of Canada at the time of contribution
There are no annual limits on how much you contribute, and your balance grows tax-free. Best of all, government assistance make it even easier for you, with the following incentives:
Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG): The Government of Canada will make a grant of an additional 20% of your annual contribution, up to $500 per beneficiary. (And if you didn’t receive the full $500 in previous years, you could receive a grant of up to $1,000.) The lifetime amount of this grant per beneficiary is capped at $7,200. To view the Canadian Education Savings Grant summary chart, click here.
Canada Learning Bong (CLB): If your family receives the National child benefit, you can qualify for an additional incentive of up to $2,000. This incentive is available to any family that is entitled to the national child benefit supplement, and comes with an extra $25 to cover the cost of opening an RESP.
If you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Quebec, you can obtain additional benefits through these provinces’ respective educational savings programs. For more information visit the CRA’s website.
Lastly, RESPs can be set up as individual or family plans. An individual plan has a beneficiary designated while a family plan allows for multiple beneficiaries. You likely will want to consider a family plan if you have more than one child or grandchild as this plan offers convenience of sharing funds between children and the ability to add or change beneficiaries any time!
Pop quiz! Where do you spend the winter?
We all heard about the September snowstorms in Calgary, and we all felt that shiver ripple across the whole country! But it got us thinking about winter habits, and we decided to do a poll.
What do you do when the cold weather arrives?
- I take my cue from the birds—I head south for the winter!
- I embrace it—I’m Canadian, eh.
- Sports, cooking, hobbies—I focus on whatever takes my mind off the weather.
- Cold? What cold? I’m from B.C
Kerby Expo winner
And while we’re on the topic of Calgary’s Great Whiteout of ’14, we were very happy to find that the September snowstorm didn’t deter people from attending Fall Expo 2014 at the Kerby Centre. We had a great turnout, and we’re already planning for next year’s show. Congratulations go out to Lucille from Calgary, who braved the bad weather and won a $500 GIC for her troubles. That’s the Calgary spirit!
There’s less than a month left before the Toronto ZoomerShow on October 25 and 26—do you have your free tickets? If not, it’s not too late. Click here to get yours now! There will be great music, live entertainment and all sorts of interesting talks and exhibits—something for everyone. It’s at the Direct Energy Centre, Hall A, in Exhibition Place, and we’ll be there. Stop by our booth for a chance to win a $500 GIC.
With kids back in school we felt it only fair to hand out a reading assignment to Oaken customers as well. Herewith your required reading for the month!
Want to enjoy retirement? Start planning now. Gal Vaz-Oxlade underlines the importance of thinking ahead when thinking about retirement.
Golden years aren’t a time to retire your talents. The Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick lists the ways in which retirement holds its own surprises.