Today my tween bought stock. It’s the latest step in our family financial planning process, one that started with opening an RESP when she was an infant. I am both excited and nervous for her, but I know we are on the right path teaching her respect for money and the things it can buy for you. Our financial advisor is a trusted resource and he understands my desire to get my kids learning about money now.
Maybe you aren’t quite ready for stocks and playing the markets yet. There are gentler ways to give your child a start in finances, ways that will help pave the way to a first class education. I am talking about Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP’s), of course. Maybe you are a new parent, a first-timer overwhelmed by parenting and the change baby has brought about. Childhood passes fast and you, as a parent, know that. One moment you might be choosing cribs, and the next it seems like you are ready to choose a university. But there’s a whole world of stuff in between and years of opportunity for investing if you pick the right tools to build your money.
So what are the right tools? What is the right financial path? How do you get started?
Within the first six months of my eldest daughter’s birth, we set up an RESP for her. Why did we start there? An RESP grows over the course of your child’s life. You set it up with monthly contributions and then you watch it build. In our home, birthday money goes in the RESP, as well as inheritances and gifts. At first, we started with a small amount because we didn’t have much money when my kids were tiny. I stayed home for a few years building our family and growing our new little people. I loved every moment of that precious time. As time passed and I carved out a business, we started contributing more money. Now as we get closer to the teen years, we are maximizing our contributions for both girls so they have fewer worries about how to pay for university or college. Now our daughter has her own money.
There are numerous plans you can opt into. But just this year I learned of a unique plan called giraffe & friends. What’s so unique about giraffe & friends? Let me tell you.
What to Look For in an RESP
giraffe & friends is a completely new concept for buying RESPs.
They offer a no-fee, worry-free and 100% guaranteed RESP.
- Is there a fee for managing the RESP? If so, how much? Globally, Canadians pay some of the highest fees for investments according to the Morningstar 2013 Global Fund Investor Experience Report (https://corporate.morningstar.com/us/documents/MethodologyDocuments/FactSheets/Global-Fund-Investor-Experience-Report-2013.pdf).
- With giraffe & friends, your savings won’t be eaten by high maintenance or management fees. That can be a problem when investing in Canada.
- How much does giraffe & friends charge? Nothing. No fees at all. That’s a unique plan that means more of your money will go directly to your child’s RESP.
EASE OF USE:
- How can you make contributions? Online? By appointment? Do you need to fill out stacks of paper just to get started? With giraffe & friends you can set up your plan in your home, online, even in the middle of the night if you need to. No fuss, simple investing.
- What happens if your child doesn’t go to a post-secondary school?
- Can you move the money over to one of the other children’s accounts if one doesn’t attend university, college or trade school?
- Is your RESP insured? What happens if one parent dies or is permanently disabled and can’t make the contributions anymore? (giraffe & friends offers peace of mind by insuring the parents in case of death or permanent disability, ensuring the RESP will still be paid to completion on their behalf and waiting when the child needs it. That might not be something you want to think about, but it’s powerful evidence to me that this company is different.)”
- Will this investment grow with my child. Yes. Simply stated giraffe & friends RESPs are guaranteed to grow.
- Who is available if I have a question?
- The giraffe & friends Friend Centre is open five days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help answer any questions.
- Worry-free and no-fee investing is pretty much the best scenario you are ever going to find. The giraffe & friends plan is easy to understand and easy to buy online.
Education is the greatest gift you can give to your kids. It lifts them up and helps them to become their very best. One of our daughters has some special needs so we have both RESPs and RDSPs (Registered Disability Savings Plans) now, because in my 40s, I am much smarter than I used to be, in a sensible parent kind of way. I need to know certain things. I need to know my daughters won’t leave university like I did with 10-15 years of debt. That’s a terrible burden I wouldn’t wish on anyone. The repayments and the interest on student loans are astronomical, but tuition is mind-boggling. If you pay any attention to those things, you know that your child, at this particular time in history, might be able to pay for one year of study, but it’s almost unaffordable – unless you plan well right from the start.
I know my kids are intended for great careers in whatever field they choose. My oldest often says she wants to be a teacher, and that’s expensive. I personally left my under-grad degree and my grad years with well over $30,000 in debt and that was about 18 years ago. That meant my first 14 years working in the career I loved was also devoted to paying off the loans that helped me make my career choice a reality. I don’t want that life for my daughters; I want them to have an easier go at building their lives. I invest now so they don’t have to struggle later. An RESP can be used for a wide range of programs, which is part of what sold me on the idea. If one child goes to college or trade-school they can still use this. If one doesn’t choose post-secondary education, then the money can still be rolled into an RDSP.
giraffe & friends thinks Canadians deserve better. Your kids deserve better too.
An RESP is a great way to save for your child’s education. No matter what education your child attends, it will take lots of money to graduate. Visit the ‘How To Plan For Your Kids’ Future’ page and learn the best ways for parents to save money, what to look for in an RESP, when you should start saving for your child’s education, and more.
Then visit giraffe & friends, Canada’s first no-fee, worry-free, 100% guaranteed RESP that you can buy online. The process is so simple you can start saving for your children’s future education while they nap. Kids grow out of everything. Give them something to grow into.