In my previous back to school post, I mentioned SmartSaver.org, a company that helps families to access the free money for their children's future education provided through the Canada Learning Bond. Planting the Dream of learning in our children is very important. This starts from a young age, so children learn how important lifelong learning is. When children know that their parents and relatives think learning is important it lays a positive psychological and financial foundation for children to be motivated to continue their education.
Research shows children with some savings are more likely to graduate from high school and 50% more likely to pursue a post-secondary education. Lower-income children with as little as $500 in savings are three times more likely to attend post-secondary education and four times more likely to graduate.
SmartSAVER, a program of the registered charity the Omega Foundation, is focused on helping lower-income families make saving for their children’s post-secondary education a reality. Over 1.4 million Canadian kids have free money waiting to get their post-secondary education savings started through the Federal Government’s Canada Learning Bond. The Canada Learning Bond is a kick-start contribution of up to $2,000 into the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) of a lower-income child with no family contribution required.
Most families are not accessing this free money because they have never heard of the Canada Learning Bond, and they believe they can’t afford one, as they are unaware that they can open an RESP with $0. Without an RESP, kids miss out on the Federal and Provincial education savings incentives they are entitled to. SmartSAVER is working to change that.
The Canada Learning Bond
- Available to families with a net family income of $44,701 or less with children born January 2004 or later.
- Initial deposit of $500, plus an additional $100 each year until the child reaches the age of 15, up to a maximum of $2,000.
- The grant is retroactive.
- A family doesn’t need to make a single contribution to get the Bond.
RESP Quick Facts
- An RESP is a tax-sheltered account.
- An RESP can be started for $0 and with $0 in family contributions.
- It is the receiving account required for the Federal benefits like the Canada Learning Bond and matching contributions (Canada Education Savings Grant).
- A Social Insurance Number is required for the child and for the child’s primary caregiver.
- RESPs are flexible. A child can use the money in their account to pursue a wide range of post-secondary education options. This includes part-time as well as full-time studies, in Canada or somewhere else in the world, apprenticeship programs, trade school, CEGEP– not just traditional college or university programs.
- An RESP does not have to be opened by a parent. It can be opened by a relative, public caregiver or even a friend.
Starting Thursday August 20, for three consecutive weeks leading up to the first day of school, tweet your responses to an education-related fill-in-the-blank message by @SmartSAVERorg and win.
August 20th “As a kid I wanted to be a…” #WhenIGrowUp
August 27th “My kid wants to be a…” #KidsDreamBig
September 3rd "I’m helping fulfill my kid’s dreams by...” #PlantingtheDream
One follower’s tweet will be randomly selected each Thursday to receive one $50 grocery gift card prize. (Complete rules http://bit.ly/SmartSAVERGiveaway1)
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