BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

September 06, 2011 09:40 ET

REPEAT: Grandchildren-Spoil Them With the Gift of Education

- BMO study finds that most grandparents give approximately $100 a year to each of their grandkids

- A gift of $100 a year from each set of grandparents to an RESP can provide a child with up to $11,000 for their post-secondary education

- Current cost of a four-year degree can be up to $60k; it could be as high as $140k for a child born in 2011

- BMO offers advice on how to maximize education savings

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 6, 2011) - Whether they go by Grandma, Grand-père, Bubbie, Naniji, Nonno, Abuela or YehYeh, Canadian grandparents have at least one thing in common - they love to spoil their grandchildren!

According to a study from BMO Financial Group (BMO), grandparents give, on average, $100 or less annually to each of their grandkids. As the kids head back to school today, why not invest in their future by giving the gift of an education through a contribution to your grandchild's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)?

An increasing number of Canadians are contributing to RESPs; according to Statistics Canada, RESP assets grew to $25.9 billion by the end of 2009.

Opening an RESP for a child is getting increasingly critical as the costs of post-secondary education rise. Currently, a four-year degree can cost as much as $60,000. Given current trends, some sources estimate that a child born in 2011 can expect to pay as much as $140,000 for their degree when they enter college or university.

"Contributing even small amounts to an RESP can go a long way in saving for a post-secondary education," said Mark Stewart, Director, Product Development & Management, BMO Investments Inc.* "While most grandkids receive a few small cash gifts a year, these amounts, if invested in an RESP, will grow over time through compounding interest and the funds provided by the federal government's Canada Education Savings Grant."

Grandparents- How much of a difference can $100 a year to your grandchildren's RESPs make?

According to BMO, more than 70 per cent of Canadians give their grandkids, nephews/nieces or Godchildren $100 or less in monetary gifts per year.

If each set of grandparents gives the gift of $100 per year to their grandchild's RESP, by the time the child turns 17 years old, he/she could have up to $11,000 saved for a post-secondary education. This takes into consideration the federal government's Canada Education Savings Grant.

Interested in starting or contributing to an RESP for your grandchild? Here is some advice to get you started:

  • Think about alternative gift-giving – RESP contributions make great gifts for special occasions. Anyone can contribute to a child's RESP and he/she can have multiple accounts.

  • Start early and make regular contributions – Even if your grandchild's education will not begin for many years to come, it is beneficial to start making regular contributions as early as you can.

  • Speak with a financial professional – RESPs can hold several different types of investments. Speak with a financial professional to determine the investment vehicles that best fit with your needs.

  • Forego the daily splurge – Small expenses, like a fancy coffee or expensive lunch, can really add up. Aim to put the money saved towards your regular contributions.

*BMO Investments Inc. is a financial services firm and a separate legal entity from the Bank of Montreal

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at July 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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