Registered Education Savings Plans The Saga

Over 2010 I have learned a great deal more about RESPs and how they work (and how they work specifically with my Bank TD/Canada Trust), and there were many posts about this topic, which I feel it is worthwhile bringing together into one place and show how the whole process worked this year. As I have mentioned, I am not saying that RESPs are bad, in fact I think if you have kids it is a good way to save for their University education, I am mostly complaining that the system could really use a little bit of an overhaul.

Just Take Some Money Out, Easy Right?

No, not this year, at least. Last year I was able to withdraw money on-line, no problems, however, this year, I found out in RESP Wrinkles that this was not going to be the case (after attempting to do it on line the way I did last year) and in RESPs and Rules that all the rules for TD Mutual Funds had changed, due to the CRA being unhappy with TD’s bookkeeping on the usage of the CESG portion of the money (this is the story I got from TD).

To get money out of an RESP now I needed a letter from the University stating my child is actually at the school and with RESP Money to Get Money I then found out how complicated it  is to get a proof of enrollment and that one of the schools in Ontario charges you $10 for this letter (because the receipt of payment is not enough). I did learn that my other daughter’s school did not charge for this letter of enrollment in RESP The Old Switcheroo, so at least I didn’t have to pay for two letters.

My hope with all these letters, I would simply drop them off at the local branch and then be able to do all of my transactions on line the way I do most of my banking, however in RESP Withdrawals Redux, I learned this was not going to happen, I was going to have to make an appointment to get my money (to be precise to get access to the Government portion of the money, however, I can’t get at my money either).

After many phone calls confirming that the only possible way to get money out of the RESP, I was going to have to go into the branch and talk to a Mutual Funds Expert and so I made the appointment and readied for the meeting with RESP This Round Finally Ends (Prologue).

Cashing in couldn’t be that bad could it? Well it wasn’t that bad, but in  RESP The Cashing In I saw that it created a glut of paper and it took well over an hour, for a simple set of transactions, so I was not too happy about that either. I did finally get access to the money, and what Tax forms were generated by this process I am not sure, but I guess it all must be done.

As I mentioned in the first place, I think the RESP program is well worth while, however in RESP Lessons Learned I discuss where the TD system in specific and the RESP program in general might need a few tweaks to make sure it works a little better.

Unfortunately I am still depositing money into my other children’s RESPs and found out that the Investor Profiles for each of these accounts are stand alone documents, and I am now being harassed to update those documents as well (I thought I had done that when I took money out, but evidently not).

Did I mention the Winter Term starts January 4th and I need more money? Oh dear, this is going to make for more fun in 2011.

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