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RESP: Back to School Reminders

If you are still saving for your children’s education, now might be a good time to add a little more to their RESPs (if you haven’t reached the yearly limit yet).  Make sure the RESP is with an investment mechanism that you are comfortable with, and that might actually make you a few bucks over time as well. For those of us with kids at University, it is another time to withdraw whatever funds are needed from the accounts.

Remembering last years fun and games while I learned about the rules of RESP withdrawals with RESP This Round Finally Ends, I am ready (I think) for the coming year. The major obstacle last year was that you needed a proof of enrollment letter from the Educational Institution your child is attending to be able to withdraw any of the grant or growth money in your RESP account. This was a pain in the neck last year (mostly because it was the first year that TD enforced the rule and I was unaware of it), but this year I am ready.

  • Acadia University, you simply go on line and they send you a PDF of a proof of enrollment letter and it is pretty much instantaneous (and gratis as well).
  • Wilfrid Laurier University, you must go on line, PRINT a form, fill it in (by hand), put this in the mail (with a cheque for $12) and wait for it to arrive via Canada Post

As you can see different institutions have different methodologies (and you can guess which one of these I think is better). Also remember to withdraw as much as you might need for:

  1. Tuition
  2. Living Expenses
  3. Books!
  4. Computers and such

All of these can add up quickly. If you have different funds from which to take money from (i.e. Bond Fund, Canadian Stock Fund, etc.,) which should you choose? Don’ t know, you might want to ask someone else who actually makes money when they invest.

If you are feeling at all worried or confused, I would suggest you get the book The RESP Book: The Complete Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians written by Mike Holman a friend of this site, and it is a very good book to help folks new to the RESP concept.

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