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RESP – The Registered Education Savings Plan

The Registered Education Savings Plan & University Expenses Page

I stopped and checked, and I have dedicated a lot of electronic ink on the subject of the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and specifically my “interactions” with TD and associated Universities over my daughters’ academic careers.

Setting Up

When I first set up my girls’ RESPs, I was a neophyte and was unaware that I had other options from being locked into Canada Trust Mutual Funds, and unfortunately, once I was in, I never really got OUT of the CT/TD Mutual Fund  World. If I were doing this now, I would have set it up as a Trading Account of some kind where I could buy low MER Index Funds or ETFs, but hindsight is 20/20 when you are a blogger.

  • The first time I brought up the topic of RESPs was in Kids and University: Better Use an RESP and you can see by the post I was only learning about the whole thing at the time.
  • As a precursor to talking about RESPs I found an interesting article from the U of Waterloo talking about typical schooling costs and I summed those up in University is going to cost HOW MUCH?!?
  • I did some preliminary calculations figuring If I put $1000 a year away for my kids and it was heartening to see.
  • RESP Some Final Thoughts was me summing up what had been discussed during the week about using an RESP as a savings vehicle to save for your kids’ education (specifically the previous two posts on this list).
  • Here is a good question, do you want to set up an RESP for your child? What is your view on Student Debt, and kids graduating with huge debt loads? There are follow-on stories as well Student Debt 2 , and Student Debt Epilogue. Wonder what can happen with Student Debt? How about when a Student Line of Credit is set up, or is it?
  • Another important point to consider is what type of degree your child might get? CO-OP Degrees a Parent Financial Savior points out that if a Child is in a successful CO-OP program they may graduate with money in their pocket (and you might have some in yours too).
  • Remember when you set up the Savings Program that high MER Mutual funds are not what you should be using. The MER is the Worm in the Savings Plan, it eats out the core of things.
  • RESP: Free Money Folks is an overview I wrote early on, talking about all the grants and bonds available in the RESP.


Tuition and School Costs

I did tend to harp on the price of schooling, especially in September and December when I got the girls’ schooling bills. When I started paying more in September than I made (gross) my first year working, I started getting a little worked up.

Extraction of RESP Funds

After diligently putting money into your RESP accounts, you might think extracting it might be a straightforward process (but then you might be wrong). The first year of taking money out was simple. Then the Government started asking for PROOF that your child was in school before allowing folks to take money out of the RESP accounts.

  • Every year you go through the same things so setting up the Tuition Circle every August might be worthwhile for you too, just to make sure both student and parent know their “duties” for the coming school year.
  • RESP: Back to School Reminders useful to set up a checklist of what you need each August to extract funds from your RESP, is more of the same (i.e. it’s better to talk about this before your kids go off to school).
  • Canada Learning Bond and RESPs, where I think I have figured out more money, that I have never actually ever received thanks to TD not doing what I think they should.
  • RESP and more tree died (which they did this year too), which is last year’s installment on the entire RESP saga. Why can’t this process be done on-line? Someone must get a bonus for the foot length of paper used in this program.
  • Registered Education Savings Plan the Saga continues explains what happens when the system changes from the previous year and the headaches it creates.
  • RESP Wrinkles where I first learned taking out money from an RESP wasn’t going to be as easy as the previous year. Yes, you need proof your kid has gone off to school.
  • RESP Money to get Money where I found out how much it cost to prove I just spent $2500 . Some schools send you a letter for free, while others figure they should get paid as well.
  • RESP: The Old Switcheroo where I rant about one university’s trick for getting more money out of me, it does get repetitive I must admit.
  • RESPs and Rules taking your own money out shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Trust me, it can be as complicated as your bank wants to make it, and most of the rules are to get you in the front door to sit down with them.
  • RESP: This Round Finally Ends (Prologue) I try to start taking money out of the RESP
  • RESPs Another Year and More Fun is yet another fun year of taking money out from an RESP, when I thought it might be simple (silly me)
  • I wanted to show a simple example of someone putting the Max money in every year until their child turned 18. Thus I wrote RESP : From Start to Spend.
  • Just when I thought I had it all figured out, they change the rules, well, sort of my own fault for switching to E-Series account, but the TD RESP E-series Bear Trap caught me.
  • A professional wrote a Guest Post about this topic as well RESP withdrawals and Taxes misses some info on Quebec, and doesn’t point out you should front load taking out taxable funds for your kids.
  • Another guest writer took on the same topic with A Guide to Understanding the Tax Considerations When Cashing out an RESP . He missed a few important points too.

However, with all of this commentary on RESPs, I can say that my four best investments were my kids’ RESP. I got paid back with three kids who got a good start on their Adult lives without a large debt.

I branched out to talk about other RESP programs too:

Given my family is a constant subject in my writings, here are a few extra ones that I wrote over time

Feel Free to Comment

  1. So, I stumbled into your blog because I think I started out like you did. We have an Resp with BMO and they just invest it into their balanced portfolios and now that I’ve been reading up on all the hidden fees, it’s killing me a little! I really want to get the money into something self directed that I pour into index funds. I was looking into the td e-series, and then I saw your blog…. Thoughts?? Suggestions? I’m so overwhelmed now!

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