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Saving for Your Child’s College Education

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There are a number of tax-advantaged programs to save for your child’s college education. In the U.S., parents should look into 529 savings plans, which are offered by individual states. 529 savings plans allow your contributions to grow tax-free. Further, upon withdrawal they are tax-free when applied for qualified education expenses.

In Canada, Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) provide a similar mechanism to save for your child’s college. An RESP is an education savings account that is registered with the Government of Canada, though you can open it with your local bank, credit union or certified financial planner.

To help you develop a savings strategy, a number of online resources exist. For example, the online college calculator at SallieMae.com allows you to estimate your college costs, as well as, provide you with insights on how much you need to contribute to meet your savings goal.

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