Current age of your children. This calculator is based on each child beginning their college education at age 18. The difference between their current age and 18 is the number of years you have to save.
Annual tuition and books
Current estimated cost of one year of tuition and books. This amount should be per child and be specific to the school they may be interested in attending. For the purposes of this calculator all expenses are assumed to be due at the end of the year.
Current estimated cost of one year living expenses. Like tuition and books, this amount should be per child and specific to the school they may be interested in attending. For the purposes of this calculator all expenses are assumed to be due at the end of the year.
Education cost inflation
This is the percentage that you expect educational costs to increase per year.
The total amount you currently have saved for your child's (or children's) education.
The amount you plan to save per month toward your child's (or children's) education. This calculator assumes that all contributions are made at the beginning of each month.
Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
Check this box if you wish to calculate your savings with a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). There are two advantages to using an RESP to save for your children's education. First, a grant is given in the amount of 20% for the first $2000 per child, per year you contribute. Second, the beneficiary pays income taxes on RESP investment gains which are commonly lower than their parents' tax bracket. The grant is worth as much as $400 per year per child. The maximum RESP contribution per year is $4000 per child. Please note that for the purposes of this calculator taxation is not factored into the results. If your child is 16 or older, they may not be eligible for the grant if an RESP plan has not already been started. This calculator assumes that 1/12 of your annual RESP grant is added to your savings each month along with your normal contribution.
You are limited to a total of $42,000 in contributions to a RESP per child. In addition, lifetime grants to an RESP are limited to $7200 per child. The grant amount you receive does not reduce your contribution limit to an RESP.
Rate of return
The annual percentage rate you expect to earn on your educational savings. The average annual rate of return for the TSX has been 11% for the last 20 years. You may wish to use a more conservative rate of return if your child is within 10 years of enrolling in school. This calculator compounds all growth annually. For the purposes of this calculator taxation is not factored into the results. If you pay taxes on the interest, dividends or capital gains from these investments you may wish to enter your after tax rate of return.
About Calum Ross
Mortgage broker and nationally recognized leader in the field of mortgage banking and financial planning with a strong commitment to driving positive change within the financial services’ industry. Connect with Calum on Twitter and Google+.
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