Managing your education-savings plan

Like all aspects of your financial plan, your education-savings plan will change over time. From initial start-up to final wrap-up, your advisor can be a valuable resource when managing your plan.

A regular review of your education-savings plan will help you assess your results and ensure you are on track to reach your goals. Arrange to review your progress with your advisor at least once a year, probably at the same time you review your overall financial plan.

Keeping your advisor informed
Use the annual review to update your advisor on any changes to your goals or circumstances that will influence your plan. For example, the birth of another child or interest in professional schools could require an increase in annual savings. Alternatively, an unexpected inheritance or change in your employment status may prompt you to scale back your savings.

When your advisor is kept informed, he or she can recommend ways to adapt your plan to meet any new requirements. The Annual review discussion checklist PDF document can help you organize your thoughts in advance of the meeting, making for a more productive discussion.

Using the money in the plan
As the time for post-secondary studies nears, you’ll want to keep your advisor informed as you finalize your plans. The  Developing your pay out strategy checklist PDF document will help you gather the necessary information to determine the most effective way to pay for education costs. In addition, it raises a number of important issues for you to consider regarding how money will be managed.

Remember, at all phases of education saving, your advisor is there to help. You’ll find your advisor’s experience and knowledge invaluable as you plan for this important life goal.

Getting the future student involved

Planning for post-secondary education can be even more rewarding when the future student is involved. And it’s never too early to get started. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use everyday examples to make the goal of post-secondary education more meaningful. For example, a visit to the doctor can spark a discussion of medical school, nursing diplomas and scientific research, all of which involve post-secondary education.
  • Encourage saving for this important goal while teaching some important money-management skills. Help children set goals for how much to set aside from any financial gifts, pocket money or earnings from babysitting and other jobs. As the funds accumulate, introduce them to the concept of investing.
  • During high school, consider touring campuses or attending open houses where students’ work is on display. Many colleges and universities offer virtual tours through their websites.
  • If scholarships are of interest, do your research and start preparing early. Many scholarships look for achievement and involvement throughout high school, not just in the final year.

TOOLS:

Annual review discussion checklist PDF document

Being prepared ahead of time can help you and your advisor have a productive annual review of your education-savings plan.

Developing your pay out strategy PDF document

When it comes time to pay for post-secondary education, you will need to develop a payout strategy that can meet the student’s cash-flow needs while continuing to maximize investment returns and minimize taxes.

Getting good advice
Getting good advice
Peace of mind

Future estimates of post-secondary education costs can be intimidating. But by starting to save now, you can relax knowing that you are making steady progress towards your goals.

601453.3.0