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The RESP Book – Review and Giveaway

the-resp-book-200For parents, there is probably one expense in particular that can send them into panic mode…and that is  post secondary education.  With all the media covering how expensive college/university is becoming and how it’s outpacing inflation by a large margin, it’s no wonder that parents worry about how their kids will pay for school.

While some parents believe that the child should pay for 100% of post secondary education, there are parents who want to help out.  I’m in the helping out camp – I’ll pay for tuition and books, but the student needs to pay for any extras.  For our family, we decided to go the RESP route to take advantage of the 20% contribution matching that the federal government offers.  That is, up to $2500 in annual contributions will be result in a grant of $500 deposited right into the account.  So that’s exactly what we do, we contribute $2500 per year invested in a diversified low cost mutual fund portfolio for the RESP.

Ok, enough about me, this post is about a new book that a blogger colleague, Mike Holman of Money Smarts Blog, has written titled “The RESP Book” (Amazon link).  This book is a comprehensive guide to the RESP program in Canada and is a must read for any parent considering or even using the RESP.

About the Author:

From the back of the book:

Mike Holman has worked in the Canadian financial industry for almost two decades.  He runs the popular personal finance website MoneySmartsBlog.com which was nominated by the Globe and Mail as one of the Best Money Blogs in Canada.  MoneySmartsBlog.com has also been featured in several newspapers across the country.  A husband with two young children, Mike set up a family plan RESP for his kids.

About the Book

As previously mentioned, this book is a comprehensive guide to RESPs that spans from explaining how an RESP works, to opening an account, the to the types of investments to consider holding within the RESP.  This book reads more like a manual and is jam packed with details.  For example, when withdrawing from an RESP for a child attending post secondary schooling, did you know that you need to indicate how much of the withdrawal is from contributions (non-taxable) and how much is from accumulated income (taxable)?  This presents some interesting tax optimization strategies depending on the income of the student during the specific school year.

Perhaps one thing I would have liked to see more details on are the group/pooled RESP plans.  From my initial inspection of these heavily promoted plans, they seem quite expensive.

The topic areas covered in the book include:

  1. Introduction to RESPs
  2. RESP Account Rules
  3. RESP Contribution and Grants (for lower and higher income families)
  4. RESP Withdrawal Rules
  5. Alberta Centennial Education Savings and Quebec RESP Grants
  6. Canadian Residency, Part-Time Studies RESP Rules
  7. How to Start an RESP Account and Basic Investing Information

Final Thoughts

Even though I already have an RESP started, I learned quite a bit from reading this book and I would recommend it to any parent considering or even using the RESP.

Want a Free Copy?

The author is offering Million Dollar Journey readers the chance to win a free copy of the book.  The details are below:

  1. Follow our new Facebook page by clicking “Like” on the top of this page. (+1 entry)
  2. Leave a comment in this post. (+1 entry)
  • Only one comment entry per person (valid email addresses only please – privacy policy).
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter.
  • Contest will end Fri 5pm EST Oct 22, 2010 and the winner, drawn randomly from all entries, contacted shortly after!
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FrugalTrader About the author: FrugalTrader is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • James October 20, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I would like a copy of the book.

  • KB October 20, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Book sounds great – I’m in!!

  • Eva Wong October 20, 2010, 3:48 pm

    What a practical gift this would be for new parents – though I doubt it would garner the same oohs and aahs that most shower gifts get!

  • JP October 20, 2010, 5:47 pm

    Great timing! I have begun looking into RESP’s.

  • rebecca October 20, 2010, 6:05 pm

    i would like to read that book.

  • Marc October 20, 2010, 9:04 pm

    I’ve been intending to start an RESP for my 9 1/2 month old for well 9 and 1/2 months. Would love to get a copy.

  • chad October 21, 2010, 12:48 am

    should be a good read

    and have a 6 and 8 year old

    book would be another wonderful addition!

  • Debbi October 21, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Would love to win a copy of this book. Like most new parents, I was bombarded by calls from the group RESPs soon after the birth of my baby – this book will go a long way in educating parents about their options!

  • Analese Whitehead October 22, 2010, 1:27 am

    Anything helps to get ahead in life.

  • Chris Ho October 22, 2010, 4:34 am

    Looks like an interesting book to read. Personally, I think that it would be foolish not to take advantage of the “free” money from our government if, as a parent, you want to help send your child to university.

  • Allawi October 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    Interesting book. Count me in!

  • Amanda October 22, 2010, 10:31 am

    This looks like a great book. We recently converted our individual RESP to a family one with the new baby, but I’m wondering if GICs are really the best choice this early in the game. I’d love some unbiased information!

  • LindaL October 22, 2010, 11:23 am

    I would be very interested in winning this book.

  • Rob October 22, 2010, 11:55 am

    Count me in, please. Thanks!

  • Gershon October 22, 2010, 11:56 am

    Another new parent here… would be good to read the book

  • Angela October 22, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Sounds interesting. Count me in.

  • Dave October 22, 2010, 4:00 pm

    We started an RESP for our little one. It would be nice to get more information.

  • zilx October 22, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Just started looking at RESP’s. This book would be great

  • Steve October 22, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Count me in…just starting to look at RESPs

  • Kenny O October 22, 2010, 11:09 pm

    Sounds like a very helpful book!

  • ZeFrench October 22, 2010, 11:39 pm

    RESP matters. We only have on child and we max out contribution.

  • Brett October 23, 2010, 2:52 am

    I’d love a copy!