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Q: We plan to start having children soon. When should we set up a RESP?

Diana says...
With any savings plan, the sooner you start a disciplined habit, the better. In the Registered Education Savings Plan, contributions of up to $4,000 a year can be made for each child to a lifetime maximum of $42,000. As a tax sweetener—via the Canadian Education Savings Grant (CESG)—the federal government kicks in 20 percent, or $400, to the first $2,000 in contributions made into an RESP. An RESP is also a great gift idea: So to prepare your folks for their roles as the extra-doting grandparents, give them a nudge nudge to open a plan.

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.