"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Friday, January 4, 2008

What Good Is A RESP To Our Child?

I really need to dig into my black bag (don't ask; it's a perfectly legitimate and explainable reference but just don't ask) to get moving on some new topics but unfortunately work and personal commitments make that just not feasible at the moment.

But in the meantime, I offer you these little gems I dug up at Ken Pope's site today:

The Long-term Benefits of RESPs

and

Using Registered Education Savings Plans For a Child with Developmental Disabilities

That's right, RESPs for our children with disabilities.

These days, with more changes occurring both with RESPs themselves and in post-secondary education, RESPs are looking like much better investments for the disability community. In the above articles, Mr. Pope notes the government grants (that's free money added to the fund by the government) available and the guarantee that at least some, if not all, of your capital will be returned if your child does not go on to post-secondary education. In addition, most, if not all, such funds are also transferable to another eligible child. And you might just be pleasantly surprised (I know I was) to see the advances that are being made in making post-secondary education more accessible to our children, be they challenged physically or mentally.

For example, I have attended numerous disability workshops over the past couple of years where representatives of the Nova Scotia Community College and Acadia University have made presentations concerning their services for students with disabilities. In fact, I probably could and will, at some point, do a series of posts just on that subject.

But I was quite impressed to find that the NSSC, for example, offers both 'accommodations' (allowing a student to graduate with a regular diploma) and modified programs [similar to the idea of the Individualized Program Plans (IPPs) offered in the public school system] which would allow even some IPP students to attend Community College and 'graduate' with a 'list employment skills'.

We purchased a RESP for our oldest child before we knew she had any disabilities. And there's been times over the years that I've wondered in passing if we were just throwing our money away. But now, not only do I know that I can transfer those funds to my younger child, if need be, but I actually hope that the oldest might just be able to access some form of post-secondary education. Only time will tell if that hope is realistic. But either way, I'm glad now that we kept up with the RESP.

And if you're looking for more reading material on other disability-related topics, a list of other articles from Mr. Pope's site can be found here.

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