Among the many needs for which your client must save, one overlooked item might be education. And if your client takes on debt to cover education costs, they’ll struggle to invest regularly.

Read: Why you should start RESP conversations early

Only 19% of Albertans are saving for a child’s or grandchild’s education, and only half believe they’ll be able to save enough to cover total education expenses, finds an ATB Financial survey.

Also, only 10% of Albertans are saving for their own educations, with half of current students or recent graduates dependent on other sources to cover education costs, such as student loans or lines of credit.

With a four-year degree expected, by survey respondents, to cost between $50,000 and $90,000 while living away from home, debt can add up. More than half of current students or recent graduates who responded to the survey expect to incur $20,000 to $35,000 in student debt to cover costs.

The survey also reveals that most Albertans with student debt haven’t discussed with an advisor how to pay their debt sooner (78%), which can negatively impact future financial goals. In fact, three-quarters (73%) of current students or recent graduates state that having student debt is a barrier to saving or investing regularly.

Here are other survey highlights:

  • Fewer Albertans are forgoing regular contributions to their savings or investments (28%) compared to last quarter (34%).
  • Among those who report saving for education (for themselves or a loved one), the most common way of saving is through RESPs (51%), followed by TFSAs (30%).
  • Unstable markets appear to have caused a 5% decline in optimism toward investing, especially within the stock market.

For full details, see the ATB Financial survey.

About the survey: The ATB Investor Beat survey was conducted by Ipsos from April 23 to May 3, 2018, and involved 1,002 participants. Results are considered accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points.

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