I am the mother of two boys. They are both adults now, but it wasn’t so long ago they were children. Or it doesn’t seem that long ago anyway. Like all parents I wanted them to have opportunities in their futures. The opportunity to concentrate on school, attend post secondary, get a job. There are many ways my partner and I went about trying to secure these opportunities. We started building assets, and never looked back.
Many years ago, I was at my bank speaking with a financial advisor. “Do you have RESPs for your kids?” was her question. My answer was “I don’t earn enough money for that.” This was the beginning of my RESP education. Low and behold I could open RESPs for my boys without a bunch of money. Cool! On top of that I learned I could decide if and when money was put in. So that day I opened two RESPs without depositing any money in them. It was pretty exciting. Here I was a regular person, opening investment accounts for my kids. Over time we have been able to contribute a bit here and there to our boys’ RESPs. These accounts are now assets they can use to help pay for post secondary education.
Over the years the benefits of asset building have gained recognition. Our federal government recognizes them by providing the Canada Learning Bond to children in families living on a low income. Generous funders, including all levels of government, recognize them by funding programming; Trades Training programming to help start careers in the trades, Matched Savings programs to help people living on low incomes build their assets, Business Programs to help people start businesses. We in Calgary have dozens of amazing organizations offering programming to help us build assets as a result.
My kids are adults now, and I am lucky that I can focus on helping other people build assets. So, what are your dreams? What do you need to get you there? Sometimes it’s just meeting the right people at the right time, sometimes it’s that nudge to remind you that you can do it. Whatever it is for you, I hope that your asset building is strong, sustainable, and gets you where you want to go!