21Nov 17

RESPs – Give Them The Chance To Focus On Their Education – Mayor Charlie Clark

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Times are changing. And so are the challenges for young people pursuing post-secondary education. Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark knows just how much pressure this can create for young people, and for their parents who are doing their best to help.

“There are really a whole range of challenges that young people are taking on today,” says Mayor Charlie. “As the cost of living and tuition rises, so does the potential for student debt. Juggling classes, work, and family commitments while in school only adds to this stress.”

Mayor Charlie faced his own challenges while he worked towards his post-secondary education, though he recognizes that what he was faced with as a young adult was very different than what young people face today. A combination of summer jobs, part-time work, and scholarships helped Mayor Charlie put himself through school.

“For several years, I went tree planting during the summer and worked part-time during school,” says Mayor Charlie. “But the cost of tuition and living was significantly lower back then, and I was able to complete my education with relatively little debt.”

These days, working and paying your own way through school is increasingly difficult, which is why Mayor Charlie believes it is so important for parents to consider their options for savings.

“Having something in place to help provide your children with financial support will give them the chance to focus on their education,” he says. “This will help them to be more successful and hopefully reduce the rate of stress that comes with not having the money you need to go to school, and reduce the burden of student loan debts later.”

RESPs can be a great way to invest in your children’s financial futures, and Mayor Charlie knows there are a lot of options out there.

“There are so many different models of RESPs, so it’s important to find someone who can help you understand the landscape,” he says. “Ideally, parents should work with someone they can trust, someone who understands your circumstances, and can give you independent evaluation of your options.”

Money can be a taboo topic, and it can be uncomfortable to talk about your financial information, and this is where Mayor Charlie sees READ Saskatoon playing a crucial role.

“READ Saskatoon opens doors for people and creates a space to ask honest questions about difficult topics regarding finances,” he says. “There are so many options for saving out there, and the world of financial planning is complex and confusing. READ Saskatoon can help people make wise decisions about saving for their children.”

Of course, a parent’s role in their child’s education extends far beyond just financial support. Parents are their children’s first teachers, and the support they offer throughout their education will help set them on a good path to fulfill their future dreams.

“Not every student coming out of high school is going to know exactly what they want to do, and that’s okay,” says Mayor Charlie. “As parents, we can help our children learn to be resilient and self aware. Enabling our children to have those core skills – literacy, financial literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, confidence, and emotional intelligence – these all remain the foundation to success regardless of your career path or educational journey.”

Children need support, and so do their parents, which is why Mayor Charlie believes organizations like READ Saskatoon are an important part of our community.

“I’m grateful for READ Saskatoon and the role they play in our community. From helping people and families achieve basic literacy skills right through to financial planning, they have broadened the conversation to support the success of families in our city.”