EDMONTON, July 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Albertans' savings goals remain consistent with retirement, paying down debt and saving for a vacation being the highest priorities. According to ATB Investor Beat, one goal that doesn't get enough attention is saving for education.
The quarterly survey revealed that 19 per cent of Albertans are saving for a child or grandchild's education, yet only half believe they'll be able to save enough to cover the total education expense. Only 10 per cent of Albertans are saving for their own education, with half of current students or recent graduates being dependent on other sources to cover education costs, such as student loans or lines of credit.
"Albertans may want to consider education savings a priority early on to avoid saddling their children with an enormous amount of debt when they graduate," said Chris Turchansky, president of ATB Investor Services. "By starting a savings plan early, even before their child begins elementary school, parents can reduce the burden of debt to pay for higher education."
Forty-eight per cent of respondents expect a four-year degree, while living away from home, to cost between $50,000 and $90,000. To cover these costs, over half of current students or recent graduates who responded expect to incur $20,000 to $35,000 in student debt.
A large majority of those who have student debt—78 per cent—have not spoken to a financial professional about how to pay off their education costs sooner. The right plan will increase their capacity to save in the future, offering more course credits than credit cards.
"If you're trying to balance investing and saving while paying off a student loan, talking to a professional advisor and creating a financial plan can help you manage conflicting financial priorities that may seem overwhelming," said Turchansky.
Other highlights of this quarter's ATB Investor Beat survey include:
- Less Albertans are stopping regular contributions to their savings/investments (34 per cent) compared to last quarter (28 per cent).
- Among those who report saving for education (for themselves or a loved one), the most common way of saving is through RESPs followed by TFSAs.
- Unstable markets appear to have caused a five per cent decline in optimism towards investing—especially within the stock market.
The ATB Investor Beat survey was conducted by Ipsos from April 23-May 3, 2018 and involved 1,002 participants. Results are considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Find full results at atb.com/InvestorBeat
To schedule an interview with Chris Turchansky, please contact:
Corporate Reporter, ATB Financial
About ATB Financial
With assets of $51.9 billion, ATB Financial is Alberta's largest home-grown financial institution. Established in 1938, ATB is a network of 175 branches, 141 agencies, a Customer Care Centre, four Entrepreneur Centres, along with mobile and online banking. ATB's more than 5,000 team members help more than 750,000 customers in 247 Alberta communities.
SOURCE ATB Financial