August 16, 2018

Give The Gift Of Financial Independence

I remember the days when the Christmas tree was surrounded with presents and the joy I felt in purchasing the perfect gifts for family and friends.  The tree was packed with “stuff”.  When I downsized a few years back and had to get rid of all the treasures I had amassed, my philosophy changed.  Now we give each other more meaningful gifts of sharing experiences through concerts, dinners, movies and sporting events.  Shared activities create memories that are priceless and last long after the event is over.  And that’s what many people want to give; gifts with lasting impact.

But if impact is what you’re after, consider gifts that go beyond good memories; consider simple ways to add to your children’s or grandchildren’s financial security.  Here are some options that you probably won’t find on anybody’s wish list, but may be the best gift they receive.

Set Up and Contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Money for education is one of the best opportunities you can offer a child in an increasingly competitive workplace.

But money for education does more than support education goals; it also ensures that reaching those goals doesn’t come with the price tag of huge student loan debt. Graduates with debt are more likely to feel financial pressure to accept a job for what it pays, instead of what it can offer in the way of long term career opportunity.

Re-title Your Stocks

You could make a gift of stock you already own. Stocks, especially ones that you expect to have solid growth in the years ahead, create a great financial nest egg that can eventually be used for education, or even towards a future home purchase.

However, there could be tax consequences, so consult your accountant.

Set Up and Contribute to a Savings Account

This comes with the benefit of also being a shared experience. If your child or grandchild has yet to open a bank account you can make a day of it.

Start by talking about the purpose of a bank account. Explain about savings and chequing accounts. All of this is new to kids. Many kids may have never even been inside a bank, as most parents likely bank online.

Give them the gift of example

Whichever of these ideas appeals to you, you can couple it with being a positive money role model.  Talk positively about money in general, but talk about it as a tool not as an end in itself.

Tell your kids or grandkids about something you saved for as a child. Ask them about something they are saving for.  If you have given them some sort of investment, show them when it has grown and explain why it might temporarily have gone down.  Tell them about things you do to plan for your future.

Too many people grow up with the idea that talking about money is taboo.  Being able to talk freely and positively about money is a wonderful gift for anyone.

Colleen Saunders is a 20 year veteran in the mortgage industry, serving Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Toronto and offering all mortgage related services such as 2nd mortgages, private mortgages and more.

To contact Colleen, please fill out the form on  or call 416-459-2406