The Student Debt Survey, a Leger poll conducted on behalf of FP Canada, found many Canadians will have to postpone their retirement to help their children pay for post-secondary education.
Eighty-two per cent of Canadians with children under 18 say they intend to help their children pay for their education, and nearly half (48 per cent) say they expect they will have to postpone their retirement as a result. In addition, 42 per cent say they expect it will prevent them from paying off their debt.
As for Canadians with children over 18 years old, two-thirds say they have assisted their children with post-secondary costs. One fifth of them said this has prevented them from paying off their debt and 16 per cent say it has forced them to postpone their retirement.
One-third of Canadians said they were familiar with tax credits, grants and other financial assistance programs associated with post-secondary costs.
"Between tuition, textbooks, housing and meals, post-secondary education comes with a big price tag. It's clear that many Canadians are making major financial sacrifices to help their kids with these costs," says Kelley Keehn, author, personal finance educator and consumer advocate for FP Canada (formerly Financial Planning Standards Council). "A Certified Financial Planner professional can help you take advantage of the tax credits and other tools at your disposal. With the right plan in place, you can help your children without jeopardizing your own financial well-being."
Thirty-one per cent of parents with adult children surveyed said their children graduated, or will graduate, with more than $10,000 in student debt. As a result, 19 per cent said their children had to postpone buying a home and 10 per cent say it has caused them from postpone moving out. For Canadians with children under age 18, 51 per cent expect their children will postpone purchasing their first home due to student debt and 42 per cent expect their children will postpone moving out.