Brace yourself This is how much it will cost you to put

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MONTREAL — The cost of a four-year university degree for a child born in 2013 could rise to more than $140,000 due to tuition inflation, a new study says.But three-quarters of parents with children under 18 haven’t made a detailed estimate of the total cost of post-secondary education, said BMO’s Wealth Institute in a report released on Wednesday.Tuition and other costs for a four-year university degree now can cost more than $60,000, the report said.“I think that for most people if you tell them that tuition has increased two or three times the rate of inflation they will be surprised at that,” said BMO’s Caroline Dabu.This can leave parents unprepared for the costs and students with hefty loans to pay back when they graduate, Dabu said from Toronto.Over the last five years, the average annual inflation rate has been 1.6% while tuition inflation was 3.9%, the bank said.It also noted that at the beginning of the 1990s, average undergraduate tuition fees in Canada were $1,464 and they’ve risen more than three-fold to $5,581.Parents often see college or university as a long way off for their children, said Dabu, vice-president and head of BMO’s wealth planning group.“The top mistake is not starting early enough.”The report also found that 83% of parents expect to pay for their child’s college or university costs, with 44% expecting their child will also contribute.“Let them know you’re saving for their education and have them involved in how you’re saving,” Dabu said.If students have a part-time job, parents could have a portion of earnings go toward post-secondary education to help them understand budgeting, she added.Only half of parents have set up a registered education savings plan (RESP), said the inaugural report by the bank’s newly created Wealth Institute, called: “Student Tuition and Debt on the Rise: RESP’s and Beyond.”The report also found that only 34% of parents were taking full advantage of the available government grant for RESPs.The BMO report also recommends parents consider using tax free savings accounts, trusts, corporate dividends and life insurance policies to help pay for post-secondary education.“The advice we give to clients is very similar as to what we give around retirement, and that is to start saving as soon as possible,” Dabu said. read more

UN summit on sustainable development aims to generate sense of hope

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Addressing correspondents in New York at a press briefing on preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Johannesburg in fall 2002, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Nitin Desai said that the event would seek to produce clear goals and operational programmes to help address economic, social and environmental issues. “Nobody is going to be able to do this alone,” Mr. Desai said, underlining the need to create partnerships between governments, business and civil society to achieve the Summit’s ends. He also expressed the hope that the event would address concerns that had developed since the last summit — held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 — such as globalization. Presenting an overview of the lead-up to the Summit, Mr. Desai said that from now to January, a large number of preparatory events would focus on what had and had not been achieved since Rio, and on the submission of new proposals and suggestions which would be considered at a later stage next year, including a high-level ministerial meeting in Indonesia in May. read more