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As a team who work with teaching professionals every day – not to mention parents, family members and community members of kids in schools – we want to thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in over the past school year. We really appreciate all that you’ve done!
We know that teachers and school staff will start running on fumes by June in a normal year – and this has been far from a normal year. Before you leave this year all behind, we just wanted to remind you of the importance of checking in on your financial wellness. This includes your savings for now (short-term emergency funds), savings for the far future (retirement savings), savings for your kids’ education, and also having strategies in place to protect your finances in case you get sick.
As the providers of your Voluntary Benefits Program, we have developed strategies to help you with your financial wellness. We’ve been helping teachers and school board employees with this for 40 years, so we have seen many end-of-the-school-year moments and reminded teachers and staff to take care over the summer and to take time to visit their own financial wellness.
We have an easy to-do list for your financial wellness strategies. These can be things to take care of now, before you shut off your school email for the summer, or after you’ve had a chance to regroup. And don’t worry, we’re around all summer – connect with us any time with questions and more information!
If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a new kid on the ATA & ASBE Group Savings block! The Group RESP (Registered Educations Savings Plan) has been renewed and rejuvenated.
Start saving for your kids’ education with the ATA & ASBE Group RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan). As a companion to your Group RRSP / TFSA program, this Group RESP provides a way to pay for post-secondary costs for your kids.
Key features of the Group RESP:
Government matching: 20% matching up to $2,500 / year. (For example: you contribute $2,500, the federal government puts in $500.) Easy online application and account access. Overall, it is an innovative investment fund built just for education plans!
Take one more thing off your to-do list by setting up saving to be automatic.
As an ATA member and a school board employee, you can set up your RRSP contributions to be automatic with the ATA & ASBE Group RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). Before you head off for summer vacation, why not set up your Group RRSP contributions to come off your payroll? Get a head start on your “future savings” with automatic payroll deduction.
Start an emergency fund: the ATA & ASBE Group TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) is one place to do this.
We’ve had an up-close look at how quickly our financial wellness can be derailed this past year. Having an emergency fund in place helps to cushion from the effects of a sudden change in your financial life – whether that’s from sickness, economic changes or a loss of work.
Feel free to reach out for us for suggestions on how to structure your TFSA to look after both short-term and long-term needs.
Set up a plan to support your family if you get really sick.
This has been top of mind for many people throughout the pandemic, but what happens if you get diagnosed with one of the major life changing illnesses that have been around a lot longer – things like cancer, heart attack, MS, Alzheimer’s…
In a few minutes, you can sign up online for the ATA Group Critical Illness program and have $25,000 (or more) tax-free to help cover your costs while you recover.
Summer Homework! Take a closer look at your financial wellness.
When you have the mental space, look at getting your stuff together before another school year starts up again! This could mean getting everything in one place with a Where is Everything form; figuring out if you have what you need to cover your family if one of you died (with the Financial Profile worksheet); and talking to us with any questions you have about your own financial wellness.
Head over to our Resources page for our helpful information and worksheets.