It's been a busy year for accountant Selva Perera, 45, who lives and works in Brampton, Ontario. His wife, Vasudha, 43, has had a pretty eventful year too. (We've changed their names to protect their privacy.) Six years after arriving to Canada from Sri Lanka -- via a brief stint in Abu Dhabi -- they became Canadian citizens last winter. "When we received the chance to come to Canada, we didn't hesitate," says Vasudha. This long awaited opportunity did not come without a few sacrifices.
Since immigrating to Canada, Vasudha, a trained lawyer, has had difficulties finding steady full-time work in the legal profession. This has meant that her family has endured some financial hardships on their way to achieving their Canadian dream. "It's been demoralizing as well as financially challenging," she adds.
With two children aged 11 and 16, like many parents, both Selva and Vasudha want to provide them with a secure future. In 2012, after many years of searching and praying, Vashuda finally landed a full-time job as a legal assistant at a downtown law firm.
Over the years the Pereras have toiled away and saved enough money to purchase a townhouse for their family of four. The Pereras were laser-focused on their quest of buying their first home, so much so, that they cashed in the entire value of the RESPs
they had set aside for their children's post secondary education. Now that Selva and Vasudha both have reliable full-time jobs, Canadian citizenship and a home that they can call their own, they are at a loss as to what their financial priorities should be. Should they be more aggressive with saving for their children's education or should they focus more on their retirement savings?