Education Planning – Investing in your Children’s Education

Education can be expensive. Certain fields, such as Medicine, Engineering, Law, Aviation and Business are extremely costly if being done without government or family assistance and many students find themselves applying for scholarships and undertaking loans to make the financial burden easier on themselves.

As a parent or a future parent, you can make this burden easier by taking a few simple steps now. By investing now in your children’s education, you are not only making the eventual financial costs easier, but you are also opening new education opportunities for your children, giving them greater access to programs worldwide.

Guardian Group has taken the time to write this blog with you in mind, with 5 tips on Investing in your Children’s Education.

1. Set a yearly goal – Set a yearly financial savings goal and work towards that goal. Let this figure be based on how often you are able to set aside money and the amount of money you are able to set aside. As some programs are more expensive than others, your first Education Savings goal should be to save for the base costs of attending a University, after which you can factor in the actual costs of the respective programs.

For example, the cost of a room and boarding at the University of the West Indies is averaged to be $100,000.00-$150,000.00 over a period of 3-years. If your child will be boarding, then it is crucial that you consider this figure to be your first education savings goal.

2. Set up an Education Savings Fund – An Education Savings Fund is a fund created specifically to put aside money for education. Whether this money is to be used to cover costs incurred for your children’s boarding at College or University, or used to cover tuition fees, having an Education Savings Fund is always a great idea. The fund can be easily set up with Standing Orders to have a monthly payment deducted immediately

The earlier you start an Education Savings Fund, the better, given that Education costs are subject to inflation and can increase over time. By starting a fund earlier, you can guarantee that by the time your child is of college age (18 +), he or she would have a comfortable amount of savings to assist in their expenses.

3. Consider your payment options – You do not have to pay the entire sum of tuition in one go. Payment options are more flexible now than they were in the past; provisional payment plans are now offered by schools and allows for smaller installments to be paid over the course of a few months or for the duration of the program and these amounts can be negotiated based on your income.

Additionally, education loans are readily accessible and can be used to pay for programs in intervals, which puts less burden on the one repaying the loan.

P.S: Always do careful research when considering your payment options. Banks and Credit Unions offer varying interest rates, some of which may be more affordable to you and more suited to your child’s program of choice in the future.

4. Consider the career route – Different career choices cost more than some, and different levels of education also cost different amounts. For example, the cost of doing a 5-year Medical Degree is more costly than doing a 1-year Technical Diploma. Similarly, a Master’s Degree is more costly than that of a Bachelor’s Degree.

Be cognizant of the associated costs with your choice of program and the level of the program. Is the program worth the cost? What are the options available to assist you with the payments? These points are important to consider.

5. Speak to a Financial Advisor – Investing in Education is no different from any other form of investing and you should get the best advice at your disposal. Financial Advisors possess years of experience and are highly-qualified in the fields of Finance, Investment and Management, and are available for this very reason.

Considering the possibility of taking out a loan to fund your child’s journey through University but unsure of the feasibility? Curious about your other options? You got it, your Financial Advisor can provide you with comprehensive advice and guidance based on your individual circumstances to aid with your decision-making.

Your child's Education is important and investing in Education should be a priority. Simple steps you take today can positively impact your children’s educational opportunities in the future.  We hope you have enjoyed this week’s topic. Join us again next week for more!

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