The idea of giving the kids a great start in life is virtually priceless, and for many responsible parents, this means education.
The earlier generations had it easy. With the time transforming from books to digital reading or e-book as they call it, level and quality of education has achieved a new height. Then competition was low and the fee in government institutions was very modest.
Now, the heightened competition for admission to quality government-run institutions is forcing students to turn to more costly private institutions said Prakash, a 48-year-old working as a mechanical engineer in Dubai.
However, the big question from worrying parents is will they be able to fund their children’s higher education?
Like Prakash, many responsible parents realize that cost of higher education is already high and rising at 10-12 percent a year in countries like India. Children’s education is one of the biggest cash outflows that families must plan for.
A four-year engineering course costs roughly USD 15,000 per year right now. In six years, the cost is likely to touch USD 30,000 per year. By 2027, it would cost USD 50,000 per year to get an engineering degree from a top class government owned college. In private institutes, the cost multiplies many folds.
Lifestyle inflation, too, has affected the cost of children’s education. Now the “standard of living” plays a major role in the decision about where you send your children for higher education, believes Anish, father of two who stays in UAE since last 7 years. “Children who have grown up amid greater affluence are less willing to attend government colleges that have a minimal infrastructure,” says Anish.
They can if they plan ahead and take the right steps.
When I meet people from different nationalities, job/ business class, different age bracket to help them creating solid education fund, the biggest challenge I come across is fear of instability in income.
Having said that despite market conditions, economic downturn or any other unavoidable circumstances everyone will have to save for their child’s education and their own retirement.
So the need of the hour is to get along with all these situations and keep these following in mind:
Have A Clear Goal
“The first step to achieve any financial milestone is to set a clear goal,” says Naseem Ahmed- Italian chef by profession. Many time the phrase we hear from various financial consultants is “Failing to plan is planning to fail” but before planning one should be very clear about the GOAL they want to plan. The cost of postponing urgent need like saving for education or retirement is very significant.
Being an early bird
One obvious solution is to start saving early. The individual will not only be able to amass a larger sum, but the money will also gain from the power of compounding. A corpus of $200,000 may seem daunting to pay lump sum, but it’s possible to save this amount with a regular saving of $500 per month for 18 years in an equity fund that gives 8 percent return. “Since the rate of education inflation is so high, you need compounding to work for you over a longer period,” says Vidya mother of 4 years old staying in Dubai since last 8 years. Vidya is considering taking up a full-time job to save better for her son. A delayed start not only yields a smaller corpus but can also jeopardize other financial goals. Often, parents dip into their retirement savings to fill the gap, but this can be a risky move. “Just because you have funded your children’s education, there is no guarantee that they will look after you in your old age,” warns Vidya. Well not because they will have no emotional attachment but due to the type of job or country they live in, she added.
To Be World Class
The changing nature of employment also makes it necessary to fetch a western university degree, where the probability of getting a better pay package post higher studies is higher as compared to traditional education or from a mediocre institute thinks Mohammed Rafique working as a PR for a reputed company in UAE.
Kids studying in UAE would always prefer to work in developed countries. So, in other words, it’s CLASS that matters to the GEN X.
Let’s Keep it Simple
Simple things are simple to carry out indeed.
When it comes to opt for a definite event like child’s education, responsible parents keep it simple by enrolling into a guaranteed payout plan rather getting into fancy“investment” options or alternative asset classes like property. I came across many parents who initially tried many riskier investment options hoping to multiply their saving in no time with very mouth watering returns. Best way to look forward is to keep it simple rather taking risks like time & value & willingness to sell in case of properties.
By Khetra Reddy
Senior Wealth Architect