Providing for your children’s or children’s education is one of the greatest investments you can ever make. Quality schooling and higher education are essential to give your children the best chance of succeeding in their future.
The benefits of providing your children with a good start in life outweigh the costs, both emotionally and financially. As a parent you want to ensure that your children are given every opportunity to fulfil their potential and that their school lives are both enjoyable and productive. Financially, you want to be able to assess the alternatives and effectively choose the best option for your child.
As an expatriate, you are in a very fortunate savings and investing position. Offshore saving plans offer a flexible way for you to save money to fund the cost of your child’s education.
Childcare and education remain one of the biggest expenditures for every household, raising children has become increasingly expensive. Given that the cost of education is growing at around 5% p.a. you will need to double or treble this amount to reach the figure required to finance your children’s education when they come of age.
All in all, paying for your child’s education requires planning and may depend on many factors including:
Consider these important points that will determine the right path for your child’s education:
• Are you in an environment where the local standards of education differ greatly from what you want for your child? For example, you can enroll your child in state schools in China, but this is only impossible if they are approved to accept foreign students.
• Is the language in your country of residence going to be a barrier in your child’s learning?
• Do the teaching and qualification standards in your country of residence compare favourably to the standards back home? Be aware that education to western standards can be well above the cost of a private education in your home country. This is because international schools pay expatriate salaries and living expenses to the teachers they employ from your home country.
• Are you living in an environment that is not 100% safe or stable which could adversely affect your child’s learning and development?
• Does the international school still charge a full year’s tuition if your child leaves before year-end? Are there other penalties you must pay for early withdrawal?
Each of these points should be considered carefully before you start planning. You will most likely be presented with a choice between private or state schooling and therefore it is essential to weigh up the factors such as costs, logistical concerns and the difference in quality.
Remember that it is up to you to take responsibility for providing your child with the best possible opportunities.
The number of schools available at home and abroad is vast. To make your decision easier, focus on what type of school that will best meet your child’s needs.
Personal recommendations and from the internet serve as a good starting point for your search. The internet can provide you with information on educational practices overseas, whether there are any international schools available, the school’s curriculum and the expected fees.
Once you have shortlisted a few schools, ask for their brochures. Information on the average academic achievements of the school’s pupils should be enquired.
Examine the school’s facilities, security arrangements and pupil welfare programmes – everything that is important to you and your child.
Among the relevant questions to consider if you are thinking of sending your child overseas or back home to be educated, please see the following:
Make sure you familiarise yourself with the necessary steps to take advantage of the position that you are in. The lesson with foreign education is that you should not take for granted on what is provided, , in your home country’s education system.
To support and give your child a good education, you need to put money aside in a place where it can grow and where you can make withdrawals easily come fee payment time.
If you haven’t started planning yet, now is the time to start. So make the most of the options available to you as early as possible.
I can help you find a plan for your child’s education that best suits your needs and highlight some of the below benefits that may be available to you such as: