Plan your children tertiary education early

Plan for your children tertiary education early (Photo Credit: Courtney Carmody, via Flickr)

For many new parents, the cost of buying milk powder, toys and clothes seems to be the first thing that comes to the mind.

There is one thing that most parents has overlooked – children’s tertiary education.

Everyone has been through this stage of life and has obtained your Degree and Diploma. If your parents have funded your education, are you aware of how much it has costs? For those who funded your own education, i am sure you know it is no small amount.

Now that you are a parent yourself, wouldn’t you want to be able to fund for your children education needs and not deny him or her the opportunities to at least obtain that piece of paper in a highly competitive society of Singapore?

If you have not start to save for your children education, start now.

Time value of money will compound and grow and multiply this pot of money. You will be surprised that stashing away a small portion of your money every month can grow to something significant 20 years later.

The question is how much do we need to put away?

First, we need to find out how much it costs for a tertiary education now and how much it will cost 20 years later after adjusting for inflation.

Base on a 3-years business course, the estimated* figures are illustrated in SGD in the table below:

Country Tuition Fees Other Expenses Total
Singapore $27,750 $2,000 $29,750
Australia $108,276.60 $84,990 $193,267
UK $99,827.28 $126,036 $225,863
US $78,000 $112,320 $190,320

If we assume a 5% education inflation, the expenses in 20 years time worked out to be:

Country Total Expenses
Singapore $78,936
Australia $512,795
UK $599,282
US $504,976

The figure are startling but that should discourage you to start saving for your kids.

By saving i don’t mean stashing away in your bank’s saving account as the low interest environment is not going to let you achieve the numbers above.

If you’re financial savvy, do a ‘110 minus your age‘ stocks portfolio. If you are not, stick your money with STI ETF.

If we assume your investment performance to be in line with education inflation of 5%, you would need to set away approximately $15,000 a year to get around half a million 20 years later.

Therefore, it is important that parents should start to plan for you children tertiary education early.

(* The numbers are estimated and factors like exchange rate fluctuation, variable education inflation and choice of school may not reflect the figures above)


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