Do your homework on your children's education costs

We all want our children to have the best in life and education is an integral part of this. We all know that schooling and university is costly, and as an expat, educating your children abroad can be even more expensive.

Planning effectively and in the early years can not only ease the burden of the huge expenses involved, but open up a whole world of possibilities for your offspring.  

But how expensive really is it?  Well in the United Kingdom the average cost of tuition fees is an eye watering $19,291 per year with additional living costs of $11,034.  This is a whopping $30,325 per year. And this is for just one child!

Is it worth it? Helping your child with education costs creates long-term pay back as those who have a university degree tend to command higher lifetime earnings.

To paint the picture: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a high school leaver with no further education will earn an average of $651 per week. In comparison a university graduate will earn an average of $ 1,194 per week. *Source: Compiled from publicly available data up to end 2013

But with so many daily expenses and other necessities to save for what is the best way to go about it?  Here are some key questions you should be asking…

How much will I need?

When do I need to start? 

How do I plan for more than one child?

What is the best way for me to provide for education costs?When will I need to take benefits for my child/children?How does saving for my children’s education fit in with other financial commitments?What is the best solution?

A financial adviser can help you answer these questions but it is important that as a parent you too do your homework.  As you enjoy the younger years with your children you, like them, may have absolutely no clue what the future holds in terms of an occupation or study interests. One thing is for certain though, that it is extraordinarily expensive to provide a decent education, so the earlier you start planning the better position you will be in to provide for this.

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