​Planning ahead for your child's education

mother child saving

23 Oct 2018 | 3 min. read

Do you know how much to set aside? Find out the cost of university education, how to save for this and where to turn to for help.

For many Singaporean parents, guiding children through their school years towards a good university education is a fervent wish. Many see it as their parental duty to pay for tuition fees, even if these are for considerably costlier studies abroad.

If you belong to this group, get an idea here of how much you need to set aside to fund junior's university education, and how you can save up towards that target.

Planning ahead: What you should do

Here are some tips:

1. Take stock of what you have now

Before you start saving, you need a clear sense of how much you have on hand. Knowing where you are now gives you a better idea of how much you will need to save for your child's education fund.

Here's a template you can use:

Current value Projected value when your child turns 18 or 21
Bank savings
Life insurance policy

Investments

Others
Total

Note

Note: To project the future value of your funds, you need to make some assumptions on the rates of return, as well as the amount you intend to save or invest.

For life insurance, you can ask your insurer for the latest projected policy value. Take note of how much of the value is guaranteed, and how much is not.

As the actual returns could vary from the assumptions, you should monitor your portfolio and adjust your financial plan, if needed.

2. Estimate the cost of your child's university education

Work out how much the tuition fees, living and other expenses might be. One simple back of the envelope calculation is to factor in inflation to how much it costs today.

3. Start saving early

The earlier you start saving, the more you can benefit from the effects of compounding to grow your savings.

To cover any shortfall you may have, you should work out:

  • How much money to set aside
  • What returns you would need to have

One good way is to review your current expenses. Think about which areas can be trimmed and start saving a higher fixed amount each month. Use the budget and savings calculators to help you work out the sums.

4. Invest your money prudently

Many financial and investment products claim to help you save for your child's university education. Before you decide to place your money in such a product:

  • Work out your goal
  • Assess if the product meets your needs
  • How much you can afford to set aside
  • The rate of return you need
  • How much risk you can afford to take

Find out more before placing your money in common investment products.

5. Review your plan regularly

Check your progress at least once a year to see if you're on track. Diversify your investments if you have to.

Revise your portfolio and move to conservative assets as you approach the time when you need the funds. These may include fixed deposits, Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) and Singapore Government Securities (SGS).

Loans, grants and scholarships

Apart from saving up, you can get help to fund your child's education in a few ways:

  • Tuition Fee Loan scheme for approved institutions. The loan is interest-free during the period of study. You can check with the institutions on this scheme.
  • CPF Education Scheme allows you to borrow from your CPF savings to pay for your child's education. This is for local universities and subject to the withdrawal cap.
    Take note: Your child will have to repay the amount withdrawn, plus accrued interest which you would have otherwise earned on your CPF savings.
  • Study loans from banks. You should shop around and assess which loan option is better for you.
  • Universities may also provide subsidies, grants and scholarships for eligible students.
  • There is a range of government scholarships available. Find out about Tuition Grant.

Besides that, your child could also work part-time or during term vacations to help pay part of his or her living expenses.

We know that saving for your child’s university education is important to you. It pays to take charge and start planning now!

Learn more:

Last updated on 05 Nov 2018