Escaping The Squeeze of The Sandwich Generation Part 2: Preparing for Your Children’s Future

As with all parents, John loves his two beautiful children dearly. To him, his greatest wish is for them to have a bright future. To achieve this, it is essential that he provides them with the best education. Like many other parents, he sees education as the best gifts for his children.

Even with a limited budget, he knows it was essential to prioritize planning for their education. To him, nothing was more important than being financially prepared for his children’s education fees.

 

What is the Cost of Education in Singapore?

In today’s society, many will consider having a university education to be essential. A university degree is seen as the key to unlocking the doors for opportunities. This is especially true, in a conservative and highly competitive country like Singapore.  As with many parents, it is John’s dream to witness his two children receiving their degree scroll, dressed in their graduation gown. 

However, tertiary education does not come cheap. The annual tuition fee, depending on the courses, for a local university ranges from S$8,200 – S$34,200 (after the government’s subsidy). Based on past trends, the figures are also projected to increase by  0.6% – 8% per year. 

This does not factor in other fees such as overseas exchange programme, accommodation, and living expenses which will all incur huge costs as well. 

Should your child choose to pursue an overseas university education, the figure will be significantly higher. For example, tuition fees in Australia – one of the most popular destinations for Singapore students, can cost between S$19,200 – S$44,000 per year. This is notwithstanding other expenses such as flights, living and accommodation expenses.

 

What can I do?

Well, while many have the intention to fund their children’s education, small and adhoc saving is insufficient. It is important to have a financial plan!

There are two main ways to approach this:

Option 1: Getting an Endowment Plan

In general, endowment plans have higher returns compared to bank savings accounts, while incurring lower risks than investments. This makes it the go-to option for most parents who are looking for a relatively low-risk option to stash their savings. 

Moreover, it also comes with the added benefit of having some form of insurance coverage. 

Some endowment plans you can consider are GREAT Flexi Goal, Supreme Education, or GREAT Wealth Multiplier.

Let illustrate it with an example. John, a 35-year-old working professional, takes home around S$7,500 per month. With the birth of his new daughter, he started to think more about the finance required for the education of his two beloved daughters.

Having high hopes for his two daughters, Risa (2 months old) and Paige (age 5), his dream is for them to become lawyers. With that in mind, John looked up the National University of Singapore (NUS) website for the cost of a Bachelor of Laws. 

Currently, the tuition fee for a four-year Bachelor of Laws degree adds up to S$50,000 (S$12,500 per year). Assuming Risa and Paige choose to stay on-campus, an additional S$22,000 would be required, taking the total fee to S$72,000 each. 

Factoring in other expenses such as meal, transportation, and school supplies, the total cost will be a whooping  S$91,600 for each child. This is before accounting for other factors such as exchange programme or inflation. 

 

Expense (Per Year)

Total Expense (Duration of Degree)

Tuition Fees 

S$12,500 

S$50,000

Campus Accommodation

S$5,500

S$22,000

Meals 

S$1,700

S$6,800

Personal Expenses

S$2,200

S$8,000

Transportation 

S$800

S$3,200

Books and Supplies 

S$400

S$1,600

Total Cost of Program

S$91,600

*Figures are based on Projected Cost of Living on NUS’s website

 

Recommended by his friends, John decided to sign up for GREAT Flexi Goal – a regular premium endowment plan that offers high potential returns of up to 4.04% p.a.* with flexible premium payment options.

Assuming both Risa and Paige enter university at age 20, John has 20 and 15 years to save up for the girls respectively. 

Below is the table for how much John needs to save per year if he wants to hit S$91,600 when both girls reach age 20.

 

Risa (2 months old)

Paige (age 5)

Premium Term 

20 years 

15 years 

Total Payout 

S$92,000*

S$92,000*

Annual Premium 

S$3,150

S$4,850

Total Premium 

S$63,000

S$72,750

*The figure comprises of guaranteed and non-guaranteed benefits. As the bonus rates used for the benefits illustrated are not guaranteed, the actual benefits payable will vary according to the future experience of the Participating Fund. 

As can be seen, it is definitely better to start saving for children’s tertiary when they are younger. While he will receive the same amount of returns, he will have to pay S$9,750 more in premium for Paige’s endowment plan, as compared to the one for Risa. 

 

Option 2: Invest your Money via a Financial Adviser

On the other hand, if you are able to afford to incur a higher risk level you can consider investing with a financial adviser. Through investment, you can increase your chances of getting a higher return, as compared to an endowment plan. 

However, as with all investments, the returns are not guaranteed. You have to understand the risks involved and be comfortable with the risk factor.

Do get in touch with us and one of our Financial Advisor will be able to better advise you. 

 

Which one should I choose?

Whether you choose to invest and get an endowment plan, it is your personal preference. 

While an endowment plan can provide you with a degree of certainty, as it comes with a guaranteed portion, the potential return might not be as attractive. 

On the other hand, investments can come with potentially higher returns, but the costs come in the form of the risk you will have to incur. 

Regardless of your choice, it is important to understand that there are trade-offs for both options. What is important is that you understand the pros and cons and make the decision that is best suited for you. 

 

Conclusion 

Faced with the financial pressure to support both the young children and elderly parents, it is definitely not easy to set aside money for an endowment plan.

However, it is essential that you make the right choice for your children. As seen in John’s example, it definitely helps if you start early. 

The best gift from a parent to a child is the gift of education. A small sacrifice here and there will free your child from the crippling monster that comes in the form of student debt. 

Still unsure of which option is better for you? You can arrange a free consultation with PolicyPal to find out more about what best suits you. Get in touch with us today!

 

PolicyPal promotion: 10% commission rebate*

Compare, buy and manage your Endowment plans on PolicyPal — and earn cash rebate while you’re at it!

*Your rebate will be credited via PayNow, Term and Conditions apply.

 

Arrange a free teleconsulting service with PolicyPal

Because endowment plans are not one-size-fits-all products, we strongly recommend speaking to us before you commit to a long-term plan of any sort. Our professional advisers can assess your budget and needs holistically, and give you personalised recommendations.

PolicyPal offers all our members a free financial portfolio review. This review will help you better understand how to create a suitable financial plan for you and your family. We will analyse life insurance products from over 20 insurers and present you solutions that are tailor-made to address your concerns. 

Our advisers will be more than happy to help you understand any of these insurance policies: 

  • Health Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Endowment/Savings Insurance 
  • Personal Accident Insurance
  • Term/Whole Life Insurance

To get in touch, you can WhatsApp us at 87500688 and let us know your preferred date and time for the appointment. Alternatively, leave your details below and we will contact you to help you set up an appointment. 

How can we help?

 

If you would like to know more about a specific insurance product you can also let us know your preference. This is so that we can be better prepared during the appointment to present you with a comparison table if needed.

The teleconsultation can be done through a Whatsapp phone call or video call. We would recommend using Zoom as it is a free video-conferencing app that you can download for clear audio and video consulting on your computer or your phone. 

 

PolicyPal claims & contact information

 

Contact Information

PolicyPal Customer Service

+65 3163 9184

PolicyPal Claims

[email protected]

 

Read more:

Escaping The Squeeze of The Sandwich Generation: Three Important Rules

PolicyPal Promotion: Get Paid to Sort Out Your Insurance

10 Best Long & Short Term Endowment Plans in Singapore (2020)

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