One of the most important decisions we have to make for our children is to choose their schooling.
This is a considerable financial commitment and cannot be left to chance. The sooner you start planning, the more opportunities you will be able to give your children in the future.
As a parent I understand that we all want the best for our children. One of the most important decisions we have to make for our children is which school to send them to. For some parents, paying for their child to attend private school is an important aspiration or lifelong dream.
But with the recession on our doorstep and many people facing redundancy, being able to afford private school fees is a worry for many parents.
With sound financial planning and adequate protection in place, however, you needn’t lose sleep over your children’s education.
The cost of private schooling in the UK
According to the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Annual Report, the average fees for private day schools now stands at £4,763 per term, or around £14,300 per annum. Boarding school fees are around twice the cost of day schools.
What’s more, school fees are only a part of the cost; you also need to consider the cost of uniforms and equipment, not to mention extracurricular activities too.
Over a typical education of fourteen years, the total average cost of day school now stands at around £286,000, while the total average cost for boarding school is around £468,000 per child. School fees tend to rise continually at a rate above UK inflation. Parents not only need to think about whether they can afford fees in the first year but also whether they can continue to pay them throughout their child’s education up to the completion of A-Levels, when the total cost of education could be eighteen times the initial yearly fee!
How to plan
This is a huge financial commitment and cannot be left to chance. The sooner you start planning, the greater the opportunities you will be able to give your children in the future.
Put a saving plan in place
It is important to start saving regularly when planning for school fees, especially if you are investing for the next five years or more. The longer you save, the more chance you will have of gaining capital growth on your school fees plan, which will in turn help reduce the overall cost of the fees when payable.
Tax-efficient ways to pay for school fees
There are many tax-efficient savings vehicles available to help you plan and save for school fees. Finding the right ones for your family will require some guidance from an independent financial adviser.
Insure and protect
Protecting your plan is just as important as it ensures that your wishes are carried out if the worst does happen. With most employers offering one-size-fits-all, in-workplace protection benefits, it is important to find out whether you are under insured and close any gaps in your protection plans. A life policy must be in place to ensure that on death or serious illness or accident, your plan – and consequently your child’s education – is protected.
If your children’s education is a priority and you would like to get more information about school fees planning, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial consultation.