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The joy that children can bring us is immense – I should know, I have recently had my first child.
So I can appreciate the fact that many parents will not want to think about how much their child or children are going to cost them to bring up. But when you do, my goodness it can come as a shock.
Believe it or not, the cost of raising a child from cradle to college – past their 21st birthday – is a whopping £210,000 according to the latest survey from insurer LV=, which watches this kind of thing. That figure has gone up by 50% since 2003. Sobering reading, isn’t it? These are UK prices, granted, but the figures are unlikely to be much different for expat parents in Asia. Recent figures for South Korea alone show that it costs around US$231,000 – or 260 million won – to raise a child in South Korea from birth to graduating from college.
Now, none of us begrudges our children anything, we want them to have the best of everything – the best education, the best experiences, the best chance of getting a good job when they get older – but like it or not, that all costs money.
Planning ahead for the cost of bringing up children is not always possible – not everyone plans when they start a family, sometimes they are just blessed unexpectedly – and losing one income in a household where you are both used to working can create a double whammy when your outgoings are also increasing. Going back to work means arranging childcare, again a cost which has to be considered against the benefit of a wage.
But no matter where you are in your child’s stage of life, it is never too late to start putting some money away for their future. A regular savings plan to put something away each month – whatever you can afford to spare – will help with everything from school fees to university costs, or even give your child the chance of having a deposit for a first home in the future. It is also a great way to encourage your children to learn about the value of money, by getting them involved at an early stage in the investment process.
Using an adviser to go through your needs and help you frame the best savings options available is a wise move, especially as many of us can empathise with the cost of bringing up children.
First published in Asia Life
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