One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is a good education. Providing them with the best possible start in life in an increasingly competitive world is more valuable than ever.
All want their children to be admitted to the best schools and university, which have all good facilities that could impart excellent education.
Hence it is seen that a significant number of UAE-based expatriates choose to send their children to a boarding school overseas. However, there are also those who are opposed to the idea of being away from their children and therefore opt for a local school.
Foreign students must pay fees in order to attend state schools in the UAE, as well as pass an assessment in Arabic before admittance is granted. As such, most parents opt for a private international school for their children, of which there is a significant number throughout the country.
Therefore, and perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the primary concerns posed by the majority of expat parents relates to affordability.
With school fees rising on average four times the rate of inflation, an integral part of a bespoke education plan is the investment element.
It is better to start an investment plan for education rather than saving in the traditional sense.
It will be advisable to start investing as early as possible if the parent has more than one child.
Funding their child’s education can be expensive, and it is an expense that is continually rising. In certain cases, even if employers finance a child’s schooling, it is unlikely they will continue to do so when it comes to university fees.
Therefore, being financially prepared is crucial.
Initially, find out how much the university fees will actually cost. Depending on where the child wishes to study, this can vary considerably. Second, start saving regularly. Consistent, affordable monthly payments over an 18-year period placed into a dedicated savings plan could enable to reach the target relatively easily.
Third, enjoy the tax advantages of being an expatriate. Exclusive tax efficient investment opportunities allow expats to raise the necessary funds for their child to study at their chosen university.
Expats in the UAE are able to benefit from greater financial rewards living in a tax-free environment, and, typically, have every intention to save as much as possible.
However, it can often be too easy to get swept away by the luxurious lifestyle, meaning living expenses rise, taking up a higher percentage of a person’s salary which could be allocated to education fee planning.
Indeed, most expats who make the move to the UAE don’t plan to do so forever. Therefore, it’s crucial to take full advantage of your expat status before moving on.
There is a host of benefits available to expats when it comes to education fee planning.
As well as capitalising on tax-efficient savings and investment opportunities, they could, as an example, transfer a lump sum into an offshore bond and also take advantage of several specialised structured products.
Furthermore, there is a wide range of Offshore Savings Plans available, such as easy access, notice, no-notice, fixed rate and monthly interest. Education fee planning is often one of the principal motives expatriates consider an Offshore Savings Plan to accumulate funds.
The key to education planning is to start a financial strategy as early as possible. It is highly recommended that parents consult a specialist, independent cross-border financial adviser in order to ensure that the right strategy is implemented, to give them peace of mind that they are on track to raising the necessary funds to give their child the gift of the perfect education.