Over 200 years ago one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin, said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” This is just as true today as it was way back then.
Knowledge doesn’t start and end with school – it’s a never-ending journey through life. Yet school is where curious minds are grown, the desire for life-long learning is gained and the foundations for a successful life are laid. Education is among the most valuable gifts a parent can give a child, but the costs of keeping a child in school continue to rise, putting parents under growing financial pressure. And what if an unforeseen event prevents a parent from being able to give the gift of education to their child?
Over the last three years, the world has gained a deeper understanding of the value of having a plan for a rainy day – access to dread disease cover for when illness strikes and income protection cover for lost jobs have changed many people’s lives. Similarly, with education cover like Liberty’s EduCator benefit, parents can protect their children’s educational future, knowing that in the event of an unexpected tragedy, their children’s schooling and related expenses from early childhood development through to the completion of their first undergraduate degree, will be covered.
Most universities in South Africa have increased their tuition and accommodation prices by between 5% and 8%, respectively for 2023, aligning with Department of Higher Education and Training guidelines.
At the same time, private schools in South Africa have hiked fees for 2023, with nine out of the top 10 now charging more than R300 000 a year for boarding and tuition. Looking over a longer time frame, tuition fees at the country’s top ten private schools have increased by more than 80%, on average, within a decade – and those costs are expected to continue rising.
These increases in private school fees are fast becoming too expensive for many South Africans. And while public schools are less expensive, the costs of educating your children in these schools are also on a similar rising trend.
These figures mean that it’s already a tough task for parents to save enough to afford a good education for their children for the 18 years it takes to get from pre-primary (or Grade R) all the way through to the end of their undergraduate degree. But how many clients have a contingency plan for how these fees will be paid, should they become permanently disabled and unable to earn an income, or pass away?
Planning for the unforeseen
Having the ability to send a child to a quality institution where they will get the best opportunity for success is important to any parent. That’s why helping them to have a solid financial plan in place, including an education back-up plan to cover the unforeseen, can go a long way to making the best of whatever life throws at them.
By encouraging clients to take out education cover, financial advisers can help parents to mitigate this risk with the knowledge that their children’s schooling and related expenses from pre-primary until they complete university will be covered. Should they pass away or become permanently unable to earn an income, the benefit will pay out directly to the approved learning institution, so parents can rest assured that the money will be used for its intended purpose.
Liberty’s Educator benefit primarily focuses on covering the costs of the child’s tuition fees. However, various supplementary allowances help contribute towards the cost of items such as uniforms, stationery, textbooks, extra-curricular activities and transportation. The benefit allows for flexibility to choose between public, private and special needs’ schools. It covers all levels of education, subject to benefit limits, including early childhood development, pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary. It also pays for international education and home schooling.
Every parent wants to know they’ve done the best they can for their children. By taking out education cover, they can have the peace of mind that their children’s educational needs will be taken care of.