One of the most valuable investments into a child’s future is a university education. Well educated people increase their earning potential dramatically and over the course of their working years an educated employee can expect to earn considerably more than their less educated peers.
While the cost of going to university seems to be increasing at an alarming rate, most parents and grandparents still rate the importance of helping children to secure a sound education as one of their top priorities.
Ideally, grandparents who hope to be of assistance with the university expenses of their grandchildren will begin saving and investing shortly after the children are born. By starting early, grandparents can maximize the time that they have to contribute, making it a much easier process.
Several types of savings accounts, as well as other non-savings account investments can be considered, depending on a number of factors.
Grandparents must take into account how much they can afford to contribute, number of years until the child is ready for university, and the level of risk that they are willing to take in order to meet their investment goals.
Seeking the advice of a financial planner or investment counsellor is advised for all but the most financially savvy grandparents.
While almost all parents understand the value of a university education, recent polls show that 40% of parents in the UK admit to putting nothing aside for their children’s educations.
Of those who do save, about a quarter of them contribute less than £200 per year, even knowing that this amount is sure to be insufficient. Citing the everyday expenses that they already incur as putting a strain on the family’s budget, many parents admit that they worry about how their children will be able to secure a good education.
Twenty five percent of parents hope (and even expect) that the children’s grandparents will provide some financial assistance for university, with over half of all grandparents agreeing that they should share some of the financial burden.
Such generosity on the part of grandparents is certain to be much appreciated by grandchildren, who might otherwise be unable to meet their educational goals.
Ways to Help
While not all grandparents are in a comfortable enough position, financially, to fund a university education for their grandchildren, most can offer some type of assistance.
For instance, those who live near a university may wish to offer free meals and housing to their grandchild during their time at school, saving the student considerable expense.
Other grandparents may be able to pay for a course or two, while yet others will be able to provide money for books, a computer, or other necessities.
Grandchildren who are parents themselves may benefit from grandparent-provided childcare while they attend classes, providing relief to the hardworking university student not only by saving the expense of a childminder, but also by offering them the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their little one is in kind, loving hands.
While most grandparents would probably like to help with the financial burdens associated with their grandchildren’s university educations, grandparents must carefully balance their own needs with those of their grandkids.
As they prepare for and enter their retirement years, grandparents should make honest assessments of their financial position and be sure that they do not leave themselves short.
While monetary assistance is sure to be appreciated, most kids would not be comfortable with the idea that their grandparents are suffering financially in order to benefit them.
Grandparents should take comfort in knowing that even if they are unable to provide financial support; their love, emotional support, and encouragement are gifts that their grandchildren will cherish.