Although the high costs of a private education are well known, there are still significant expenses at the start of every school year for those using the public education system, at a time when families can probably least afford them, says Matt Walsh, head of Lifeplan Funds Management.
“There are a number of substantial back-to-school expenses that need to be considered even for a public school education, and these should be budgeted for well in advance.
“Children need new books, new stationery, equipment for sport and other extracurricular activities, all of which are unwelcome additional costs at the start of a new year.
“This is particularly true when a child is entering a new school, regardless of the grade level.
“Combined, these costs can easily add up to $3000 for each child, and can be a large impost on the family budget so soon after Christmas,” Mr Walsh says.
The types of expenses that are easily overlooked, but need to be considered, include:
“The IT equipment that high school students are expected to have can be a particularly nasty shock for parents. The high school laptop program for students in years 9 to 12 was part of Labor’s Digital Education Revolution, but in 2013 the Federal Government ceased funding for it. As a result, parents are now expected to foot the bill for a laptop or tablet, at the minimum,” Mr Walsh says.
“Some kind of education savings plan is therefore an essential financial strategy for every parent.
“A Lifeplan Education Investment Fund is a specially designed savings and investment option to help parents, or grandparents, fund the education expenses of their children or grandchildren.
“The fund can be used for a lifetime of education – from primary, to secondary and a wide range of tertiary, including TAFE, as well as special needs education.
“Education savings plans provide a flexible investment with tax advantages for those saving for children’s education. Families can contribute small sums or large lump sums, establish regular savings plans and have ready access to funds, including tax-free access to all contributions.
“Education savings plans also ensure families remain in control of their investment, allowing them to nominate new student beneficiaries and switch between a range of investment options, from conservative to balanced to growth options,” Mr Walsh says.
Lifeplan Funds Management is a specialist business of Australian Unity Investments. It is a market leader in investment and funeral bonds, and a leading provider of education investment funds.
For more information please contact:
Matt Walsh – Phone: 08 8236 4706
The Lifeplan Education Investment Fund is issued by Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society Limited ABN 78 087 649 492 AFSL 237989. This information is not based on the financial objectives, situation or needs of any particular investor. The Fund’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available on the Australian Unity Investments website at australianunityinvestments.com.au .
13 January 2015