At the rate education costs are escalating, tertiary fees can become exorbitant by the time our children are ready. It is no wonder less than half of Singaporean parents are financially prepared for their children’s education based on a survey conducted by OCBC Bank in December 2013.
Tuition fees for local universities are estimated to inflate at 3.5 percent per annum, whereas the increase in fees at overseas universities such as the US, UK and Australia, can range from 4.8 to 5.9 percent. If we include living expenses and airfare (for overseas universities) which will also inflate at estimated 3 and 5.3 percent per annum respectively, the total amount can become a huge financial strain if proper planning is not done.
Annual tuition fees for NUS, according to their website, are $9,000 for the average course of study.
Assuming an average course is 3 years = $27,000 total fees.
Assuming education inflation of 3.5% for 20 years = about $50,000.
Hence, when it comes to planning for our children’s education, start early with an education plan. It is essentially an endowment policy, in which we receive a lump sum at maturity. Some of these policies pay out a sum of money once every few years. This will ease our worry of not having sufficient funds to pay for our kids’ education in the future.
Banks have long been competing fiercely for deposits. Undoubtedly, it is the consumer who benefits from it. Factors such as banking hours, availability of ATMs and service level are losing its importance in the eyes of the consumer, giving way to the attractiveness of advertised interest rates. Here are the top 3 Savings Accounts in Singapore:
1) OCBC 360 Account
This account pays up to 3.05% interest on up to $50,000 deposited provided the required criteria are met. Firstly, crediting a salary of more than $2,000 into the account. Secondly, paying any 3 separate bills. Thirdly, spending at least $400 on any OCBC credit card. All of which seems reasonable to achieve.
2) SCB BonusSaver
This is a similar account, only that the criterion for is more challenging and less attractive. It pays 1.88% interest on up to $25,000 deposited, provided at least $500 is spent on the credit card.
3) CIMB StarSaver
This is the best savings account that pays 0.8% interest with minimal conditions, which is even higher than some banks’ fixed deposit rates.
There are a couple of others that advertise rates like 2.014% from POSB and 2.5% from Citibank, but the terms and conditions are very different. Like it only applies on the incremental amount and for a limited period only.
Do note, of course, that interest rates are all quoted on an annualised basis. In case some are dreaming it is too good to be true.
Anyone has any better to share?