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Every parent wants to provide the best life possible for their children – and that includes a quality education.
But considering how high the cost of university education is right now, not to mention the yearly tuition increase at an average of 10%, it’s getting tougher for Filipino parents to send their kids to the top universities.
Parents with kids in one of the top universities in the country today (that are not public colleges and universities) shell out anywhere between 50,000 – over 250,000 annually, imagine what the numbers would be 10 to 20 years from now.
Luckily, there are educational plans that can help you fund your child’s college education.
You have probably heard of college educational plans (and perhaps some fiascos in the past) and you’re wondering how it works and if it’s even worth it to get one for your child.
Well, you’re in the right place. Read on and find out what you need to know about educational plans in the Philippines as well as the options available to you.
What Is an Educational Plan?
An educational plan is like a cross between life insurance and a savings account. It is designed to help parents save and ensure there would be sufficient funds for their child’s college education in the future.
What are the Benefits of Getting an Educational Plan?
There are a number of benefits of having an educational plan but it’s not without its downsides.
Here are some of the pros and cons that you should consider before you make a decision.
- Your child’s tertiary education is guaranteed whether you want to send him or her to a public or private college or university.
- The maturity benefit is often enough for the child’s tuition in his or her entire stay in college so you won’t have to worry about that financial burden in the future.
- Educational plans usually come with the option to add riders like accident insurance among others. This will ensure that your child will still get the coverage even if you are not around anymore.
- Educational plans are not free and they’re certainly not cheap. Getting one means having a huge chunk taken from your budget every month for many years.
- If you want add-ons, your premium goes higher, too.
- The educational coverage doesn’t include all the school fees (usually just the tuition itself). That means you still have to pay for other expenses like miscellaneous and student fees, as well as the allowance.
- There’s always a risk of things going awry so you should carefully choose the insurance company.
How Much Is an Educational Plan in the Philippines?
Educational plan benefits and premiums vary depending on the insurance company and the policy you’re getting.
To give you an idea, we’ve rounded up your best options for educational plans in the country and a quick look at their policies.
Best Educational Plans in the Philippines
Sun Life has a policy that’s specifically designed as an educational plan (Sun Dream Achiever) but their other plans can also be used for funding your child’s college education.
Sun Dream Achiever is a savings and life insurance plan that can help you save for your kid’s education while also getting yourself (as payor) life coverage.
For this particular plan, you get four annual cash payouts which increase every year by 15%. The cash benefit is equal to the full insurance coverage. As for the premiums, you can pay either quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
After you have paid the initial quarterly premium, you may also opt for a monthly auto-debit. Your plan’s payout will begin from 12 – 17 years after the effective date of your policy.
With this particular plan, you’ll get double the face amount until you reach the age of 100.
The guaranteed living benefits can be used as your source of funds when you need the money, like when it’s time for your kid to go to college.
The Sun Acceler8 plan matures after 20 years. Some of its benefits are the increasing insurance coverage and cash benefits, as well as guaranteed maturity benefit at the end of your 20th year.
After your 8th year, you get a special bonus as well as dividend earnings.
This is a great option for those who are looking for an investment-linked insurance plan that can help grow their money over time.
With this plan, you get to ensure your child’s education in the future and reap the benefits of your investment. You also get a loyalty bonus if you keep the plan for 10 years.
Sun MaxiLink Bright lets you secure the future of your kids with life insurance benefit that is at least twice the Face Amount of your plan.
You get to choose from a number of investment fund options and receive professional advice from Sun Life’s seasoned fund managers.
For this plan, you can pay your premium for at least five years or increase your fun with top-ups and extra payments on top of your premium.
For those who want to build a fund for their child’s education in the future but have a limited budget, this affordable plan may be the answer.
Not only is the premium payment flexible but you can also do a partial fund withdrawal if the need arises.
With all of these plans, you can add riders for added financial protection in case of circumstances like accidents.
In addition to these plans that offer flexible payments, Sun Life also offers plans that require a one-time payment like the Sun MaxiLink One, Sun MaxiLink Dollar One, Sun FlexiLink1, and Sun FlexiDollar1.
AXA gives you two educational plan options to choose from so you can get one that suits your financial situation.
If you have a dream school for your child, this plan might be the right one for you as you can tailor your educational plan to match whichever school you want your child to go to.
The payment period is at least five years for this plan. Your child will get annual payouts for his or her education for four years upon entering college, plus a graduation gift of the same amount.
You will also get Loyalty Bonuses. You have the option to add riders to your base plan.
For those looking for an affordable and fuss-free educational plan that delivers guaranteed benefits, Academic eXentials might be the right choice.
Similar to your postpaid phone plans, you choose how much you can pay monthly for five years.
The premiums start at P1,500 and guaranteed cash benefits start at P124,000. You can also decide when your child can start getting the cash benefits.
BDO Life’s educational plan allows you to save for your child’s education and get life insurance.
It also works as an investment tool that lets you choose where to put your funds depending on your risk profile.
You wouldn’t have to worry about your money as they will be managed by experienced fund managers of BDO’s Trust & Investments Group.
This educational plan from Manulife doesn’t only help you get ready for your child’s 4-year of 5-year tertiary education but also ensures that should anything bad happen to you, that you and your child are protected.
You may have your premiums waived and you may have your child get financial support until he or she is 17 years old. You can also decide on how long you’ll pay and what payment mode you’ll use.
This is a life insurance plan that’s also investment-linked. With this plan, you can set up funds for your child’s education from junior or senior high, tertiary education, or even a post-graduate degree.
It also offers faster fund growth and financial protection to ensure that your child’s education will be funded no matter what happens. You can add riders to enhance this plan, too.
Similar to the Wealth Assure Education Plan, this one offers flexibility when it comes to helping you build sufficient funds for your child’s education in the future.
For one, you have the option to withdraw part of your funds if there are any school-related expenses.
Compared to typical savings accounts, your money will grow more with the Wealth Secure Education plan.
This plan allows you to save your funds however it’s convenient for you, whether it’s monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
Pru Life UK doesn’t have a standalone educational plan, but their VUL offerings like the PRULink Elite Protector Series can be used to help you manage your funds and attain your financial goal like being able to send your child to college in the future.
It also protects you and your family financially in case of unexpected life situations.
Tips on Getting an Educational Plan in the Philippines
It may seem like all the different educational plans offer basically the same benefits, and it’s making the process of choosing one so much more difficult.
You may also be overwhelmed by all the numbers and terminology thrown your way. Make sure you’re ready for that important decision by following these tips.
1. Educate yourself.
Do some research on all the available options. Learn about the terminologies used and the basic concepts of insurance. This way, you know what the professionals are talking about when you talk to them.
2. Do some window shopping.
Do not be afraid or shy to meet with an agent even if you’re not going to sign anything yet.
Most agents will be more than happy to discuss the plans they offer and they’re not expecting you to get a plan right then anyway.
It would be wise to have all your questions listed down so you won’t forget anything. You might want to jot down notes as well for your comparison later.
3. Cut down to your final three.
After hearing what each insurance company can offer and how every plan works, you can now choose the three best options for you. Here’s what you need to consider:
- Your budget – You want to get the best educational plan for your child possible, sure. However, if the premium is going to make a huge dent in your wallet that it would make budgeting for your household difficult, then you might consider other plans.
- The company’s reputation – Don’t just choose the one that is most popular at the moment. You have to check its legitimacy. Is it an established company with clients that can attest to their reliability? It’s not just your money on the line but your child’s education, too, so you should be careful when making your choice.
- The benefits – What exact benefits fit your needs? Will you need add-ons? Perhaps you want to get one that would allow you to withdraw some of your funds in case of an emergency. Discuss with the agent what you expect to get with the plan and clarify if something is unclear.
4. When you’ve made a decision, don’t put things off.
Remember that the earlier you are able to get an educational plan for your child, the better.
Other Ways to Save Up For Your Children’s Education
If for some reason you don’t think an educational plan is a good fit for you, you might want to know what else you can do to save and if possible, raise money.
After all, you still want to be able to fund your child’s education, right? With a timeline in mind, here are some of your options.
Many Pinoy parents still prefer to save money the traditional way – in a bank. You might want to open a regular savings account for your child or do a time deposit.
Banks offer different perks for young savers. Metrobank, for one, also gives a free educational trust benefit of P50,000 ( if the minimum ADB is met) in case something happened to the parent.
Take note, however, that your money is not going to grow much in a regular bank account, so unless you consistently deposit money, you might not be able to beat the 10% annual tuition hike.
Depending on how much time you have left before your child reaches college, investing in stocks may be a great option for you.
For instance, if you still have over 10 years to financially prepare, putting your money long-term in high-risk but high-return stocks could mean your funds will grow at higher rates, too.
This is a good option if you’re looking for a life insurance that doubles as an investment that would also ensure that your child is protected financially in case of disability or death.
There are a lot of VULs that you can choose from so make sure you select one carefully and do your research.
If you are interested in investing in stocks but you don’t have the time to track or learn all about the stock market, mutual funds and unit investment trust funds might work for you.
You can entrust your investments to pro fund managers to do the heavy lifting for you. These can deliver high returns on your investment.
Unless you are earning six figures, preparing for your child’s college education is not something that you can do over one summer or one year. It’s a commitment that you’ll have to keep for many years.
Educational plans are an excellent way to help you achieve your financial goals for your kid’s college funds but there’s nothing wrong with exploring other options, too. Find the best method for you.
The important thing is that you are taking steps to secure your kid’s education in the future.
If saving money for that means tightening your belt for a few years, I’m sure that seeing your child graduate will be well worth all the sacrifice.