Sagi­cor plan in­vests in higher ed­u­ca­tion

Jamaica Gleaner - - TODAY - Janelle Oswald Gleaner Writer janelle.oswald@glean­erjm.com

THERE IS a new in­vest­ment plan that as­sists par­ents with pay­ing for their chil­dren’s higher ed­u­ca­tion. Known as the Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor Plan, Sagi­cor In­vest­ments has launched an af­ford­able pro­posal to help con­sci­en­tious, vi­sion­ary in­vestors to save for their chil­dren’s fu­ture.

The Gleaner spoke to Brenda-Lee Martin, vi­cepres­i­dent, as­set man­age­ment, about the plan.

“It is im­por­tant that you have a fi­nan­cial plan in place for your child’s ed­u­ca­tion. The ear­lier you start, the less the fi­nan­cial bur­den will be at the point when your child is ready for univer­sity. The Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor, through its suite of of­fer­ings, pro­vides an in­vest­ment so­lu­tion for ev­ery­one who wants to con­trib­ute to a child’s fu­ture,” said Martin.

A tax-free plan that pays a grant of up to 30 per cent of your in­vest­ment, once your child is en­rolled full-time in a ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion, the Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor pro­vides group life and group ac­ci­den­tal death and dis­mem­ber­ment cov­er­age, with en­try min­i­mums start­ing as low as J$500. It also of­fers taxfree ben­e­fits, once no with­drawals are made in the first five years.

Pa­trice Sut­ton, the first client who in­vested in a Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor plan, told The Gleaner, “The main rea­son I chose this plan was the op­por­tu­nity it of­fered in preparing my child for life’s jour­ney. As an adult, I know how dif­fi­cult life can be with­out proper fi­nan­cial and in­vest­ment plan­ning. I did not want my son to go through this.”

Sut­ton added: “I also re­alised Brenda-Lee Martin, vice-pres­i­dent, as­set man­age­ment, Sagi­cor.

that tak­ing ad­van­tage of the grant will also go a long way in cov­er­ing the univer­sity costs down the line.”

One of the at­trac­tive features about Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor Plan is that it is payable di­rectly to a reg­is­tered ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion, lo­cally or over­seas. If the child does not at­tend univer­sity, the ac­cu­mu­lated value of the plan will still be avail­able for with­drawal, how­ever, a grant will not be payable.

“The Sigma Ed­u­ca­tor Plan is in­tended to place a col­lege

ed­u­ca­tion within the reach of all Ja­maican chil­dren, said Martin.

“We want to make in­vest­ing in each child’s fu­ture ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able for all par­ents.”

CHECK­LIST TO PLAN FOR YOUR CHIL­DREN’S ED­U­CA­TION

1. Ask your­self what you want for your child. Sav­ing for your chil­dren can help give them a great start in life. It’s im­por­tant for chil­dren to learn about money mat­ters when they are young, and sav­ing is an ex­cel­lent habit to en­cour­age in young­sters,even if they just start off with a sav­ings bank. 2. Talk to your HR depart­ment. Many com­pa­nies pro­vide an ed­u­ca­tion al­lowance for chil­dren, so make sure you are claim­ing yours. 3. Con­sider your child’s needs at ev­ery age. Day care and nurs­ery can be very ex­pen­sive. En­sure you do some re­search to find the best op­tion price wise that caters for the child’s needs. 4. Plan for child’s fu­ture past age 18. Will your child be go­ing to univer­sity and do you hope they will ex­cel and ob­tain a de­gree? As a par­ent, this is some­thing you will need to fund, or a stu­dent loan will have to be taken out. 5. Start early. If you plan ahead and start sav­ing early, you will achieve the de­sired amount you need for fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion with lit­tle worry. The ear­lier you start, the eas­ier it will be. 6. Be re­al­is­tic. Con­sult a

fi­nan­cial plan­ner and dis­cuss what a sen­si­ble amount for you to save would be. 7. Look for a tax break. Find out if you can claim any tax ex­emp­tions for tu­ition fees paid. 8. Teach your chil­dren how to man­age their fi­nances. If chil­dren are go­ing to univer­sity for the first time, they will need to know how to bud­get re­mem­ber that young peo­ple’s money habits are greatly in­flu­enced by their par­ents’ and guardian’s fi­nan­cial be­hav­iour.

It is im­por­tant that you have a fi­nan­cial plan in place for your child’s ed­u­ca­tion. The ear­lier you start, the less the fi­nan­cial bur­den will be at the point when your child is ready for univer­sity.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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