How parents can plan for their kids

Money FM 89.3’s Claressa Monteiro speaks to Marcus Chew, chief marketing officer of insurer Income

Mr Marcus Chew, NTUC Income’s chief marketing officer. PHOTO: NTUC INCOME

Children's happiness is often linked to the financial preparedness of their parents, and what is worrying is that a survey conducted by Income found that about 75 per cent of parents here are concerned about not having enough money to provide things that make their children happy.

"This is an important finding, because we also found that 47 per cent of parents in Singapore were willing to compromise their own lifestyle in order to financially provide for things that make (their children) happy," said Income chief marketing officer Marcus Chew.

The survey also polled children, and found that 90 per cent of them were worried that their lifestyle and happiness could be disrupted if their parents were financially unprepared for life's unexpected events.

The children's fears included not being able to go on vacations, not receiving gifts and not buying the latest gadgets.

Planning for kids

The survey revealed that in order for parents to help their children achieve financial stability and happiness, they will need to safeguard themselves financially.

Mr Chew said that parents should prepare for life's unexpected events if they care for the well-being of their children.

"We all know that during unforeseen circumstances such as critical illness or death, a payout can never replace... the loss of a loved one. But at least you can tide the family over, because the last thing you want to worry about is money," he said.

How to make kids happy

The survey revealed that the parents sometimes do not really know how their children feel.

For instance, many parents think that their children will be happy when they are able to pursue hobbies, their passions, sports and gaming, and receive presents.

But their children see experiences such as vacations, having good relations with their peers and spending quality time with their families as more important than material needs.

Mr Chew advises that parents should think about financial planning in tandem with planning their children's education.

"In the future, we will have a generation of children who will grow up to be parents themselves. And they will learn to manage their finances better."

It is never too late to start planning for yourself and your family.

"I have a friend who is 56, and he just started another round of retirement planning. So it is never too late. But if you have a child who is 10 or 12 years old, I think it is definitely critical. (Children of that age) have another 10 years before they can start working, so they will be relying on you to provide for them," Mr Chew said.

• For more, tune in to Workday Afternoon with Claressa Monteiro on weekdays from 1pm to 4pm.

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