Signs you need to see a financial planner BEFORE you send your child to private school

Signs you need to see a financial planner BEFORE you send your child to private school

Paying for private school fees can be a sizeable financial commitment. And like any commitment, it’s important to weigh everything up properly before you plunge in.

Unfortunately, some parents don’t think to get financial advice before they make their decision on private schooling. It means they risk being left in a difficult situation as costs mount up or circumstances change.

For some parents, it can even mean they forego the benefits of an independent education for their child, because they’re too nervous about whether it’s affordable in the long term.

So what are the signs that you need to see a financial planner before you send your child to private school?

Let’s find out.

1. You’re looking at private school fees as a monthly cost

When families consider a private education for their child, most parents look at the cost listed on their local independent school’s website. They do a quick calculation and use that figure to decide whether they can put enough aside each month to cover the termly or yearly school fees.

But we’re not talking about a TV streaming service here: you can’t just cancel your subscription if it gets a bit pricey or you need to tighten your belt.

Instead of thinking about your child’s education as a monthly expense, you need to see it as what it is: a long-term investment. And depending on the school you choose, that investment could be anywhere between £50,000 and £500,000.

Would you make any other investment of this size without running it past your financial advisor?

We thought not.

Whenever you’re committing to a financial outlay – even if it’s spread over several years – it’s wise to get the advice of a specialist.

2. You’re indecisive

Little girl in glasses thinking in front of a chalk board

Are you struggling to decide whether private education is right for your family? When an answer isn’t clear to you, it’s often because you don’t yet have all the facts.

Maybe you’ve already met with a few private schools and taken tours. Perhaps you’ve read up on the school’s performance and chatted with other parents. You might even have researched the extra costs involved. But are you still wavering when it comes to the cost of independent education?

That’s only natural. Deciding to have your child educated in the independent sector could be one of the most significant investment decisions you make. Your family’s well-being and prosperity are bound up in it.

That’s why it’s important to get a fresh pair of eyes on the problem – someone who can help you see through the emotion and indecision and look at the figures. Just as you would with any other investment.

A financial planner specialising in school fees (like us) can help you gather enough information to make the right decision for your family – and you have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re doing the right thing.

3. You think you have to sacrifice your early retirement or dream home plans for private school

There’s no getting around the fact that private school fees can be expensive. And that’s before you add in the hidden costs of sending your child to a private school.

If your child isn’t eligible for a scholarship or bursary, you might think the only way to afford the fees is by cashing in your investments or spending that nest egg you were saving for early retirement.

But your dream ‘forever home’ doesn’t have to become a ‘never’ home. And you don’t have to work into your old age to fund your child’s private schooling, either.

If you can’t figure out how to make the numbers add up without making huge sacrifices to your long-term goals, it’s time to speak to a financial advisor. With a clear pathway laid out in front of you, they’ll help you make an informed choice about your future.

You’ll be able to keep the sacrifices to a minimum whilst giving your child an amazing education.

4. You own your own business

A woman working in a home office

Will your dividends cover the cost of paying private school fees? Can your company pay for your child’s education? What are the tax implications?

There’s a lot of confusion around tax and savings for businesses. How can you use the resources of your limited company to pay private school fees?

When it comes to spending from your business, it’s best to know you’re getting things right. That way, you can make the most of your assets without fear of falling foul of HMRC.

So make sure you speak to a professional financial advisor who specialises in both school fees, as well as how to make your business tax efficient (like us).

5. You’ve never consulted a financial advisor before

You might feel financially comfortable and consider yourself financially savvy. Or you might feel like financial advice is only for those with more money than you.

Financial advisors are good at seeing the overall picture of your wealth. That means you’re not making decisions in isolation – including whether paying school fees is the right decision for your family.

Anyone who’s thinking of sending their child to a private school – particularly if the investment is likely to top £300,000 – will benefit greatly from speaking to a financial advisor.

6. You’re worried about the cost of living and its impact on your finances

Family outside their house with young girl at the front holding a piggy bank

The cost of living crisis is pushing prices higher. Many people’s salaries or business earnings are struggling to keep up.

Having to tighten their belts means some parents automatically think they have to give up their hopes of sending their child to a private school.

But with canny financial planning, private school fees could be more affordable than you think. Taking proper financial advice is not just prudent in times of financial turmoil, it’s essential.

Getting a handle on your assets and investments now and making decisions guided by professional advice means your finances will be in a healthier place in future.

And that means you can send your child to private school knowing that the fees will be affordable until they finish their education.

7. You have assets, but you’re worried about the income you’re getting

Will the returns on your assets be enough to fund your child’s school fees? Or should you sell your investments and use the capital to pay for their education?

Maybe there’s another option.

If you’re unsure how to balance your assets and income with your expenditure on school fees, it’s a clear sign you need to talk to a financial advisor. They’ll help you get the most out of your wealth without sacrificing long-term goals.

Financial advice: the smart choice

a young family meeting with a financial advisor

Whatever your financial position or your doubts about the school fees you could afford, it’s worth getting clarity from a professional advisor.

If you want to give your child the best education, it’s time to make the smart choice yourself and take advice that will help you maximise your options. You could save yourself a lot of money and avoid having to compromise on your dreams.

Getting financial advice is always worthwhile. No one ever regrets having a clearer picture of their financial situation. Contact us to book a chat.