Parents-to-be, we bet you can't wait to bring home that little bundle of joy.
You must be busy putting the final touches to the nursery, getting the right car seat, the correct stroller and generally making sure your home is ready for the newest addition to your family. But are you financially ready as well? Children grow up too fast. In what seems like a blink of an eye, they go from being a little infant in your arms to crawling toddlers to curious preschoolers and onwards to independent primary school going kids. All this happens almost too soon. But along this journey of theirs, they give us countless moments of happiness and pride.
Growing children have growing needs
There is nothing more rewarding than watching your kids grow and nothing more fulfilling than creating a lifetime of memories with them. However, as kids grow so do their needs, so does our desire to give them the best of everything - from education to skills to experiences. All of this also translates into a constantly rising cost of living. When our kids are little all we really need to spend on, is their medical needs, basic necessities, and childcare if required. As they grow older we begin to spend on their education, including enrichment classes to ensure their academic development.
But that is not enough for us. We want to invest in experiences - which includes outings to the beach, travelling to exotic locations, specialist music camps and other big and small family bonding opportunities. After all, we all want to raise a well-rounded child. Which means, that as parents it becomes our responsibility to ensure that we plan and save for our child's overall development, and anticipate the rising costs involved in raising them and securing their future. So how do you make sure that you are well prepared for all the expenses that will undoubtedly come your way, as you nurture your child into a well-rounded individual? You start planning from the very beginning of course.
Be prepared from the beginning
If you did not begin the financial planning before your baby's birth, don't worry. Singaporean parents have a great and unique opportunity to begin financial planning for their child in the form of the Government's Baby Bonus Scheme. The Scheme has two elements to it: the Cash Gift and the Child Development Account.
1. Cash Gift
According to the scheme, children born on or after 26 Aug 2012, will receive a Cash Gift of:
In the recent National Day Rally announcement, PM Lee Hsien Loong declared that babies born on 1 Jan 2015 or after will enjoy the enhanced Baby Bonus Scheme which is as follows:
The payouts come into the account within the first 12 months from the birth of the child, giving new parents a financial cushion to manage the costs involved in bringing up well-rounded child in Singapore.
2. Child Development Account (CDA)
The CDA is the second part of the Government's Baby Bonus initiative. It is a special savings account where your savings are matched dollar-for-dollar by the government. Families that have children born on or after 17 Aug 2008, are entitled to receive Government-matching deposits in their CDA up to:
Parents are allowed to use their CDA funds at Baby Bonus Approved Institutions to pay for:
What parents need to remember is that while the cash gift is a one-time thing, the CDA is there till your child turns 12-year-old. So, if you choose correctly, you can achieve a higher value than just the dollar-for-dollar matching by the government.
So how can you leverage your child's Child Development Account to maximise it? Choose OCBC for your CDA
OCBC understand that a growing family has growing financial needs and with its product offerings, it hopes to play the role of a proactive partner in your parenting journey.
As part of this effort to support new parents, OCBC's CDA offering enables eligible parents to maximise their CDA savings, to help further reduce expenses and create opportunities for savings:
Parenthood is always a heartwarming but tiring and expensive journey, parents will need all the help (be it financial or physical) they can get. We wish all new parents and parents-to-be all the best in planning and preparing for your child's future.
Visit Baby Bonus Online and choose OCBC Child Development Account.
By The Asian Parent | This article was first published in sg.theasianparent.com on 5 January 2016.
Below are the accompanying terms and conditions, as well as important notes pertaining to OCBC and their products.
Please refer to the Terms and Conditions Governing OCBC CDA, as well as Terms and Conditions Governing Deposit Accounts (both available at ocbc.com/cda). Please refer to the Terms and Conditions Governing Monthly Savings Account and Mighty Savers Programme (both available at ocbc.com/mightysavers).
Protection & Endowment Plans Promotion: This is a one-time promotional offer for each OCBC CDA holder for full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/cda. The promotion for Protection & Endowment plans is subject to the other promotion terms and conditions being met and may not be combined with other offers and promotions The cash reward cannot be credited into any account other than your OCBC CDA, or exchanged for other items.
PA Protect Promotion: The promotion of 40% discount is only valid when you purchase the adult plan plus child plan plus child rider altogether. For full terms and conditions, visit a href="http://www.ocbc.com/cda" target="_blank">ocbc.com/cda.
365 Credit Card: For full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/365card. The annual fee for the OCBC 365 Credit Card is S$192.60 (first two years free). The effective interest rate is 25.92% per annum and is subject to compounding if the monthly charges are not repaid in full.
MaxMaternity Care Promotion: For full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/maxmaternitycare
^ Terms and conditions apply.
1 Subject to underwriting
OCBC Bank reserves the right to waive/vary/amend any of these terms and conditions without notice. For full terms and conditions, visit ocbc.com/cda.
Child Development Account savings are matched dollar-for-dollar up to the cap for Government matching contributions visit www.babybonus.gov.sg for details.
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