Despite low interest rates: saving parents for their own children

Dusseldorf – Your own offspring is a lot of fun – but raising a child also costs money. For this reason, parents should start early to save for their children. But how much money do you raise for it? Which investment forms are suitable?

 

Image: Child stacks coins 

All that parents have to think carefully. “If the young need money, must be saved accordingly,” says Ralf Scherfling of the consumer center North Rhine-Westphalia. Parents should get started as early as possible. “Basically at birth would be the optimum,” adds fee consultant Stefanie Kühn from Grafing near Munich.

How much the parents can save for their daughter or son depends on their own financial resources, explains Tanja Beller of the Federal Association of German Banks. Often, a regular savings amount between 20 and 50 euros. But even less is worthwhile: “Every euro I save helps me reach my goal in the end,” says Scherfling. The investment options at a glance:

Regular Savings Plan

For example, to regularly put money aside for the education of children over a longer period of time, a fund savings plan is a good solution, says Scherfling. “When the child is 14 or 15 years old, you can consider selling on a good stock market and investing the money for the rest of the year.”

For mutual funds, investors are not bound by any maturity and can change or suspend their savings rates, explains Beller. “We recommend broadly diversified funds that invest in Europe or globally in so-called blue chips, ie in companies that are listed in the world’s leading stock indices.”

Regular savings are also possible in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). “These are funds that are traded on the stock market and usually reflect an underlying stock index,” says Beller. “ETFs cost comparatively less fees than an actively managed fund.” According to Kühn, savings can also be made by opening the deposit at a direct bank.

Bank Savings Plan

“Bank savings plans are ideal if you want to save on a fixed event, for example, the 18th birthday,” explains Beller. In contrast to the classic passbook, they often offer a rise in interest during the term and, at the end, a bonus that is paid in addition to the savings.

The consumer advice center North Rhine-Westphalia advises to examine whether the interest is variably or firmly agreed and when the interest is paid. Whether the savings rate can be adjusted or suspended depends on the individual contract, explains Beller. The interest rates are currently very low. “In the current low-interest-rate phase you only get low interest rates for safe investments,” says Scherfling. “Much more than inflation compensation is currently hardly possible.” For the risk is smaller than about the fund savings plan.

Savings account, savings account, checking account

The money is available at any time on the money account. Especially for short terms, it is well suited, says Scherfling. In addition, it is an easy-to-understand form of investment. As with the passbook or giro account, the children here could learn to handle money. “You see how you deposit and withdraw money and how interest rates work.”

Even for larger expenses such as student exchange fit the interest-bearing savings account with the direct bank well, says Kühn. “At least you can make the inflation compensation.” Many banks also offer special child accounts that can only be managed in credit. Here, too, there are often comparatively good interest rates.

Education insurance

The training insurance is a capital-forming life insurance. At a fixed payment date, for example, at the beginning of the child’s 20th birthday, the agreed amount plus any possible surpluses will be paid out, explains Hasso Suliak of the German Insurance Association (GDV). Instead of a one-off payment of capital, it is also possible to agree on a pension payment, which is made, for example, at the beginning of training for a certain period of time.