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7 Tools to Prepare for Your Child’s Career in Social Service

What if your child voices his desire to pursue a career in social service? A rather unconventional choice, you would say! But if your child is more than often eager to pick up a broom to volunteer for a cleanliness drive (thank you, Mr Prime Minister for the Swacch Bharat campaign!); brings a stray pet at home; or turns the playground into a teaching classroom for the kids of the bais and chaprasis, perhaps he has a natural inclination towards working for others.

Some children are the better givers than the receivers and don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged people or volunteer for the community causes. These children are more compassionate, kind and respectful towards others. Nurture your child’s inherent goodness by giving him the power and responsibility to serve others, without being skeptical abouthisfuture in this still an unusual career path.

Mr Anupam Hazara, an Assistant Professor in Department of Social Work at Assam (Central) University, in the Employment News journal, mentions  that a person holding a Bachelor (BSW) or Master (M.A in Social Work/MSW) degree in Social Work has good career prospects and even better, if the degree is obtained from a reputed academic institution like TISS, XISS or Delhi University. A qualified social worker can easily secure lucrative jobs in NGOs, government institutions, personnel & labour welfare industries or even in a corporate sector.

However,  aprofessional degree in social service,just likethe one inengineering, medicine or management too comes at a cost. Also with the education costs more than doubling in the last decade, it only makes a sound sense for parents to build an education corpus. Here are 7 tips to plan for your child’s dream career as a social worker.

1.    Create a financial strategy
Set stipulated short term and long term financial goals instead of a single one. This will help you to earmark the investments the right way for each goal.

2.    Start early
The earlier you start saving for your child’s education, the more you can benefit from the power of compounding.  For example, if you start saving from the time the child is 2-3 years old, you will be able to build a sufficient corpus from a smaller amount, by the time he is ready to enroll in a university.

3.    Account for the inflation
With inflation and education costs increasing at an average of7% and 10% annually for the last few years, the amount your child would need to seek an an admission in a professional social service course is going to rise proportionately too.  So, don’t forget to budget for the impact of inflation on your money.

4.    Consider all options & be realistic
Do you want your child to get a social service degree from India or abroad? Or can you find an individual, an NGO or a corporate sponsor to fund your child’s education fee? Answering these questions can help you in setting realistic educational goals and plan your finances accordingly.

5.    Invest with discipline
Depending on your current earnings, financial goals and risk taking appetite, you can either invest in equity based plans, debt based instruments or traditional secured options like a fixed deposit or PPF.But whatever investment route you choose, ensure that it gives you steady returns while protecting your capital.

6.    Invest in an insurance plan
An insurance policy can keep the money flowing at the time of your child’s educational milestones or even after your untimely death.  These days, there are quite a few good child specific insurance plans available, that can help you bridge the gap between your child’s aspirations and education costs.

7.    Let the education fund be what it is for
An education fund should be solely used for the purpose it is set aside. Don’t be tempted to withdraw the amount for your other needs. Rather, reassess your child’s educational plan every 2-3 years and redeploy the fund, if necessary.

A well – thought financial planning can give wings to your child to follow his dreams and ensure a peace of mind for you too!

– By Smita Omar

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