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  1. #11
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    Hi,

    we looked into it as well but have decided 2 things:
    1. if no uni no significant benefit to us.
    2. we would like better access to our money.

    however it is a useful way to save for your children's education.

    we have not even started an account for DD as my thoughts is to pay off our mortgage and have some investments and get ahead now, there will be more money when it is time for DD and hopefully other children go to high school and uni to help them out. essentially helping us all out when they are older.
    Our other thoughts is that it is likely I will be earning more money when DD is older than now, given I only do 2 days/week.

    you can have an account in your child's name but if they EARN( not family gifts of money) more than $460.00 or similar in a year they are taxed at the highest rate. this is to avoid people putting money in their kids accounts and paying no tax on the interest.
    Best option as suggested by PP is to put it in your name(whoever is earning the least so less tax!) and bear the tax if you are talking significant $$.

    There is another company that does a similar thing...can't remember the name, but if you are considering it, it would be best to see both options. If I remember will post!

  2. #12
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    We had them come out and present to us. We actually signed up and then pulled out after looking into it further. The return isn't that great, if you are able to save or pay extra money onto your mortgage you would be better off doing that. However, I think it is a fantastic scheme if you are unable to save properly.

  3. #13
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    DeeLee, we are in and thinking about withdrawing, did they chage you any fee's/penalities for withdrawing or a full refund?

    Cheers

  4. #14
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    Default Asg

    Hi,

    I know this thread is really old, but i thought i'd contribute incase anyone is looking into this now.
    Yes, it doesn't seem that you make the interest, but they do pay for 3 years of tertiary education-this includes uni, apprenticeship, tafe or private college (i have not met with them yet, only spoken on the phone).
    Your child is also allowed to have 2 gap years, so won't forfeit if they would like to have a couple of years off-i don't know if this is allowed to be consecutive years.
    I do have a children's bank account for my son, which pays a high interest (8%), though it has a $250 monthly limit, no withdrawals allowed, and gets ejected back out at the end of 12 months, so it won't keep accumulating over the years. There are no tax implications for this type of account, but i believe there is if you have too much money in there.
    I'm meeting with them this week, so if anyone's interested in the fine print, i can let you know.

    Good luck everyone!

  5. #15
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    My parents did this for my brother and I and it paid for some books. My parents really regretted it.

  6. #16
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    We just started bank accounts for our kids. Excellent returns (10% interest, with Max deposit of $250 a month, so DD made $300 on her account last year) and its all self managed so no fees, and its there if we need it for emergencies.
    We also have term deposits for our kids, which are a decent return, and locked away.
    Im not a fan of the education plans/funeral plans/etc
    Those plans can be good for tax reasons, but our advisers dont recommend them.
    Choice magazine says
    ASG The Education Fund

    Strategy
    With TEF the earnings of the investments of all parents are pooled to benefit only the children who enter and successfully complete eligible tertiary education. Your contribution is based on the age of your nominated child when you enter TEF (maximum entry age is 10), star ting from $11 per week and increasing by 8% per year throughout the contribution period.

    According to ASG projections you could receive up to $9289, which you could use for secondary education – your total contributions after fees. If your child becomes eligible for the tertiary education benefit, assuming returns of 7% per year they could receive an additional $10,538. ASG also offers two other plans, one of which can only be taken in conjunction with TEF. Taking up one or both of these plans could increase your investment.

    Pros
    Provides a tax-effective option to save for education.
    Cons
    Any investment earnings and tax refunds are transferred into the scholarship pool.
    Only your contributions after fees are refundable should you decide not to continue with the investment (there can be deductions if the return of the investment was negative).
    Very restrictive conditions on access to the earnings and tax refunds of your investment. To get the maximum benefit, your child must study full-time for three years and satisfactorily complete each year of study. If your child elects a one- or two-year course, they only receive one or two years’ worth of the benefit. According to ASG, between 2009 and 2011 only about half of the children whose parents invested in TEF were beneficiaries after they started an eligible three-year tertiary course. While some children could have delayed their tertiary education, this still means a large percentage of ASG’s members missed out on their investment earnings.
    No choice of investment options – TEF uses an investment strategy they describe as “conservative-balanced”.
    Establishment and ongoing fees apply.
    The TEF benefit for secondary and tertiary education is too low to cover a substantial part of the costs.
    and
    "Think carefully before investing in The Education Fund from the Australian Scholarship Group, as your child will only receive the full benefit if they successfully complete an eligible full-time three-year course. While an investment in Lifeplan’s Education Investment Fund is more flexible, tax advantages are lost if you don’t use the earnings for education expenses."
    http://www.choice.com.au/reviews-and...s-options.aspx

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to trishalishous For This Useful Post:

    Isabellabean  (08-08-2012)

  8. #17
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    We chose not to go with the ASG as you put a lot of money into it, but you get NO INTEREST back UNLESS your child goes onto higher education (only allowed 1 gap year immediately after school). So, you might as well be putting the money in a box under your bed. Heck, our kids don't need extra pressure to go on to tertiary study than is already placed on them.

    And, in reality what is tertiary study? What is tertiary study going to look like in 10 years, let alone 18 years? I doubt it will be 3 years long for everyone. Modern technology like the NBN, etc is going to change the way we learn and I can't predict the future, but I can say that everything is changing and tertiary study (duration and method and timing, etc) is going to change too!

  9. #18
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    Thanks for all the opinions and information I signed the sheet for the free thing in the Bounty bag and this is how they got my details. Was looking into it, but have already started a high interest account.

  10. #19
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    My eldest is nearly 8 and I still get pushy sales people calling me at least once every few months from that place trying to get me to join up. My answer is always 'no'! I am never rude but last time they rang I said your company has rung me over 50 times please stop calling. The guy called me a liar and started abusing me down the phone. Great customer service!

    Even if their product was the most amazing thing ever, I'd still reject it due to their staff.

  11. #20
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    Hello All, I work with ASG as the Communications Manager. It has been interesting reading everyone's experiences and perspectives. It is also great to see that so many of you are thinking about or are actively saving for your kids' education. I just wanted to clarify a couple of statements here.

    Yes, it is true that if you enrol only in our Foundation product, The Education Fund, that the interest earned on your contributions is pooled and shared evenly with all Members' children who go onto post-secondary education in a given year. However, if children decide not to go on to post-secondary, ASG does not get the interest. It remains in the pool to be distributed amongst Members' children. This is then paid as a Scholarship Benefit.

    The Education Fund has been designed specifically to motivate and encourage children to go onto post-secondary. However, if parents want more flexibility, ASG offers other programs that complement The Education Fund that allows parents to access the interest component of their contribution.

    The other issue highlighted here is that you can't get your money back. While ASG offers a disciplined savings program with no needed start-up capital, you can alway surrender or cancel the program. You will always get your contributions back minus any outstanding fees. Depending on the program you select, you will also receive your earnings.

    There are lots of options to consider when saving for your children's education and you need to choose what will work for your family. If anyone needs any particular issued clarified here, I am more than happy to try. I am also happy to take any feedback. It only helps us understand what you are experiencing as parents trying to do the best for your kids.
    Last edited by Camilla F; 17-09-2012 at 15:29.


 

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