Financial planning for single expat parents in Hong Kong: five important areas you need to address
Written by Lynda Calver on November 21, 2016.
For me 2016 seems to have been a year of meeting professional men and women who are single parents in Hong Kong. There are many reasons why they are single – some have divorced prior to moving here, some have split from their partners while here and others have simply decided to ‘go it alone’. However the situation came about, one thing all these single parents have in common is a desire to protect their children. Protection takes many forms from the physical (providing a roof over their heads, food and a safe environment) to the emotional (support to make them robust human beings capable of weathering life’s up and downs).
When it comes to the material side of things, there are certain vital elements of financial planning which all single parents need to ensure they have covered. Many of those lone parents I have met happen to have been the sole earner in the family which means that there is no income at all from a second parent and that makes it doubly important to get these aspects of your financial planning sorted.
Here are five financial planning areas you need to prioritise as a single mum or dad:
1. Life insurance
While it’s not a nice topic to have to think about, you need to consider how your children would be looked after in the event of your death. Life insurance is a way of ensuring that outstanding mortgages, the cost of living and education fees would be covered even if you are no longer around.
2. A will
Again, it’s a difficult subject to address but it is essential that you write one to be absolutely sure that your assets go to the beneficiaries that you choose. Not only that, but the issue of guardianship is of the utmost importance in your situation to make sure that your children are well looked after by the person or people you want them to be. Failing to nominate guardians will leave your children vulnerable, as I’ve talked about in a previous blog post.
3. Education fee planning
From nursery and primary school all the way through to university you will clock up literally thousands of dollars of fees paying for your child’s education. Have you factored this into your financial plan?
4. Medical insurance
The costs start when your babe is still in the womb with pre-natal check-ups. Once they’ve arrived, even the healthiest of children will need visits to the doctor now and then for vaccinations, check-ups and those little childhood accidents they all have. Some will be unlucky enough to need more care if they get more seriously ill. Medical costs are high in Hong Kong and if there is one area where you don’t want to make compromises, it is with the health of your child. You need a rock solid insurance policy which will guarantee you the best care possible whenever you need it.
5. Retirement planning
Retirement may well be the furthest thing from your mind if you’re just starting out on parenthood but it’s definitely something you need to start planning for as early as you can. Most parents I come across seem to have the common goal of being self-sufficient in old age so they won’t be financially dependent on their children in the future. That is certainly achievable but you need to plan ahead and start saving now.
If you’d appreciate some professional financial advice from a sympathetic, feminine ear on any of these points then perhaps I can help? Do feel free to contact me for a no-obligation chat if you’d like some help getting your family financially protected for the future.