How to fund child’s education: Take a loan or use own funds?

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Any big-ticket spending requires you to either have the required funds in place or a financing option. When dealing with long-term financial goals, such as higher education of children, you have the advantage of planning much in advance. Here’s how you can go about the planning.

Start early

A lot of parents have an inclination to send their children abroad for higher education, at least at the post-graduate level, said Suresh Sadagopan, a certified financial planner and founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisories. “In that case, the planning needs to start really early. They would need a horizon of at least 10-15 years. When we talk of international education at post-graduate level today, most likely it is not going to happen below ₹40 lakh,” he said.

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How do you work towards saving that amount? Prakash Praharaj, founder, Max Secure Financial Planners, said that the future cost of a particular course needs to be calculated taking into account at least 10% annual inflation. “Then calculate the current assets and investments accumulated for these goals. Then the remaining gap for the aimed amount is to be filled through monthly SIPs over the years,” he said.

Starting an SIP of ₹5,000-7,000 in an equity fund for 15 years and increasing it by 10-20% each year could help. However, Sadagopan said, given the fact that there are so many ongoing expenses these days, including other loans, it becomes difficult for parents to put aside a huge amount for the child’s post-graduation alone.

Consider taking loan

Even if you have been working on creating a higher education corpus, you need to consider taking an education loan. At present, the total expenses for higher education abroad could be in the range of ₹1 crore per child, Sadagopan said.

“A realistic thing that parents need to realise is that the child’s higher education is not their only goal. Retirement is also an important goal and they need to be aware of the fact that you can get a loan for all other requirements but not for retirement,” he said.

Own funds versus loan

But if someone has already accumulated the required amount, why should another repayment burden be taken on? The answer lies in two things, Praharaj said. “A cost benefit analysis suggests that taking an education loan and keeping the accumulated amount invested works in your favour. Moreover, it also helps in developing a sense of responsibility in the student. The realisation that a repayment has to be done by them keeps them focussed,” he said.

The math of keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead suggests that taking a loan results in significant benefits. For instance, if ₹1 crore is kept invested and an education loan for the same amount is taken, at the end of nine years, including the repayment holiday on the education loan, the net benefit could be around ₹87 lakh (see graph).

This includes the tax saved on repayment of loan. Borrowers of education loans can claim deduction on the interest paid, though not on the principal amount. Also, unlike in home loans, there is no limit to the amount that can be claimed as deduction.

Sadagopan said it is better that the parents keep the money with themselves and let the child take the loan. “In future if the child is struggling to find a job and pay back, you can step in to help at that point,” he said.

[“Source-livemint”]

Facebook Camera Gets Its Own Animated GIF Image Creator

Facebook Camera Gets Its Own Animated GIF Image Creator

When it comes to communication on social media platforms, animated GIF images are perhaps as important as emojis. These two have in a way managed to carve a language for its own and are at times the preferred form of expression than having to type long sentences. GIF images are already popular on Facebook, which just recently added a GIF option in the comments section. Now, the social networking giant is letting you make your own GIFs with the addition of a GIF mode in Facebook Camera.

The new GIF mode in Facebook Camera was discovered by The Next Web’s Director of Social Media Matt Navarra, who reported seeing a new GIF option on the top of Facebook camera. Notably, the feature was found only on iOS and could not be seen on Android, suggesting that it could be rolling out just for iOS as of now. We couldn’t see the feature on iOS either, which means it is yet to roll out to everyone.

fb camera gif creator the next web screenshot fb

As the feature rolls out, users will find the new GIF option when they swipe right to open camera. TNW’s report says that the GIFs created through the feature are short, lasting only a few seconds, which is pretty much how GIFs are meant to be. You will also be able to use Facebook’s effects and frames that were normally available in the camera. The GIF images you make can be saved to your device, posted on your profile or to your Facebook story.

Facebook last month introduced the GIF option in the comments section as part of the 30th birthday of the GIF format. You can already send GIFs on Messenger and Facebook-owned WhatsApp, but the ability to make your own GIFs now means you’ll have more creative freedom in expressing what you what without having to rely and search through existing GIF images. It also means that you won’t have download third-party apps to make your own GIFs if Facebook is baking the feature right into its app.

[“source-gadgets.ndtv”]

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps

If you think that mobile apps are solely for the big brands like Bank of America or Walmart, you are wrong. Nowadays, both small and medium-sized businesses are following the app trend, understanding that an effective online selling strategy involves more than just having a website. And no, you don’t have to be a developer to own an app. A site such as Bizness Apps will help you create an app in a matter of minutes.

Build Your Own App With Bizness Apps

Getting Started

Signing up is simple and easy. Once you have entered your basic details, you will be asked to choose an Industry that best describes your business. Choose wisely as Bizness Apps will pre-populate your app with features that best fit your selection. 

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Getting Started

Give Your App a Name

What name would you like you app to have on Apple and Google Play Stores? Word of advice: choose a name that viewers would quickly associate with your business.

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Name Your App

Choose a Template

Happy with your business name? If not, go back to the previous step and change it. However, if you are satisfied, now it’s time to choose a template for your app building. You can also choose to start from scratch. Nonetheless, using a template is much easier as it gives you a great starting point and you can completely customize it later. 

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Choose a Template

Add Features

Besides displaying your blog posts, Bizness Apps will also suggest additional features that will help you improve your customers’ experience.

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Add Features

 

Complete the Building and Designing

Once you are done with choosing your features you will be taken to you BiznessApps account backend for where you can, as they say, “put on your artist’s cap.” This stage allows you to choose your images, play with palettes and craft the perfect home screen. Click the “Build” tab to add important features such as the “Call Us” or the “Email Us” button. There are over 40 features to choose from.

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Finish Up

Send to App Stores

The next logical step after you are done with designing and building is to publish your app. You will be asked to fill in your basic information among other requirements. Click “Send to Store” button on the top-right corner of your screen. Bizness Apps takes care of the entire publishing process to iTunes and Google Play Store. You’ll never pay a penny until your app is published in the app stores. The Single App Plan that’s perfect for small businesses and non-profits costs $42 per month while the Reseller Plan costs $249 per month. All plans are billed annually.

How to Build Your Own App Using Bizness Apps - Send to App Stores

Bizness Apps offers a whole lot of case studies, webinars and tutorials on how you can use their platform to improve your sales. The platform is definitely ideal for all small business owners that want to create an app quickly and without having to learn how to code.

Business App Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-ndtv”]

You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

reading mail

If you’re not familiar with the term, a registered agent receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of a business in a given state. This includes important mail sent by the state (annual reports or statements), state tax documents, as well as any Notices of Litigation.

Individuals can act as a registered agent for a business. If you have a physical address in the state where you incorporate or foreign qualify, you could name yourself as the agent. While it may be tempting to take on this role for yourself, here are five reasons why you should think twice:

1. The registered agent must have a physical address in the state of incorporation or qualification: A registered agent is required to have a physical address in the state; post office boxes and private rented mailboxes won’t suffice. If you incorporated or formed an LLC in Delaware, but you live in California and your company is physically located in California, this means you cannot serve as a registered agent in Delaware. In this case, you’ll need to use a professional third party as your registered agent in Delaware.

2. Your company does business in multiple states: When you register your company to conduct business in other states besides where you incorporated, you’ll need a registered agent in each of those states (unless you have physical offices in each state).

3. You don’t maintain normal business hours: The registered agent needs to be available during normal business hours to accept important documents from the state. If you set your own hours or aren’t tied to an office (i.e. you’re a real estate agent or landscaper), you should consider a third party service so you never miss an important communication from the state.

4. Your address is likely to change: A registered agent’s address must always stay current in the state records. Any changes to the address require a formal state filing, which is often accompanied by a fee. By using a professional third party service as your registered agent, you never have to worry about updating the state records – no matter how many times you move over the years.

5. The registered agent’s address is of public record: Since the registered agent’s address is publicly available, anyone has access to it… including marketers, mailing lists, and spammers. Registered agents often receive unsolicited junk mail for their business. If you wish to keep your company or personal address information confidential, opt for a third party registered agent. You’ll get an extra layer of privacy and won’t have to deal with as much unsolicited mail.

While a registered agent may seem like a trivial formality, it actually plays an important role in receiving communications and keeping your corporation or LLC in good standing. The last thing you want is to miss an important filing date or fail to respond to a litigation notice because you didn’t receive the notice on time.

Reading Mail Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Incorporation

[“source-smallbiztrends”]