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Like you, I want my child to do better than me in life.

So I’m trying to have a chat with him about having goals in life and finding his calling in life sooner rather than later. I start off by asking him a question:

“So what do you want to do when you leave school?”

“I’d like to become a brain surgeon.”

“A brain surgeon…?”


And it’s at that point I start thinking:

“You know it’s going to take years of study to become one, right?”

“Yip.” (By now you realise this is his standard answer)

“You realise that even though they earn a high income it’s all based on working long hours?”


“And things like offices, staff, and insurance will eat away a lot of that income?”


“And that it’s really the same thing as a motor mechanic in that they fix broken machines?”


“Why don’t you rather become an entrepreneur who makes a lot of money by using other people’s labour?”


And that’s when I realised what I was doing:

You see, it wasn’t so much about him but me. Deep down, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t believe he has the commitment to do this, and I want him to get this pipe dream out of his head.

Secondly, I haven’t saved enough money to pay for all this. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d say that this is all going to cost anywhere between a million to 2 million Rand. Rather let him aim for the common, garden variety 3 year degree which might be a lot more affordable.

I had caught myself shooting down my son’s dreams because they didn’t fit my limited worldview. I’m determined to never let that happen ever again.

As I write this article, my eyes are drawn to a Princeton university study mentioned by Discovery Life, in which it’s said that for every additional year of education, your income is boosted by 10%.

It would seem that by failing to educate your child, you’re basically condemning them to a life of poverty.

So it goes without saying that education is a sensitive topic with me right now. I think it’s the same for you which is why we’re going to discuss the Discovery Life Global Education Protector in the next article or two.

So here’s the problem with trying to save for your child’s education

The cost of educating your child is increasing at a higher rate than your salary. Discovery Life has calculated that education inflation increases anywhere between 2% to 4% more than your salary.

Between 2010 and 2015 the cost of educating your child in South Africa rose by 50%!

Let this sink in for a moment…

If your child is born in 2017, then their final year at private high school will set you back R600, 000.

Right now, Discovery Life reckons it will cost around R1, 2 million to educate your child. Heaven help you if you have more than one.

Add onto this the fact that more and more working parents are sending their kids to crèche from a young age; it means the cost of education will need to be covered for 21 years.  This means less and less money available for saving:

  • Crèche – 3 years
  • Pre-Primary – 2 years
  • Primary – 7 years
  • High School – 5 years
  • University – 4 years
  • University residence – 4 years

Let’s recap:

  • So education costs are increasing at a rate higher than your income. The solution is simple -cut back on other expenses and save more for education.
  • Instead of having to pay for my child’s education from age 7 until 21 when they leave university; I need to pay an extra 5 years – from age 2 until age 21 – because they need to go to crèche while I go to work.

Doesn’t look as if saving is going to cut it!

So you can either invest your R500 (or R1, 000 or whatever you can afford):

  • Into an investment which might not keep track with actual costs, or
  • Take out life insurance which only works out if you claim

Talk about a rock and a hard place!

Getting back to how it works:

First thing, the Global Education Protector won’t take care of the years before university unless you die, become disabled, or suffer from a severe illness.

It’s built for children younger than 13 and works as follows:

  • Children under 5 qualify for 3 years fully funded
  • Children 5 to 9 qualify for 2 years fully funded
  • Children between 10 and 12 qualify for 1 year fully funded

What it will do is pay for university depending on how actively you engaged in Vitality.

  • Right off the bat, Discovery Life will fund 10% of your child’s university fees when you start your policy.
  • If you stay on blue Vitality status 0.5% of university costs is funded every year
  • Jump to bronze Vitality status and this percentage rises to 1.5%
  • Silver Vitality status pushes you to 3% every year
  • Gold Vitality status raises the bar to 4% every year, and
  • Diamond Vitality status covers 5% of university costs for every year you’re on this level


The only way you’re going to get Discovery Life to pay for a full 3-year university degree is if you’re a diamond Vitality member. To qualify for diamond you need to have been a gold Vitality member for 3 years consecutively.

If you’re on Diamond Vitality status – and have children – then this one is a no-brainer. Take out a Discovery Life policy with the Global Education Protector (or add it to your existing policy).

If you have children who qualify (under 13) then it makes sense to join Vitality and Discovery Life

If you have children and need an incentive to get fit and healthy, what better way than having your children on your mind? It’s not that hard to get to gold Vitality status either.

Now if you’re young with no kids, then here’s the ultimate way to take care of their tertiary education. You’ve got 3 years to get to diamond Vitality status and from there it’s all downhill sailing!

I’m going to cut this article short. In our second articles we’ll take a more in depth look at the 3 options available.

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