When you know you are going to become new parents, perhaps there are some conversations you and your spouse should have. First, consider what additional bills you might expect in the first two years of your new baby’s life with you. According to a USDA study, a good starting point is $12,600. If you visit the BabyCenter’s website, you may find help estimating what new bills you might expect by typing in “expenses” in the search block. If you haven’t explored this website, it contains a lot of information that you may find helpful. The next discussion (which you should have already had) involves the choices concerning husband and wife work status. Should one of you cut back on hours and/or leave the workforce to stay home to care for the child? Run the numbers showing current and future costs and benefits of continuing to work versus staying home. Talk with your contemporaries who have already gone through this transition and let their experiences add to your decision-making portfolio. Ask them about regrets or relief they might be willing to share with you.
Based on my own children’s experiences, I suspect that the decision you make will trend toward both parents continuing to work. If that is the case, the national average for daycare approaches $1,000 per month. It may be less in Alexandria, but it will remain a hefty portion of your budget. Be prepared. In-home care is a possibility, but that option is normally more expensive. Time savings and consistency of care may make it worth it, but relying on a single individual could be troublesome. Another financial consideration is the revelation that you and your spouse may need more life insurance and, now, more than ever, a consideration of adding disability insurance to your mix. If your income is required for the maintenance and welfare of the household, disability insurance is important. It is unfortunate, but you may be more valuable dead than alive, as far as household financial stability is concerned. Do your homework and make sure your coverage is updated and adequate. Term life insurance is typically inexpensive and, in many cases, can be converted to permanent insurance down the road. If you don’t have wills, powers of attorney and healthcare directives in place, it may be time to meet with your financial advisor, tax advisor and attorney to cover these bases. The choice is whether you want to make decisions for your family while you are alive and well, or leave it to the courts.
Congratulations on your new and soon-to-be-changed life and lifestyle. You have been blessed with new life to care for and nurture. Your parents, your siblings, your friends and your God are all ready and willing to help. Use them. In some ways, this trip toward parenthood may seem like having a wilderness experience—a new trial, a new test. If so, consider this meditation: “I asked God for strength that I might achieve and I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things and I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy and I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men and I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered, and I am, among all men, most richly blessed.” May the good Lord lead you on your journey and bring you safe to the other side.
Although this information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, it cannot be guaranteed. This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized tax, legal or investment advice. FSC Securities Corporation does not offer tax or legal advice. The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of FSC Securities Corporation. Financial Solutions Group is a marketing name. Financial Solutions Group is located at 128 Versailles Blvd, Alexandria, LA 71301. We can be reached at (318) 448-3201. Securities, insurance and advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC.