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Financial lessons of parenthood
Bottles, diapers, baby food—oh my. Most of us have some idea that raising kids is pricey. A child born into a middle-income American family will cost his or her parents approximately $233,610 through the age of 17, according to USDA figures.1 And that doesn’t include the cost of a college education.
Some careful financial planning now can set your family up for a more secure future. Here are 5 things you can do to help you and your children reach long-term financial success:
1. Create and stick to a budget.
You’ll be able to set aside money for unexpected costs and set a positive financial example for your children as they grow. When your children watch you live on a budget, it will be much easier to teach them how to manage their own finances as they get older.
2. Start saving for your future child’s education.
You can open a 529(b) plan and encourage grandparents and others to make contributions in lieu of gifts. By starting early, your child’s education fund will have many years to grow. They offer tax-deferred growth, and any earnings can grow faster than a taxable account. A 529 college savings plan also entitles you to federal tax-free distributions for certain qualified expenses.
3. Focus on wellness.
When you have children, it’s important to stay healthy in order to take good care of them and to model healthy behaviors. Science is increasingly demonstrating the benefits of diet and exercise. While starting a new healthy habit can be tough, John Hancock life insurance with Vitality (a part of every John Hancock life insurance policy) can help motivate you to keep healthy habits by rewarding good choices.
4. Protect your child’s future.
Once you have children, you should plan out how they’d be cared for if something happens to you. Make sure that you set up a will to choose legal guardians, and that those guardians can comfortably provide for your children. Obtaining life insurance and disability insurance are also important for providing peace of mind. Plus, the earlier you purchase life insurance, the more money you can save, because policies can cost more as you age.
5. Don’t neglect your own future.
Once your children are grown, you’ll still have your own life to live. Many parents focus on only providing for their children during the early years and may put their own retirement savings on the backburner. Start early by taking advantage of your employer’s retirement savings plan or opening your own IRA or other retirement account. That way, you’ll be taking advantage of years of compound interest while helping ensure that your children won’t have to care for you financially later in life.
Life insurance that rewards you for living a healthy life.