Growing your Family
Growing your family can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It also comes with legal and financial responsibilities that you will need to plan for.
Potential Direct Financial Impact
- Short-term need to subsidize any lost income if your maternity/paternity leave is not fully covered.
- Long-term financial implications and/or lifestyle adjustments necessary if switching from a dual income to single income household.
- Reallocation of monthly cash flow needed to offset any lost income, accommodate new fixed expenses like child care, and save for future goals like education.
- Unforeseen medical expenses incurred for prenatal care, hospital delivery and postpartum care.
- Costs associated with securing proper disability income and life insurance coverage to protect your family in the event of the unexpected.
- Legal fees incurred to set up estate planning documents like a Last Will & Testament to establish a legal guardian.
Potential Secondary Impacts
- Lifestyle impact as a result of ongoing childcare costs and baby expenses on top of any initial nesting costs (ie. nursery setup & essential baby equipment costs).
- Higher fixed costs and moving fees if relocating to a larger place or to a preferred school district.
- Near-term education costs associated with pre-school and private school.
- Initial and ongoing contributions to a 529 College Savings Plan.
Self Completion/Execution Risks
- Higher out of pocket medical expenses incurred if an out-of-network doctor or hospital is used.
- Lost growth opportunity on dollars spent that could have been saved or invested earlier toward future financial goals.
- Missed tax deductions and other opportunities by not contributing to particular 529 College Savings plans or prepaid college tuition plan you anticipate that your child will stay in-state.
- Overspending if committed to higher housing costs prior to planning for a change in household income and/or additional childcare related expenses.
- Funding future education expenses at the cost of not saving enough for retirement today.
- Not locking in sufficient disability income or life insurance coverage while you are young and eligible for coverage.
Situations Where Expertise Adds the Most Value
- Tax Adviser
Working with a tax adviser can help ensure that you’re not only maximizing new child tax credits, potential state tax deductions for a portion of your 529 contributions, and federal tax deductions for qualified medical expenses beyond the AGI threshold, but also make sure that you’re leveraging tax optimized accounts to save for education costs.
- Legal Adviser
Depending on the complexity of your situation and the value of your estate relative to the estate tax exclusion, working with a trust and estates attorney can pay dividends. It is highly recommended that you set up a trust if you meet any of the following circumstances: have children from a former marriage, have a special needs child, and/or you have assets (or a business) with a low cost-basis that are likely to appreciate significantly over time that you plan to gift or transfer upon your death.
- Financial Adviser
As your life evolves, it is critical to reassess your financial goals, estate planning needs and insurance coverage. The best way to identify any gaps in your insurance coverage and ensure your bases are fully covered is to work with a financial adviser who can look at all of the pieces of your financial picture holistically. A financial adviser may also be able take into account any upcoming changes to your cash flow to help you evaluate tradeoffs with competing priorities and goals based on your values.
- Tax Adviser