Becoming a new parent is one of the most life-changing events in anyone’s life. You now have one more person to care for, and if you don’t start planning for their future right now, you may find yourself having to play catch up in the future. This is why you must have a clear plan as a parent and understand what it truly means to care for a child through their early years to early adulthood. It all starts with a clear vision of what you want for your child and preparing for the various obstacles that might come your way. Here are a few things every new parent should do.
Start Thinking About Estate Planning
One of the first things you should think about as a new parent is your succession. This is why you need to start looking at both insurance and estate planning.
A lot of people assume that getting both a will and insurance is overkill or that they can postpone writing a will, but they’d be wrong. No one wants to face their mortality, but the reality is that you could go at any time, and not having a will could cause a lot of trouble to your remaining spouse and your child.
There are many reasons why it makes sense for you to get both an insurance policy and a will. Some people make mistakes with their wills that may end up making them null and void, for instance. A life insurance policy is much more clean cut, and as long as you’re truthful in your application and make your payments, you can rest assured that your children will at least get a lump sum of money once you’re gone.
The first thing you should focus on is your will, however. The reason for this is that a will becomes active immediately while life insurance will require that you make a set number of payments before you can cash it out. And, if you only have the option between getting a will and life insurance, a will is the best option. This is because wills not only control your money, but also who will get specific assets and who will get guardianship of your children, which is extremely important.
If you want to draft a will, know that you could have one drafted completely online and have the process completed in a few days. Services like ELM Legal Services can provide online wills and even webcam wills. All you need is the information you want to be included in the will and they will guide you through the whole process. They will make sure that you don’t make mistakes and will send copies of your will to you so that you can have them notarised.
When it comes to life insurance, you need to be careful with the type you choose. Some life insurance policies will only protect you if you die within a specific timeframe, while others will protect you for your whole life. Some parents may want to take a policy up to a time when they feel like their child should be financially independent, while others may want to have them covered no matter what age they are. This is a personal decision that you and your spouse will have to look over.
Another thing you should consider is getting a critical illness or disability insurance. You may be covered in case you pass, but you also have to think about losing your ability to earn, which can be just as tough.
Disability insurance will supplement your income in case you can’t work because of a disability, while critical illness insurance will give you a lump sum in case you’re diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses covered by the policy. Look at both these options in detail and see if they could work for you.
Set Up an Education Fund
It’s never too early to start planning your child’s education. Starting early will not only give you peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to deal with crippling debt after they get out of university, but it could also broaden your options. Saving early could allow you to send them to a private school, for instance. You may not have enough to send them to private school from primary age, but saving from the time they are born could allow you to amass a sum large enough to pay for a private secondary school. This could give your children a significant edge and the costs won’t feel like a burden, so look at different ways that you could set up a fund and start as soon as you can.
Another thing you should do is look at where you’re living right now and decide if it’s the right type of place to raise a family. We don’t know what your plans for the future are, but there’s a strong chance that you want to have more children, so you may want to think about moving somewhere where you’d have more space. This could also be an opportunity to move out of the city, but don’t assume that suburban life is automatically better for children. Both the city and the suburbs have pros and cons when it comes to raising children that have to be considered.
One of the benefits of raising children in the city is close by amenities. Depending on where you’re located, you could have supermarkets, parks, shopping outlets, schools, and public transportation all within a walking distance. In the suburbs, you will have to rely much more on your vehicle and you may have to drive long distances for the things you need.
If you want to get a true sense of community, however, then you’d be better off moving to a smaller town or suburb. Your children will be going to school with people who live in the same geographical area as them. This means that they’ll be able to build closer bonds with them and you will be able to build bonds with their parents. Being part of a community is something that can really help families and help raise children who have a stronger connection to the people around them.
You’ll also be able to save in many ways when moving to a suburb or a smaller town. Schools there will usually be less competitive and be more affordable. Homes will also be much more affordable, and you’ll get much more space for your money than in the city.
Maybe you want to get a dog or want your children to enjoy a large garden with a pool? These options might be either impossible or too expensive in the city. This is why you need to look at different options and see which kind of environment you feel would be better for you and your children.
These are all things you should do if you want to ensure a bright future for your children and make a smooth transition from coupling to parenting. Look at what you want for them and your family and start planning on how you can get there as early as possible.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.