Atlanta Financial Blog

Four Financial To-Do’s for New Parents

Chris Blackmon, CFP®, CPA
February 12, 2019

We were recently blessed to welcome our second daughter, Elizabeth. This being our second, I think we are somewhat better prepared for how our lives would immediately change. These first few months are filled with joy and excitement (as well as exhaustion coupled with just trying to figure out what we are doing). While I have no advice on how to get your newborn to sleep on schedule, I can give you some advice on some financial matters all new parents need to address (and soon for some of these):

1) Add your new baby to your health insurance. Having a child qualifies as a life event, which allows you to make changes to your insurance plan outside of open enrollment. Most plans only give you 30 days from their birthday to add them to your plan. You will typically need a certification of birth from the hospital or a birth certificate.
2) Review current life insurance coverage and determine if it meets the needs of your growing family. If you lost one spouse’s income, would it be hard to continue your current lifestyle? Be honest with yourself – if you aren’t currently saving one of your incomes, you likely need more coverage. We generally always recommend term insurance for new parents, which can be quite inexpensive.
3) Update your will, beneficiaries, and withholdings. Your estate planning documents need to be updated to include your new baby. This will also involve updating any beneficiaries on current insurance policies and retirement plans. You also may want to consult your CPA to see if you should change your withholding elections as you likely will qualify for the newly updated $2,000 child tax credit (per child).
4) It is never too early to start thinking about college saving. Estimates range about what college will cost for a child born this year, but expect public, in-state college to cost $150,000 to $200,000 by the time your newborn reaches 18. I believe 529 plans are the best way to save, and starting early means you will need to save a lot less (and could help your child avoid burdensome loans later in life).

I can’t guarantee following these steps will help your child sleep through the night, but you should at least rest easier knowing your family’s financial future is on a solid foundation. Stay tuned for more tips on how to build the financial future for your family that they deserve. I would love to discuss my approach to each of the above or answer any questions you have!

Chris Blackmon can be reached at 770-261-5386 or cblackmon@atlantafinancial.com.

Please email servingyou@atlantafinancial.com to subscribe to the newsletter.

Share This:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+

Using P.O.D. and T.O.D to Avoid Probate

Like any court system in America, Probate Court is a slow and sometimes complicated process that can delay estate distributions for months, and in extreme cases, years. While Georgia’s probate system is simpler than many across the US, probating a Will can also be expensive, with the filing fees, administration fees, and other court costs. And since it’s a public process, anyone can obtain a copy of another person’s Will. With certain assets, you can easily avoid probate and have the asset(s) transfer directly to the person you choose. Typically, these assets are generally accounts deemed “payable-on-death (POD)” or “transferrable-on-death (TOD).” The terms essentially mean the same thing but apply to slightly different accounts.

Read More »

Planning for a Meaningful and Healthy Retirement

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the financial benefits of “phasing into” retirement. As it turns out, there can be health benefits to doing that as well.How can that be? Many people plan for and dream of retirement for years thinking that leaving the stress behind will be a boon for their health and emotional wellbeing. Not to mention that some professions are actually physically strenuous and take a physical toll as well. Retirement can be a time to follow your passions and pursue activities that you weren’t able to do during the working years, making this next chapter seem to offer a fulfilling capstone to a lifetime of professional accomplishments.

Read More »

Focusing on Results that Matter

Recently, my wife and I bought a new house.  She fell in love with it immediately and could see us raising our girls in the house, how could I say no?  But of course, there were financial matters to consider.  So, the planner in me immediately went to my budget spreadsheet to “crunch the numbers” and determine if we could afford it.  We have both been blessed in our careers and while this new home is a stretch to the budget, the answer is yes, we can afford our dream home.  So we decided to move forward. Now just the minor details of negotiating the purchase of the new home and selling our old home.

Read More »

My Divorce is Final – Can I Afford to Stay in my Home?

One of the most emotional decisions you may face following your divorce is whether to stay in your current home or not. When confronted with so many other changes, many people going through divorce decide NOT to change their housing, since it seems like one of the few things they can still control. For some, that can be a big mistake. Since housing costs may be your single largest expense, getting this decision “right” can have a huge impact on you and your family’s financial well-being in this next phase of your life. How can you decide if hanging on to the marital home is a mistake?

Read More »