Checklist: Growing Your Family

Man and woman holding hands with child

Adding to your family is an exciting event. With so much to think about and do, we know it can also be a little stressful – and we want to be there to help with your financial needs. This checklist can help you address a wide range of financial considerations before your new addition arrives.

Financial considerations

  • Discuss working arrangements. Will either spouse adjust work schedules?
  • Investigate your options for day care and work together to agree on a solution.
  • Understand your employer's benefits related to having or adopting a child (e.g., parental leave, maternity coverage, pediatric care).
  • Research how you might benefit from the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Review your investment strategies and goals with your financial advisor, as well as any insurance, tax and legal documents, to make sure they're up-to-date.
  • Obtain a Social Security number for your child as soon as possible. (Many hospitals provide new parents with the form during the mother's stay.)

Tax considerations

  • Update the number of dependents on your W-4 form through your employer.
  • If you're adopting, research the federal income tax credit for adoption-related expenses.
  • Take advantage of the federal Child Tax Credit, if eligible.
  • Explore whether your employer's health plan offers a flexible spending account for child care.

Set education goals

  • Start saving early – time is a major asset.
  • Review your options for education savings , including 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, personal savings, etc.
  • Work with your financial advisor to balance education savings with your other goals, including saving for your own retirement.

Prepare for the unexpected

  • Save three to six months' worth of living expenses for emergencies.
  • Review your health insurance plan and add your new child to your coverage.
  • Consider (or review your current) disability insurance to ensure the family's needs are covered.
  • Review your life insurance to ensure your entire family's needs (including future education costs) are covered.
  • Explore a flexible spending account/health savings account for medical needs.

Plan your estate

  • Work with your attorney to create or update a will, naming a guardian for your child.
  • Review/add beneficiaries to IRA(s), 401(k) accounts, life insurance, annuities and other accounts.
  • Explore a custodial account to save or transfer assets for the benefit of your child.
  • If you're a business owner, set up a succession plan to ensure the continuity of your business.

Considerations for a special-needs child

  • Research community programs or grants for special education.
  • Evaluate ways to ensure ongoing care if something were to happen to you.
  • Talk with your financial advisor to determine whether a special needs trust may be appropriate for you.

How we can help

At Edward Jones, we care as much about why you're investing as what you're investing in. Contact your financial advisor to learn more about our services for your family's future.

Important Information:

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

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