Financial Checklist for New Dads and Moms
by Michael A. Ippoliti, MBA, CFP®, Vice President
1) Make sure your child has a Social Security number.
If you checked “yes” and supplied the appropriate information when applying for your baby’s birth certificate, the Social Security number should be on its way. If for some reason you didn’t, you can apply at an SSA office, but you’ll have to provide proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship, age and identity, as well as your own identity.
2) Get health insurance right away.
If you have insurance through your work, notify your employer as soon as your child is born. In the meantime, review your options to make sure you have the best combination of deductibles and coverage.
3) Evaluate Your Emergency Reserve
An emergency fund is always important and more than ever when you have a child. Strive to have enough cash in an easily accessible account to cover three-to-six months of necessary expenses.
4) Create a will and Powers of Attorney for financial and health decisions
Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, a will is essential to name a guardian for your child. It doesn’t have to be a complicated document, but I’d suggest consulting with your family attorney. If it’s not in writing, the state could decide who would care for your child.
5) Start saving for education.
Everyone thinks about the enormous cost of college, but what if you want to send your child to private elementary or high school? Fortunately, with the new tax law, 529 accounts can now be used for all three with certain limitations. A 529 is a great, tax-advantaged way to save—and provides an easy, tax-smart way for grandparents to chip in as well.