5 Ways Parents Can Start Planning for Their Financial Future
If you are a parent, you’re used to planning for the future. However, planning for your financial future can seem like a complicated task. Luckily, there are some fairly simple steps parents can take to keep themselves financially stable and ensure their families are taken care of.
Below are five financial planning steps you should start with.
Consider Consulting a Financial Advisor
For basic family budgeting and savings, you may be okay on your own. However, there are a few times in your life when working with a financial advisor makes sense. Planning for retirement and the future is definitely one of them.
Speaking with a financial advisor can give you peace of mind when it comes to planning. A financial advisor can take a close look at your financial state and future goals and help you create a solid plan. You can also work with a professional to figure out tax laws and legal rules that could impact your retirement and finances.
Plan for Final Expenses Ahead of Time
Talking about death is never a pleasant topic but planning for end-of-life expenses and events can take a lot of pressure off of your spouse and family when the time comes. You should discuss your final wishes with your family and make sure any expenses will be covered.
Think about designating a joint savings account, buying a pre-need insurance plan, or investing in final expense insurance to cover your last expenses. Many parents pre-pay their funeral expenses, such as setting up a “payable on death” account or creating a joint bank account, to help save their family money and strife during what will be a difficult and stressful time.
Reassess Your Retirement Savings Plans
If you are an older parent, you may be looking forward to your upcoming retirement. Parents of any age should start investing in retirement savings and laying out a financial plan that will cover their expenses during these years. Use an online calculator to determine how much you will need in retirement.
There are also several ways to fund your retirement, so know which ones will work for you. Many Americans rely heavily on Social Security benefits to cover their needs, but you can also look into savings plans, pensions, and investments that may provide you with more income in your later years. You may fund your retirement by planning on selling your home and using the equity you’ve built up to add to your savings or even retire earlier.
Look into Life Insurance Options
Life insurance is a must-have for parents of any age. Life insurance provides your survivors and family with financial security when they need it most. Before you decide on purchasing a life insurance plan, you should understand the types of policies, as well as how cash values and premiums vary.
Knowing the cash value of your policy can come in handy later on if you need to use your policy to access extra funds. You can sell your policy if you no longer need it and use the cash for other expenses. If you’re stretched for time, it’s easy these days to sign up online for a life insurance policy; you may still need to take a medical exam like with any other method of applying, but many providers offer at-home exams conducted by medical paraprofessionals.
Have a Plan for Healthcare
Healthcare can be a major expense for older adults. In fact, healthcare costs tend to rise as you age, so make sure you are covered as you get older. Insurance through your employer is typically the least expensive way to get health coverage. Once you retire, you may need other options to cover the expenses related to your health. Medicare and Medicaid are two available options, and you can also look into Health Savings Accounts to help with healthcare costs.
If you plan on getting started with your financial planning, there is no better time than the present. Working on your finances can help build the stability you need to support yourself and your family now while making sure everything is in order for the future.
Contributed by a widow with young children:
When Sara lost her husband, she quickly learned there is no handbook for those of us who have lost a partner and suddenly find themselves raising children on their own. But Sara also learned there is a community of people with similar experiences, using all their might to put one foot in front of the other every day — even when it seems impossible. She created her website, thewidow.net for others who are in the same situation she is.
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