Starting a Family

Immediate Expenses

When it comes to starting a family, there is a lot to prepare for financially. Accumulating some savings to prepare for family leave is a good starting point. The amount of time you are allowed and whether it is paid or unpaid depends on your employer, but it never hurts to have a cushion. You’ll also want to plan for medical bills and necessary big purchases before bringing home the addition to your family.

baby room
child eye exam

Preparing for the Future

Once you have the initial necessities out of the way, it’s time to reassess your budget. First, make sure your emergency savings is sufficient so that you can handle any unexpected costs that come your way. One of the first expenses you’ll need to account for in your monthly budget is childcare. Explore your options early on to find what works for your family. You should also consider updating your will and life insurance needs.

Saving for College

Time passes quickly and every dollar counts when it comes to long-term savings goals. It is important to start saving for college early. There are many options for saving, but a Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA) is a popular choice that allows you to use the money for K-12 education in addition to college tuition, books and supplies.

college graduate

While traditional savings accounts and specialized savings plans have their advantages, a Roth IRA presents a unique opportunity to allocate funds for college expenses with added flexibility.

One of the key benefits of using a Roth IRA for college savings is the freedom it offers in terms of expenditure. Unlike other dedicated college savings plans, funds accumulated in a Roth IRA do not necessarily have to be used solely for educational purposes. This means that if your circumstances change or your child receives scholarships or financial aid, you have the flexibility to allocate those funds for other purposes without penalty.

Starting your Roth IRA contributions more than five years before your child’s college enrollment provides a significant advantage. This extended period allows your investments to potentially grow and accumulate tax-free earnings, providing a stronger financial foundation to support your child’s educational aspirations. Plus, you can contribute more to a Roth IRA each year than you can to some (but not all) other college savings plans.

One important note: to have a Roth IRA, your earned income must not exceed certain limits.

By utilizing a Roth IRA as a college savings plan, you can take advantage of the inherent benefits it offers and tailor your financial strategy to meet your specific needs. Whether you decide to use the funds for tuition, books, or other expenses, the choice remains yours.

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