A growing family, by definition, means growing financial obligations – both in the present and in the future. Raising children can increase your insurance needs and heightens the urgency for being properly prepared.
Auto. When a child becomes a new driver, one option is to add the teenager to the parents’ policy. You may want to discuss with your auto insurer ways to reduce the additional premium that accompanies a new driver.
Home. You should periodically review your homeowners policy for three primary reasons.
A growing family generally accumulates increasing amounts of personal belongings. Think of each child’s toys, clothes, electronic equipment, etc. Moreover, household income tends to rise during this time, which means that jewelry, art, and other valuables may be among your growing personal assets.
The second reason is that the costs of rebuilding – and debris removal – may have risen over time, necessitating an increase in insurance coverage.
Lastly, with growing wealth, you may want to raise liability coverage, or if you do not have an umbrella policy, consider adding it now. Umbrella insurance is designed to help protect against the financial risk of personal liability.
Health. With your first child, be sure to change your health care coverage to a family plan. If you and your spouse have retained separate plans, you may want to evaluate which plan has a better cost-benefit profile. Think about whether now is the appropriate time to consolidate coverage into one plan.
Disability. If your family is likely to suffer economically because of the loss of one spouse’s income, then disability insurance serves an important role in replacing income that may allow you to meet living expenses without depleting savings.
Remember, however, the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a professional with legal or tax experience for specific information regarding your individual situation.
If you already have disability insurance, consider increasing the income replacement benefit since your income and standard of living may now be higher than when you bought the policy.
Life. With children, the amount of future financial obligations increases. The cost of raising children and funding their college education can be expensive. Should one of the spouses die, the loss of income might severely limit the future quality of life for your surviving children and spouse. Not only does death eliminate the future income of one spouse permanently, but the future earning power of the surviving spouse might be diminished as single parenthood may necessitate fewer working hours and turning down promotions.
The amount of life insurance coverage needed to fund this potential financial loss is predicated on, among other factors, lifestyle, debts, ages and number of children, and anticipated future college expenses.
Several factors will affect the cost and availability of life insurance, including age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, the policyholder also may pay surrender charges and have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.
Some couples decide to have one parent stay at home to care for the children full time. The economic value of the stay-at-home parent is frequently overlooked. Should the stay-at-home parent die, the surviving parent would likely need to pay for a range of household and childcare services, and potentially, suffer the loss of future income due to the demands of single parenthood.
Extended Care. The earlier you consider extended care choices, the better. However, the financial demands of more immediate priorities, like saving for your children’s college education or your retirement, will take precedence if resources are limited.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Recipe of the Week
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/4 quarts
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- Sundae toppings, such as nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, syrup, or fresh fruit
- Combine all the ingredients (besides the sundae toppings) and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Place in a 13″ x 9″ baking dish in the freezer until the edges of the mixture begin to set, about 20 minutes.
- Take the mixture out and mix it with a hand mixer or a spoon. Mix until smooth, cover, and place back in the freezer. Freeze for about 3 more hours, beating again every 30 minutes.
- Scoop and top with your favorite sundae flavors!
Selling Your Car or Buying From a Private Seller? Here are the Tax Tips You Should Know
Buying a new car is an exciting purchase. If you are buying your next vehicle from a private seller rather than a dealership or selling a used car to an individual, there are a few tax considerations you should know. The first is that if you are selling your car for less than you paid for it, you likely won’t have to pay sales tax on the sale. This is because the IRS considers selling a used car for less than you paid a capital loss. But in contrast, if you are selling your car for more than you paid (like if it’s a classic car you’ve restored and it’s increased in value), you may have to pay sales tax.
If you’re buying a car from a private seller, you’ll have to pay sales tax. But this sales tax doesn’t go to the seller, it goes to the DMV. This sales tax is incorporated in your car’s registration.
* This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.
Tip adapted from CarGurus
Low and Slow to Get on the Green
Tip adapted from Me and My Golf
Stretches to Complement Your Workout
- Hamstring stretch – Lay on the ground with your legs straight up. Gently pull one leg toward you until you feel pressure. Repeat with the other leg.
- Figure Four – Sit on the ground with your legs bent and knees up. Gently rest one ankle on the quad of the opposite leg. If this is too much, straighten one leg on the floor and rest your ankle on your thigh while it’s on the ground. Here’s a video demonstration.
- Child’s Pose – Child’s pose is a common yoga movement, but it can also be a great stretch. Either hold the regular child’s pose with your knees about hip width apart or intensify the stretch by bringing your knees out wider. You should feel it in your inner thighs, groin, and hips.
GMO: What Does it Really Mean?
GMO stands for “genetically-modified organism.” For plants and animals, this means that their genetic material has been changed in ways that don’t occur naturally (for example, a genetically-engineered tomato might be redder than a non-GMO tomato). In order for plants and animals to be considered “non-GMO,” they must meet a common standard set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For processed foods, eggs, and dairy products, there is currently no common standard that regulates GMO claims, so for these types of foods, look for verification through third parties, like The Non-GMO Project.
Tip adapted from Greener Choices