Blogs

The Joys and Financial Challenges of Parenthood

Parenthood can be both wonderfully rewarding and frighteningly challenging. Children give gifts only a parent can understand — from sticky-finger hugs to heartfelt pleas to tag along on Saturday morning errands. You raise them with a clear goal that you secretly dread will actually take place — that someday they will be grown, independent, and ready to move out on their own, and your work will be over.

As your children travel this long and never-dull road from infancy to adulthood, you try to protect them. You want to make sure that they are financially secure, but meeting expenses can be challenging.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest?

Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. But competing with the desire to own your home free and clear is your need to invest for retirement, your child's college education, or some other goal. Putting extra cash toward one of these goals may mean sacrificing another. So how do you choose?

Women and Retirement Planning

Women often face special challenges when planning for retirement. Because their careers may be interrupted more often to care for children or elderly parents, women may spend less time in the workforce and earn less money than men in the same age group. As a result, their retirement plan balances, Social Security benefits, and pension benefits are often lower. In addition to earning less, women generally live longer than men, and they may face having to stretch limited retirement savings and benefits over many years.

To meet these financial challenges, women need to consider making retirement planning a priority. Consider the following tips to help yourself or the women in your life plan ahead.

Health Savings Accounts: Are They Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Are health insurance premiums taking too big of a bite out of your budget? Do you wish you had better control over how you spend your health-care dollars? If so, you may be interested in an alternative to traditional health insurance called a health savings account (HSA).

Investing as a Couple: Getting to Yes

In a perfect world, both halves of a couple share the same investment goals and agree on the best way to try to reach them. It doesn't always work that way, though; disagreements about money are often a source of friction between couples. You may be risk averse, while your spouse may be comfortable investing more aggressively--or vice versa. How can you bridge that gap?

Women: Planning for the Financial Impact of Children

Children are a special blessing and their arrival brings boundless love and joy into our lives that you can't put a price on. But adding a child to the household impacts the family budget (and women especially) in very measurable ways. Whether this is your first child or your fourth, here are some financial matters to think about and plan for before and after your child arrives.

Teach Your Children Well: Basic Financial Education

Even before your children can count, they already know something about money: it's what you have to give the ice cream man to get a cone, or put in the slot to ride the rocket ship at the grocery store. So, as soon as your children begin to handle money, start teaching them how to handle it wisely.

Planning for Marriage: Financial Tips for Women

Planning for marriage should involve more than just picking out invitations and deciding whether you should serve chicken or fish at the reception. More importantly, you'll want to take a look at how marriage will impact your financial situation. And while there are a number of issues you'll need to think about, careful planning can increase the likelihood that you'll have financial success as you enter this new chapter in your life.

Balancing Work and Family

Achieving a balance between work and family is a highly personal endeavor. There is no magic formula, and what works for one family may not work for another. It takes planning and resolve, and you'll need to make choices along the way that align with what's important to you. As you think about your own plan to balance work and family, here are some things you might consider.

Asset Protection for Women: Beyond Insurance

Women, now more than ever, need to consider asset protection planning because:

  • Women live longer than men and will likely need their money to last longer
  • At some point in their lives, women may have to manage their own finances due to divorce, widowhood, or remaining single
  • Many women are successful business owners
  • A good asset protection plan can help you achieve financial security and independence, and give you an opportunity to have enough money to provide for your comfortable support and that of your dependents