Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

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Lol_wut94
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:01 pm

Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Lol_wut94 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:09 pm

Hello bogleheads, first time long time...

My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the family - obviously we're wading deep into new territory.

As an amateur BH i like to think we have emergency funds and a plan for retirement squared away. What steps should one take when kids arrive? Thoughts on 529s, life insurance, living wills? Those are the big ones on my mind, but what might I be missing?

PFInterest
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by PFInterest » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:53 pm

Sleep.

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fortfun
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by fortfun » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:01 pm

Lol_wut94 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:09 pm
Hello bogleheads, first time long time...

My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the family - obviously we're wading deep into new territory.

As an amateur BH i like to think we have emergency funds and a plan for retirement squared away. What steps should one take when kids arrive? Thoughts on 529s, life insurance, living wills? Those are the big ones on my mind, but what might I be missing?
Health Insurance
Emergency fund (6 months expenses)
Term Life Insurance (for both husband and wife approx. 10x annual income).
Will & trust
529 if your retirement is fully funded.

Congratulations!

sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by sport » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:15 pm

Disability insurance for whomever is earning.
Durable powers of attorney.
Powers of attorney for health care.
Powers of attorney required by any financial institution you deal with.
A good pediatrician. (get a recommendation from the OB).
Be sure to name a guardian for the child in case the worst happens.
The guardian and the trustee do not have to be the same person.

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Watty
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:05 pm

Lol_wut94 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:09 pm
...but what might I be missing?

In addition to what has already been mentioned;

You may need to change your payroll withholding to have the right amount of taxes withheld.

Add the kid as a secondary beneficiary to your retirement accounts. I forget how the designation works to also include any future kids you might have so be sure to look into that.

When we watched our grandkid regularly one thing we had was a sheet of all the contact information for the kids pediatrician and the legal paperwork(limited medical power of attorney(?)) to make emergency medical decisions if his parents could not be reached.

Next to your phone or inside a kitchen cabinet have a list of your emergency numbers, your kids doctors phone number, poison control, and your address in case someone like a babysitter has to call 911. Keep a paper list of important phone numbers in your wallet in case you need to make a call when your cell phone is dead.

Start a file folder of the babies important medical appointments and immunizations records. When the kid starts daycare/preschool/school you may need to prove that they had their shots and having that handy will be nice especially if something happens like their pediterication has retired or moved and the records might not be readily available.

Put a large handful of diapers someplace out of the way and only use them in an emergency(don't ask :D ). Also put a few in the trunk of your car. Replace them when the baby is ready for a larger size. It is easy to run out when you thought that there was another pack that your spouse already used or if there is bad weather and you are snowed in for a few days. If you use formula then also have a system so that you never run out of formula.

Make two paper prints of your favorite photos and ask someone like a relative if you can keep one of those at their house for safekeeping. Keep the other copy at your house. Often when there is something like a fire or tornado the thing people regret most is losing the family photos. You do not need or want to save thousands of photos but each year pick out a dozen or two of the best for safekeeping. Electronic backups are important to do too but there are lots of ways for those to fail when you are looking at a time frame that is measured in decades.

Put credit freezes on the kids credit reports as soon as you get the Social Security number. Be sure to save the PINs in a safe place where it can be found 20 years from now.

Consider getting a passport for the kid if you might have any need to travel internationally, even to Canada or Mexico.

MrBeaver
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by MrBeaver » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:26 pm

The biggest financial advice I have: buy a camera. Take pictures. Save them, but don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind in the sorting/categorization. Just capture them at the early sleep-deprived point.

But here is the thing that has made the biggest difference for our family:

Make a short list each year of things you want to value as a family, and actionable items or habits to instill that.

In the first year, pick a single thing and be happy when you get to it at half the frequency you said you would. In year two (age 1-2), my list was:

A. Learning through experiences
B. Individual time (we had twins so they are rarely separated for 1-on-1 time with either parent)
C. Time with family and friends
D. Maintaining marital health

The things we did to accomplish the above bounced around a bit through the year, but included:

A. Membership and at least monthly visits to a small local zoo; swimming; going to outdoor park concerts
B. Once a week, I take one of the kids to the neighborhood park when I get home from work (I alternate which kid) while my wife stays home with the other one.
C. One Friday night + Saturday spent with grandparents each month. One weekly mom’s + kid play date outing (the group or occasion changed throughout the year).
D. No phones in the evening, period. When the kids go to bed, we do chores for half an hour and then do something together for 45 minutes most nights (game, TV show, talking).

Keep it simple, and learn to enjoy experiences. Maintain sufficient focus for work, but understand that you will drop balls as you learn to juggle. If some of those dropped balls are at work and some are at home, you’re probably doing it about right.

corysold
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by corysold » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:44 am

Determine what type of schooling you desire your child to have in the future. Public, Private or Homeschool. That will determine where you are willing to live at various points of your life.

Determine how you are going to handle extracurricular activities. The costs can start to add up when you want to "try it all". Not that you have to decide what your kid is going to do for their life right now, but also understand they don't have to do everything. Kids mostly just need some opportunity to play and explore and sometimes organized play and too many activities can stunt that a bit I've found.

Just as a point of advice from someone with 6 kids, if you want it to be a "no" when they are 10, 14, or 20, make it a "no" when they are 2. 10 year olds don't change as much as you'd hope.

fulltilt
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by fulltilt » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:24 pm

Lol_wut94 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:09 pm
Hello bogleheads, first time long time...

My wife and I recently welcomed our first child into the family - obviously we're wading deep into new territory.

As an amateur BH i like to think we have emergency funds and a plan for retirement squared away. What steps should one take when kids arrive? Thoughts on 529s, life insurance, living wills? Those are the big ones on my mind, but what might I be missing?
1. Learn how to do the 'colic hold' and proper rock and 'shush' a baby.
2. Buy Baby Got Colic.
3. Check to see if the 529 plan in your state offers "free" money if you start an account. Some states have matching funds.
4. Don't skimp on a good car seat. Have it *properly* installed by a certified safety technician and learn how to do the same.
5. Buy *way* more bottles than you think you need.
6. Budget more money than you will think you need in an FSA/HRA/HSA. Kids get sick. A LOT.
7. For us, breastfeeding was the hardest part. If you choose to BF and need to buy a pump, buy a good one.
8. Hopefully, you already started your search for a daycare (if necessary).
9. Simplify.
0. Try to enjoy it. Time flies.

sthadani
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by sthadani » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:35 pm

First off, Congratulations!

My wife and I had a baby in August so we are in the same boat as you. I set up a 529 plan the month my son was born. I have automatic contributions set up ($100) monthly that are invested in Vanguard Total Stock Market index. Any additional gifts for him will be going in there as well. We are instructing all our family to give cash for Christmas / 1st birthday etc. until he is old enough to ask for his own gifts. It's like a secret savings plan that he doesn't even know about but will be thankful for when he is older.

Some of the other advice on this feed is great that I didn't think about yet. Definitely going to add him as a secondary beneficiary to retirement accounts and insurance policies.

On the non-financial side, the best way to get him to sleep, we discovered was a white noise machine and swaddling. Good Luck!!

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Nate79
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Nate79 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:40 pm

You have gotten a lot of good advice. I can only add that if you are frugle there is a wealth of used baby items, clothes, etc available through many channels, friends, family, facebook/craigslist/etc. Not overspending on all of the items you think you need and buying used for as many items as possible saved us a huge amount of money. We then resell the items so that our actual expense is really small. Helps make up for the huge amount you spend in other areas.

Also, if you have to do the formula route Costco store brand is soooooo much cheaper than anywhere else.

Topic Author
Lol_wut94
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Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:01 pm

Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Lol_wut94 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:21 pm

Thanks all for the helpful advice. The personal/family advice is just as, if not more, helpful than the financial and planning advice. Best of luck to you and yours

mak1277
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by mak1277 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:41 pm

Our little maniac is now 8 months old, so my advice is to cherish the few short months when you can put the baby down and know he'll be in the same spot when you return :)

ThankYouJack
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:49 pm

PFInterest wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:53 pm
Sleep.
Haha, +1!

And enjoy it the moment! They grow up quick

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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Darth Xanadu » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:51 pm

If you are doing daycare in 2019, explore the option for Dependent Care FSA through work. You can get up to $5k tax-free towards child-care. You might have open enrollment starting soon so see if it makes sense for you before enrollment ends.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

samsdad
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by samsdad » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:48 pm

Father of 10-month-old twins here. Take pics AND VIDEOS every day of the little one with your phone. Transfer to a laptop or pc and also transfer to a thumb drive. Do the transfer monthly (assuming you have space in your phone).

If your little one starts spitting up or getting bloated or gets really fussy it might be a milk allergy. Nutramigen formula worked for us.

Watch for wife or you getting postpartum depression. Yes, you too.

Amazon will save you a lot of trips to the store when you don’t have a lot of time to go to the store.

Congratulations, Dad!

Sagefemme
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Sagefemme » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:30 pm

You have gotten a lot of good advice. I can only add that if you are frugle there is a wealth of used baby items, clothes, etc available through many channels, friends, family, facebook/craigslist/etc. Not overspending on all of the items you think you need and buying used for as many items as possible saved us a huge amount of money. We then resell the items so that our actual expense is really small. Helps make up for the huge amount you spend in other areas.
1+

It's easy to get caught up in buying a ton of stuff for the baby, and most of it is not important or necessary. They like to play with wooden spoons and pots and pans as much as or more than the expensive "educational" or "developmentally appropriate" toy. Save your cash for education and experiences rather than things. Shop consignment stores; more cute, hardly worn baby clothes than you can shake a stick at. Enjoy your baby!!

Bacchus01
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Re: Moves to make after welcoming 1st child

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:28 am

Start working on baby #2

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