Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Financologist
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Financologist » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:44 pm

First and foremost.. this moment goes quickly. Do your best to embrace the "struggle."

Financial advice.. spend as much time with baby as you can. This will leave little time for shopping (hint: most baby stuff will become useless quickly and was worthless to begin with..) but dont quibble if your partner wants something for babe.. they'll be enough to quibble about along the way.

Have a blast!

daave
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by daave » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:21 am

birnhamwood wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:44 pm
I strongly agree with the 4 posters (so far) who recommend a 529 plan for college.
Surprised at how bullish everyone is on 529s in this thread, usually Bogleheads are more skeptical of them.

- Take care of your own retirement savings and household budget first. The kids can borrow for college but you can't borrow for retirement. Your financial stability and peace is a greater gift to your kids than a free ride through school.
- The kids might not use the 529 funds.
- Depening on income level, state tax benefits and other factors, you might be better off just paying off your mortgage before the kids reach college age, and cash-flow tuition if you decide to help kids pay for college
- Even if you do decide to start a 529, there's no urgency. The tax benefit compared to just putting the funds in a taxable brokerage account in a low cost and low turnover index fund aren't drastic, especially over a short period of time, you can choose to fund a 529 when they're 5 or 10 if it seems worthwhile

sawhorse
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by sawhorse » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:26 am

My sister in law, who has a small child, said that she wishes she had never bought any toys because people gifted them so many, and a lot of them were played with for a day and never again. Now they have so many large toy sets just taking up space. Same with books. Use the library.
willthrill81 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:44 pm
:sharebeer

I also highly recommend that you ensure that you have adequate disability insurance apart from a job.

And I echo the above comments to update your wills and other 'end-of-life-related' documents and to not buy a bigger house right off the bat. Many parents have very contentedly raised large families in homes under 2k sq. ft.
Yes, many have raised multiple children in apartments less than 800 square feet. There's a family of 5 on my floor in one such apartment (kids ages 8-15), a family of 4 in a 500 sq ft unit, and a family of 3 in a 350 sq ft unit. When I was growing up, a house across the street looked to be about the same size as my family's - roughly 1200 sq ft - and
had 1.5 baths. There were only two kids in my family, and I think we probably could have handled 4-5 kids in the space at a stretch based on how it felt when relatives moved in for long periods of time. Any more than that, and there would have been fist fights over the shower.

The house across the street had 8 kids plus 2 parents all living there at the same time :shock:

I totally agree about disability insurance.

def6732
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by def6732 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:38 am

Post partum recovery is important and in my opinion overlooked in the US. Mother’s body needs months to recover after birth. Be gentle and kind to yourselves.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by FI4LIFE » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:17 am

Babies can survive on love, mommy's milk, some cloth diapers, a box to sleep in, and a blanket. Whatever you choose to purchase beyond that is not a necessity. Consumer culture pressures new parents into purchasing a lot of crap that will just be in a landfill in a couple years.

I second the term life insurance and disability insurance. You may want to wait until after the pregnancy to purchase your insurance. My wife's weight and high blood pressure during pregnancy caused us to pay higher premiums for her.

Foredeck
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Foredeck » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:28 am

Hi, Congratulations.

This is an important moment in your life.

For me having a family was the kick in the pants I needed to get serious about financial planning. It's around this time I discovered the Boglehead community.

I wish we would have done the basics before the baby arrived.

1.) Created a household budget.

2.) Have an emergency fund. Our delivery had some complications and the hospital bill was a lot of money.

3.) Buy life insurance.

4.) Make sure the household is contributing 15% to retirement plan(s). I think because we didn't do a budget or have emergency funds we had to reduce our contribution.
Also We were contributing, but not as much as we could have. Missed opportunity. Our goal is to keep contributing at minimum 15% in order to reach our retirement goal.

5.) Payoff an pre-existing credit card debt.

Things we did do before the baby

1.) Did our estate planning. Setup Trusts and worked out who will get our baby in the event my wife and I should die. Laid out in the details in the Trust how the funds are to be allocated for our child.

2.) Updated health insurance info.

3.) Opened a 529. This can be done after the baby is born.

Best of luck. It's an exciting time for you. I hope this is helpful.

Foredeck
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Foredeck » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:37 am

Financologist wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:44 pm
First and foremost.. this moment goes quickly. Do your best to embrace the "struggle."

Financial advice.. spend as much time with baby as you can. This will leave little time for shopping (hint: most baby stuff will become useless quickly and was worthless to begin with..) but dont quibble if your partner wants something for babe.. they'll be enough to quibble about along the way.

Have a blast!
This is so true. Great advice.

Despite being sleep deprived and just generally exhausted, you will soon recognize that you need to be present, NOW. The baby phase goes so fast, and *poof* it's over.

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willthrill81
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:20 am

Foredeck wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:37 am
Financologist wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:44 pm
First and foremost.. this moment goes quickly. Do your best to embrace the "struggle."

Financial advice.. spend as much time with baby as you can. This will leave little time for shopping (hint: most baby stuff will become useless quickly and was worthless to begin with..) but dont quibble if your partner wants something for babe.. they'll be enough to quibble about along the way.

Have a blast!
This is so true. Great advice.

Despite being sleep deprived and just generally exhausted, you will soon recognize that you need to be present, NOW. The baby phase goes so fast, and *poof* it's over.
:thumbsup

And take tons of photos and videos, often making backups. You will absolutely treasure them.
sawhorse wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:26 am
My sister in law, who has a small child, said that she wishes she had never bought any toys because people gifted them so many, and a lot of them were played with for a day and never again. Now they have so many large toy sets just taking up space. Same with books. Use the library.
Agreed entirely on both counts. We visit our local library for a fresh stash of a dozen or so books for our daughter almost every week. She can't read quite yet, but research and our own experiences indicate that reading to your kids multiple times daily is one of the best things you can do for them.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Stinky
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Stinky » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:57 am

lessismore22 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:21 am
Won't need it for a while, but when you start potty training I highly recommend a book called Oh Crap!. My wife used it and we had fully trained kids at 22 months and 19 months old.
Thanks so much for the tip! I’ve ordered a copy for my daughter, who is struggling to train my 39 month old grandson.

I just love coming to this Forum daily. It’s amazing what tidbits of information you can pick up here.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

bo105954027
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by bo105954027 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:50 am

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 pm
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1

Plenty of good, usable merchandise to be had at a fraction of the retail price.
For example?
Time in market beats timing the market.

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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Darth Xanadu » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:59 am

bo105954027 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:50 am
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 pm
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1

Plenty of good, usable merchandise to be had at a fraction of the retail price.
For example?
My mother-in-law recently purchased a used kitchen play set, with accessories, for my 2 year old from a resale shop for $8. It retails for $90. My partner recently sold a used "infant chair" thing for $8 that retails for $40. So, the deals are out there.

Some things you would only purchase brand new, like a car seat, but for me that's been one of the few exceptions.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

GAAP
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by GAAP » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:07 pm

Decide now if you will want to fund some or all of future college expenses. The sooner you start, the less it will impact your budget. My personal choice would be I-bonds for the flexibility in the future.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ― Bruce Lee

runner540
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by runner540 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:56 pm

def6732 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:38 am
Post partum recovery is important and in my opinion overlooked in the US. Mother’s body needs months to recover after birth. Be gentle and kind to yourselves.
+1000
Congrats!
Also put some money in your budget now for pregnancy and after for postpartum for things that insurance doesn't cover but will make a huge difference to your wife and baby:
-Baby stuff that you didn't know you needed/forgot to register for
-prenatal massages, body pillow, workouts/yoga, massages, lactation help, physical therapy after birth, etc.
-Good registry advice here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=301578&p=4973699#p4973699

Non financial:
-line up in-home help for the first few weeks: your parents, siblings, good friends who have had babies, etc. who can help keep your heads above water.
-read up on baby care, sleep training and parenting - much easier to do before you are recovering from birth, up all night, etc. There are lots of resources out there, ask around to your friends who are handling parenthood well.

Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 pm

As a dad of an almost 15th month old, I agree with the vast majority of the above. I'll offer one comment, in the hopes it might help.

Amazon Prime can be a fickle mistress for a new parent. It can be a real life saver when you do not have time to run out and get supplies needed for baby. However, sleep deprivation, major shifts in your schedules, and stress can lead to impulsive purchases, and 1-click can really exacerbate that issue. Buying the new sleepsack in the hopes it helps baby sleep, or a new kind of bottle if feeding is going difficult, can seem like a really good idea. Any why not get those new shoes while you're at it, you deserve it, it's been a rough week. Especially if money is not particularly tight, the $40 here and $50 there is easy to justify...until there are a whole lot of them showing up on your account. I know our normally disciplined spending took a real hit during this period and, looking back, the vast majority of it was probably unnecessary. Now, maybe this isn't your vice, but it wasn't ours either. Until it was.

My $.02.

bad1bill
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by bad1bill » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:47 pm

Agree with all the pointers including adequate insurance.

One caveat: research and buy a NEW highly-rated car seat ; get training on its installation. Many recalls and/or abuse have happened to used ones . Use it religiously. Upgrade to a booster seat WHEN APPROPRIATE.

Be there for each other so no one feels overburdened by parenting. Understand the wife is stressed the most in the early stages and compensate accordingly.

Eating out with the first newborn was (for us) really easy as the son slept most of the time or cooed and looked cute. After they start crawling, look out!

Get a (used) baby jogger or backpack/frontpack so you can get outdoors and stay active.

bo105954027
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by bo105954027 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:59 am
bo105954027 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:50 am
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 pm
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1

Plenty of good, usable merchandise to be had at a fraction of the retail price.
For example?
My mother-in-law recently purchased a used kitchen play set, with accessories, for my 2 year old from a resale shop for $8. It retails for $90. My partner recently sold a used "infant chair" thing for $8 that retails for $40. So, the deals are out there.

Some things you would only purchase brand new, like a car seat, but for me that's been one of the few exceptions.
Hum.. interesting. Where can we find such used thingies for kids? Is there any dedicated store or website?
Time in market beats timing the market.

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Stinky
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Stinky » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:17 am

bo105954027 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am

Hum.. interesting. Where can we find such used thingies for kids? Is there any dedicated store or website?
Thrift stores.

Consignment stores.

Garage sales, especially in the “better” parts of town.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

momof3
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by momof3 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:33 pm

Congrats!! Like most everyone else already said, buy second hand whenever possible. Nearly all my kids' clothes, books and toys were either given to us or bought at thrift stores/yard sales. Kids grow out of clothes so quickly, especially during the first year, that it's not necessary to stock up on a ton of them. We are particularly fond of the footie pajamas that ZIP up. If it has more than 3 snaps, don't buy it. You'll be cursing yourself during that middle of the night diaper change.
Kids really don't need much in the way of toys, either. Keep it simple with some board books, a few balls and dolls/little people. We also keep the battery operated toys to a minimum. Try to ignore all the labels that say those toys that make 50 different noises will help your little one learn. What I've found is it gives them a shorter attention span and you a headache. At least if you do buy a noisy toy, make sure you can turn the volume down.
For diapers, we use Amazon Subscribe and Save and save nearly $10 per box of diapers we buy. Plus, they come right to your door. Done.
As for the popular items you can find in any baby store, the ones we've used repeatedly are:
1. Nosefrida (yes, the snot sucker. So gross until you see how well it works).
2. Wubbanub (or similar type of paci with an animal attached). It doesn't get lost as easily in the crib and baby quickly learns how to put in in her mouth by herself, which is priceless.
3. An absorbent set of bibs for the first few months (like green sprouts organic cotton muslin). Some of the cute terry bibs just let liquid roll off them. When baby begins solids, a silicone bib with a pocket at the bottom to catch the food is invaluable. We have used the same ones for over 5 years with 3 kids. They say you can machine wash but that will eventually cause them to tear. I just rinse with water unless it's a really sticky mess.
4. A convertible car seat, like Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 carseat. It's the only one you'll have to buy from infancy until your child is in a booster. Overall you save on money and space since you don't have to store an extra infant seat after baby outgrows it.
Items we have bought and found were a waste of money are:
1. A diaper pail. They STINK. We've found a small wastebasket with a plastic bag to be much more effective. Change it as needed (or immediately if it's a poopy diaper). Speaking of poop, once your baby transitions to solid instead of liquid (sorry, gross, but you're about to be an expert in bodily excretions) we just dump it in the toilet so we don't have to take the trash out as often.
2. Baby food. Baby can eat whatever you do. With a first baby I thought I didn't have the time to make baby food but with the 2nd and 3rd realized it's not even that hard. Just take your leftovers and steam/mash/puree. Also, avoid the trap of buying pouches (basically food that is an applesauce consistency in a pouch the kid can suck on) and puffs. They are both incredibly addictive and the cost adds up over time.
3. Fancy butt cream. 100% petroleum jelly works just as well at a fraction of the cost.
A few more tips...if anyone ever offers to help, say yes! Sleep when baby sleeps. Some babies cry more than others. If you need to step away for a few minutes to keep your sanity, do it. The first month you're in "survival mode"; don't discount small accomplishments, like, taking a shower or getting baby out for a short stroll. Enjoy-it just gets better and better.

Afty
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Afty » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:04 pm

Re: buying secondhand and outgrowing stuff. I’m still grumpy that we bought a new Bumbo seat for my daughter when she started sitting up. It cost $40 for a big piece of foam that she used for maybe a month. That was in 2010. :oops:

RobLyons
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by RobLyons » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm

mega317 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
You're off by a few decimals, but I'll grant that isn't significant. But nothing in the rest of your post supported the idea to not but life insurance. It's cheap and will not affect your experiences or picture taking.

You're right I should have posted more accurately 99.99999999%.
There is nothing about becoming new parents that makes obtaining life insurance critical at that point. Not even top 10 financial concerns. I see it as just another task that doesn't need to be worried about at this time.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

RobLyons
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by RobLyons » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:21 pm

Stinky wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:55 am
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm

more college money is great but not if the kid decides not to go to college or to waste it on a useless degree. besides that's 18+ years away.

99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
Sorry, but I’ve got to disagree with both of these.

Establishing a “monthly savings habit” of even a small amount in a 529 plan will pay big dividends when your child goes to college. You know, the power of compound interest and all that.

Also, skimping on term life insurance is a bad idea. It is dirt cheap for the peace of mind that it gives. And 0.0001% understates the mortality rate for new parents by several magnitudes.


We can disagree. Generations of Americans have gone to college without 529s. Anecdotally, not having a college fund from mommy and daddy empowered me to make more careful decisions on college selection. I spent about $200k less on the same degree because of it.
And upon time to interview for that job, specific college selection matters much less than degree obtained (usually).
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

Lookingforanswers
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Lookingforanswers » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:40 pm

1. Focus more on how much time you can spend with your baby than money. You'll never get this time back, you have years to get the $$ figured out.

2. As so many people have mentioned, avoid the "Baby Industrial Complex." The world has created layers upon layers of baby-oriented merchandise to fill some "need," and you just don't need most of it. You really don't need every variation of seat, stroller, bed, crib, toy, that's on the market. And when you do buy, look at used.

3. My single most important piece of advice: take more photos! No matter how many photos you take, it won't be as many as you wish you had some day in the future. (FYI, and make sure when baby #2 comes along you do the same with him/her).

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Stinky
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Stinky » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:38 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm
mega317 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
You're off by a few decimals, but I'll grant that isn't significant. But nothing in the rest of your post supported the idea to not but life insurance. It's cheap and will not affect your experiences or picture taking.
You're right I should have posted more accurately 99.99999999%.
When something is posted that is demonstrably wrong, it needs to be corrected.

Per the Social Security mortality tables, a 30 year old has a 0.18% chance of dying within one year. So it’s a 99.82% chance of living.

For a male age 30 in good health, a $500k term policy, guaranteed level premium for 20 years, is just $25 per month. For $1 million of coverage, the cost is $43 per month. Less than the cost of a meal out or a cell phone bill.

Term insurance is so inexpensive for the peace of mind that it gives.

The death of a parent is both emotionally and financially catastrophic. I hope that every new parent considers life insurance as a first priority.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

RobLyons
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by RobLyons » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:40 pm

Stinky wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:38 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm
mega317 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
You're off by a few decimals, but I'll grant that isn't significant. But nothing in the rest of your post supported the idea to not but life insurance. It's cheap and will not affect your experiences or picture taking.
You're right I should have posted more accurately 99.99999999%.
When something is posted that is demonstrably wrong, it needs to be corrected.

Per the Social Security mortality tables, a 30 year old has a 0.18% chance of dying within one year. So it’s a 99.82% chance of living.

For a male age 30 in good health, a $500k term policy, guaranteed level premium for 20 years, is just $25 per month. For $1 million of coverage, the cost is $43 per month. Less than the cost of a meal out or a cell phone bill.

Term insurance is so inexpensive for the peace of mind that it gives.

The death of a parent is both emotionally and financially catastrophic. I hope that every new parent considers life insurance as a first priority.


You took it literally :oops:
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

mega317
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by mega317 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:44 pm

To be fair s/he didn't define "anytime soon" which might have meant less than a year.
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm
There is nothing about becoming new parents that makes obtaining life insurance critical at that point.
Then at what point is it critical?
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

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Stinky
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Stinky » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:19 pm

RobLyons wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:40 pm
Stinky wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:38 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:13 pm
mega317 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 pm
RobLyons wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:54 pm
99.9999% of new parents are not passing away anytime soon
You're off by a few decimals, but I'll grant that isn't significant. But nothing in the rest of your post supported the idea to not but life insurance. It's cheap and will not affect your experiences or picture taking.
You're right I should have posted more accurately 99.99999999%.
When something is posted that is demonstrably wrong, it needs to be corrected.

Per the Social Security mortality tables, a 30 year old has a 0.18% chance of dying within one year. So it’s a 99.82% chance of living.

For a male age 30 in good health, a $500k term policy, guaranteed level premium for 20 years, is just $25 per month. For $1 million of coverage, the cost is $43 per month. Less than the cost of a meal out or a cell phone bill.

Term insurance is so inexpensive for the peace of mind that it gives.

The death of a parent is both emotionally and financially catastrophic. I hope that every new parent considers life insurance as a first priority.
You took it literally :oops:
I take it seriously when someone says that buying life insurance should not be a priority for a new parent.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

fresh_boglehead
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by fresh_boglehead » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:15 pm

Can anyone recommend some good books to read?

Really enjoyed The Simple Path to Wealth and Common Sense Investing and hoping there are 1-2 books that are just as good on parenting and pre-birth.

Ed_Sandwich
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Ed_Sandwich » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:52 pm

Term life insurance, hand-me-down clothes.. I'd also reiterate something that I have learned and benefited from over the years, and that is- "don't do anything until you need to," meaning don't buy a bigger house until you need to, don't buy a second car until you need to, etc. Oftentimes people feel that they must upgrade and expand in advance of having a child, but keep in mind that the child will be the size of a football at first, and quite small for nearly a decade!

We are a family of 4 living quite comfortably in a 3-level, 2bed/2bath 1400sqft townhome. The two kids love sharing a bedroom. We had a 600sqft 1bed/1bath apartment when we were a family of 3 initially.

I always cringe when people say they must have more space because they're preparing for having kids. Just wait until you actually need it, and in the meantime save the extra $. Your needs may be drastically different than what you're anticipating.

/soapbox.

anon3838
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by anon3838 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:06 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:44 pm
Open a 529 account as soon as the baby is born. Fund it on a regular basis and invest 100% in equities. A few years before college, you can dial back the asset allocation to something less risky.
+1 Take advantage of time in market, and invest as early as possible. When friends and family ask what they can buy for gifts, ask for cash use towards savings. It adds up fast.

Congrats. Enjoy these exhausting sweet early years of parenthood.

runner540
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by runner540 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:10 pm

fresh_boglehead wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:15 pm
Can anyone recommend some good books to read?

Really enjoyed The Simple Path to Wealth and Common Sense Investing and hoping there are 1-2 books that are just as good on parenting and pre-birth.
You'll get tons of opinions that are wildly different on these. Having a baby is hard enough, so be wary of advice that makes it harder on you as a parent!
Mayo Clinic guide to pregnancy (new edition as of 2019) was a great resource and keeps you from going down dark holes on Google.
Read up on baby sleep (Ferber, Moms on Call, Babywise, etc.) so you can decide a plan before you are stressed and sleep deprived and lay a good foundation for sleep early on.
Cribsheet by Emily Oster is a good resource for what happens immediately after birth, as well as evidence to help you decide breast feeding/formula/combination, sleep training, childcare options, etc. Her advice about alcohol during pregnancy is more controversial.
Learn about postpartum recovery for you or your partner - even if everything goes smoothly, it is very hard and painful (watch the recent FridaMom ad on Youtube that was banned from the Oscars).

dtee
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by dtee » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:40 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:21 pm
Arabesque wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Kids grow fast, and they change like lightening. Borrow or buy second hand as much as possible.
+1

Plenty of good, usable merchandise to be had at a fraction of the retail price.
Great advice! Check out OfferUp for any 2nd hand items that you can buy at deep discount if you don’t mind

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Stinky
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by Stinky » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:46 pm

fresh_boglehead wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:15 pm
Can anyone recommend some good books to read?

Really enjoyed The Simple Path to Wealth and Common Sense Investing and hoping there are 1-2 books that are just as good on parenting and pre-birth.
I suggest that you start a new thread with this question. You’ll get more responses that way.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:42 pm

Your kid needs a safe sleeping space (crib, e.g.) and, if you have a car, a car seat. Every other gadget is optional.

bjames310
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by bjames310 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:43 pm

Don’t be compelled to buy all new baby furniture and clothes. You can find highly discounted products on Facebook marketplace of other parents wanting to get rid of it for cheap.

AdmiralJJ
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by AdmiralJJ » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:45 pm

The most important financial thing I would teach them is value. Buying something that is needed and that lasts over something that is fleeting or poorly made. Sometimes it's better to buy nothing at all. This in turn teaches them that money isn't a master, but is a servant; a means, not a goal in itself.

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adimoron
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by adimoron » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:56 pm

Thank you all for your reply. Really Appreciate it :sharebeer

LaborDoc
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by LaborDoc » Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:14 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Moms-Have-S ... 1641701307

Recommend to all my patients. Best $13 you’ll spend in the next year.

SlapShot48
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by SlapShot48 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:34 pm

anon3838 wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:06 pm
Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:44 pm
Open a 529 account as soon as the baby is born. Fund it on a regular basis and invest 100% in equities. A few years before college, you can dial back the asset allocation to something less risky.
+1 Take advantage of time in market, and invest as early as possible. When friends and family ask what they can buy for gifts, ask for cash use towards savings. It adds up fast.

Congrats. Enjoy these exhausting sweet early years of parenthood.
If you are really ambitious, you can actually open the 529 account now in your name, then designate your child as the beneficiary once you have their social security number.

Definitely agree with other posts encouraging second-hand purchases (clothes especially), using CostCo or Sam's Club for diapers & wipes, etc.

Major "sanity-savers" for us that have been well worth the money are a car seat for each car (instead of one seat and two base units) and purchasing duplicate favorite blankie's and pacifiers as they always seem to be misplaced at the most stressful times.

Congrats, enjoy this special time in your life!

orangecounty
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by orangecounty » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:46 pm

magicrat wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
Invest in a post-partum doula / night nurse.
Underrated comment!

Divorce is a wealth-killer. Wifely unhappiness is a leading cause of divorce. Therefore, invest in your wife's well-being before other priorities such as retirement savings.

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FOGU
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by FOGU » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:47 am

You will need to teach your child to sleep. Yes, teach him/her to sleep.

This applies a little later on when the baby is more sentient. But it gets important quickly, and a baby who is not trained to go to sleep can seriously impact your quality of life and even your job performance. Maintaining/increasing your earning power while raising a family is key to financial success.

There are books out there. I learned from a popular Spanish-language one, "Duérmete Niño." But there are others in English. It's not that complicated (basically if it's dark outside it is time for baby to sleep) but it requires discipline and commitment to routine, sometimes in the face of fierce protest from baby.

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FOGU
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by FOGU » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:05 am

Stinky wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:46 pm
fresh_boglehead wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:15 pm
Can anyone recommend some good books to read?

Really enjoyed The Simple Path to Wealth and Common Sense Investing and hoping there are 1-2 books that are just as good on parenting and pre-birth.
I suggest that you start a new thread with this question. You’ll get more responses that way.
Millionaire Next Door
Richest Man in Babylon (Free PDF in the public domain)
John Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing

magicrat
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Re: Having a baby in April 2020 - Whats your best financial advice for a new parent

Post by magicrat » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:13 am

orangecounty wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:46 pm
magicrat wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
Invest in a post-partum doula / night nurse.
Underrated comment!

Divorce is a wealth-killer. Wifely unhappiness is a leading cause of divorce. Therefore, invest in your wife's well-being before other priorities such as retirement savings.
Haha. Well the night nurse was mainly for me, but your point stands.

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