This post is sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Agency.
It’s kind of a shame that there isn’t much curriculum devoted to financial literacy in schools. Most of what I’ve learned has been a mix of trial and error and podcasts/articles/research over the years, plus a few meetings with financial planners over the years. On the crest of turning 36, I finally have a really solid foundation of the important components of personal finance: budgeting, saving for retirement, being totally debt free (my goal is to pay off our mortgage, but I’m not there yet!), life insurance, college savings for the kids, wills. All that fun adult stuff. I was so clueless in my 20s that I thought car payments were a good thing that adults did. I once had a car payment (at 0%, but still) when I had the cash in savings to pay off the car. I finally got sick of the payment in my monthly budget and just paid off the darn thing. Now I know how dumb debt is and have no plans to ever go into debt again.
As you all well know, changes are on the horizon! In fact, my family status has changed quite significantly in the past few years. Another big little change is arriving any day now via a stork! Thus, Thomas and I are evaluating all of our “adulting” tasks to prepare for baby’s arrival.
Double the kids, double the college savings. For Mazen, we have a combination of a 529 plan here in Virginia and a separate mutual funds account for college savings. The good thing about 529 plans it that siblings can share them as long as the kids don’t overlap in account usage. So if Mazen doesn’t go to college or goes in state and that ends up being less than we’ve saved, then his brother can use the rest. So we’ll have them “share” the 529, putting in what we think will cover the minimums, and have the mutual fund account for the excess.
Most people need life insurance coverage when they have people in their lives who rely on them financially – a partner, a child and even siblings or parents. The proceeds of a policy can be used to help with expenses like the mortgage, childcare, school savings, and the many other day-to-day expenses we all have.
Luckily term insurance is relatively inexpensive – usually a couple hundred dollars a year. For example, a healthy 35-year-old woman can buy a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy, issued by MassMutual, starting at about $19 per month. I’ve had life insurance since Mazen was born, but Thomas hasn’t had dependents until this year so it’s new to him. We’re in the process of putting some in place for him, and I may purchase additional coverage now that I’ll have two kids as well. Term policies are generally offered in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year term lengths. The right term will depend on your age and how many years until your dependents will be adults or the mortgage will be paid off.
Haven Life, the sponsor of this post, makes it simple to buy term life insurance online. Founded by a father of two, Haven Life is a mission-driven online life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by MassMutual – a leading life insurer. If you don’t already have life insurance, Haven Life has helpful tools like a life insurance calculator to estimate your needs or a quote tool to find out how much a policy will cost. From there, you can easily apply online and, if approved, start coverage that day.
Haven Life also recently introduced a new offering called Plus – a rider that provides Haven Term policyholders with access to a suite of no-cost or discounted benefits such as an online will drafting service, a digital safe deposit box, and a discount voucher at MinuteClinic inside CVS Pharmacy and Target stores.
Speaking of wills, any time you have a major life change, a marriage, a divorce, a baby, you need to update your will, advanced medical directive, and power of attorney so that it accurately reflects your wishes. Our family situation is a little complicated with two children of two different dads, so we’ve had to have some talks about what we would do in different scenarios. It’s a sobering conversation, but it’s one every couple needs to have. Making decisions and sharing those decisions with those who are involved in advance of an accident means everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises. Luckily, just like life insurance, creating a will is becoming much easier. If your family scenario is fairly straight forward, Haven Life Plus partner Trust & Will is worth considering for an online will creation option. (And if you’re a Haven Term policyholder in an eligible state, you can create one at no additional cost.)
Health insurance usually gets evaluated every year, so this is one that many people stay on top of. It comes as no shock that health insurance for a new baby will need to be added to the family plan. What was a shock was how much it’s going to cost! (Especially when you combine that with the deductible cost of prenatal care and having a baby!) We’ll need to make some adjustments to our budget for the new expense. However, most of the first year’s preventative care and checkups are all included in the plan, so that does make the cost easier to digest.
Bringing a baby into this world is super exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility! In addition to buying all the baby things, preparing for birth, and nesting, it’s always a good idea to get your adult life in order before the baby comes. Last time I renewed my passport, set up all my bills on autopay, and worked on the above list. This year I’m going to try to vote in advance too! Haven Life’s blog has a great even longer list of things to think about before the baby comes. You can never be too ready 🙂
Thanks to Haven Life for sponsoring this post.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC17DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is 0K71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus Rider which is included as part of the Haven Term policy. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners).