This post is sponsored by Haven Life
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I’m handling my recent separation from Matt and what kind of decisions and changes I’ve had to make personally, professionally and financially. The truth is, it’s challenging and there are many things to consider and plan for, some of which we’d rather keep private.
You might have seen on social media, but I worked with an online life insurance agency called Haven Life, to share my story and talk about some of the financial and long-term planning decisions I’ve had to make since my separation. Life insurance is a big part of my financial security plan for Mazen, so it seemed like a perfect place to share some financial decisions I’ve had to consider. I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I thought you all would be interested to see some of the things I’ve had to take into consideration.
Here is what I’ve had to consider:
Enrichment activities: Our son is in preschool and attends lots of camps in the summer, so we’re figuring out how best to pay for these expenses. Moreover, as he gets older he’ll likely join sports teams, play a musical instrument or have other enrichment activities that we’ll each need to budget for.
Health insurance: Since we’ve both been self-employed for years, we have private insurance that covers the three of us together. While that will probably stay in place for the short term, Matt will be starting a new job and will likely be able to join a group plan there. If it makes sense, we’ll transfer our son’s insurance under him as well. I will likely keep my own individual health insurance policy.
Budgeting and Long-Term Planning: Speaking of budgeting, since separating both of us are adjusting to new financial plans. We now have two households and different expenses to the ones we had when we lived under the same roof. For some categories, like groceries, consumables such as toilet paper, and dining out, the cost has gone down with one less person in the house. However, since our incomes are now split, the ratio of income to expenses has gone up too. Saving for retirement and keeping emergency funds up have remained a priority for me and now I have to think about what these goals are for me as a single mom and mother.
Life insurance: We both purchased 20-year term life insurance policies when we found out that we were going to have a baby. We likely won’t need to make any changes here, since the term goes until our son is in college, and by then, he will be mostly independent. Even though we are ending our marriage, having life insurance for the father of my child is still important to me to ensure my son’s financial security. Should something happen to one of us, we have confidence that the other would be financially protected well enough to continue taking care of our son, since ultimately he is the most important thing in both of our lives. If you don’t have term life insurance, it’s very affordable and you should at least find out if you need it.
Saving for college: Just because we aren’t together doesn’t mean we don’t have the same goals for Mazen. We’ll need to soon figure out the best plan for both of us to contribute to our son’s 529 college savings program. Another question we’re asking ourselves is whether, if we earn different salaries, should we still contribute equally to everything for our son or should we base our contributions on a percentage of income?
Separations are sensitive subjects, and we’re doing the best we can to make decisions big and small, as practically and as amicably as we can – especially because the most important person in this mix is our son. And, I think we’re off to a good start. I’d love to hear if any of you have any insight into these financial decisions from either personal experience or enlightening situations that you may have come across.
Thanks to Haven Life for sponsoring this post.