Becoming a father is arguably the most important milestone in any man’s life; however, with the reality of fatherhood comes great responsibility.
Taking care of both of yourself and your family can be incredibly daunting. After all, all fathers want to play the role of protector in regard to keeping their family safe and secure, don’t they?
While we don’t always want to ponder “what if” scenarios, sometimes looking toward the future can help us make some incredibly important decisions today. Consider how the choices you make now may impact your children, spouse and yourself five, ten or twenty years down the road.
If you’re new to fatherhood or are thinking about trying for children, make sure that your mind is in the right place and you’re financially on track to securing your family’s future.
What Happens When I’m Gone?
No new father wants to even think about what would happen in the unfortunate event of their sudden passing, but considering that most Americans don’t have a will, you need to understand what happens to your finances when you’re gone. For starters, get in contact with a lawyer to do the following:
- Write up a will and testament that clearly allocates your wealth and property
- Understand how to avoid breaching beneficiary rights for your spouse or children: there’s a lot that can potentially go wrong if you ignore the fine print
- Ensure that your 401k and other investments are considered part of your estate
If you’ve never consulted a lawyer before, fatherhood represents the perfect time to start. Even if you already have an existing life insurance policy, you can’t afford not to get sound legal advice when it comes to protecting your family.
What Happens If We Split Up?
Let’s face it: relationships can go sour in the face of hardship and stress. If you signed a prenuptial agreement with your spouse, chances are that your property and finances are relatively safe. If you do have a falling out with your spouse, do your best to stay civil and avoid petty conflict whenever possible.
Maintaining separate bank accounts and credit cards is key to ensuring your financial independence in the face of divorce. Again, when in doubt it’s best to immediately speak to a lawyer if you get wind of a potential split-up. For the sake of your children, though, try to stay positive throughout the separation process.
Am I Making Enough?
The cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is approximately $250,000; therefore, you need to ensure that you’re making enough cash career-wise to adequately maintain a high quality of living for your family. Additionally, you’re expected to save in case of emergencies, create a nest egg for college and worry about your own retirement as well. Where’s the money going to come from?
For this reason, you must make a habit of regularly saving money, either in the form of your 401k, a high-interest savings account or other investments. Likewise, don’t allow your career to stagnate: always push for a higher salary when it makes sense.
Rather than stressing out about becoming a new father, embrace the challenges while also doing everything in your power to create a prosperous future for your family. By having a legal plan in place and striving to be the best you can be career-wise, you can go through fatherhood with peace of mind.