As many of you may know, Samantha, who is an Associate Advisor on our team, welcomed her first baby back in February. This inspired us to write a blog post about getting financially ready for a new addition to the family. If you're expecting or thinking about conceiving (first of all, congratulations!) you may have already started a registry, thought about what to pack in your hospital bag etc... but what about all the other to-dos? Financially preparing for baby might not be as fun as organizing teeny, tiny onesies but is just as important and often overlooked. Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered!
- Understand your maternity benefit entitlements - know when and how to apply for EI, estimate what amounts you will receive, decide if you will share parental benefits, find out if your work provides a salary top up etc.?
- Write/update your Will - one of the most important sections of your Will when you have dependents will be the "appointment of guardianship". If both you and your partner were to pass away before your child(ren) reaches the age of majority, who would you want to have custody?
- Check your insurance policies - if something were to happen to you, your partner, or both, how would your family be taken care of? Now is a good time to contact your insurance advisor to review your policies or in the event that you do not have insurance, now is the time to get some!
- Set aside funds for an RESP - is funding part or all of your child's education is important to you? As soon as your baby is registered with a social insurance number you can open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and contribute up to $500 and receive $100 in government grants.
- Create a baby budget - with a new life comes new expenses (clothes, diapers, formula etc.). Also remember that while on maternity leave your household income may be significantly reduced so you should consider establishing a "buffer" ahead of time.
- Start looking into child care options/costs - thinking about returning to work before your child is even born may seem premature but in fact, the sooner the better. Give yourself time to do research, talk to other parents, tour potential locations etc. Plus, many places have long wait lists (especially if you live in the city) so you may want to apply to several and have backup options.
Can you ever be fully prepared to bring a new life into the world? Well, no. Having a baby will spark change in ways you can't even imagine until you experience it but taking proactive steps to set yourself up for success will only help make the transition into parenthood easier. If you have any questions or would like help with the above items, don't hesitate to contact us.