This post is sponsored by Aflac. I was compensated for writing it, but all opinions are 100-percent mine.
What have been some of the most defining times of your life?
For me, the birth of my children definitely tops the list. It changed my life forever the moment I first held my tiny little ones in my arms. These two boys mean the world to me, and I want nothing but the best for them.
The decision to have children is one that, obviously, will affect the rest of your life.
You suddenly are responsible for the well-being, education, and loving them. And while it’s the most worthwhile thing in the world…it’s a big responsibility.
From the moment you bring your baby home, your life is changed forever…and you start making decisions for them!
There are a few things that I think a lot of parents overlook (myself included) that you need to do once you have children. They aren’t too difficult to do, but they often get pushed to the “nice to do” column instead of essential.
However, I believe that these three things are essential. They are important for the future of your children and your future.
Have a will
No one wants to think that something may happen to them while their children are still young…but unfortunately, bad things do happen. Creating a will is so important. It’s not necessarily important when you are younger to decide who is going to get your massive inheritance (haha), but it’s important to ensure your children are taken care of in the way that you want if you are unable to take care of them.
You need to decide who you want your children to go to if both you and your spouse were to pass away. Some people may think, “Oh, my family will figure it out!” But that is just asking for drama. You need to specifically talk to the people you want to take care of your children, and then get it down in writing.
You can also specify what you want
Get Life Insurance
This is one of those things that you may not think about until you need it…don’t let that be you! Forrest and I started a term life insurance plan for both of us before Oliver was born, and it brings me a great amount peace.
Life insurance is a supplemental insurance, and if you are younger and healthy, it isn’t super expensive. I recommend getting it when you are younger, since typically the rates won’t be raised on you as you get older. It’s much harder to get life insurance at a reasonable rate when you are older or have significant health issues.
I recommend shopping around for the best price, and the most benefit possible. We were able to find a company that offered us twice the benefit for a fraction of the price of another company.
Aflac provides some great life insurance options for everyone. Life insurance is there to help provide for your loved ones if you were to pass away. It can cover everything from funeral arrangements, mortgage payments, future educational costs, etc. You want your children to be provided for if you are no longer able to, so I think it’s essential that all parents have it.
Once you have life insurance, you need to set something up in your will that says exactly how you want it used for your children. For example, you can have a certain amount withdrawn each year, a certain amount used for education, etc. It’s important to have everything written down and notarized.
Set Them Up a Savings Account
I think that it’s so important to help your children start saving money right away. I’ll admit that setting up a savings account has been on my list of things to do for a long time…and every time they are gifted money, I wish I had it set up. My boys have piggy banks, but unfortunately, piggy banks don’t gain interest!
Setting up a savings account can help you help them save for their future, whatever they decide to do. You can periodically put money in it as they grow, and you can also put money in it that they are given (especially when they are younger and don’t even realize they are being given money!).
Many banks have youth accounts available, but I recommend shopping around for the best savings rates possible. For instance, I have a savings account through Alliant Credit Union (which I could sign up for because my dad’s association). The interest rate is SO much better than through my regular credit union. I also chose to setup a custodial account for both of my boys.
Bonus: Consider Other Supplemental Insurance
Besides life insurance, there are other supplemental insurance plans that you can consider getting to help protect your family. Supplemental insurance is designed to help complement your medical insurance to fill in the holes that often exist in health care.
Aflac offers many affordable supplemental insurance plans that can help cover deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses that may come after a serious accident or illness. While medical policies pay the doctors and hospitals, these supplemental insurance plans are paid directly to the insured, unless otherwise assigned, so you are able to decide how it is used.
I think these are important to have because then you don’t have to dip into your own savings account if something were to happen. Personally, I like having peace of mind, and I often worry that if something unexpected were to happen, our savings account would be drained.
Here are a few supplemental insurance plans from Aflac that you should consider to help protect your family:
- Accident insurance: This helps to cover expenses for any accidents that may occur. For instance, if your child is jumping on the trampoline and breaks his or her arm. So many people have very high deductible health insurance plans, and the out-of-pocket costs can be astronomical. This can help make those doctor, lab, and medical fees a little more manageable….accidents happen a lot, especially when you have kids!
- Short-term disability insurance: You just never know when something may happen that will prevent you from working for a time. Back in April, Forrest and I were in a car accident. I ended up with a bad concussion, and I was put on “brain rest” for several weeks. I was supposed to avoid any electronics…and since my work is on the computer, this was difficult. I had to make money for my family! Having something like this would have been helpful to help cover some costs while I recovered.
- Critical illness insurance: This is helpful to help cover the costs of major illnesses, such as heart attacks and strokes.
- Cancer insurance: Cancer does not discriminate. It can strike people of any age, sex, ethnicity, etc. I think all of us know someone who has had cancer, and the treatments can be so expensive. A study from Duke University showed that the out-of-pocket monthly cost for cancer treatment (even for those with Medicare or Private insurance) was $1,266(1). I don’t know about you, but that would put a serious damper in our budget…especially if I (or someone in my family) was battling with cancer!
- Hospital indemnity insurance: Hospital stays are EXPENSIVE. My two-day hospital stay after I had Oliver had a grand total cost of almost $30,000 (and he had a very uncomplicated birth). While insurance covers a big portion of this, people are often left with a big portion to pay themselves. This kind of insurance can help fill in those holes and prevent you from having to use your hard earned savings or have a payment plan for the next ten years!
Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
1 Clear Health Care Costs, “By the numbers: Out-of- pocket costs for cancer treatment,” accessed Oct. 4, 2016 – https://clearhealthcosts.com/blog/2011/08/by-the- numbers-out- of-pocket- costs-for- cancer-treatment/
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.