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Starting a Family Checklist

Not sure where to start? This handy checklist will help you make important decisions when starting a family.

General information

  1. Has relevant personal information been gathered?
  2. Marital status?
    • Time frame for starting a family
  3. Has financial situation been assessed?
    • Income
    • Expenses
    • Assets
    • Debts and liabilities
    • Insurance information
    • Employee benefits available

Money management

  1. Have financial goals been determined or revised?
    • Short-term goals
    • Intermediate-term goals
    • Long-term goals
  2. Has budget been updated to reflect changes in income and expenses?
    • Housing costs
    • Transportation costs
    • Food, clothing, and other household expenses
    • Health-care expenses
    • Life and disability insurance premiums
    • Adoption costs
    • Child-care costs
    • Temporary or permanent reduction in income if parent chooses to stay with child rather than work outside the home
  3. Has an emergency reserve account equal to at least three to six months' worth of living expenses been set aside?

Insurance planning

  1. Has need for life insurance been evaluated?
  2. Have beneficiary choices been updated?
  3. Has the need for disability insurance been evaluated?
  4. Is health insurance coverage adequate?
    • Maternity costs
    • Labor and delivery costs
    • Changes to health-care providers
    • Health-care expenses, including premium costs, co-payments, coinsurance, coordination of benefits, and deductibles
    • Other employer-sponsored health plan options (if family coverage under other plan is better or more cost effective)
    • COBRA benefits if job loss is anticipated

Estate planning issues

  1. Have valid wills been executed or updated?
  2. Durable power of attorney or health-care proxy?
  3. Has guardian for child been chosen?
  4. Have other estate planning strategies been discussed?
    • Use of trusts
    • Gifting assets

Education planning

  1. Has need to start saving for college early been discussed?
  2. Have college savings options been outlined or considered?
    • Coverdell education savings accounts
    • Series EE bonds
    • Custodial accounts
    • Section 529 plans
    • Other savings/investment options

Retirement planning

  1. Have ways to resolve competing needs to save for retirement and a child's education been discussed?

Tax planning

  1. Have changes to federal and state income tax situation been discussed?
    • Additional exemptions
    • Child tax credit
    • Child and dependent care credit
    • Adoption credit
    • Use of flexible spending accounts
  2. If child has already been born, has Social Security number been obtained?


  1. Has eligibility for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 been determined?
  2. Is paid leave available through state or employer (short-term disability benefits or other benefits)?
  3. Have child-care options been discussed?
  4. Adoption issues? Are adoption benefits through employer available?

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*Wealth management services through INVEST are made available by Beneficial Advisors, LLC, a wholly-owned non-bank subsidiary of Beneficial Bank. Financial Advisors of Beneficial Advisors, LLC are Registered Representatives of INVEST Financial Corporation (INVEST), member FINRA, SIPC, a registered investment advisor. INVEST is not affiliated with Beneficial Advisors, LLC or Beneficial Bank. INVEST, Beneficial Advisors, LLC and Beneficial Bank do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor for guidance on your particular situation. INVEST and its affiliated insurance agencies offer securities, advisory services, and certain insurance products and are: Not a deposit or other obligation of any bank – Not insured by the FDIC – Not insured by any Federal Governmental Agency – Not guaranteed by Beneficial Bank or any of its affiliates – Subject to Investment Risk, including possible loss of principal.

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