My name is Jonathan Alexander - new dad to an amazing 8-month-old, Max. I also happen to be a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. My practice focuses on helping young families as they create and execute a vision for their future. My passion is to help you sleep better at night by relieving the stress and anxiety associated with navigating the new financial realities of being a parent. I pride myself on providing straightforward, easily understandable advice. After recently speaking at The Mother of All Baby Showers (MOABS) Philadelphia, I was asked to write about some of the most common financial planning questions that new and expecting parents have - so here goes!
What can a financial planner help me with as a new parent?
Life changes SO much when you have a baby! Your schedule, routine, and much more. Your finances are not spared this change. Often, I find new parents struggling with this new reality. Among the common struggles are:
• Cash-flow management (aka…budgeting)
• Saving for education
• Making sure your loved ones will be okay if the unthinkable happens
• Finding a way to still plan for your own future
I work with you to help identify your goals and challenges and to create a customized plan for how to attack them.
When should I start saving for college?
Early and often! Compound interest is one of the most powerful investment concepts to utilize and this applies to saving for college.
What is a 529 savings plan*? How do I start one for my child?
A 529 savings plan is one of the most popular methods to save for education costs. It allows for contributions and growth within the account to be utilized for educational expenses in a tax advantaged manner! 529 plans can be opened with each individual state, and a financial planner can guide you through the process. It is also important to make sure that the 529 plan makes sense for you and your children as opposed to any of the other educational savings options you may have access to. In other words, make sure it’s a good fit for you!
Why is life insurance important? How much does it cost?
Life insurance is the most important financial topic to address as you start a family. Sadly, too many parents either don’t have life insurance or don’t have enough. Life insurance is so critical to have because it can provide financially for your family if the unthinkable were to occur. Life insurance proceeds can be used to pay off debt, provide for living expenses, pay for college, leave a legacy that your family won’t forget and so much more. While there are different kinds of life insurance, many parents acquire term life insurance because it provides the most coverage at the lowest cost. Costs vary from person to person, but most people are surprised at how affordable it is. If you get life insurance coverage through your employer, you need to make sure you have enough coverage and that it is a good deal. I often work with parents who think that their coverage through work is sufficient, only to realize later that they are paying too much for it and it isn’t nearly enough. Talk to a professional about this because the consequences are too important to ignore.
When should I start saving for retirement? How much per month?
Again, the earlier the better! Time is your best friend when saving for retirement. When figuring out how much to save, I help my clients identify how much money their lifestyle requires and then break into down into monthly goals. While the amounts can vary, what holds true for everyone is that you need to have a plan to save!
Since you’re also a dad, what’s the best advice you can offer to new parents worried about the high cost of living and saving for the future?
I’ve experienced first-hand the joys and the stresses of having a child. There is nothing in this world that can truly compare. However, many of the things that stress new parents out can be addressed by having a good conversation and a sound plan. Sometimes the conversations are not easy, and that is often what holds people back in the first place. My best advice is to simply begin the conversation. If you are unsure about how to create and implement a plan, professionals like myself are here to help you.
If you are interested in speaking more in depth or having a customized plan created for your family, you can contact Jonathan at 610-660-4607 or email@example.com. Feel free to visit his website www.jalexanderfp.com for more information.
The subject matter discussed in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as investment or financial advice and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation. You should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from your professional advisors. * Securities (including 529 Plans) are not a deposit of any bank, are not FDIC insured, are not guaranteed by any bank or savings institution, may go down in value, and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal invested. Jonathan Alexander offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC. Investment advisory products and services offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the SEC. Annuity and insurance products offered through AXA Network, LLC. AXA Advisors and AXA Network do not provide tax or legal advice. CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly registered and/or licensed. AGE-141170(11/18)(exp.11/20)