Some specific areas for consideration are listed below:
1. Make A Will - According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation more than half the people in the UK do not have a will*. For a parent one of the key reasons to have a will is to stipulate who you wish to be the legal guardians of your children should you die.
2. Life Assurance Cover - With parental responsibility comes financial commitment. Liverpool Victoria’s ‘Annual Cost of a Child Survey (2007)’ shows that parents could spend £186,032 on raising a child from birth to age 21. Arranging life assurance provides you with the peace of mind of knowing that your children are financially provided for in the event of your death.
3. Critical Illness Cover - The probability that you will suffer a serious illness that means you will be off work for six months or more during your working life is 1 in 16. (Scottish Provident/Mori Research 2003). The financial impact of a serious illness on your family can be covered with critical illness cover, which pays a lump sum on diagnosis of a specified critical illness.
4. Save to Educate - A child’s welfare and education are a parent’s key concern. Liverpool Victoria’s ‘Annual Cost of a Child Survey (2007)’ shows that the average annual cost of university education is £12,129. By saving when your child is young, you can offer them every chance in life by funding for their education.
5. Child Trust Fund - The Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a savings and investment account for children which the government starts with a £250 voucher. Even though there is no tax on income or gains and an annual maximum contribution of £1,200 p.a. [Despite the voucher, only 71% of parents have set one up since its introduction in 2005] £125 million of Child Trust Fund tax breaks will go to waste in 2007.
6. Career Break doesn’t have to mean Pension Break - The common reason for career breaks is caring for children. Currently only 30% of woman qualify for a full state pension. Having children does not mean that you need to put the brakes on your pension funding. Depending on your circumstances there are many options available.
7. Saving Child Benefit - Planning and saving for your child’s future can be a daunting prospect, particularly with today’s costs of running a family.
Child Benefit is paid weekly at a rate of £18.80 (£977.60 per year) for the eldest child and £12.55 (£652.60 per year) for other children (as from April 2008). Many families rely on this cash to help towards running the home. However, saving this very valuable benefit, gives you the opportunity to build up a substantial capital lump sum for your children’s future needs.
8. One Income Tax Breaks - Many parents have to get used to running the family on one income due to childcare commitments. Make sure if you have a non-earner in your house you utilise the tax breaks
For further information, please call Mike Simms 0844 8010790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Source: Daily Telegraph 1st Sept., 2007