BEFORE THE FIRST BIRTHDAY
The days are long, but the years are short. This is one of the popular quotes I used to give the side-eye until I became a mom. My second child turned one today and all I can ask myself is where did the time go? Don’t get me wrong motherhood is not a walk in the park, but it is worth every effort. The first year of a child’s life is very crucial and there are things you can put in place to set them up for success later in life.
I did these things for my first child as well. I wanted to share because it might help, even if you didn’t do it at the time; it is not too late. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”
1) Birth certificate: The birth of your child will be registered at the hospital with the county where they are born, but you still need to apply for the certificate at the record office. I would also suggest you pay the extra 10 dollars to have the certificate put in the laminated envelope, this will save the certificate from wear and tear.
2) Social Security Number: This should arrive about 3 weeks after birth, but in case it doesn’t you can call your local social security office to check on the status. You might wonder “ what does a baby need a social security number for?” I am glad you asked….lol. I am of the school of thought that says it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Your baby might be scouted at the mall, and they land their first paying job as a model before their first birthday, if you have their social security number you can open a custodian IRA account; that way they can start saving for retirement.
3) Open a College Account: This is a called a 529 account. Once you open this account, you can start saving for their college. You can have family and friends contribute in lieu of gifts on their birthday. The good thing about opening this account early is the time value of money ( i.e one dollar today is worth more than one dollar tomorrow) .
4) Life Insurance: Now that someone is dependent on your income getting a life insurance policy is the way to go. We all pray to live long, but no one is getting out of this world alive (I am sure all the Nigerians reading this just said” God forbid”…lol) I understand a lot of us are scared to talk about our mortality but being an adult means we have to be comfortable talking about uncomfortable subjects. If you already have life insurance now might be a good time increase the value. A general rule of thumb is whenever you cross a tax bracket, you increase the value. Getting a life insurance is good way to set your child up for success and a way to provide the same level of comfort your family after you are gone. Please send me an email if you are interested in this and I will connect you with our broker.
5) Passport: I intentionally left this as the last one because a lot of people might not consider it. The thing about getting a passport is that when you need it, that is when it doesn’t arrive early or there is some form of delay. It is best practice to get your child’s passport, so they are ready to jet set when the opportunity is available. Also kids under 2 can be carried on the lap during the flight and you only pay the taxes for the flight. Also, you need their birth certificate to apply for a passport. Refer to point number one…..lol
These are some of the things I have done for my kids that has set them up for success.
Question of the day: What do you think I can add to this list? Please comment below
Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.