Nancy Anderson, contributor to the Retirement section of Forbes.com, notes the potential financial downside of today’s trend toward having children later in life. She presents several tips on how to plan early for a family and make it feasible to have children at a younger age:
“Obviously, many women feel the biological clock ticking, so it’s important for any woman who wants to have a family to also look ahead to how it could impact her family’s finances. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for happiness and success:
Plan your career with a future family in mind. Ladies, if you want to meet the man of your dreams, don’t spend your weekends in a convent. In all seriousness, think about social contacts as well as your career advancement when making your life plans. The daughter of a friend of mine (who wants to go unnamed) is planning to apply to medical school. The road to becoming a doctor is a long one and since she wants to get married and start a family by age 30, she realized that her best opportunity to do so is to meet her future husband while she’s in medical school. She is hoping to get admitted to a medical school in a large metropolitan area where she has a broad social network, hopefully giving her a better chance to get her M.D. and find love along the way.
Don’t wait until life is perfect to have children. As a couple, you want to have some financial stability to start a family—one of you needs to have a job, medical insurance and at least three months of net income in savings as an emergency fund (building to six months in the next few years). And, while having children is expensive, there are ways you can economize on big-ticket items—such as hand-me-down or second-hand furniture, strollers and high chairs. Check discount retailers such as Old Navy, Ross and T.J. Maxx for kids’ clothes.”
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