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18 Sep 2018

Starting a family is an exciting time in anyone’s life, with the joy of adding a new member to the whānau mixing with the nervousness of such responsibility. While starting a family doesn’t come with a handbook, we’ve compiled some handy tips about what you really need to know to keep your new family safe and sound.

Planning your new future

When you’re looking to start a family you’ll need to plan in order to protect their future.

Finances drastically change when starting a family. If one parent plans to stay at home with the new baby, you might find yourselves having to adjust your budget to cope when the household is reduced to one income. Financial pressures can be a major strain on new families, and it pays to think about your options before the baby arrives. This could involve setting up a savings account for the baby, considering Life Insurance policies to ensure your family are provided for in case of unplanned events, or thinking about relocating if you’re currently based in an unaffordable area.

While it might seem strange to consider education options for a tiny newborn, having a plan for preschools and schools is very important. This is especially true if you plan to enrol your child in private schools, or to send them to a school out of your zoned area. Talking to your friends, family and neighbours is a great way to get a feel for your options, and also give you an indication of when you should be registering your child, or adding their name to the waitlist.

Often a new addition will also mean having to find a new home. Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Remember to search the property for potential warning signs of a home’s ill health, and also check the zoning of the area for local schools. Finding a child-friendly neighbourhood, with local parks and quiet streets, should also be thought about, especially if you plan to settle in one place for a long time. Refer to our checklist for buying a home for more information on the whole process.

Preparing for the unexpected

Welcoming a new life into your family may unleash a number of fears or anxieties, but you can achieve peace of mind by preparing for the unexpected in as many ways as possible.

Although nobody likes to think about their partner dying or becoming ill, there are no guarantees in life, and having tough conversations can help you and your family to prepare for any scenario. If one partner unexpectedly passed away, could your family cope financially? Would they be able to maintain their day to day life, pay the mortgage and other expenses? With so many financial factors to account for if an unplanned event did happen, considering a Life Insurance policy is a great investment in your family.

Life insurance and your family

For families, a Life Insurance policy means that in the event of one or both parents passing away, your children’s future is financially secure. There are a few different things to consider when looking at Life Insurance, including whether you choose to insure the working parent or both parents. By just insuring the working parent it means that the caregiver will still be financially stable and won’t be forced find full time work if the working parent has passed away. However, if the uninsured caregiver were to pass away, this could place a burden on the working parent, faced with a decision to continue working or to become the caregiver. By both parents having Life Insurance it leaves your family with options, and a comfortable financial cushion.

If you have children under 18 you should also think about choosing a guardian who would care for them in the event of both parents dying, and who might get access to a portion of the payout to help in their care. These details can be specified in your will.

Updating your will

Updating or creating a Will should be done when starting a family as it ensures that your requests and wishes are carried out if something should happen to you. If you already have a will you should update it to include your children, noting your wishes for a guardian in the event that both parents pass away before the children are 18. You can also use your Will to note how you would like your assets to be divided. This will mean that your Life Insurance payout will go where you want it to, including how any guardian can use it to care for and continue to protect your children.

If you’re starting a family and want to learn more about how Life Insurance can protect your brood, Cigna is happy to help. Simply contact us and we can take you through your options.