Tuesday 21st May 2024

Planning our finances: will the kids be alright if the worst happens to us?

Child Life Plan

I will admit that having proper conversations about my finances scares me a bit. Investments, policies, life insurance and anything else with names that leave me blank make me a little fearful, not through lack of trying to comprehend it all but mainly because I struggle to understand the ins and outs of such things.

Cue my financial adviser. (Thank goodness!)

When we decided to move house a few years ago we had recently found out we were pregnant with our first child (we did all the tough life stuff in one go!) We were lucky enough to already be under the advice of a fantastic financial adviser who kindly sought the best mortgage for us and also helped set everything in motion for the move.

‘But what will you do if something happens to you both?’ she asked. How grim, I thought, I don’t go through life planning when I’m going to die! But through careful explanation she pointed out that we were in a good position financially, we were moving in to a bigger house and a lot of money was involved in such a big life leap. We should really plan any future unforeseen circumstances, like the possibility that we may at some point in our lives either suffer through illness or die unexpectedly. Such huge obstacles could hinder us greatly in terms of paying our mortgage and paying for our normal day to day life, as well as dictating how our children would be brought up. This, along with clearly not planning enough for the financial aspects of parenthood, all made me worry slightly that I could one day leave my child parent-less and penniless if I wasn’t prepared.

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‘But what will you do if something happens to you both?’ she asked.

Now I know this all sounds very dramatic, and I will admit that even in my thirties I still don’t feel grown up enough to have such concerns (anyone else feel like they are just playing at being an adult sometimes?) However, once the panic about lack of preparation died down it made sense to put in place policies that would help us should the worst occur. So that is what we did.

I am grateful for my financial adviser making me think more carefully about the ‘what ifs’ of parenthood.

I know plenty of people who do not rate such policies, or their necessity – what will be, will be is one opinion I hear a lot – and that is fine. I would have been the same if I hadn’t had such conversations, but I am grateful for my financial adviser making me think more carefully about the ‘what ifs’ of parenthood.

But doesn’t an adviser cost a lot of money? Yes I thought the same, and writing that cheque broke my heart! All I know is that, in hindsight (wonderful thing isn’t it?), my naive 20-something self wouldn’t have known to sort such things out without a bit of a nudge in that direction. These people are the professionals, they know better than I do and they look after me very well. I would pay the fee again if I had to. Policies like ours are certainly another expense to a never ending list, but the peace of mind alone is worth the price tag.

Jenny Taft

Part time secondary physics teacher, mother of one (soon to be two), and my financial hurdles are mostly parental based.

  1. What fee did you have to pay your financial adviser? Our financial adviser has never charge us any fees to set up policies. The only fee we ever incurred, was for a will to be written by the solicitor.

  2. You are right, we paid a fee for our original consultations with our advisors, mainly mortgage based, but not for the policies themselves.

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