Women are waiting longer than ever before starting a family. The National Center for Health Statistics in America has shown a steady increase in the mean age of mothers, with the rate of first births to women over 35 continuing to rise.
Similar statistics are shown in the United Kingdom, where the Office for National Statistics calculated 28.865 births for women over 40 in 2018 compared to just 6519 in 1982.
However, choosing to start a family in your 30s or 40s is accompanied by a unique set of financial considerations that may not be as pronounced for those who chose to have children earlier.
So, here are the topics that we feel should be deliberated as soon as possible if you’re set to start a family later in life.
Financial Considerations for Starting a Family:
Although you might be tempted to scrimp on your pension payments while splurging on your baby, this isn’t the time. Retirement will likely coincide around when your child is heading off to college, so you’ll need to ensure a solid financial future and prioritize your savings.
You may not have considered life insurance a priority without dependents, yet, as an older parent, coverage is more essential than ever. Obtaining life insurance in your 40s, you can expect to pay premiums of almost double compared to taking out a similar policy in your 20s.
Starting a family later in life means that you are likely firmly established in your career. While this might mean you are more financially secure, your career trajectory can quickly go off course when priorities are realigned.
It is instrumental for your psyche and finances to understand that your career and income might take a knock. If you can plan your pregnancy, see if it is feasible to make your hours and working conditions more flexible before you need them.
Seeing celebrities announce their first baby at 50 makes the process seem straightforward, whereas in reality, conceiving after 35 can be challenging.
The average cost of a cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the United States is between $11,000 to $12,000 before considering travel expenses or loss of earnings. As a result, one needs to ensure starting a family isn’t putting them into debt before the baby even arrives.
It is less likely that you can rely on family members to pitch in with free childcare when you start a family later. For example, grandparents might be too old to handle the additional stress, and the physical requirements of taking care of a child and cousins might be a decade or more different in age.
A first baby comes with many expenses, from cribs to diapers to over-the-top stuffed toys. As an older parent, you likely will have more disposable income than your younger counterpart; however, quality baby products are worth the long-term protection for your baby.
Is your current home conducive to raising a growing family? Moreover, is your home in an excellent school catchment area with plenty of green space?
You may not have considered these questions before starting a family, but you need to know now. Moving incurs numerous costs, and it can be challenging to find a lender willing to approve a mortgage the closer you get to retirement.
While there are considerable costs involved with raising a family, it is a fantastic adventure. Nevertheless, it is worth setting your financial obligations in order for your family’s future.