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  • Excitement, joy…and planning

    Becoming a parent is an amazing, life-changing experience. It’s a time to revel in the joy and wonder of new life. As you lavish your baby with love and attention, remember that planning for his or her health, financial security and protection is one of the most loving gifts you can give.

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Learn about
  • Protecting your child’s financial well-being

    Taking steps to promote your child’s financial security should start right away. You have many options, and a financial professional can help you craft a plan.

  • Preparing for the cost of higher education

    It’s never too early to start. Learn about your available options — including 529 plans, investment accounts and even cash value life insurance

  • What you should know about wills and trusts

    Being prepared includes planning for the unexpected.  Understanding wills and trusts is important to creating a plan that provides for the ongoing well-being of your child.

Topics and resources

Protecting your child’s financial well-being

You have a new little person who’s counting on you. So be sure to think carefully about what you should be do to protect your baby’s health, happiness and well-being. Insurance is a great place to start.

Key considerations about health insurance

With a new baby comes plenty of checkups, vaccinations and other medical care. Add your child to your health insurance as soon as possible. If you don’t already have a family plan, now is likely the time to sign up. Be prepared to see your premiums go up, but the satisfaction of knowing you’re promoting child’s well-being is worth the cost.

The importance of life insurance

Life insurance becomes much more important when you start a family. If you already have it, great. Now make sure your coverage is right for your new situation. You’ll want enough to support your family for years to come — even through college.

If you don’t yet have life insurance, now’s the time to think seriously about getting it. You’ll be amazed how good it feels to know your loved ones are protected.

Learn more about types of life insurance

Why you may need disability insurance

Many people don’t give disability insurance much thought. Now that a child will depend on your income, you may find it indispensable. Should you become unable to work due to illness or an accident, it can offset the financial impact on you and your family. And by purchasing private disability insurance, you’ll be covered even if you change jobs or become self-employed.

Take the next step

Life insurance: What kind and how much?

Do I need disability insurance?

The bottom line

Having a baby is enough to change anybody’s life. But by planning now, you can spend more time enjoying your new family and less time worrying about financial matters.

Prepare for the cost of a college education

College may seem a long way off, but if you start saving now for your child’s education, you could have a big advantage when facing your first tuition bills.

A number of college savings plans are available to you, each with its own advantages and considerations.

529 Plans

There are two types of 529 Plans.

  • Prepaid Plans allow you to purchase tuition credits at today’s rates for use in the future
  • Savings Plans consist of equity investments that are defined by a the entity offering the plan, and their growth is based on market performance

Advantages

  • Any earnings are able to grow tax-free
  • Withdrawals aren’t taxed when used by the designated beneficiary to pay for higher education
  • Prepaid Plans act as insurance against rising tuition costs
  • Savings Plans can perform well in a strong market

Considerations

  • Withdrawals for any use other than qualified education expenses will result in taxes and a 10% IRS penalty
  • Prepaid Plans are accepted at a limited number of schools and may affect your financial aid status
  • Savings Plans involve the same kind of risk as any investment and offer no performance guarantees. They are subject to fluctuation in value, including loss of principal.
  • 529 plans are subject to enrollment, maintenance, administration/management fees and expenses.
  • If you are investing in a 529 plan outside of your state of residence, you may lose available state tax benefits. Make sure you understand your state tax laws to get the most from your plan.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts

These work along the lines of an IRA, allowing up to $2,000 of after-tax contributions annually.

Advantages

  • Any earnings are able to grow tax-free
  • Withdrawals aren’t taxed when used by the designated beneficiary to pay for higher education

Considerations

  • Withdrawals for any use other than qualified education expenses will result in taxes and a 10% IRS penalty
  • Age and income restrictions may limit usefulness for older beneficiaries or high-income contributors

UGMA and UTMA Accounts

These accounts are designed to let you give funds to your child for use toward education expenses. Established under a state’s Uniform Gifts to Minors Act or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, they work much like a trust fund, but without the expense or involvement of an attorney.

Advantages

  • Up to $12,000 may be gifted annually without being subject to gift tax
  • Any earnings are taxed at your child’s income tax bracket, which is likely lower than your own, potentially leaving more money in the account to earn compound interest over time

Considerations

  • Assets held in these accounts could reduce the amount of financial aid your child qualifies for
  • Once your child reaches legal age, he or she will assume control of these assets and can use them for any purpose, not just educational expenses

To learn more about strategies for affording a college education, click here.

Take the next step

529 Plans: The ins and outs of contributions and withdrawals

The bottom line

Having a baby is enough to change anybody’s life. But by planning now, you can spend more time enjoying your new family and less time worrying about financial matters.

What you should know about wills and trusts

Once you become a parent, you’ll always be thinking about the future. Graduations, weddings, grandchildren. But you also need to think about your child’s financial future in case you’re no longer around. That’s where wills and trusts come in.

Why you need a will

Creating a will (or updating an existing one) is of paramount importance when you start a family. Your will specifies who will take care of your children if anything should happen to you. If you don’t establish a legal guardian through your will, the courts may do it instead — which might run contrary to your wishes.

The truth about trusts

A trust is used to ensure your estate is paid out to your children according to your wishes. While they can be expensive to set up and maintain, trusts can help minimize estate taxes, shield assets from creditors, preserve assets for children until they’re of age and create a pool of investments that can be professionally managed.

There are three main types of trusts:

  • Living (revocable) Trusts allow you to maintain control, change or even dissolve the trust for as long as you live.
  • Irrevocable Trusts can't be changed or dissolved once they have been created.
  • Testamentary Trusts don't come into existence until your will is probated. At that point, selected assets passing through your will can move into the trust.

To determine what kind of trust may be right for you or to set one up, be sure to consult the services of an experienced estate planning attorney.

Taxes and parenthood

As a parent, you may be entitled to some tax breaks.

  • The Child Tax Credit: A $1000 credit for each qualifying child
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit: For qualifying child-care expenses
  • The Earned Income Credit: For those with an annual income below a certain level.

NOTE: You’ll need a social security number for your child to claim these credits.

The bottom line

Having a baby is enough to change anybody’s life. But by planning now, you can spend more time enjoying your new family and less time worrying about financial matters. 

Becoming a parent

A new job

A new job

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A new home

A new home

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Caring for aging parents

Caring for
aging parents

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Divorce

Divorce

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Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with municipal fund securities such as 529 plans carefully before purchasing. More information about municipal fund securities can be found in the issuer's official statement, which can be obtained from your financial professional. Please read the official statement carefully before investing.

This information is provided for informational purposes only. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.

Please be advised that this document is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this document is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (New York, NY) issues life insurance and annuity products. Securities offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and AXA Advisors are affiliated and do not provide tax or legal advice.

GE 89711 (08/2016)