Once you have a family, planning for the future suddenly becomes more important. I know that when we had children, it prompted us to do all sorts of grown up things, such as making a will and appointing guardians. Planning ahead when you have a large family can seem daunting, but there are some really simple steps you can take to prepare for whatever the future holds.
- Make a will. This was a really important one for us. We wanted to make sure that the children would be well cared for should anything happen to us, as well as ensuring they wouldn’t have to deal with any disputes about property or possessions. Everything will be shared equally between the children, and we have appointed trustees and guardians to oversee both their practical and emotional wellbeing.
- Leading on from making a will, we looked into family life insurance. We wanted to have everything covered financially if there was a sudden loss of income. The benefit amount our family could receive could be used to help them manage major household debts like the mortgage, car repayments or simply the never ending daily living expenses – this was especially important to us as a larger family, as there is always something that is needed! We also opted for critical illness cover, for peace of mind should one of us be taken ill and unable to work. It’s important to make sure you are getting the right cover for you and your family, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about what exactly is covered, how much you could expect to receive and when you are covered from.
- Use child saving plans. If your child was born before 2nd January 2011, they will have received a £250 Child Trust Fund payment. If you didn’t invest this yourself, it will have been invested for you, and it’s easy enough to find out where on the Gov.UK website. We received this payment for our eldest 2 children, and have since been paying a small amount into their account every month – it’s surprising how quickly it adds up! Once they are old enough, we will allow them access to their money, to be used for education, or a house deposit or to put towards a car. Something to get them set up and on their way into adult life.
- Look at your pension plans. I know this seems like such a long way off, but making sure your pension is in order is so important. If you have a company pension, it’s worth contributing to it – your employer will often match what you pay. The NHS, local governments, police forces and schools usually have really good pension schemes that are worth looking into. It’s also worth considering a private pension as a cushion for your retirement years – the last thing you want is for your children to have to worry about supporting you when they should be living their own lives.
- Show your children that nothing is impossible. Don’t sit on your dreams and deem them unattainable. Get out there, and show your kids that you can achieve anything you want. Many of you will know that I recently grabbed hold of my dreams with both hands, and in just a matter of days I start my new career as a student midwife. I hope I am setting my children a good example, and equipping them with the ambition and drive to succeed in whatever they choose to do.