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The birth or adoption of a new family member is always full of excitement. With your new bundle of joy, comes a bundle of responsibilities. This includes not only planning for immediate needs but also securing a financial future for your loved one. To follow is a financial "to-do" list:
  1. Arrange for a birth certificate and social security number. The paperwork for these documents will be given to you during your hospital stay.
  2. Make changes to your health plans at work. Most employers allow you to do this outside of the normal enrollment period. Your baby will be covered on the mother's insurance for the first month of life. Take the time to review other pre-tax benefits that your employer may offer like Health Savings Accounts or flexible spending accounts.
  3. Ask your employer if they provide adoption assistance (this alone could be worth several thousands of dollars).
  4. If you are claiming unemployment benefits, notify your state's unemployment insurance department. This may bump up your weekly benefits payment by $25.
  5. Think about saving for private school and college. The thought of saving for your child's education might seem preposterous, but time flies, and given the cost of college education these days, parents need to start early.
  6. Update beneficiary designations on your brokerage and retirement accounts. If you haven't already done so, draft or update your Will.