by Liz Alterman
Saving for the future is always important -- and never more so than when you have children.
But much like dieting or exercising, setting money aside may be good for you but isn't always easy or fun. Most people would rather talk about the next hot stock pick than about their will, notes Jeff Romond, president of St. George Financial Partners.
But establishing a solid financial foundation should be a top priority when you're a parent. Even with the best intentions, it can be hard to figure out where to funnel those funds with so many choices available. But not to worry! We've broken it down for you. (You're welcome.)
Here are 3 accounts every parent should have:
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Romond says it's never a one-size-fits-all answer, but when it comes to the top three accounts moms and dads should have, the following are his picks, ranked in order of importance:
1) Life Insurance -- Why? Because you can never go back and get it when you need it, Romond says.
"Also, most people say they wish they bought it when they were younger and the price was lower, and they had more of it," he adds.
2) Cash Account -- Why? Maintaining a savings or checking account with a balance of at least six months living expenses is important.
"It will give you peace of mind to weather unforeseen events but also the freedom to act on a good business or real estate opportunity if one arises," the financial advisor explains.
3) 401(k) Retirement Account -- Why? Because pensions are harder to come by and Social Security probably will not cover all expenses, so take advantage of this employer-sponsored retirement savings plan.
"Try to put away up to the amount that your employer will match, if possible, and at least 7 percent if you have no match," Romond says.
Bonus: If you have additional funds left over, then a 529 college savings account would make sense, Romond notes.
"If not, don't despair because loans, grants, and scholarships will most likely be available," he says. "Remember, you can pay off a college loan over time after the fact. However, putting off your own retirement might not be an option."
Do you have any tricks for making saving easier?