4 Personal Financial Planning Musts for Dads

Don't wait another day to implement these personal financial planning essentials.

Jun 13, 2014 at 2:08PM

Know that "World's Greatest Dad" T-shirt you sport every Father's Day? Well, you deserve it. You not only work hard from 9-to-5 to provide your family with a good life, but also dutifully slog through your honey-do list and attend your kid's swimming classes.

Dads Day

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

In return for the love your kids will show you this Dad's Day, give back to your family by implementing four personal financial planning musts.

1. Review your beneficiary designations
Check your beneficiary designations annually. That might seem like overkill, but it's a good habit to get into. You may have been so busy changing diapers that your sleep-deprived self forgot to add your 6-month-old infant's name to your accounts. Review your current beneficiary designations and make sure they're up to date. Remember to do so for all of your IRA accounts, 401(k) plans, and life insurance policies.

2.  Review your insurance
It's important that you maintain an appropriate amount of life insurance. That way if something happens to you, your family's future financial planning needs will be adequately covered.

Your employer may offer you life insurance as part of a group plan. Typically, the coverage you're granted is either a flat dollar amount (like a $50,000 death benefit) or a multiple of your salary (say, three times your annual base salary). But that amount of coverage may not be enough for your family. If it isn't, be sure to supplement with either a term or whole life policy.

Also, consider disability insurance. Again, your employer likely offers coverage up to a certain amount. But make sure it's enough to fund your family's needs in the event you can't work for a while.

3. Designate a guardian for your children
Lots of parents get stuck when they go to choose a guardian. They often disagree about who would be best, and no one likes to think about someone else raising their kids. But if you haven't made your wishes clear, the court will appoint someone without any guidance from you. Most commonly, the courts choose a member of the family. But maybe you don't want certain family members raising your children. The best way to prevent this from happening is by sitting down with your spouse, hashing out the particulars, and getting the paperwork done.

4. Save for your kid's college
It's never too soon to start saving for your child's college education. With the average out-of-state public university education costing $34,000 annually, it takes discipline and sacrifice to scrape together that kind of dough. The best way to amass that money is with a 529 college savings plan. Withdrawals used for qualified higher education expenses like tuition, books, and room and board are tax-free. Some states allow you to deduct part of your contribution annually on your tax return. And 529 plans also give you the flexibility to switch beneficiaries, which is great if you find out one kid isn't college material, yet the other is Harvard bound.

Foolish final thoughts
Take time this Father's Day weekend to deservedly kick back and relax with your family. But shortly after the celebration is over, implement these personal financial planning essentials. You and your loved ones will be better off for it.

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Follow Nicole Seghetti on Twitter @NicoleSeghetti. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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