by Jennifer Adams, CFP®, Certified Financial Planner Practitioner
Aspire Wealth Management, LLC | www.aspirewm.com
My blog in July talked about getting a handle on your monthly expenses so you can determine how much you can afford each month to earmark towards your Family Planning. Here’s a quick re-cap:
Step 1: Gather all credit card and bank statements and make a category for every expense; put the expenses in the categories and tally them up for the month using an excel spreadsheet or a good, old-fashioned calculator (go back at least 3 months). Get in the habit of doing this each month to find out where you spend your money.
Step 2: Add all of your payroll deposits for the month and subtract your monthly expenses from Step 1. If you have money left over, you should be putting this into savings on a monthly basis. If you are short, we need to go back to the expenses and make some changes to your monthly spending.
Step 3: If you do have money left over each month, open a separate checking or savings account at your bank to deposit the funds and label it “Family Planning Account”. Redirect these extra funds automatically each month into this account so you don’t spend them! *If you don’t have extra funds each month, skip this Step and go to Step 4.
Step 4: If you don’t have money left over each month, take a hard look at your expenses and pick 3 things that you can give up or reduce (remember, you don’t have to give it up forever!). How much extra money will it yield each month?
So, how much money will you ultimately need to come up with to build your family?
Average cost of IVF: $18,000
Average cost of Donor Egg: $35,000
Average cost of Adoption (domestic or international): $25,000-$35,000
Average cost of egg/embryo preservation: $10,000 for stimulation, medication, retrieval and vitrification + $400-$800 per year for storage + $8,000 for egg thaw, fertilization and transfer
While good, old-fashioned saving is the preferred method of covering the costs, here are some additional ideas that can help you realize your dream of starting a family:
Before applying for a loan, it’s a good idea to check your credit. You get (1) free credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies each year. Go to: www.annualcreditreport.com to view and print your report. Check for any inaccuracies that could affect your credit score. After you get the detailed credit report, you have the option of purchasing your credit score for a small fee ($8 – $15). It is this credit score that lenders will look at to determine your interest rate, loan limit, and other terms of your loan.
1) Call your medical insurance to find out what expenses (if any) they will cover
2) Check to see if your Employer reimburses any costs or offers a pre-tax savings account to save for the expenses
3) Apply for a Home Equity Loan (fixed rate) or Home Equity Line of Credit (variable rate) if you own a home/condo
4) Apply for a Grant (google “IVF grants” or “Adoption grants” for a variety of organizations offering grants)
5) Specifically for Adoption – Subsidies are offered for children when adopting through foster care. Adoption assistance information is available on a state by state basis and can be reviewed at https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_assistance/
6) Specifically for Adoption – Apply for an adoption loan through National Adoption Foundation at http://fundyouradoption.org/
7) Ask your local place of worship if they provide any financial assistance; some religious organizations (many for adoption only) offer grants or low-interest loans or provide resource information as listed here – (not always specific to a particular religion): www.christianadopt.org/resources/financing-your-adoption/ and www.christianfamilyadoptions.org/financing-adoption.php
8) Ask your fertility clinic what lenders they work with that provide personal loans
9) Check your bank or credit union for low-interest personal loans
10) Consider a Roth IRA withdrawal (check with your accountant for any tax liability)
11) Apply for a 0% credit card (only if you can pay it off before the introductory period is over!)
12) Ask your employer if they offer a 401(k) loan (NOT a withdrawal) – up to 50% of your balance or $50,000 (whichever is less)
While these steps and options may seem intimidating, take one step at a time and enlist the help of your financial advisor, tax advisor, friends and family. The end result will be worth it! And don’t forget – the time before your child arrives can be a valuable and productive time to get your financial house in order so you can protect and save for your family. Don’t delay – start today!
This article is not intended to provide financial or legal advice. You should discuss issues relating to financial planning with your own accountant, financial planner and attorney.