Friday, May 08, 2009

10 Steps for Moms to Max Out on Money: Kiplinger's

Handle your money like a savvy single woman! That's one of several financial tips for mom's from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Just in time for Mother's Day, the following piece caught my attention.

"Studies consistently show that by margins of 60% or more, women tend to be the ones who pay the family bills and balance the checkbook. So on Mother's Day it makes sense that Mom should give her own finances the same TLC she applies to the rest of the family. That's particularly true because the time mothers spend performing the ten most popular "Mom jobs" would add up to annual cash compensation of $122,732 for a stay-at-home mom and $76,184 for a working mom, according to

In the article “10 Ways Moms Can Make the Most of Your Money,” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance editor Janet Bodnar offers smart money moves for mothers:

· Think Single, Even If You're Not. Don't rely on your husband or any other interested party to take care of you. But if you're in a relationship, work together; each of you contributes different strengths and a unique financial perspective. When it comes to investing, for example, men tend to be more willing to take risks, while women are more conservative. Together, you can compensate for each other's weaknesses.

· Set Up A Spousal IRA. Even if you're a stay-at-home mom, you should always have, and control, your own retirement savings. As long as your husband has a paying job, in 2009 he can contribute up to $5,000 to an IRA or Roth IRA for you, in addition to squirreling away $5,000 in his own account. That also doubles the tax breaks and savings power available to you as a couple.

· Make Extra Retirement Contributions If You're 50 Or Older. You can kick in an additional $5,500 to your 401(k) and an extra $1,000 to an IRA. These catch-up provisions are especially helpful for moms who entered the work force late, after their kids were grown, or delayed their own saving to pay for those braces or that college tuition.

· Buy Life Insurance. Statistically, women tend to be the survivors. And loving as your relationship may be, you can't count on your spouse to provide for you and the kids if he's not there. As a rough rule of thumb, figure that insurance coverage should equal eight to ten times your total household income. When figuring your insurance needs, consider the income you earn outside the home or the amount you contribute to the family with the services you perform. To shop for a low-cost term insurance policy, go to or AccuQuote.

· Write A Will. If you don't have one, your state's one-size-fits all estate plan kicks in, and it may not be tailored to your needs or your children's. For example, as the surviving spouse, you may get only a fraction of your husband's assets, with the rest going to your children. If you and your spouse both die, the state decides who will raise your kids. With a will, you call the shots.

· Name A Guardian. Think of a will as a way to protect your most precious assets -- your children -- if something should happen to you and your spouse while the kids are still minors. Parents are often tempted to rely on informal guardianship arrangements. But those arrangements don't have legal standing. Without a will naming a guardian, the courts will decide who brings up your children, and you'll have no say in the selection.

· Get What You Deserve. Make sure you're the beneficiary on insurance policies, pension and profit-sharing plans, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans. "
--source: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

A link to the article in its entirety.

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