NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Congrats to the Duke And Duchess of Cambridge, proud parents of a bouncing baby boy — third in line to the British throne.
Yes, the media has slobbered over the news despite there being more important things going on in the world, but far be it from us to rain on the British empire's baby parade.
Back here in the states, the birth of the future king of England is a reminder to all new parents to take some concrete steps once the newborn is home from the hospital — wrapped in regal blankets or not.
Today's reminder comes from the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, which uses the royal baby brouhaha to present a useful list of financial steps for parents to take with their new offspring.
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"Whether you are royal or a simple commoner, each family has to consider accompanying expenses for various activities and financial lessons for your children," the CSCPA says.
Here is what the group advises for brand-new parents:
Get a Social Security number. Your first step with your new baby? Getting a Social Security number. The CSCPA says your child's Social Security number will be needed to get ongoing health insurance coverage. Contact your health plan administrator to find out if you are required to provide one within a specific time to maintain coverage for your child.
It's a good idea tax-wise too. "A Social Security number is necessary to receive a dependent exemption and other child-related tax benefits when filing your federal income tax return," the association says. "Overlooking this step could mean a higher tax bill. In addition, you'll need a Social Security number to open up a savings account in the baby's name.
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Check your health care coverage. The first year of your new baby's life will be chock full of pediatric appointments. Thus it's a good idea to check your level of health care coverage for your son or daughter, as those expenses "can add up quickly," as the CSCPA puts it.
Check your life insurance. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren't worried about money, but your family may tell a different story. Make sure you have adequate life insurance in case of "an untimely event," in the words of the CSCPA. That way, if something does happen to you, your mortgage and your child's college education can be more easily funded.
Start saving for college. Get going on a college funding account. Studies show that the earlier you start, the easier it is to pay for college. A helpful savings goal calculator can get you rolling.
— By Brian O'Connell