Late-in-life parents are becoming more common. For some people, establishing their careers may get the initial focus of their lives before feeling ready to welcome children. For certain people, having children in their 40s and 50s is not unheard of anymore, and, in some unique cases, it is more extreme.
For example, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger welcomed his eighth child at the age of 73. And actor Richard Gere welcomed his third child when he was 70. And like Jagger and Gere, many late-in-life parents are more financially stable than other parents. Still, parents always have concerns about providing for their children, especially when they are no longer there to watch them grow up.
Have an up-to-date estate plan
As a late-in-life parent, you have certain concerns related to estate and retirement planning. So, the first thing you need to ensure is that you have an estate plan in place. It may include a will or a trust, but make sure it exists. Naming your child’s guardian always has been an important element of a will, and this detail is especially important for late-in-life parents.
And always make sure that the estate plan is up to date. Perhaps you are in your second or third marriage and starting a family with your new spouse. You want to provide for these youngest children, who are not mentioned in any previous estate plan.
Set up a trust, designate child as beneficiary
Here are some other crucial steps to take if you are a late-in-life parent and want to continue to provide for children:
- Set up a trust for your child. This allows for estate assets to be set aside for him or her and can be counted on when your child is older. This estate planning tool is especially important if your child comes from a second or third marriage.
- Have a trust created within your will. Known as a testamentary trust, this tool only comes into play upon the testator’s death. The estate gets distributed into the trust, which is now overseen by a trustee. The child may gain control of the trust at a certain age specified within the will.
- Make sure to designate your child as a beneficiary for traditional and Roth IRAs, 401(k) and 403(b) plans as well as life insurance policies. Why? Because beneficiary designations for these financial tools override any instructions within a will.
- Invest in your personal retirement plans. Doing so will provide you with financial stability and prevent your child from having to be the one who must provide you with financial support. Your child will thank you.
- Invest in a 529 plan to help pay for your child’s college education. As a late-in-life parent, you may be at your earnings peak and have the financial wherewithal to make monthly investments in a 529 plan
You want to live as long as you can to experience the joys of raising your child. As a late-in-life parent, you understand that you may not have as much time on this earth as other parents. That is why you must carefully plan in providing a solid financial foundation for your child.