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The Most Important Book You Could Read This Year (If You Have Kids)

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How’s this for a big statement…this book should be required reading for all new parents. In fact, you should get it right after your first OB appointment. The “Wall Street Journal’s Financial Guidebook for New Parents,” covers virtually every financial planning issue you need to think about when you have kids.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of feeding, sleeping, bonding and educating. It can be truly overwhelming at times. Especially when you’re sleep deprived. And of course, the most important thing is to love your kids with all your heart and soul. But at the end of the day, you can’t avoid confronting how you’re going to pay for everything… daily needs, housing, college tuitions and even your own retirement.
I know I faced a very steep learning curve with all of this when our kids were born. And it’s always a work in progress. So it’s nice to see everything you need to consider, organized in an easy to read book that is fine for those of us who freeze every time we have to calculate the tip in a restaurant.
Here’s what the publisher has to say about the WSJ book on Amazon:
“The average family will spend between $11,000 and $16,000 during a new baby’s first year, and more than $200,000 before a kid’s eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately, a second child only doubles your costs, with little economy of scale for each additional baby…
The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents shows you the way, with information on how to:
• Safeguard your child’s well-being with wills, trusts, and life insurance
• Best weigh your child-care options and decide whether to go back to work
• Save on taxes with child-friendly tax credits and deductions plus tax-advantaged benefits at work
• Manage your family’s health-care costs
• Save for long-term costs by setting up a college fund
• Spend smart and save money at every stage of your child’s development
• Continue to contribute to your own retirement savings
There is certainly no shortage of financial advice books out there. I’ve recently read Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Wealthy Barber. Both are excellent for learning how to think about assets versus liabilities, the beauty of compound interest and saving for retirement. But this WSJ book is by far the best thing I’ve come across. I’ve been dog-earring my own copy. You may want to too.
If you have other financial planning books or websites that you like, share them here.