There’s a lot of advice out there for people who are starting families. A marriage is a big step, and a first baby brings about a massive change. It’s only natural that there would be articles written constantly about how to tackle these hurdles as healthily and efficiently as possible. But there seems to be less out there for what kinds of challenges parents face once their families are complete – which is to say once they stop having children (or at least plan to stop – surprises still happen!).
Here are just a few of the big decisions that are on the horizon once you reach this stage in your family life.
Choosing A Home
If you know your family has grown as large as you plan for it to grow, it might be time to decide if you’re going to stay in your home or move to a new one that you might want to hang onto for the foreseeable future. This might be the time to explore home construction options if you’d really like to make something your own and keep it as a sort of family base in the years or decades to come. Or, if you’ve recently had a baby, you might simply want to find a home with a little bit of extra space in it.
Upgrading Your Existing Home
If you ultimately decide to stay put in the home you’ve been in, you might want to take a few steps to make it more special, or even to refresh it a little bit. You’re essentially making the decision to settle down geographically, and if you’ve made that determination you might want to make any upgrades you’ve been considering. Remodeling a kitchen is a popular choice in this regard, though you can also do things like put in new flooring, repainting the walls, or even something simpler like installing new lighting fixtures. Focus on an area you’ve wanted to change or improve in the past, and invest in it to set your home up for the long run.
Saving For College
If you’ve decided your family is as big as you’d like to grow it, you can do a better job of budgeting for your children’s future. And that means the big hurdle has arrived: you need to think about starting a college fund. But that doesn’t necessarily mean putting money away right away. You’ll need to make decisions about what your own goals are for your children based on what you’re able to afford, or what you think you can swing. Based on these goals, as well as your financial situation and the size of your family, you should be able to start forming a strategy.
Exploring Life Insurance
This is a step that a lot of parents will cover earlier on, perhaps upon the birth of a first child or even after a marriage. However, once you’ve completed a family can actually be a nice time to revisit or explore the relevant policy. As Our Life Covered makes clear, you can even choose a policy beginning with questions about your marital status and family situation, which implies an update may be necessary if you have a new (and final) kid to consider.
These are just some of the big decisions you face, but it’s nice to prepare for them as you face life with a whole, finished family.