This is Part 2 of the Ultimate Financial Planning Guide for the Physician Mom To Be. In Part 1, I discussed things you should consider prior to becoming pregnant. Here is the rest! You’re Pregnant! Congratulations! Don’t panic. The good news is you have about 9 months to plan! 1. Get insurances NOW if you haven’t already for the above reasons. You may get a pregnancy exclusion but just get it and you can re-apply and get more later. Find out your OOP expenses for your health insurance if you have not already as well. 2. You’ll need a basic will in place to name the guardian of your child should you pass and notify the guardians you choose. This often becomes a non-urgent to-do item after the baby is born unfortunately. 3. Retirement plans at work: If you’re taking unpaid leave or any leave, you’ll want to frontload your 403(b)/401(k)/457(b) so they are maxed out before you deliver. I recommend you frontload these accounts at least 2 months prior to your expected delivery date in case of a preterm delivery. Although this won’t be a deal breaker, you’ll also want to find out if and how frontloading affects employer matching if you get any. 4. If you haven’t already, find out what steps need to be taken to take your maternity leave:
- First, you’ll need to decide how many weeks you want to take off. This is a highly personal decision. I’ve yet to meet a woman who said they took too much time off.
- Depending on your employer, you may get completely unpaid leave or a combination of paid and unpaid leave. You may be responsible for paying your benefits during unpaid leave.
- If you can use your vacation days towards paid leave, hoard them!
- Finally, tell your boss or administrator so everyone at work can start planning for your leave and coverage gaps.
- Daycare and nanny costs vary significantly based on location.
- In some cities (ahem, NYC), there can be up to a 1 year waiting list for young infants. I’m not sure how this works since no one can actually predict when they can become pregnant.
- I recommend you pay a nanny on the books. Not only is it illegal not to, but you open yourself up to a ton of liability by not doing so.
- Distinguish between needs vs. wants. I recommend making 3 lists: need, really want, want. Keep in mind the need list is shorter than you think! There are fortunately or unfortunately tons of items to fit any budget. I recommend using the book Baby Bargains and the website Lucie’s List to hone in on the items.
- Whether you end up having a baby shower or not, I would still create a registry. Close friends and family will ask and they will want to buy you a gift. You might as well receive items that you want! I used Baby List for my registry.
- Remember, you don’t need a ton of stuff when the baby actually arrives. I recommend a wait and see approach to avoid a shopping craze.
- Don’t forget that you’ll need some stuff too! Maternity clothing, postpartum supplies, nursing clothing and nursing equipment. Thanks to Obamacare, breast pumps are required to be covered by your insurance.
- My second life insurance policy went into effect just weeks before I became pregnant. I may have gestational diabetes (as of writing this blog post I failed the 1 hour glucose challenge). Boy am I glad I had my policies in place!
- My insurance paid for 6 pairs of compression stockings – highly recommend you get some! 20-30 mmHG is recommended. I got Sigvaris Eversheer calf-high socks.
- M and I took a babymoon to Paris when I was 20 weeks pregnant. We used credit card points for flights and hotel so we only had to pay for meals, local transport and shopping.
- I am the breadwinning partner. I am taking
1216 weeks of leave. I am fortunate that at least 8 weeks will be paid. I ‘ll have up to 4 unpaid weeks of leave. We live below our means so the unpaid portion is totally manageable. I am also thinking about taking an additional 4 weeks to work part-time before going back full time. Again, living below our means gives us this option.
- I am on a waiting list for daycare (yes they told me 1 year…). The daycare is
$2600a month. We are still considering a nanny while the baby is very young as well.
- I have started outsourcing a few things and do not regret it!