Parents: Don't miss the 'Crucial Decade' for saving

Of course, the earlier you start saving the better. However, I believe that some periods of life are better suited for saving than are others. The Crucial Decade it is not based on your age, but the age of your children (if you don’t have children, you are probably better rested than I am and this blog post probably won’t mean much to you).

A 2007 report by the US Department of Agriculture claims that the amount of money it takes to raise a child from birth to age 17 doesn’t fluctuate much per year. They estimate that families earning between $45,800 and $77,100 annually will spend $11,000 to $12,000 per year until age 17 for a total of $204,060. I am sure this type of information plays an important role in determining child support and foster care payments. However, as a practical family budgeter, I don’t believe that a child's 13th year is as costly as his or her 3rd.

As all parents know, babies are expensive. Medical bills, childcare costs, time off work and baby supplies all add up. This is especially true if one spouse decides to leave their job to care for the children. Older children are also costly. Cars, college, and weddings are some of the larger ticket items you can look forward to. And this is assuming they don’t move back in with you!

Fortunately, I have discovered that there is a period of time between where the childcare costs end and the college tuition begins (even the costs of sports playing, electronic loving tweens can’t compete with those big ticket items). This is your big chance! According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, parents of school-age children pay up to $8,600 a year for part-time care. When this ends or at least diminishes, start saving the amount you were paying in childcare into a savings account to prepare for retirement or the tuition that is looming on the horizon.

Don’t let this Crucial Decade pass you by or you’ll find yourself playing catch-up in your golden years.

 

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.8/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Consumer Federation of America Consumer Federation of America
    MMI is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.