Tired Parents

In your 30s and 40s? Got nippers at home? Ooof. That “To Do” list is brutal. And we get that wills, life insurance and Junior ISAs are even less exciting than the prospect of watching Frozen for the 345th time. But they are three of the most important things we can do for our kids’ financial wellbeing. Take your pick. Do it quick. And then get to something more fun instead. Right....let's go. 

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1Wills - that thing we all put off but know we should do

What's it all about?

If you die without a will, your family’s worst nightmare just gets bigger. At best, this will be a serious admin headache. At worst, they could lose their home. Don’t risk it. Especially true if you’re not a David Cameron style traditional married-with-2-kids family.

If you’re not married and die without a will, then the money goes to your kids, not your partner. It’s held in trust for them ‘till they are 18. So how would your partner pay the mortgage? If you’re separated but still legally married, your ex could get it all. Nice. Just some examples of why it's critical to specify your wishes and not leave it to a bureaucrat in a suit. 

Don't forget to investigate a Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time. This is nominating someone to act on your behalf if you go ga-ga. You can sort this on the government's website for £82. 

Whats the deal?

  • Having a will helps you to plan for inheritance tax - and avoid any unnecessary nasty shocks
  • You can do one online in half an hour for free
  • Or use a lawyer's online service from about £150
  • The full Monty with a solicitor will cost about £300 - £700

Read

You know what wills are - but this 5-page guide tells you why you should bother, what your choices are and how to sort it quickly and cheaply.

Watch

This short video explains what wills are and why it's important to protect your family.

2Life cover - protect your dependants

What's it all about?

Life insurance often ends up in the too-hard basket. But come on parents! If you've worked out how to collapse a buggy and fit a car seat, this stuff is a cinch. 

Just 25% of Brits have life insurance. FACT: we're more likely to insure our pets than ourselves. But as much as you love Moggie, she won't pay the mortgage for your kids if you get hit by a bus. You could sort this in 10 minutes.

Employed? Call HR tomorrow and ask them what your cover is. It's usually about 3 to 4 times your salary. You can always choose to top that up privately if that wouldn't cover the mortgage, for example. 

If you need a helping hand, Lifesearch offers phone advice and it's a nice halfway house between a DIY approach and full-fat financial advice. 

Whats it all about?

  • It may not cost as much as you think. A healthy 40 something who hasn’t hit the fags since Take That were No 1 can get OK cover for about £10 a month
  • Do check this with your employer – you may be covered through work although sometimes the dreaded ‘downsizing’ hits perks so double-check any assumptions
  • Look at your partner. Could they continue your family’s lifestyle without your salary? If the answer is No, then it's time to sort this out

Read

If you die without life cover, who would pay the mortgage? Unless you're married to a diamond-encrusted squillionaire, read our 4-page guide. With tips on what to pay and where to go for advice and help.

Watch

Holly and a baby explains life insurance for parents.

3Junior ISAs - save for the kids

What's it all about?

Tax free savings. Not just for Little Lord Fauntleroy either.

Child Trust Funds have bitten the dust and Junior ISAs are the new kid on the block. Set aside a tax free pot of cash for your kids which you, friends or Granddad can pay into. You can set one up online in less than half an hour.

All children residing in the UK are eligible for a Junior ISA. Anyone - parents, grandparents, generous godparents - can contribute up to the annual allowance of £4,128 for this tax year. It automatically converts to an adult ISA at age 18.These are not for knickerbocker-wearing brats only. Just £1 a day is enough to get saving.

Stocks and shares or cash? Well - according to a Barclays survey, shares are 75% more likely to do better than cash over a 5 year timeframe. This jumps to 91% more likely over 10 years, and 99% over 18 years. So when you are saving for children who are 13 and under, statistically the odds suggest you should at least consider stocks and shares.

Why should I bother?

  • These are a great alternative present come birthdays and Christmas if you are having a miserable hernia about the idea of yet more green plastic from Taiwan forcing its way into your house
  • Junior ISAs are a great way to give you little darlings a nest egg to buy a house, car, fund their education etc
  • BUT you can't control what they do with their money when they hit 18. If you've got a responsible one, you might be lucky in what they spend it on. If you haven't, maybe don't tell them it's there?!

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you who we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our Best Buys.

Read

Have a look at our 3-page factsheet on these great tax-free savings accounts for children.

Listen

Tired Parent Vedia talks to Holly about her nerves when it comes to investing in the stock market.

Watch

This intro guide to Junior ISAs gives you the lowdown on what they are and the benefits they offer. 

Filmed in 2016 just NB the annual allowance has now increased to £4,128! 

Our favourite bit is the disclaimer at the end, courtesy of an 8 year old!

Looking for something?
We can help with that

2 minute read

How can I save for school fees with three kids?

LJ is 38 and saving for school fees. She needs to pay off her mortgage, and wants to look at saving into a cash ISA and then into stocks and shares.

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2 minute read

Babies, Junior ISAs and not dithering

Alex, currently expecting her fourth baby, contacted us because she has got into a muddle over her Junior ISAs and wanted BM’s thoughts on stocks and share JISAs and/or independent advice.

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2 minute read

Finding time for long term financial planning

Carly is 35 with 4 kids. Her and her husband get by day-to-day, but are concerned about the long-term. They have life insurance, but don’t have wills, pensions, savings or investments.

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2 minute read

Junior ISAs — how to invest for your children

Parents can easily start investing for their child via an investment platform, but will need to make some decisions about what investment strategy to take. Here, Holly Mackay tells us what approach she has adopted with children’s savings.

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2 minute read

Junior ISAs: Some key facts and tips

Children are already expensive enough, so where do you save for their nest egg without breaking the bank? Junior ISAs are the way to go!

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2 minute read

Financial protection

There is a rather old but still relevant opinion that people are happy to insure their house, car or holiday but not the thing that pays for it - themselves.

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