Planning on starting a family in the not too distant future or maybe you already have that due date marked into the calendar? If so, time to start thinking about how this little bundle will affect your life financially.
Maternity Leave/Parental leave
You are required to apply for maternity leave at least six weeks before you intend to take it, and 12 weeks in advance if you are self employed. Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks at €245 a week. Some employers will pay you in full so it’s wise to check your contract, or ask your HR department to see how you are fixed.
Paternity Leave is €245 per week as well and lasts for just two weeks. However the government have recently introduced a new extra 2 weeks paid benefit for each parent of a child under 1.
Childcare is a cost that most parents are faced with unless they are lucky enough to have relatives who are happy to mind the child, or one of the parents gives up work to take care of the child. Otherwise the main options are a crèche or a child minder/au pair. These costs (especially if you have more than one child) can often amount to nearly a second mortgage so sometimes it makes more sense for one parent to reduce hours in work or give up work altogether for a while. This obviously doesn’t suit everyone as everyone’s situation is different.
Child benefit or Children’s Allowance is a monthly payment to parents or guardians of children under 16. You should apply for this within 12 months of your child’s birth. It’s €140 a month for each child. Initially it may be useful to spend this on baby essentials eg cot, pram, clothes etc, however some people set it (or part of it) aside in a savings account for their children’s education.
If you already have private health insurance now is the time to look into what your policy covers. Most will offer semi private cover in a maternity hospital and a range of extra maternity benefits including midwife support, ante natal classes, baby massage, possibly a cleaner for a limited time. Shop around and see what policy suits you and your family. Most insurers will cover baby until the age of 1 at no extra cost. Just to note that insurers might have a waiting period of up to a year before you can claim maternity benefit.
With the arrival of a new baby comes extra responsibilities and a new dependent. Life Insurance and getting a Will drawn up should be considered a priority, and many people look to get Income Protection as well in case either of you are unable to work due to illness or injury. Some employers offer this as part of your package, but it’s important to know what exactly this entails.
A Life Assurancwe policy would pay out a lump sum in the event of death and for a couple in their 20’s or 30’s this would be relatively cheap. We would advise taking out a policy for a specific term which would coincide with your youngest child finishing 3rd level education. You would hope at this stage that you would no longer have any dependents to look after.
If you are looking to take out a Life Policy or would like us to review yours, call our Dublin insurance broker team on (01) 513 8710