Christmas is behind us and 2017 is nearly over, so it’s time to start thinking about your plan for the new year. Are you going to make a New Year’s resolution? Do you have big plans to move, change your career, or make new investments in 2018? If so, here are some of the best investments you can make your family in 2018 that will help you in the next year and for many years to come.
Invest in a College Savings Account
A college education is an important tool to enable your children to be successful once they reach adulthood, but the price of an education is continuing to increase every year. If you haven’t created a college savings account for your children yet, maybe 2018 is your year.
A 529 plan for college education comes in two forms — a prepaid tuition plan or a college savings account. Prepaid tuition plans help make future college more affordable by locking in current tuition prices for your future college student, but this plan usually can’t be used to pay for room and board.
College savings plans work like a traditional savings account and can be used for any college-related expenses including room and board.
Both of these plans are supported by the federal government.
Hire an Au Pair for Child Care
Childcare, especially for younger children, can be extremely expensive and often doesn’t fit your work schedule, making it difficult to build a career and raise a family at the same time. Instead of paying into traditional child care, consider hiring an au pair to care for your children. An au pair is a young adult, usually between the ages of 18 and 26, from another country that is trained to care for children.
It might seem like something that only the ultra rich can afford, but according to Susan Hayes, Executive Director of Eur Au Pair, hosting an au pair can be one of the most affordable forms of childcare.
“Hosting an au pair is not only the most affordable and flexible childcare opportunity but also the most culturally beneficial for the entire family. The convenience of live-in child care is a life-saver for busy families – anything relating to the children including meal preparation, driving to school/sports events/doctor appointments, laundry and most importantly introducing your children to another culture and/or language. Families can create their own schedule up to 10 hours of childcare per day (not to exceed 45 hours per week). With an average cost of $361/week, this luxury is the most affordable, reliable and enriching childcare available.”
Au pairs make it easier for you to maintain your career while still keeping up with your kids. Snow days no longer require losing out on work, all your kids can make it to their appointments and extracurricular activities on time, and as an added bonus, your au pair brings their culture with them so your children can learn about other cultures around the world.
Fund or Bolster Your Retirement
Even if you’re still decades away from retirement, it’s never too early to start planning for your final bow in the working world. If you haven’t already looked into a 401k matched by your employer, or a Roth IRA that you can invest in on your own, it’s time to start investing in your retirement. By choosing a Roth IRA rather than a traditional one, you can withdraw money from your retirement fund in the event of an emergency or other need without having to pay expensive taxes on the money withdrawn.
Overall, the best kind of fund for your retirement should be diversified between stocks and bonds. This provides the potential for great growth while still creating a solid foundation that you can grow from in the future. It may sound cliché but you really don’t want to put all your retirement eggs in one basket. If the part of the market that you’ve invested in fails, you’ve lost your retirements and have no backup. By diversifying your retirement portfolio in 2018, you can protect your investment while still ensuring that you’ll be comfortable once you’ve finally retired.
If you haven’t already thought about your investments for 2018, now is the perfect time to start. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight or get out of the house more, make your New Year’s resolution to make good investments to help support your family for years to come.