For Rick and Kelly, the six years since their marriage has gone by about as fast as a regular work week does. The days seem to begin and end with the same set of circumstances, preparation for what that day at work will hold and in the evening, a little bit of time to relax before thoughts turn to the next day at work. It's one of the "luxuries" of being newly married and on your own.
For the two of them, things have come a bit easier than they had originally thought that they would. At least at this early stage, most of the major purchases that they wanted to make have been taken care of. They've got two good cars, and, they were able to transition from being renters to being homeowners nearly 4 years ago now. Most of the changes that they wanted to make to the house when they bought it already have been done. There's been painting done to all of the rooms, they've added some special finishing touches like built-ins and crown moldings and even added a small edition onto the back of the house to extend the living room and kitchen. But now, thoughts turn to the next chapter in their lives.
At any number of family functions over the course of the last few years the conversations tend to turn to when Rick and Kelly would finally begin to focus on starting a family. Truth is, money was the usual excuse that gave them some cover, at least for a while. But, they've been able to set enough money aside and their jobs seem to be reasonably stable enough that using financial excuses isn't going to work anymore. The reality is, that the indecision around starting a family comes largely from the fact that neither of them really know what questions to ask, let alone being able to fashion an answer for any of them.
While they have done a good job of setting money aside, the majority of that money is in a money market account and tucked away at the local bank. Neither of them really made an effort to begin starting any personal investment program of any real import. What investments that have been made, have been made through their respective employers via their 401(k) plans. Even with that, they've more or less "rolled the dice" with their investment allocations. Both, opting to put 100% of their money in the stock market on the premise that they were young enough to recover from any declines were the markets to wildly go up and down over any meaningful period of time. Little did they know, both 2008 and 2009 were in the cards.
And, while they both own a small term life insurance policy that they bought from a friend of theirs who went into the insurance business several years ago, there's no real program of risk management. More or less, they assumed that they could take care of each other in the event of the disability or that they be okay financially on their own if the worst were to happen, and one of them were to die unexpectedly.
With the thought of starting a family, and taking the responsibility of children and providing for them too, all the questions and expectations would now have to change.
You'd think that it was enough for them to know that. What exactly were the questions that they needed to ask? How much life insurance did they really need if in fact they decided to move forward and start a family? What would happen if Kelly couldn't go back to work? Or, what if Rick and Kelly decided that Kelly specifically would not return to work by choice? Both Rick and Kelly's mothers had been stay-at-home moms when they were children. What about paying for college? What was the best way to do that? Should they set up 529 plans? Or should they save money in their own names or both?
For many candidates for the Genesis program it doesn't seem like getting the answers to these questions right is really all that important. After all, there's so much time, and you're so young. But, the reality remains that starting with sound principles and not wasting time or making unfortunate miscues can help in any number of ways. First, the money that you "don't waste" will accumulate to a substantive amount of dollars in the future given the amount of time that you have between today and when most of your long-term goals are going to need to be funded. Second, and perhaps more important, striving to set a course based on purposeful long-term financial decision making helps to build the disciplines that will help you throughout the remainder of your years.
Our Genesis program was designed for the early financial adapter, created to provide a sound and rational starting point for financial decision-making when it is overlaid with the guidance, support and necessary professional expertise.
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