BOSTON (CBS) – The family starts as a couple, you have one or two children and then you divorce. Over 40% of first marriages end in divorce before their 8th anniversary.
About 35% of kids are living in a home with a single parent, that’s 25 million kids. According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are 10 million single moms and 2 million single dads and as a single parent you will need to rethink your goals.
It would be very easy for me to take the high road here and start to talk about all of things you need to do but if you are living paycheck to paycheck or have credit card debt you can’t commit to saving and investing just yet. So let’s start with the basics here.
The most common goals:
- Getting out of debt
- Save for an emergency fund
- Save for retirement so you don’t have to live with the kids
- Send the kids to college just in case you have to live with them
Getting out of debt: this is your number one goal. Put together a plan and if need be get some help from Consumer Credit Counseling. Debt won’t allow you to achieve your other goals.
Save more: not easy to change your life style but you may have to do things differently to have the other things in life you want.
Save for retirement: If you notice I ranked this before college savings on purpose. There is no financial aid or scholarships available for your retirement. A gift you give your kids is your financial independence in retirement. I really do know how hard it is to save for retirement but even small amounts put away during your working years will benefit you in retirement.
Sending the kids to college: this is not an easy feat for a single parent. State universities and community colleges can make it more affordable. There is financial aid out there and work study programs for the kids. Two years at the community college and then off to UMASS is a good workable plan.