How can you prepare for the school year?

3 min read

What will the world look like in September?

Compared to a year ago, things probably look a lot different. If you’re a working parent, the thought of school closures is more than just a setback for your kid’s education. It’s a threat to your workday schedule, your sleep, and maybe even your sanity. Going from mom handles dropoffs while dad does pickup, to mom plays schoolteacher in the mornings while dad takes the afternoons is a massive shift in responsibility. Something has to give.

When the pandemic first hit, it was scary. Businesses closed, summer schedules came early, our world’s shrunk. But we adjusted, slowly but surely, to the new normal. For those working from home, the bright spots like no more morning commutes in bumper to bumper traffic, no more long subway rides nuzzled up a little too close against your fellow passengers, and fun with Zoom backgrounds were balanced out by the new responsibilities of being the family chef, camp counselor, and teacher. For essential workers, it’s been a little more consistent, just with a whole slate of new rules and protocols to learn and adhere to. And for those that lost their jobs, money is tight and it’s unclear just how much support you can depend on.

But for everyone, and especially parents, there was a glimmer of hope. Fall, and the return to school, might also provide a return to some sense of normalcy.

It seems like that’s not to be.

So what can you do about it and how can Farther help? For starters, take a breath. You’re not alone in this. Next up, let’s come up with a plan. We can help you analyze your particular situation and build a data-driven roadmap for your best course of action.

Here are a few questions we can help you answer:

What can you afford?

Based on my current cashflow, can I afford help at home? What about a private tutor? A private school with different rules?

We will analyze your cash flow and take a deep look at your expenses. We’ll help you understand whether and how you can afford someone to help with the kids’ studies while you’re hard at work.

Should you use your investments?

Can I tap into my investments without severe tax consequences? What about my 401k, IRA, or 529? Is borrowing from my 401K an option? Should I leave money in the stock market if I’m going to use it this year? How will my retirement or college savings be affected?

We can talk through where you might source cash from and how to draw on it. We’ll help you evaluate these questions to determine the course of action that positions you best both now and in the long run.

What if you lose your job?

I or my spouse is out of work - how do we plan for this drop in cashflow? Can we still afford to pay for our children’s schooling. How long can we afford our expenses?

We’ll help you determine where you stand, what you can do quickly, and how you might want to adjust for the longer run.

Can you take off work?

My kids are home and I realized I want to be home with them? Can we afford that cut? How do I look at daycare versus going back to work? How much do I need to make to keep up with our lifestyle?

When your situation changes, updating your plan is a top priority. We’ll help you rethink your life with a stay-at-home parent in the mix.

These questions and lines of analysis are particularly important to parents and the world we find ourselves in now, but they are just some of the ways we help our clients think through and plan for life’s big changes.

Now more than ever people need a little extra help.  Keep us in mind if we can be there for you, and we’ll get through this together, wherever your journey takes us.

Bryan D'Alessandro, CFP®

Bryan is a Certified Financial Planner and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from St. John’s University. He has over 16 years of experience in financial planning. Bryan shares the belief that financial planning is the key to financial freedom and that your goals should dictate your life, not your finances. He prides himself on being a fiduciary to his clients, where he is able to be their partner in all of their financial choices.

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