Resident or Fellow Priorities (With Dependents)
If you have dependents (spouse, children, elderly parents):
Follow all the guidelines listed in the tab for trainees without dependents, and add the following:
- Get a 20- or 30-year Term life insurance policy with a death benefit of at least $500,000. Depending on your circumstances, you may decide on a higher death benefit, or a different Term. At a minimum, the idea is to ensure your family’s debts and immediate necessities are covered in the event you die and the family loses all your future earnings. If you are the only breadwinner, a larger death benefit may be in order. Explore key questions such as: How much life insurance do I need? and Should I obtain Term or Permanent insurance? Most likely, the answer to the latter question is that you should stick with Term insurance. Term insurance has a much lower price tag, and for most households it should provide sufficient coverage (for example, over 20 years) until you build up enough assets to no longer need life insurance
- Draft basic estate planning documents, including a Will and instructions for guardianship over your dependents in the event you die or become incompetent
- Consider setting up 529 college savings plan(s) for your child(ren).
- As relevant, grapple with the question: should you feel guilty for prioritizing your own debt payment versus funding child's 529 plan?
- Communicate effectively with your spouse or partner. Get on the same page and stay there. Financial disagreements play a big role in relationship discord. Avoid this by communicating openly
- Consider life insurance for your spouse, and disability insurance if spouse is also a wage-earner
- Decide whether to file taxes jointly or separately. This may be especially relevant when choosing student loan repayment plans (This link takes you to an external website)