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Is your husband losing benefits that will now cost more out of pocket? It's imperative to keep medical coverage and personal and retirement saving steady, so your new math needs to account tor that.

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My husband is going to a four-day week. On bis day off, 1 want him to watch the kids (childcare savings!); he wants to build up his side gig as a handyman. What's smarter?

(IN)SURE THING!

Think insurance is something you can "set and forget"? Not so fast, says Kim Holtorff, founder of Insurance Planning Associates in Omaha. "Parents have a lot of life changes, and these mean changes to your plan," he explains. You already know to update when you buy a house, switch jobs, or have a child. But the following merit it. too:

■ CHANGING RENTALS Non--home-owners should have renter's insurance, which can be as little as $12 a month. Update it every time you pick up stakes.

■ GETTING A SECOND RIDE You know you'll need vehicle Insurance. But having more wheels argues for getting an umbrella policy, which fills in for liabilities your other policies don't cover.

■ CONTEMPLATING DIVORCE Check all your policies before proceedings begin because you may be losing coverage you'll have to make up once you're on your own. After the dust settles, make sure to Incorporate your child-custody agreement.

■ SHACKING UP If you're under the same roof but unmarried, beware: Sonne policies exclude anyone not biologically related to you unless you specifically add them. —Casey Talbot

Percentage of actively saving adults who say their parents instilled the habit in childhood

This is a tricky decision. Here are five questions to ask yourself (and discuss with Bob the Builder) before making your choice.

Is your husband losing benefits that will now cost more out of pocket? It's imperative to keep medical coverage and personal and retirement saving steady, so your new math needs to account tor that.

Could your husband be happy as a one-day-a-week slay-at-home dad?A compromise: Agree on a trial phase for his business, e.g., three months working on weekends, while lie takes care of the kids one day a week. (You'd pick up the slack on weekends.) If the business takes off, you've got three months of childcare savings and a new income source.

ask the mom squad

MP Dunleavey Our financial expert, the mom of a 3-year-old, faces the same money worries you do. The author of Money Can Buy Happiness, MP answers your tough questions. Write to her at momsquadWparenting.com.

How much would you save exactly by reducing childcare? And are you sure you're not locked into a commitment with your daycare provider? Any change in your arrangement might mean different rates.

How much is your husband likely to earn, really'' Research going rates and test demand by putting up flyers or a classified ad online or in your local paper.

Can your budget take some uncertainty? Any freelance enterprise is bound to be a roller coaster, with inevitable dry spells and late payments. You'll need to have enough reserves on hand so you never fall behind on your own bills.

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Your Retirement Planning Guide

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