Bringing a kid into the world means you need to prepare for the future. Let's get the nitty-gritty out of the way first: Write a will, if you don't already have one, and name guardians to step up in the event something happens to you. Then boost your retirement savings by putting $200 a month in a Roth IRA. I know, what about college? A Roth IRA is an alternative that will allow you to pay for your own retirement, as well as—or instead of—college. Remember that there's plenty of financial aid for college, but not for retirement. But to ease your mind, open a UPromise account that will deposit a percentage of your everyday purchases into a 529 account for college.

And don't forget to claim the child tax credit. Through 2009, it's worth a $1,000 credit per child under age 17.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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