GET A BIGGER BANK ACCOUNT
The 529 College Savings Plan, which became tax-free in 2001, allows you to put money aside for your child’s education without paying taxes on it. That’s nice, but even better is that you can retract it—preferably after it’s grown into a sizable sum. “If your child forgets to call you on your birthday, you can pull it back,“ says Michael Steiner, a wealth manager with RegentAtlantic Capital in Chatham, New Jersey. And if you own your own business? You can use your child as cheap labor without paying Social Security or Medicare taxes on any salary you give him.
HAVE A RICHER SOCIAL LIFE
If you learn how to work the PTA meeting like you would a cocktail party, it can get you nice trips to other families’ vacation homes. “Will it improve their social status to have their kids in the right school?“ says Amanda Uhry, head of Manhattan Private School Advisors, which helps parents pick schools for their kids. “Yes, it probably will.“ So make sure your kids are chatting up the right kind of playmates.
CLIMB THE CORPORATE LADDER
When the boss mulls over who in the office seems worthy of a promotion, you will, for a shining moment, be very happy you had kids. “Most employers understand that someone who has an involved, successful family life is going to be a better contributor at work than someone who doesn’t,“ says Peter Spokes, the president and COO of the National Center for Fathering. Just lose the “No. 1 Dad“ mug.