I was born in the United States, but my husband was born in Sweden. Even though he’s a US citizen and both of our lives are in the states, his family lives in his homeland. When we had children, we decided that we wanted them to be able to spend time with both their American and Swedish families, learn both languages, and feel at home in both cultures. We’ve been lucky enough to spend much of their early years over in Sweden as we both have transportable jobs, but now that the children are getting older and nearing kindergarten age, we are planning on moving back to the States.
Deciding where to live has been a big issue for us. Obviously we are concerned about our kids receiving a good education, so a good public school system is a must. But there are other things that affect quality of life. Access to health care, public transportation, safety – all these things that we took for granted in our time in Sweden are not necessarily as easy to come by these days, particularly, in major metropolitan areas.
You don’t have to be crossing an ocean to be concerned about these issues. I can’t imagine any parent that wouldn’t want to raise a child in a safe, clean environment. Business Week recently published an article , “The Best Places to Raise Your Kids 2012,” that did a lot of that research for us by outlining the best locations to live and raise children in the U.S.
Once we solve that hurdle, my husband and I are very aware that we’ll need to start planning for the future. We’ll need to put away money for our children’s college education, the costs of which are rising exponentially. This may seem like a small thing at this early stage, but we’re also aware that we need to plan for contingencies. To that end, we’re looking into life insurance. If something were to happen to either of us, we have to ensure our children’s financial security. Luckily, we found there is a bounty of free resources available to assist in defining a solid plan, including Genworth Financial’s life insurance and budget calculators. The good thing is that we’ve started planning early on, which will undoubtably save us money in the long run. The cost of insurance is lower the younger you are and the better your health. Obviously, we hope we be in good health past the point our children are raised and gone, but we also know just how quickly life can pass us by.