This week we’re offering tips on how to protect your Social Security number, choose the appropriate tax preparer, and plan for a growing family. Here’s what you should know this week:

  • It’s no secret that raising children can be incredibly expensive. In fact, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report found it costs approximately $245,340 to raise a child. In his article titled, “5 Money Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Pregnant,” U.S. News & World Report Financial Reporter Geoff Williams offers ways to spend wisely and avoid common money traps. Williams suggests finding out exactly what your health insurance covers in regards to delivery, locking in a life insurance policy before conception or during the first trimester, and making sure to budget appropriately for life once the baby is born.
  • Safeguarding your identity starts with protecting your Social Security number. WiseBread Reporter Mikey Rox lists the situations when it is generally safe to share your Social Security, including opening a new bank account or applying for a loan. If you are unsure about sharing your number, he suggests inquiring about the reason for the request and asking about alternative ways to identify yourself. Most importantly, never respond to emails asking for you to confirm your Social Security number or other personal details.
  • USA Today Reporter Hadley Malcolm says that choosing a tax preparer can be as complicated as doing the return yourself, so it’s important to understand your options and the differences between the various kinds of tax professionals. For example, certified public accountants (CPAs) are licensed financial experts qualified to help clients with taxes as well as personal finance. On the other hand, enrolled agents, who are certified by the Treasury Department, specifically deal with tax-related issues and represent taxpayers in front of the IRS.*

* All tax information provided in this blog post is intended as a convenient source of information. This information is general in nature, is not complete, and may not apply to your specific situation. Please consult with your own tax advisor regarding your specific tax needs.

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