An annual report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture pegs the cost to a middle-income family raising a child born in 2010 to $286,860 (inflation factored in) for food, shelter and necessities. For young parents looking to plan ahead, there are some key areas in which it pays to focus: health insurance, life insurance, estate planning, setting up an emergency fund, saving up for college, tax changes and making spending adjustments. It’s going to be a long and costly 17 years for everybody having kids today. The time to plan for it is yesterday. Get moving!

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