Paying for Egg Freezing: Key Considerations
Egg freezing isn’t something that’s conceptual or futuristic anymore – it’s an increasingly common practice for women who plan to have children in the future. As with any plan, it’s important to step back and create a road map before diving in. When examining your financial ability to freeze your eggs, here are 5 things to consider:
1- Look at the bigger picture.
The cost of freezing your eggs can vary, and the front-end costs can be daunting when you see the numbers in total. However as a financial planner I can unequivocally say that there is no way to inexpensively have kids! Each person is different and has a different set of financial and health circumstances that surround their decision. However, for women who do not freeze their eggs and later need assistance with fertility, the costs may end up “even”.
When looking to the future, don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish, either. Often spending a little more to get the necessary testing to understand your likelihood of success with the process could save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Also, focus on quality rather than low price when you are interviewing practices – there are plenty of articles on this site that can direct you to the proper questions to ask when interviewing a practice. One of my favorite quotes about spending is” “Buy quality, wince once.” In other words, if you “save” money on a practice that doesn’t deliver quality results, you could be in for a much bigger loss than you anticipated.
2-Set a savings goal.
Learn the numbers early, and if you’re unable to afford to freeze your eggs immediately, begin to save for the costs. And don’t forget to calculate the costs of inflation. For example, if you think that it will cost you $12,000 in total to freeze your eggs, and you’d like to freeze them in 3 years, your savings plan might look something like this hypothetical example: Using an inflation rate of 3%, the future cost of freezing will be around $13,115. If you have $500 to set aside now, you’d need to save about $4,060 per year, or $340 per month. The costs will vary, so you’ll want to review your own personal situation to better understand what your savings plan should be.
It’s important also to look into your options for how to save. Some women are able to use their Flexible Savings Accounts (which are funded with pre-taxed dollars) for some of the costs. Use caution when thinking about debt-financing. If you have a zero percent credit card that’s tempting you, just remember that you’ll need to pay it off eventually – generally focusing on the savings element is a priority over debt-financing.
3-Involve your family.
If your parents or in-laws are hoping for a grandchild and you feel comfortable letting them know your plan, you may enlist their help. Under current tax law, you may pay for someone’s medical expenses without having that amount be considered a taxable gift or income to the recipient. If you are comfortable with a family member paying your provider directly, it’s a way to efficiently allow for a “gift” for the future – in more ways than one!
4-Consider factors beyond the obvious.
The egg freezing process is an important way to plan for your future. However, there may also be hidden costs. For example, will the egg freezing process require you to engage in a higher level of self-care? Often we are unaware of the impact hormones and other necessary “ingredients” in the process will impact us. As you save for the egg freezing expenses, also consider saving for a self-care component to the process that will allow you to have more wiggle room (i.e., take-out food, a massage, supplements or other nutrition-related items while the process is occurring).
Once you’ve saved enough to pay for the freezing and storage costs themselves, next look to your own time horizon. Do you know that you’d like to become pregnant within the next few years? If so, begin to examine what expenses are related to becoming pregnant and having a child. If you’ve already gotten into the habit of regular savings for this goal, continue beyond freezing and look to items like supplemental income during maternity leave (if applicable), healthcare costs beyond covered delivery expenses, clothes and nursery furniture.
5-Reevaluate your current budget.
One of the easiest ways to “find” money is to evaluate your current financial situation. Often we spend so much time focusing on earning the money and attending to personal and family matters that we forget to care for our financial wellbeing. I’m guilty of finding time to go to the gym or get a manicure, yet I often am unable (or unwilling!) to find the time to review my current financial picture. Schedule time to go over your budget and your balance sheet.
If freezing your eggs is a big priority, it may need to take precedence over dinners out, travel or other items that are crowding the spending space in your life. This is a highly personal area, and it’s important to start with awareness. Examine what you’re spending your money on, and try (without judgment!) to find areas that really don’t serve you. For example, my Amazon Prime addiction could easily be replaced with something more meaningful to me.
Start with an inventory of what you’re currently spending (include annual expenses as well, such as property taxes), then look to areas where you may be able to cut back in order to save more.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and in no way constitutes financial advice. Always consult with your financial planner and tax experts for personal advice. This information is not intended as authoritative guidance or tax or legal advice. You should consult with your attorney or tax advisor for guidance on your specific situation.
Emily Boothroyd, JD, CFP®, CDFA™, is a Private Wealth Advisor with Price Financial Group. She provides comprehensive financial, retirement and wealth management services to her clients, focusing also on complex estate planning matters for higher net worth families. Having earned her CDFA designation in 2013, Emily works with clients before, during and after their divorce and separation proceedings to get clarity on their financial pictures and to move forward in an organized, financially optimal way.
Having been a guest speaker with organizations like Dress for Success and Workplace, Emily is passionate about demystifying the financial planning process and making it accessible for everyone. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Fiscal Times online, Investopedia and previously wrote for Daily Worth and Mommy Nearest.