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24 years old and Want Too Much
Old 11-15-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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24 years old and Want Too Much

Hello everyone. I've been lurking on the boards for the past few weeks and have decided to introduce myself and get some advice. I'm 24 years old and currently a graduate student. My husband is 26 years old and a teacher. We both have been very careful with our finances in our life so far. In our first year of marriage we have saved almost $30,000 (around 40-50% of our income). Though I'm very proud of our progress thus far, I realize that most of this money will go away quickly as we begin the house and kids faze of life.

How do I get to have kids and a house while also retiring early? What age should I aim for when I strive to retire early?

I realize that I'm still in school and am not earning up to my potential, but it just feels like our COL will just balloon in the next few years. Please advise.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:16 PM   #2
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Are you sure you want kids?
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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DH is sure he wants kids, and I'm sure I want him. He is willing to be the primary caregiver taking on the "double duty" load that many working mothers currently carry. I swing between wanting kids and not really caring less either way. We are still negotiating if kids means 1 or 2.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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We'll you still have a lot of livin' and stuff in front of you. At this stage I would try to find a career that you like, or at least don't hate, that pays a decent wage.

Per the retirement thing, the real lesson is that to have more later you have to give up some present stuff now. get in the habit of saving. You won't regret it. Blah Blah Blah !

While your friends go get those shiny new imported cars and those big (and bigger) houses, Just keep the goal in mind. Don't get caught up in the Rat race/Affluenza/keeping up with the Jones/etc. etc. let your friends make fun of you. You'll have the last laugh and will laugh best.

Things don't make you happy. But savings in the bank will increase your satisfaction. debt does the opposite.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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Are you sure you want kids?
I think we need a new thread: Kids - Rent or Own?
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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How do I get to have kids and a house while also retiring early? What age should I aim for when I strive to retire early?
Kids don't have to cost THAT much. They don't need 100 outfits and every new toy. Don't buy more house than you need. I think a good age to strive for for FIRE would be the age at which your husband is eligible for his teacher pension unless you will also be getting a pension and you get it first.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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As many, if not more, people with kids ER as those without among people I know--they can cost a lot but they don't have to be the defining factor. If you already have $30K socked away while living on one salary (amazing! Congrats!), you will likely continue to make good financial decisions in the future,
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:29 PM   #8
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Just don't wait TOO long to have those kiddies, or it gets really, really expensive

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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Welcome to the board! Do you go by "Snshi"?

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How do I get to have kids and a house while also retiring early? What age should I aim for when I strive to retire early?
Hey, first off, heaven forbid you should find a job you enjoy. Then you won't have to worry about ER because you won't even feel as if you're working.

Otherwise the "FI" part is the same as everyone else-- you spend your money on the things that you feel bring you value and then project your savings/investment growth until it supports your expenses. You'll figure out pretty quickly where to draw the line between frugality and deprivation. You'll align your material values with your ER values, too.

Kids are a decision that's probably best made without regard to finances. They're worth a lot of money, too, of course, but I don't think anyone puts their "How many kids?" decision on a spreadsheet.

The nice thing about the "How many?" decision is that you'll know in the delivery room as soon as your family has hit the right size. (Unless you have twins or triplets-- then you'll know when you've overshot the mark.) Again it's totally an emotional decision and a highly individual one. Judging for myself and most of my friends, parenthood has made us better people. For some of my friends, they made the right decision to not have kids. However IMO a few of my friends have no business procreating, let alone parenting.

Kids are still compatible with ER. The thing that kids are incompatible with is "sleep". Both theirs and yours.

We raised our kid on Goodwill & garage sales instead of Toys 'R' Us and Land's End. Houses are the same way... if they're valuable to you then you'll find yourself spending lots of time researching schools & neighborhoods and going to open houses, and eventually a bargain or two will pop up. If you're busy with other things right now, I think I can confidently predict that the real estate market isn't going to run away from anyone for a few more years.

There's lots of scary "journalism" out there about the expenses of raising kids and buying houses. If you're not already reading the Dollar Stretcher (Stretcher.com) then you might want to subscribe to their weekly newsletter.
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:39 PM   #10
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The nice thing about the "How many?" decision is that you'll know in the delivery room as soon as your family has hit the right size.
So, that is, don't think, just proliferate until you're too tired to go on.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #11
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Now that we've discussed kids to death...

Are you SURE you want a house?

May we ask why?

(see the rent vs. buy threads, and all the threads on the cost of repairing broken houses)

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Old 11-15-2010, 06:27 PM   #12
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...I realize that I'm still in school and am not earning up to my potential...
first, welcome. second, don't get caught up in this. sometimes i think it may be better to have a lower paying job that you enjoy. LBYM. have the kids. save as much as you can. educate yourself. invest wisely. smell the roses. let the chips fall where they may. there's nothing more you can do.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:53 PM   #13
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Try to think in terms of the next 30 years. That is enough time to finish school, start and enjoy your career, have kids and get them through school and married. During that 30 years, contribute the maximum to your retirement plans, buy good quality products and keep them instead of constantly replacing lower quality products, buy a house based on location, location, location, avoid the temptation to buy expensive cars, and in general live below your means. Before you know it you will be in your 50s and you can retire. Enjoy the journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snshijuptr View Post
Hello everyone. I've been lurking on the boards for the past few weeks and have decided to introduce myself and get some advice. I'm 24 years old and currently a graduate student. My husband is 26 years old and a teacher. We both have been very careful with our finances in our life so far. In our first year of marriage we have saved almost $30,000 (around 40-50% of our income). Though I'm very proud of our progress thus far, I realize that most of this money will go away quickly as we begin the house and kids faze of life.

How do I get to have kids and a house while also retiring early? What age should I aim for when I strive to retire early?

I realize that I'm still in school and am not earning up to my potential, but it just feels like our COL will just balloon in the next few years. Please advise.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:10 PM   #14
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first, welcome. second, don't get caught up in this. sometimes i think it may be better to have a lower paying job that you enjoy. LBYM. have the kids. save as much as you can. educate yourself. invest wisely. smell the roses. let the chips fall where they may. there's nothing more you can do.
That's about the best distilled advice I've seen so far. There's lots to consider, but, telling you about it is like someone telling you about college before you go yourself. You can think about it, plan, read and ask questions. But, at the end of the day, random dumb luck is still a factor.

We got the house first, adjusted, then had kids. First one was pretty easy (2:1 parent to kid ratio). The second one is three times as much work, to me. And, I think our kids are pretty darn good, maybe slightly more needy/spoiled than other kids. But, it's tough to tell the two year old to get his own damn cookies if he wants one more. My point is, I think a move with small kids would be difficult, but you can always give 'em to a grandparent/friend for moving day(s), assuming you have that option. Nobody told me how much damn work they are, though. Maybe they did and it didn't sink in. I'm generally kinda lazy/selfish.

We continued to save more after we had kids due to promotions, raises, etc., and less weekend "nights out", more nights home with new rugrat. We didn't use our Roth or IRAs to pay for a house.

Read some threads around here, and do what you think you should.

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Old 11-15-2010, 07:10 PM   #15
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And avoid AMERIPRISE and other such financial advisors

Seriously though, congratulations on your amazing one year savings!

Keep your investments simple but effective (I really like index funds), understand asset allocation and save, save, save!

and don't worry about kids holding you back, you are in control of your finances.

I have a former co-worker who bought his first house a couple of years before kids. He and his wife have lived in the same house for 25 years, had two daughters and is now putting both daughters through college. And he retired TWO YEARS AGO! He has no pension and was only 50 when he retired so LBYM absolutely works.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:22 PM   #16
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So, that is, don't think, just proliferate until you're too tired to go on.
If that's a joke then I'm not seeing the humor.

If you have a contribution to make then I'll read it. But if you're going to put words in my mouth restate my comments to cast aspersions on my opinions then please find something else to contribute to.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:40 AM   #17
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smell the roses. let the chips fall where they may. there's nothing more you can do.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:55 AM   #18
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How do I get to have kids and a house while also retiring early? What age should I aim for when I strive to retire early?
Here's how:

Have your friends and family have their kids about 1 year before you do. That way, you get all the hand-me-down baby stuff for free. You get all the clothes, toys, books, and other junk that your friends' and relatives' kids outgrow each year.

Do not buy into the "I'll do anything for my kids" mentality. They do not need private schooling. They do not need the latest electronics. They do not need winter coats. They do not need new shoes. Etc.

Basically, kids should cost you virtually nothing.

You should strive to retire early at age 40. That way, when you retire early at age 50, you will have had 10 years of practice already under your belt.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #19
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Here's how:

Have your friends and family have their kids about 1 year before you do. That way, you get all the hand-me-down baby stuff for free. You get all the clothes, toys, books, and other junk that your friends' and relatives' kids outgrow each year.

Do not buy into the "I'll do anything for my kids" mentality. They do not need private schooling. They do not need the latest electronics. They do not need winter coats. They do not need new shoes. Etc.

Basically, kids should cost you virtually nothing.

You should strive to retire early at age 40. That way, when you retire early at age 50, you will have had 10 years of practice already under your belt.
This is great advice although it probably wasn't entirely serious. We are doing this with our kids who are 1 and 3 yrs old (we didn't have our friends and family have kids 1 year before us, but there are enough out there without our influence). Our kids have way too much stuff already and we've paid for very little (diaper and wipes are the only regular increase in expenses, the activities, food and other stuff nets to our benefit because we do less on the weekends, travel less, etc.).

We were given a $1,200 double jogging stroller that had been used twice!! Who in their right mind needs to spend $1,200 on a jogging stroller? I think it is a common perception that if you buy your kids everything new you are being a good parent and doing what's best for them. I think it is the opposite and you are sending them the wrong message.

You can raise kids frugally to save money and teach them the right lessons - if fact, I think would be hard to do only one because they go hand in hand.
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:19 PM   #20
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Lots of good advice has already been given, as for kids, I've got two and was still able to retire near Toronto Canada in my 40's. As it stand now I can't imagine being without kids (didn't cost us much) since they've help me become who I am now, but that's for another topic.

The way I see it....it's all about priorities.
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