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Any Large Family / Late Starters out there?
Old 01-19-2008, 08:03 PM   #1
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Any Large Family / Late Starters out there?

I'm reaching the big 4-0 this year. Wife's a couple yrs behind.
Both in reasonably good health. Some longevity in families.

I work FT, wife works 1 day per week (funding her 401k).

4 kids ages 8/6/5/3. College 529 prepaid and savings plans in good shape.

Finished school and ensuing training 10y ago and been at my job since.

Been consistently saving 25%+ from the getgo.

Goal of being able to retire at 60, and working part time until 65-70. Does that meet the definition of early retirement? Would hope so after being in school/training until nearly 30 and having 4 kids.

Potential Age based timeline
-50: mortgage paid off
-50: eldest child graduates high school
-59: youngest graduates college
-60: able to retire
-60 to 70: kids start their families
-65 to 70: retire; potentially downsize home and move

Live in Virginia near WashDC (high living expenses), and will likely be here until retirement. Not sure where we want to retire.

Have run 2 retirement calculators (Firecalc, MoneyGuidePro) which seem to place us in decent shape to retire at 60-65. Looks like the biggest factors are:
1-age of retirement
2-savings while working
3-spending while retired
4-real returns

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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With so many kids and potential grandkids you may find that you like having a big house to entertain them in. So don't count on any equity from downsizing unless you're 100% sure that you don't need/want the extra space.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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With so many kids and potential grandkids you may find that you like having a big house to entertain them in. So don't count on any equity from downsizing unless you're 100% sure that you don't need/want the extra space.
Thanks. See your point. My dear wife is the one who's already pushing to downsize once the kids are gone
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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With so many kids and potential grandkids you may find that you like having a big house to entertain them in. So don't count on any equity from downsizing unless you're 100% sure that you don't need/want the extra space.
Don't sweat it. My parents had 6 kids and 8 grandkids. Your results may vary.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:58 AM   #5
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Factor into your equation the possibility of one or two of the kids not leaving the nest until well into their 30's,This scenario seems to be quite common these days.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:19 PM   #6
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Factor into your equation the possibility of one or two of the kids not leaving the nest until well into their 30's,This scenario seems to be quite common these days.
Not if you are smart and kick them out...

I can not believe how many parents lack the last bit of parenting skills to cut the cord when their 'kids' become ADULTS...

And how many take on the role of 'parent' when their kids are having kids and still want to party and not take care of them...
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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Factor into your equation the possibility of one or two of the kids not leaving the nest until well into their 30's,This scenario seems to be quite common these days.
I'll help them, but NONE of my kids is living with me when they graduate college...........
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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Factor into your equation the possibility of one or two of the kids not leaving the nest until well into their 30's,This scenario seems to be quite common these days.
Perhaps downsizing sends them a message
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by macdaddy View Post
With so many kids and potential grandkids you may find that you like having a big house to entertain them in. So don't count on any equity from downsizing unless you're 100% sure that you don't need/want the extra space.
Or downsize and rent hotel rooms for the kids/grandkids when they visit.

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Old 01-22-2008, 04:51 PM   #10
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Well I have 3 kids..1st born when I was 29...and I live in the DC area also. I have convinced myself 3 kids nowadays is equivalent to 5 kids 20 years ago, so I consider it 'sorta big'. DW is full time for 8 more yrs or so. I plan to work till 62 (10yrs) which does not qualify as ER....Im just sitting in auditing the "AP Class".

My oldest just came home from college with 4yr degree. If she stays past Grad school, I plan on charging her rent (don't tell DW). I don't want to downsize.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:53 AM   #11
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My kids came along a little late in life,i'm 60 and my kids are 18 and 13,oldest is in college and young one is second year high school.They can stay at home for as long as they want but will have to pay room and board once they are working.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:17 AM   #12
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I started late as well.

kids (twins) will be 12 this year. I am 51 and DH will be 61 this year. I woke up to the FIRE concept late as well. There is a plan, we will have to see how well it executes.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:38 PM   #13
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I think paying rent is a great idea. When i graduated from undergrad I got a position in NYC. My parents let me live with them for 10 months (paying rent) so I could save up more for deposit, rent and brokers fees and then not be broke after it all. It really helped me get off to a good start financially when I started working.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:56 PM   #14
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Podey, that's what we intend to do, let thtem live with us until they have built enough to get on their feet, then cut the cord...but no more than 6-12 months...but they will pay room and board if they live with us during that time. That said, we would probably just save it and use it to help them get on their feet.

When we built our McMansion, DW wanted it that large for the purpose stated above...to be able to entertain the grandkids (hopefully not before about 4-5 more years pass)...but with them in the big bonus room at the other end of the house.

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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tjhoo, there aren't many large families here for the obvious reason. It can be done. farmerEd is someone who doesn't post here very much any more, but pulled it off with 4 kids. This poll from a while ago asked how many kids everyone has: How many children. I'm a little suspicious of the 4-7 numbers becuase the first 7 posts were exactly one in each category.

Anyway, I'm in a similar situations to yours, so I can't give you advice from a "been there" perspective, but there is at least one person hoping to retire early with a house full of kids.

If you can increase savings as your income goes up you may be able to pull it off before 20 years. There may be some big incentives for you to have low income once your children are in college. There are a few threads here on financial aid and some reasonable (if confusing) advice on the rest of the internet.

Good luck.
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