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Old 07-05-2017, 07:56 AM   #1
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Children

Wide open subject...
Thoughts, beliefs, philosophies, and anything you can think of that you consider a big part of your life
Maybe whether having children has any effect on early retirement and anything else that you'd care to share.

Possibles:
total cost to raise a child
effect of having child(ren) on your profession
if you had it to do over again
relationships as they grow older
the "worry" factor: before, now, in the future
as it affect(s)(ed) your social life
effect on: travel, hobbies, interests
no children... what did you miss
effect on your contribution to society
military
time spent with them after they left the nest

Instead of turning this into a questionnaire, to answer talking points, you might want to give your own take on how children or lack of children has affected your life.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Instead of turning this into a questionnaire, to answer talking points, you might want to give your own take on how children or lack of children has affected your life.
Thus opening a new front in the "Kids/No Kids" war. No thank you.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:06 AM   #3
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Answering my own question...
When we were married in 1958, having children was normal... the thought of not having children was a non-starter. Two of our closest friends married, became professionals (doctor, CEO) no children, independently wealthy at age 30. A different world.
Not so today. Wonder what the birth rate might be in another 10 years?

No regrets, and wouldn't have changed anything, but wonder what our financial situation would have been today, without having four sons.

Food for thought and for memories.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:15 AM   #4
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We certainly would have been financially better off at an earlier age with out children. As it was, we were married almost 8 years before they came along.
Our kids have provided us with the greatest feeling of love and contentment, but also the most horrific fear of loss and grief with life threatening issues.
It is not an easy job to raise kids.
The best part is if you are blessed with grandkids!
But honestly, if I had to do it over again, I really would put a lot of thought into it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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In my 20's I was waiting to get that "i want a baby" feeling. Never got it. DH was of same thought.

When he got his snipping done in our late 30's, FIL didn't try to stop him, but did share how great it was having kids, especially the relationship as we became adults, etc. But we also knew that ship had already sailed. We'd be pushing 60 before they got out of the house at that point, very different than our parents who had their kids before 30.

I have a wonderful niece and nephew close by. I adore them, in 1 hour increments about once a week!
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:09 AM   #6
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Don't at all regret having three kids, and looking forward to one or more grandkids at some point, I think.

BUT, no doubt that from a financial standpoint, it was a massive hit--compounded by private schooling all the way, beginning with early Montessori. Having one spouse go to SAHP with half-time academic job for 15 years compounded it.

Probably cost us 5-10 years of extra work--assuming everything else had been held constant (unlikely). Was a fun ride though.

Is interesting watching our sons and their spouses considering the question. (Like us, in each case, the female has the more high powered job trajectory--despite the guys having solid+ career potential. Don't know how that will impact the discussions.)
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:13 AM   #7
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Never had any interest in kids. Being childfree is a big reason I was able to ER nearly 9 years ago. My life would be awful if I had kids. I have one nephew who lives with my brother and his wife about 200 miles away. I see him once a year at most. We have little, if anything to talk about. He is 13 years old.


I get my local "kid fix" from some volunteer work I do in some area schools. That's enough for me.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:18 AM   #8
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My husband and I both had kids in our 30s. I think they are our best investments. But from financial point of view, they actually did help us and not hurting us. They helped us set goals and save money, otherwise we wouldn't know where to spend our money. That was not a tongue in cheek comment lol. Even though I spent lots of money on them like clothes, books, and vacation when they were younger, they always looked impeccable, even my MIL commented on that.

Now that they are older, they are much helpful to us as we age. This is why we like travel with them. One kid even said that the next time we go to our favorite restaurant, the Lobster, she will be the one who picks up the tab. Ha ha, it was music to my ears, my husband and I didn't expect that. I think overall, having kids was a blessing that I didn't expect. I didn't grow up having a big urge to have kids ever. But my husband and I were damn fertile. So I don't regret having kids.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:24 AM   #9
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. But we also knew that ship had already sailed. We'd be pushing 60 before they got out of the house at that point, very different than our parents who had their kids before 30.
I guess it has for you.

But at age 50, with my one and three year old sons present, I retired from my career engineering job to become a soccer dad, complete with minivan. It has been the best years of my life to be part of their day to day lives, with no career crap to lessen the experience. Only now, at age 67, do I even use the phrase that I'm retired, always called myself semi-retired (I do work for three months each year). Younger son is off to college next month.

And it has kept me young and involved in the community. Most folks I interact with regularly are 20 years junior
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:56 AM   #10
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Reliable birth control is a fairly recent development so having children (absent some physical problem) is now almost always a choice, not a potential result every time a couple has sex. So in our circle, most of the people with kids wanted them.

As we get older, I see less and less differences between our friends with kids and those without them. Children are not inexpensive but I do believe until fairly recently (like with choosing to have kids), married men with families were perceived as more upstanding and responsible employees and received more promotions, raises, etc. DH's megacorp, for example, used to give $1K bonuses to employees who got married (which were mostly men) and another bonus when a child was born. (I think those days are long gone.)

But for whatever reason, our friends without kids did not retire any earlier than our friends with kids have, and have not lived much different lifestyles (except for the paying for college and weddings thing ). I don't think either group regrets their choices.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:01 AM   #11
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I never wanted children of my own, and am grateful that I never had them. I just don't have the maternal gene, so it would not have been fair to them and I believe I would have been unhappy. My sister also had no children and never wanted any.

My DH (we have been married for 10 years) never wanted or had children, and his brother was the same. So there are no children in this family whatsoever. It's lovely.
None of us like drama. Ever.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:38 AM   #12
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Kids & grand kids are priceless, If I had to choose I would rather give up retirement
and go back to work than not have them in my life.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:50 AM   #13
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. We'd be pushing 60 before they got out of the house at that point, very different than our parents who had their kids before 30!

I'll be 63 this month and my youngest (of 2) will be starting college in a little over a month. Sure I'd have retired earlier but with likely way less. I do feel a bit trapped, I love to have moved to a warmer climate but all in I feel blessed.

There's s a twenty something drug addict (I hope x) down the block that forced the family to buy a safe to lock up their valuables. The kid got hooked on painkillers... things sometimes can go horribly wrong and parents feel every pain.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:54 AM   #14
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Nothing like an open ended question to start the day.

Two children (daughters), one still living, her wedding next April. I'm done then, unless things go off the rails.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:58 AM   #15
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I'll add another perspective:

My son and DIL told us some time back that they didn't want any children. My wife, right off the top of her head, told them: no grandkids (by your choice) = no financial inheritance...if you deprive us of that joy, then you cannot partake of what we've earned and saved...we'll spend it finding our own joy.

Can't say I fault her for that line of thinking.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:42 AM   #16
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My husband and I both had kids in our 30s. I think they are our best investments. But from financial point of view, they actually did help us and not hurting us. They helped us set goals and save money, otherwise we wouldn't know where to spend our money.
+1

We had our kids from our late 20s to mid-30s, and it helped us with our financial objectives and our spending and saving disciplines. It also helped that DW and I both grew up in families where wearing/using "hand-me-down" clothing/sports equipment is nothing to be ashamed of .
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:58 AM   #17
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I'll add another perspective:

My son and DIL told us some time back that they didn't want any children. My wife, right off the top of her head, told them: no grandkids (by your choice) = no financial inheritance...if you deprive us of that joy, then you cannot partake of what we've earned and saved...we'll spend it finding our own joy.

Can't say I fault her for that line of thinking.
And how did your son and DIL react when you told them you were disinheriting them because they chose not to procreate? I know if my dad told me he was disinheriting me because I was CF I probably wouldn't speak to him again for being so mean.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:11 PM   #18
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Kids are hard. Kids are awesome. Kids are also expensive, but to me have been totally worth it. My advice on the matter is have them if you feel called/compelled, but not if you don't. Then work out the finances based on that rather than the other way around. For myself, I always knew I wanted to be a mother, and I made life choices based on that. The financial decisions followed from that, as the money had to support the life we wanted. It made the prioritizing easier for us that way. YMMV of course.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:12 PM   #19
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Had one and only son when I was 28 and DW was 25. Wife was a stay at home mother until son went into church school at which time DW volunteered at the same school. Son went off to a church affiliated boarding academy for HS, got a scholarship and then off to college and graduated with BS in business marketing. Son got married when he was 27 and now we have two beautiful grandchildren ages 9 and 11. My son is successful so far and owner of two businesses.

No regrets and retired when I was 54 and could have probably gone much sooner if I hadn't had my son.

I think in retrospect after having our son our priorities shifted to make sure he was educated and got a good start in life. Tried to instill a good work ethic by making sure he worked summer jobs during his time in school and college. He did everything from life guard, camp counselor, factory work, worked for American Van Lines one summer and a few more jobs as well. I can honestly say he didn't give us a bit of serious trouble and feel very fortunate in that regard.

If I had it to do over again I don't know if I would change a thing. Compared to many other families I feel blessed with my situation.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:21 PM   #20
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Pacergal: I 100% feel like you do about having kids. None of my 3 kids want kids and I am fine with that. It is a big decision and worry for your entire life. I would never disinherit kids because of their decision.
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