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How many children?
Old 09-16-2018, 02:18 PM   #1
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How many children?

Not a poll,but a subject for discussion about the effect of having children on personal finances.

The number of children per family has steadily decreased since 1976... at which time we had four boys.

Among Mothers, Family Size is Shrinking | Pew Research Center

What kind of effect do you see based on the number of children in the family, as regards the family financial situation?

I could find very little current information about the relationship of net worth in families based on the number of children. This older(almost incomprehensible) article (.pdf) was the nearest.

https://www.aeaweb.org/conference/20....php?pdfid=294

The current estimated cost to raise a child from birth to age 17,is $233,600.
(does not include college)

https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/pf/...015/index.html
.................................................. ..............................................
Other than taxes, what kind of pluses or minuses do you see that might affect net worth?

What does this mean for the future?
Do you see any societal effects, either in perception or action?
How does the number of children affect the likelihood of retiring early?

Your general thoughts... including "what might have been?"
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:27 PM   #2
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I have one beautiful, intelligent, creative, 40-year-old daughter and she was an only child and the light of my life in so many ways.

I didn't think that having and raising a kid cost much at all. As one wise old lady told me when I was pregnant, "It costs what you are willing to spend." We didn't have much back then so we couldn't (and didn't) spend much on her.

HOWEVER... I had never been around kids before having my own, and I discovered that raising a kid was a whole lot more work than I had thought it would be (light of my life or not). My late ex felt the same way. Nobody told us beforehand how much work it is to do a genuinely good job as a parent.

So, my late ex and I decided that unlike that TV show "Eight is Enough", for us, "One was Enough". We were glad we had her, but one was enough.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
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Two for us, and that was about right.

More than 2, and it was not just about money, but I would not have the time or energy to give them the attention that they need.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #4
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In my case if I adjust the cost of living (for my country) - Social security benefits of $324,000 (not including cola), it looks like a wash. Does not really matter to me as my two Son's love is priceless and would be enough for me to consider working for another year or two!
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:34 PM   #5
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My DD waited to have children until they could afford them, she was age 39 and 41.
Fewer children obviously means fewer oars in the water to pay my SS. I encourage everyone to have at least 4!
No, I am not a good babysitter��
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:39 PM   #6
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We had two kids, both boys. Almost a 3rd, but DW had a miscarriage early in the pregnancy.

For the sake of the planet - and humankind in general - falling birth rates seem a good thing. I'm of the opinion that there are too many humans trying to live simultaneously on the same rock.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:43 PM   #7
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I discovered that raising a kid was a whole lot more work than I had thought it would be (light of my life or not). Nobody told us beforehand how much work it is to do a genuinely good job as a parent.
D*mned straight! Not only is raising children a lot of work, but DW & I agree it was the most difficult challenge we've ever met. To top it off, babies aren't born with instruction manuals and everyone one of them is different.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:46 PM   #8
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Zero for me. I did greatly enjoy my interactions with my step-grandson, however. It was great to be able to spoil him for a few hours then hand him back to his mother.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:47 PM   #9
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No personal experience, but from the sidelines it looks like a darned hard job. And I'm sure we are further ahead financially because we chose not to step onto the field.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:57 PM   #10
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I think it is extraordinarily difficult to raise a child today. So many people telling parents what they are doing wrong and shaming them on social media. An absolute invasion of conflicting and contrary advice.

At the same time, local public education, strapped for cash, is passing onto the parents the costs of many school and after-school activities that were covered by the school system for past generations of students.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:28 PM   #11
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In developed countries sub-replacement fertility is any rate below approximately 2.1 children born per woman, but the threshold can be as high as 3.4 in some developing countries because of higher mortality rates. Taken globally, the total fertility rate at replacement was 2.33 children per woman in 2003.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility

Therefore, IMHO, the number of children should be a little below this level.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:00 PM   #12
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We had 3 boys which was perfect for us. After the kids were grown we divorced. I met a man with 2 boys aged 8 & 10. Mine were 18, 21 and 24. I needed a break so wasn’t very involved. However, when the youngest was 13 we took custody because his brother was beating him up. We are very close today.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:07 PM   #13
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Never had any interest in having kids, and I can't imagine how awful my life would have been if I had any. Being childfree (CF) is the biggest reason I was able to retire 10 years ago at age 45. It is the best and most important decision I have made in my entire life. No regrets whatsoever.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by scrabbler1 View Post
Never had any interest in having kids, and I can't imagine how awful my their life would have been if I had any........... .
FIFY.... I felt the same way, sad to see kids grow up unwanted.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:25 PM   #15
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Zero.

When younger I kind of kept waiting for the desire to kick in, but it never did. My sister always knew she wanted to be a mom, i never had that feeling. DH had the same ambiguity, and we discussed it very early on in dating so there were no surprises.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:26 PM   #16
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Both of us are from a family of four, so we had two kids as well.

Creepily enough, they ended up spaced out the same in age as we are from our respective siblings, but with no conscious planning on our part.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:44 PM   #17
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My husband and I didn’t worry about having kids, not regarding the cost of raising them. We planned 4, but reality set in and only had 2 and possible a miscarriage in between. So glad we had kids, money was never a problem, and we did spend boatloads on them. They turned out as they said themselves, fully functioning adults thanks to my husband, Best dad ever as they wrote every year in their Father’s Day card. Their love is unbeaten. We still managed to retired reasonably early, so not to worry for all those young adults out there. Kids are not a problem ever.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:21 PM   #18
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For some of us the question "How many kids do you have " is painful and hard to answer . I had two children but my son died at 32 so when people ask me that I always say two but only one still living .
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:50 PM   #19
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0. We're DINKs. We focused on our careers early. Then when it got close to the make or break point regarding probability of bearing healthy children/healthy mother (35-40), we were not passionate about raising kids. You have to "want it" and not just do it because it is what society expects. Plus, the rest of world is doing much more to cover the loss of our reproductivity: World Population Clock: 7.6 Billion People (2018) - Worldometers
No regrets at all. We are very happy with each other and our 2 labs. I'm certain we would not be retiring early if we had children based on the financial cost our friends endure. That $233,600 will compound greatly over 17 years of investment. Plus I know the costs don't end at age 17. Having a college education is critical to success in today's society IMO, and it is very hard to obtain one these days without help from Mom and Dad; I have lots of co-workers dealing with college-aged kids right now.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:57 PM   #20
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One for us it would of been a blessing if we could of had one more. We took what was given to us and what a joy and an experience in life he has been.
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