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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-09-2005, 01:15 PM   #21
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

No question it is easier to RE without kids. You see it in the postings here, and it's just common sense. There are many people here with no kids, while I think that Farmer Ed is the only one who's said that he had four, and he apparently had an extreemly lucrative consulting practice.

I've estimated that each of my children have delayed my FI by a little over 2 years, and if I had no children I would likely be in a position to retire now. This is mostly because I plan on paying for their college, but my wife not working and buying a larger house are a big factor as well. This is offset by some scale economies, and the fact that I have a good income.

As I have mentioned before, my kids are my backup retirement plan. It's the old-fasioned social security. When the current system collapses you childless geezers will be on your own, while my kids will (though generous application of guilt) support me in lavish style!

For a dissenting view on the financial impact of children you can check out Scott Burns (registration required): http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....9f719ad2.html

His basic point is that kids lower your standard of living enough so that when you reitre you're used to living on less.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-09-2005, 02:17 PM   #22
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by bongo2
As I have mentioned before, my kids are my backup retirement plan. It's the old-fasioned social security. When the current system collapses you childless geezers will be on your own, while my kids will (though generous application of guilt) support me in lavish style!
Hey, that is my back-up retirement plan too! If worse comes to worst, I'll know that there will always be family there for me to rely on.

I think kids change spending trends in a family. They don't necessarily have to increase spending to a great extent. With kids, you may not have a desire (or ability) to take lavish extended vacations in some far off corner of the world.

We have been going out to eat less since our little one was born. We find we are content spending more time at home. With less free time, we don't have enough time to wonder what we should buy next (or to actually buy it). Of course our grocery/Walmart expenses have increased, along with health insurance. But other expenses (entertainment, dining out, cable, and taxes) have decreased. Different expenses, not necessarily more expenses. Maybe that is the "lower standard of living" we are experiencing?
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-09-2005, 03:59 PM   #23
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by bongo2

As I have mentioned before, my kids are my backup retirement plan.* It's the old-fasioned social security.* When the current system collapses you childless geezers will be on your own, while my kids will (though generous application of guilt) support me in lavish style!
I use to be concerned about that seeing that I was unable to have children but then someone made the comment to me about all the elderly who's kids park them in a home then never visit. Don't count on your kids to be your backup plan, they just might have plans of their own.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-09-2005, 05:53 PM   #24
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Get married? Have kids? Not for me!

I see marriage simply as a tool for the wife/husband to ruin your financial future. Most everyone or this board probably knows at least one person that has had it happen to. My best friend is going through this right now.

Why not just wear a ring and live life together? Seems just like being married to me except in the eyes of Uncle Sam your not.

Kids? Huh? Crazy?! Must be.... I suppose day care is cheap! :

After one catches on FIRE they should htink about kids, not before!
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-09-2005, 11:25 PM   #25
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by trixs
Get married? Have kids? Not for me!*

I see marriage simply as a tool for the wife/husband to ruin your financial future. Most everyone or this board probably knows at least one person that has had it happen to.* My best friend is going through this right now.

Why not just wear a ring and live life together?* Seems just like being married to me except in the eyes of Uncle Sam your not.

Kids? Huh? Crazy?! Must be.... I suppose day care is cheap!* :

After one catches on FIRE they should htink about kids, not before!
It's true that spouses can be highly problematical, but kids are great.

ha
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 12:44 PM   #26
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
I use to be concerned about that seeing that I was unable to have children but then someone made the comment to me about all the elderly who's kids park them in a home then never visit.* Don't count on your kids to be your backup plan, they just might have plans of their own.
My grandmother used to give me that "but if you don't have kids who will take care of you in your old age" line. It didn't work.

It is another of those "do you feel lucky, punk?" deals. When I was working in the SSI program at Social Security I saw plenty of elderly people with well off kids who couldn't be bothered with them. Of course, it may be that they were really crappy parents and they did a good job of alienating their children. I've seen some people who were parents who had a view of their parenting skills and the esteem they were held in by their kids that appeared to be wildly different from the reality of the situation.

I think your best bet is to not plan on anyone else helping out. Then if they do, it is just extra icing on your retirement cake.

As to the topic, if you look at the numbers it seems there is no way that children can do anything but be a negative factor in FIRE. You've got $X going out for them, and you are unlikely to even break even on that with the tax deductions. I doubt that many children generate a positive cash flow to their families. There may be an intangible ROI, but that doesn't seem likely to be counted in one's FIRE portfolio.

This doesn't mean that people should be encouraged to not have children because of that - everyone has their priorities. Children were pretty much a negative number on our priority list, and we've got no regrets about having avoided them. If someone else wants to have them, it is no skin off my nose as long as they aren't bothering me. Parents who let their little monsters loose on an unsuspecting public are a different topic that I won't go into at this time.

For every "oooh, I love my child and have no regrets" story I bet I can find an offsetting "oooh, I hate my child and I was a fool to have had him/her". Isn't that just the way life is?

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 01:49 PM   #27
 
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by The Other Michael

For every "oooh, I love my child and have no regrets" story I bet I can* find an offsetting "oooh, I hate my child and I was a fool to have had him/her".* Isn't that just the way life is?

cheers,
Michael
Attitudes toward children might be a good litmus test for parents (and others) who are louts.

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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:15 PM   #28
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Michael

For every "oooh, I love my child and have no regrets" story I bet I can* find an offsetting "oooh, I hate my child and I was a fool to have had him/her".* Isn't that just the way life is?
You know, I'm actually pretty strongly set against having kids, but I have to admit I've never met anyone who actually has kids who expressed anything less than complete joy about being a parent.* Every time the subject of kids has come up, people who have them seem like they really, genuinely feel like their lives are vastly better thanks to the kids.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:27 PM   #29
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
You know, I'm actually pretty strongly set against having kids, but I have to admit I've never met anyone who actually has kids who expressed anything less than complete joy about being a parent. Every time the subject of kids has come up, people who have them seem like they really, genuinely feel like their lives are vastly better thanks to the kids.
I strongly approve of people who do not want kids not having them. Its good for everyone. That said my boys (and my grand daughter) are more precious than gold. They are a major part of why I do the work and financial games that I do. I would suggest for everyone, but at least for me life is not about finances and physical assets.

"where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:38 PM   #30
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
You know, I'm actually pretty strongly set against having kids, but I have to admit I've never met anyone who actually has kids who expressed anything less than complete joy about being a parent.* Every time the subject of kids has come up, people who have them seem like they really, genuinely feel like their lives are vastly better thanks to the kids.
I wish this were true of all parents but it is not. There are many "parents" out there that never intended to be a parent but things happened and now they are. Some guys run away from this and leave the women with the whole burden to bear while others do the right thing but in the long run the relationship ends in divorce. The kids are the ones that suffer the most. It is really a shame that for many it is far to easy to make a child. There are too many forgotten or neglected kids out there.

If kids could be made from only loving dedicated parents imagine the possibilities.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:41 PM   #31
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by ProfHaroldHill
Attitudes toward children might be a good litmus test for parents (and others) who are louts.

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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:46 PM   #32
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

W.C. Fields - "Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad !"

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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 02:59 PM   #33
 
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
W.C. Fields - "Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad !"
This is a good quote, given the topic of the discussion.

Joking aide, whether to have kids or not has to be a very personal decision. However, a person's attutude toward kids in general is not. Any man who is not willing to do the best he can to ensure the welfare of children is a blighter and a sissy (to use a very old-fashioned word).

HH
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 03:21 PM   #34
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor
I have always used attitudes towards dogs as an indicator of character,
especially those who mistreat them.
I am pretty much a pacifist, but when I hear of or see someone mistreat an animal, it all I can do to restrain myself from killing them with a shovel.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 04:51 PM   #35
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfHaroldHill
Attitudes toward children might be a good litmus test for parents (and others) who are louts.
Coming as that does after a couple of the folks here mentioned that they had no desire to have children, that could easily be taken as being meant as an insult towards or snide comment about other members of this forum.

Since in your short tenure here I've seen you make other posts with similar (may I be so bold as to label them) loutish comments, I'd urge you to consider how your statements come across. If it isn't your intention to fall into a category (lout) that you seem to hold in low regard, then a bit of additional review before hitting the "post" button might be in order.

On the other hand, if that isn't a concern for you, you may as well just come out and tell us up front so people don't have to try and guess your intentions.

cheers,
Michael
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 05:21 PM   #36
 
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Hi. The Other Michael. An Internet forum is a really interesting creature. This one especially so.

A significant number of the regular posters here have a lot to offer in the way of thoughtful, useful insight. A roughly equal number are . . . well . . . opinionated, overconfident, selfish, and ignorant. Ignorant in a general sense, not taking into account the technical knowledge of specialists. Ignorant in a deeply philosophical sense.

On this forum, a lot of good advice flows about FI. Much of the ER stuff, however, is really stupid. People who don't want kids because they cost too much, people who have kids and want to put them to work at an early age, people who want to disinherit their kids. People who hate their jobs. People who have trouble with their spouses or their patrents. People who pull themselves and their families down into poverty because they lack the psychological capital needed to function in the workplace. Losers.

Especially, I don't like the anti-kid crowd. I don't like the anti-elderly crowd either. And I don't like the me-first-and-only faction.

All told, however, this is just an Internet forum. Anyone who feels like skipping over any of my posts, or anything posted by anyone else, may simply do so (you are included in this category).

You know what? All told, fooling around here isn't worth the time it takes.

So, as someone else recently said:

Goodnight, and good luck!

HH
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 05:50 PM   #37
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

Rodney King - "Can't we all just get along ?"

ProfHH:

Please stick around, the more the merrier. But tread lightly on others.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 05:55 PM   #38
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by ProfHaroldHill
Much of the ER stuff, however, is really stupid. People who don't want kids because they cost too much, people who have kids and want to put them to work at an early age, people who want to disinherit their kids. People who hate their jobs. People who have trouble with their spouses or their patrents. People who pull themselves and their families down into poverty because they lack the psychological capital needed to function in the workplace. Losers.
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 09:17 PM   #39
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

a number of people who know about these things say that we've far surpassed the earth's carrying capacity of around 2 billion (we're at 6 now and heading toward 10). But I suppose the topic of overpopulation is taboo, as per usual.

Or maybe it's just because I'm from a dysfunctional family? (ha)
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?
Old 11-10-2005, 09:42 PM   #40
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Re: Easier to FIRE with no kids?

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Originally Posted by pbrane
a number of people who know about these things say that we've far surpassed the earth's carrying capacity of around 2 billion (we're at 6 now and heading toward 10). But I suppose the topic of overpopulation is taboo, as per usual.

Or maybe it's just because I'm from a dysfunctional family? (ha)
I don't think having 1 or 2 kids per family is driving up the population.
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