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Old 07-16-2015, 02:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Perhaps it is strange that my first thought was NOT how much it takes to birth, house, feed, clothe, school, etc. etc. kids from birth to 18 (or 22?). Rather I thought of kid's impact on SOME parents after kids would (otherwise) supposedly be GONE. IOW the effect of adult(?) kids when mom and dad DO actually reach the time to retire.

...
Doesn't seem strange to me. It's exactly where my mind went. The examples later in your post mirror the situations of my brother and my sister with their kids right now. My ex-boss says her daughter is her Lexus.

Never had kids and never wanted them. If after 18, or 22, or even later years of "investment" the kid started to give me grief I'm afraid I'd just drown them or something.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:43 PM   #22
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DW and I have no kids. We met and married a little later in life (40's) and did not have kids. There were a few years where we had a hard time with that decision, but then the last couple of years we have embraced the situation and are enjoying the financial freedom that come with no children. Now it's just a case of what charity we set up our trusts for when we go...
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:15 PM   #23
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You can't really blame the kids in these weird cases you have cited...well, you can, but they share the blame with their silly parents. The old folks must get some kind of kick out of being martyrs.

OTOH, friends of ours have a profoundly autistic son who will need care long after they are gone...so to ensure the estate is big enough, the father is still working at nearly 70 years of age.

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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
Perhaps it is strange that my first thought was NOT how much it takes to birth, house, feed, clothe, school, etc. etc. kids from birth to 18 (or 22?). Rather I thought of kid's impact on SOME parents after kids would (otherwise) supposedly be GONE. IOW the effect of adult(?) kids when mom and dad DO actually reach the time to retire.

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Old 07-16-2015, 08:11 PM   #24
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... we have provided each of our kids with either a house down-payment gift or business-starting gift in the range of $10K to $20K...

... It's true that we don't (yet) fly first class and our gifts certainly could have made that possible. But, in truth, we could still fly first class but choose not to...
Besides paying for my children college costs, thus allowing them to start work with no debts, I also gave my daughter the 20% down payment on her starter home. And to treat both children the same, I am giving my son the same money. And I am paying for a large part of my daughter's upcoming wedding.

I do not fly 1st class either. Would not having children allow me to? I am not sure. Right now, if I fly 1st class, I might need to cut back on other discretionary expenses. I have thought that I need a portfolio of $5M before I can splurge on 1st class without wincing, being as frugal as I am. Would I be at that level without the cost of raising my children? I don't think so.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:30 PM   #25
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My experience is different. When I was single without kids, I spent everything I earned. When I married and had kids, I developed a sense of responsibility. I looked at their cute faces and realized that I had to save money, have life insurance, save for their education, and save for my own retirement. They are the reason that I got my act together.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:06 AM   #26
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I do believe that there is a strong correlation between not having kids and being in a position to retire earlier than most. It seems to me that there is a much higher percentage of people without kids on this forum than there is on the overall population. I'm still working, in part, due to financial obligations with getting our youngest son off the payroll. He graduates from college next May and I'm planning to retire next June. The dates are somewhat coincidental, but if we had been DINK's, I'm pretty sure we would have FIRE'd years ago.


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Old 07-17-2015, 07:30 AM   #27
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I have three stepdaughters, all grown and married with children of their own. We paid child support, of course, 4 years of a state college, and then set aside $10k for each in a wedding fund that we allowed them to invade for education. (Two of them used it for masters degrees and one for a fifth year of college.) Had they chosen to live with us after college, we would have charged rent. We do contribute generously to 529 plans for the grandkids, but that and holiday gifts is the limit of our ongoing support. We were always clear with them about our approach to handling money, and some of it seemed to rub off. All 3 live in modest houses in affordable areas with good schools. DH's youngest, the princess in the family, once approached us with a request for $180 espadrilles for Easter. We absolutely roared with laughter. She smiled and said: "Well, it was worth a try," and that was the end of that.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:10 AM   #28
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I do believe that there is a strong correlation between not having kids and being in a position to retire earlier than most. It seems to me that there is a much higher percentage of people without kids on this forum than there is on the overall population. I'm still working, in part, due to financial obligations with getting our youngest son off the payroll. He graduates from college next May and I'm planning to retire next June. The dates are somewhat coincidental, but if we had been DINK's, I'm pretty sure we would have FIRE'd years ago.


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+1. As a single, childfree man, I consistently was able to save a large percentage of my income for what turned out to be a very early retirement 7 years ago at age 45. I don't buy the theory that someone while single only spends whatever he or she earns then somehow "magically" learns to be frugal and save more once s/he becomes a parent. That person always had the ability to be frugal and save a lot when s/he was single but freely chose not to.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:19 AM   #29
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Perhaps it is strange that my first thought was NOT how much it takes to birth, house, feed, clothe, school, etc. etc. kids from birth to 18 (or 22?). Rather I thought of kid's impact on SOME parents after kids would (otherwise) supposedly be GONE. IOW the effect of adult(?) kids when mom and dad DO actually reach the time to retire.

I know so many couples who have either NOT retired because of the needs of their adult children (including "needs" of the grand kids) or have retired and then been virtually bankrupted by the "needs" of their kids.

Just among our close friends: One couple sent their adult son to 1) welding school 2) two different undergraduate programs 3) graduate program 4) certification training for physical therapy. The kid was married with two children and in his early 30s before he EVER took a job beyond mowing lawns, etc. The couple eventually retired as virtual paupers. Don't know what happened to the kid as we have lost track of our friends. We could no longer spend evenings with them, listening to their continuing tales of woe. They never listened to our advice but they did ask us for money (a good way to kill a friendship.)

A current friend who w*rked with me at Megacorp retired very early (age 50) with a "package" which I was not eligible for at the time. That was 22 years ago. He is still bailing out (literally) his dope smoking son. He supplies son with cars so he can get to w*rk to meet the requirements of his release. Son recently got a DUI and had a firearm in the vehicle - and then resisted arrest. To save his son from a year in jail, friend paid for ankle bracelet/monitoring system and AGAIN got him a car so he could find a new job. Friend can barely feed himself and wife and keep his own car and house going. Friend's wife spends hundreds of dollars per year purchasing "gifts" for their daughter who is a professional with good salary. These folks have ruined their retirement because of the perceived "responsibility" toward their kids.

Another couple just retired at 62. At the end of the month, they eat whatever is left in the pantry (tuna helper, mac and cheese, canned foods, etc.). Their two daughters (about 30 and 35) consume most of the "spare" money and almost all of their time. The 35 yo is a professional, but "expects" mom and dad to drive 60 miles, one way, to baby sit so she and hubby can go out. 30 year old, still recovering from a destructive divorce expects mom and dad to keep her horse boarded and supply her with a farm truck and a car so that she can work her medial job but still ride her horse. The couple HAD to purchase a 5th wheel camper (and a big truck) so that the extended family could take vacations together or just go camp at the lake most week ends.

I could go on, but, full disclosure, we have provided each of our kids with either a house down-payment gift or business-starting gift in the range of $10K to $20K. The difference is that the gifts were in our plan and they do not materially affect our retirement. It's true that we don't (yet) fly first class and our gifts certainly could have made that possible. But, in truth, we could still fly first class but choose not to. Additionally, we give each kid at least $1k per year toward their Roth IRAs. ALSO in the FIRE plan.

Now returning you to our regularly scheduled discussion of those who have delayed retirement due to the costs of actually raising kids from birth to "adulthood." YMMV
Very sad stories. I've had good kids and grand kids....helped them and it hasn't hurt my retirement at all. I did work with a man....nice guy.....who had a son on drugs, son got in trouble with the law, man spent $$$$$ on lawyers, paid for them by embezzeling at work, got fired, son kept using and ended up in jail and man committed suicide.....why tell the story? If you have a kid that's screwed up, you have to make a choice....let the kid go or let him screw you and the entire family up....no amount of money will help....I'm lucky, because I have a great family and my health.....and I'm thankful.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:07 AM   #30
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+1. As a single, childfree man, I consistently was able to save a large percentage of my income for what turned out to be a very early retirement 7 years ago at age 45. I don't buy the theory that someone while single only spends whatever he or she earns then somehow "magically" learns to be frugal and save more once s/he becomes a parent. That person always had the ability to be frugal and save a lot when s/he was single but freely chose not to.
As a married woman with children I also don't buy that having kids means you "magically" are not frugal.

I think frugality is unrelated to child-rearing.

That said - I'm taking notes on LOL!'s post. Brilliant.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:26 AM   #31
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As a married woman with children I also don't buy that having kids means you "magically" are not frugal.

I think frugality is unrelated to child-rearing.

That said - I'm taking notes on LOL!'s post. Brilliant.
LOL must have bought and read the book: "How to Raise Children".
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:42 PM   #32
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LOL must have bought and read the book: "How to Raise Children".
where do I get this book? I think I'll need to read it...teen years are approaching fast in our household.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:29 PM   #33
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where do I get this book? I think I'll need to read it...teen years are approaching fast in our household.
I think you need "How to Raise Your Teenage Children Instead" !

Last time I looked for it was back ordered for 50 years..
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:29 AM   #34
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We've got 2 and we still managed to save a pile ... We are just careful with how we spend. That's not to say they don't cost they sure do - tuition oldest this year $25k.


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Old 07-19-2015, 07:28 AM   #35
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Maybe there is a "risk-neutral" effect going on.

As in when you have children parents tend to work harder and longer for roughly the same net savings effect.

It is also harder to save when one is single. I bet the DINK vs. parents distribution is very different. Likewise single parents vs. single no kids.

For sure I would think I'd work harder and more when I have a family that depends on me (and a worrying significant other prodding me into action).
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:29 AM   #36
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To blame one's retirement problems on having children is selfish. Of course having and raising children is expensive. You just need to budget it in. I've done fine while raising 3 kids. It's all about the choices my wife and I made.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #37
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As a married woman with children I also don't buy that having kids means you "magically" are not frugal.

I think frugality is unrelated to child-rearing.
I have no data source, but I'd bet that those with same income & kids have lower discretionary spending on average. It's not a magical thing, it's responsibility for others than yourself.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:55 PM   #38
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I do believe that there is a strong correlation between not having kids and being in a position to retire earlier than most. It seems to me that there is a much higher percentage of people without kids on this forum than there is on the overall population. I'm still working, in part, due to financial obligations with getting our youngest son off the payroll. He graduates from college next May and I'm planning to retire next June. The dates are somewhat coincidental, but if we had been DINK's, I'm pretty sure we would have FIRE'd years ago.


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+1
Did the news bulletin in the elevator state that kids create at least 10% more happiness !!


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Old 07-21-2015, 01:13 AM   #39
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Perhaps it is strange that my first thought was NOT how much it takes to birth, house, feed, clothe, school, etc. etc. kids from birth to 18 (or 22?). Rather I thought of kid's impact on SOME parents after kids would (otherwise) supposedly be GONE. IOW the effect of adult(?) kids when mom and dad DO actually reach the time to retire.

I know so many couples who have either NOT retired because of the needs of their adult children (including "needs" of the grand kids) or have retired and then been virtually bankrupted by the "needs" of their kids.

Just among our close friends: One couple sent their adult son to 1) welding school 2) two different undergraduate programs 3) graduate program 4) certification training for physical therapy. The kid was married with two children and in his early 30s before he EVER took a job beyond mowing lawns, etc. The couple eventually retired as virtual paupers. Don't know what happened to the kid as we have lost track of our friends. We could no longer spend evenings with them, listening to their continuing tales of woe. They never listened to our advice but they did ask us for money (a good way to kill a friendship.)

A current friend who w*rked with me at Megacorp retired very early (age 50) with a "package" which I was not eligible for at the time. That was 22 years ago. He is still bailing out (literally) his dope smoking son. He supplies son with cars so he can get to w*rk to meet the requirements of his release. Son recently got a DUI and had a firearm in the vehicle - and then resisted arrest. To save his son from a year in jail, friend paid for ankle bracelet/monitoring system and AGAIN got him a car so he could find a new job. Friend can barely feed himself and wife and keep his own car and house going. Friend's wife spends hundreds of dollars per year purchasing "gifts" for their daughter who is a professional with good salary. These folks have ruined their retirement because of the perceived "responsibility" toward their kids.

Another couple just retired at 62. At the end of the month, they eat whatever is left in the pantry (tuna helper, mac and cheese, canned foods, etc.). Their two daughters (about 30 and 35) consume most of the "spare" money and almost all of their time. The 35 yo is a professional, but "expects" mom and dad to drive 60 miles, one way, to baby sit so she and hubby can go out. 30 year old, still recovering from a destructive divorce expects mom and dad to keep her horse boarded and supply her with a farm truck and a car so that she can work her medial job but still ride her horse. The couple HAD to purchase a 5th wheel camper (and a big truck) so that the extended family could take vacations together or just go camp at the lake most week ends.

I could go on, but, full disclosure, we have provided each of our kids with either a house down-payment gift or business-starting gift in the range of $10K to $20K. The difference is that the gifts were in our plan and they do not materially affect our retirement. It's true that we don't (yet) fly first class and our gifts certainly could have made that possible. But, in truth, we could still fly first class but choose not to. Additionally, we give each kid at least $1k per year toward their Roth IRAs. ALSO in the FIRE plan.

Now returning you to our regularly scheduled discussion of those who have delayed retirement due to the costs of actually raising kids from birth to "adulthood." YMMV
You've described my wife in this post, I on the other hand am the 'hardass'. Unfortunately she spends enough for the both of us
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:08 AM   #40
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Just among our close friends: One couple sent their adult son to 1) welding school 2) two different undergraduate programs 3) graduate program 4) certification training for physical therapy. The kid was married with two children and in his early 30s before he EVER took a job beyond mowing lawns, etc. The couple eventually retired as virtual paupers. Don't know what happened to the kid as we have lost track of our friends. We could no longer spend evenings with them, listening to their continuing tales of woe. They never listened to our advice but they did ask us for money (a good way to kill a friendship.)

A current friend who w*rked with me at Megacorp retired very early (age 50) with a "package" which I was not eligible for at the time. That was 22 years ago. He is still bailing out (literally) his dope smoking son. He supplies son with cars so he can get to w*rk to meet the requirements of his release. Son recently got a DUI and had a firearm in the vehicle - and then resisted arrest. To save his son from a year in jail, friend paid for ankle bracelet/monitoring system and AGAIN got him a car so he could find a new job. Friend can barely feed himself and wife and keep his own car and house going. Friend's wife spends hundreds of dollars per year purchasing "gifts" for their daughter who is a professional with good salary. These folks have ruined their retirement because of the perceived "responsibility" toward their kids.

Another couple just retired at 62. At the end of the month, they eat whatever is left in the pantry (tuna helper, mac and cheese, canned foods, etc.). Their two daughters (about 30 and 35) consume most of the "spare" money and almost all of their time. The 35 yo is a professional, but "expects" mom and dad to drive 60 miles, one way, to baby sit so she and hubby can go out. 30 year old, still recovering from a destructive divorce expects mom and dad to keep her horse boarded and supply her with a farm truck and a car so that she can work her medial job but still ride her horse. The couple HAD to purchase a 5th wheel camper (and a big truck) so that the extended family could take vacations together or just go camp at the lake most week ends.
We've spent waaaay more helping relatives (not always children) after retirement than I can believe.

I never expected this. Surely, we wouldn't have kids who really needed help, and we'd be intelligent enough to put a cap on "leaning on mom and dad" requests. (The following details are somewhat modified to protect some privacy, but I think they give the flavor.)

But, it's far harder than I expected. In one case, it's my wife's brother -- a guy who works hard every day at a low wage job, but has had some unusually bad luck and made a couple bad decisions. She's been freer with the checkbook than I would have been, but frankly he's exactly the type of person who I'd like to help, at least a little, but somehow the dollars got too high. I think we're both on board with "we've done all we're going to do".

In another it's a child who was on the fast track to a high paying career when a latent mental illness showed up in grad school (think schizophrenia, but that's not the actual diagnosis). And then the occasional alcoholic drink turned into a substance abuse, DUI, and a mandatory program. So the kid kicked the alcohol habit, and now is an AA sponsor (big success there). Prescription drugs handled 80% of the symptoms for the illness. And she managed to tough it out in school and get the degree (.

But, employers with "good" jobs won't touch somebody with that history, even with the degree. She managed one on the margins, but it went away when the employer couldn't make it. We're still spending money there. Maybe we should push harder, maybe a little more stress would be a disaster.

I could go on. There are other cases with smaller dollar amounts. I never expected the number of (legitimate) serious medical problems in one small family. This stuff is supposed to happen to other families, not to mine.

In one case our help is mostly time, which I actually enjoy. But, I'd planned to enjoy some time Europe or Hawaii, too.

I bolded a few lines in the post above. None of them apply to us. The money we've spent on family came out of our "fun to spend" budget, not out of our "necessities" budget. The people we've helped don't own horses. Still, I was looking forward to the fun.

I guess the only point here is that sometimes life doesn't go according to plan, bad things really do happen to people who are close. It's very hard to say "no" you have enough to either help the family or fly to Hawaii, but you can't do both.
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