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kids vs. retirement
Old 08-04-2008, 10:58 PM   #1
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kids vs. retirement

we got two lovely children whose constantly eat up lots of our time and income. i was just wonder how having 2 kids, 3 kids or 4 kids effects your planning on future retirement. i believe we might be able to retire around 55 but with 3 kids (meaning an additional of 4 more years of college, foods, cars, day care...) would easy add another 4 years of working life, vise versa with one kid we can retire in early 50's.

so, what's your number? what's the suggested number of kids to have? how much extra can you invest with just one kid? do you feel missed out by just having one child? does the extra loves from having 3,4 or more kids worth the extra 5-10 years of working life?

your thought, please.

enuff
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:23 PM   #2
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My wife and I had our kids early (4, one girl), my oldest just turned 19 and has moved out for school. My youngest is 9 and will be 19 by the time I hit 50. So, while the kiddies are expensive, I expect to have the house paid off and hopefully the last kid out by 50.
I expect them to pay for their own college via working, grants, scholarships or loans if necessary. Will I help them out a little, sure, but I am not footing the whole bill. I feel that if the kids have to earn it themselves they will appreciate it more and work harder, I know I did.
I manage to fully fund both traditional IRA's (to be converted to Roth in 2010) and 401(k). Will I be able to retire at 50? Probably not, but I am really looking to drop to part-time to keep bene's and relax a little. We will see how that pans out.

Now I just need to convince my daughter to elope when that time comes.....
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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your thought, please.
My thought is that nothing in life will ever surprise me after hanging around here long enough.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:32 PM   #4
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You should be able to save more if you send the kids back and ask for a full refund. If that's not possible, then maybe consider selling one or both of them? You could at least get rid of one of them, if they've made it this far then you probably don't need the backup any more. Plus, if you're young enough, then there's no reason you couldn't make more later if you change your mind.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:37 PM   #5
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does the extra loves from having 3,4 or more kids worth the extra 5-10 years of working life?

your thought, please.

enuff

The answer, of course, is that it depends on the kids. Some kids are sweet and lovable, some kids are patently unlovable. The vast majority swing between these extremes on a minute-to-minute basis. Only you and your wife can answer the question of how many is right for you.

We have two. I would have been happy with an only child, but DW wanted 2. Of course, now I'm thrilled to have my son, and after seeing the kids together, can grudgingly concede that she was right (she usually is).

I'd say don't talk to people on a message board about this, talk to your wife.

P.S. Did you ever buy that TV? If you do, then maybe you can get away with the 2 kids.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:44 PM   #6
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I'm just going to say that finances never entered the equation on the number of kids to have. I have hopes of being the cool grandpa who has plenty of time to hang out, take them camping, teach to fish, read 4 pillars of investing out loud...
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:46 PM   #7
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...read 4 pillars of investing out loud...
Grandpa, could we have Harry Potter today, please

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:04 AM   #8
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I think that this is one of those questions where it is impossible to get a valid answer.

Almost everyone will tell you that they are happy with the kids that they have and that it is worth the "sacrifices" to have them. A few will say that they would have liked to have a couple more. Very, very few will admit (even if it is true) that they would have preferred fewer kids.

DW was the driver for our first one. She became very persuasive when she felt that her biological clock was starting to run down. I was the main driver for the 2nd. I had the (perhaps mistaken) opinion that kids are better off if they have a sibling. After that DW told me in no uncertain terms that the baby factory was closed and that was perfectly fine with me. We never really considered the long term financial aspects and since we both make respectable salaries we could have easily "afforded" a couple more.

But having said that there is no doubt that they are a huge financial sink.

Am I happy with my two kids and the time and financial burden? Yup, and I would be willing to spend a lot more on them if I felt it would have a significant positive impact on their lives. Do I want more. Nope, two is enough. But if there had been an "accident" along the way I'm sure that I would now be telling you that three was the "perfect" number for us and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
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Having no kids made it much easier for us to LYBM, save money, retire quite early, and ride off into the sunset to do whatever we pleased.

But I don't think most people choose to have kids based on their retirement goals. We had decided no kids long before we realized that way early retirement was an option for us.

Audrey
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:30 AM   #10
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kids and retirement work opposite each other.... on the whole though i tend to think its kind of lonely for just being an only child. especially after the parents are gone there is a certain feeling of aloneness when you have no siblings. 2 kids worked perfect for us. now that they are grown and on their own though its lonely for us as we dont see or hear from them as much as parents like.

we are thinking of actually responding to those adds on tv where for 10 bucks a month you can get like these 3rd world kids and you get a picture and letter every month. heck we figure its more than we are getting now ha ha ha
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:57 AM   #11
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My brother has seven kids. He is still working at 75 - luckily he likes his work and wouldn't have it any other way. You need to figure an average of one post launch boomerang for a year or two for every two kids
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:26 AM   #12
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I'm just going to say that finances never entered the equation on the number of kids to have.

I feel the same . Plus I have never regretted a single penney spent on my children.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:45 AM   #13
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If you're behind on your FIRE schedule and have a few kids (yes, they are life-changing expensive), it's because of a series of miscalculations, naivete, or unrealistic expectations. So be it - make corrections, come to grips with retiring later than some others, and enjoy the kids.

But to attach a numeric value to how much the kids each cost you, or how much residual love there is after 3 kids v. 4 etc. doesn't seem real productive to me. Maybe you would have done it differently given a second chance, but who couldn't say that about a zillion decisions they've made over the decades. You can't look at kids as if they were a bad stock investment decision.

2 kids, 4 grandkids here. Probably a couple or three years behind on FIRE compared to our childless friends of similar income, just guessing. Neither DW nor I even had a nanosecond of regret over these choices.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:00 AM   #14
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what's the suggested number of kids to have?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 2.5 kids for maximum happiness with manageable financial impact.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:06 AM   #15
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kids vs retirement?
go with retirement--just kidding, I know y'all are very happy with your young'uns!

I have seen the difference in both of my sibling's lives when they decided to have a third child, it really changed the economics of their household, not at first, but once the kids were of school age.

All I can say with any authority is that the 5th dog is not much more expensive than the 4th cat.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:14 AM   #16
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Just as soon as my 2 DDs moved out I changed the locks and broke their dinner plates. Children are a serious impediment to ER.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:21 AM   #17
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I gotta write that our two kids have really had no impact on our early retirement. I've never understood any of the posts about kids being expensive or a detriment to early retirement.

First, we both worked and were able to sock away lots of money from the get go. Second, we had our kids when we were in our late 30s, so our pattern of LBYM was well-set before kids and we kept on that path after kids. Third, our kids will not be in college at the same time.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:44 AM   #18
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I don't plan on and can't see myself having kids. I enjoy kids when they're funny, cute, and lovable. I mean I like to play with them, I just don't wanna take care of them. I enjoy playing with my nephew, he's very funny.

I'd rather grow old with my significant other travelling and do some charity works
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:48 AM   #19
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zillow should provide estimates on cost and emotional return on kids.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:54 AM   #20
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You should be able to save more if you send the kids back and ask for a full refund. If that's not possible, then maybe consider selling one or both of them? You could at least get rid of one of them, if they've made it this far then you probably don't need the backup any more. Plus, if you're young enough, then there's no reason you couldn't make more later if you change your mind.
Easy to talk smart when you don't have any..........
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