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Old 07-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #21
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Good point. The latest Money magazine has a feature article about a couple in their late 30's (now early 40's) who spend $80+ K on a variety of things related to fertility aids over a 5 years period and still have not successfully conceived a child. Not all are like this, but it is a possibility.
I felt sad for this couple and I hope they get lucky soon because financially they are not well at all because of fertility issues. OTOH, did you notice that they're not so great with their finances? Their debt could've been quite a few thousands lower if not their spending. The article stated they don't go out to eat anymore but then in the 'financial advice' section they got an advice to cut their discretionary spending that tends to run $1,000/month (it didn't specify for how long they've been "wasting" their money like this though) or like letting her sister's family charge $2k for X'mas presents at a Best Buy. I thought that was crazy....
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #22
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We were (and still are) very good at minimizing our income taxes. When our oldest started college, our family taxable income on the Form 1040 submitted with the FAFSA was well-under $100,000. Nevertheless, the outcome was "No financial aid."
I need to ask then why you were turned down for the financial aid because it sounds you played your cards right. Were your assets so high that their share of 5.2% made a big dent? I'm not familiar with FAFSA, many years until we need to read and fill it out.

Still it was a good 'problem' to have, right?
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:58 PM   #23
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I felt sad for this couple and I hope they get lucky soon because financially they are not well at all because of fertility issues. OTOH, did you notice that they're not so great with their finances? Their debt could've been quite a few thousands lower if not their spending. The article stated they don't go out to eat anymore but then in the 'financial advice' section they got an advice to cut their discretionary spending that tends to run $1,000/month (it didn't specify for how long they've been "wasting" their money like this though) or like letting her sister's family charge $2k for X'mas presents at a Best Buy. I thought that was crazy....
Yes, they were (are) out of control I thought. Even from the start with the expensive wedding. They certainly were not starting out with a financial plan at that age. There was also a comment about Dad using his SS check to pay for something they needed (I don't have the article handy).
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:19 PM   #24
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Had kids in our very late 30s. Thought I was going to be the oldest dad around. Joined YMCA Indian Princess program with my daughter and then Y-guides with my son and noticed something interesting. All the dad's seemed to be around my same age! All older. Where were all the young dads?

It wasn't because of where the YMCA served, a large geographic area with a good mix of young and old. But the conspicuous absence of young dads was hard to miss.

We came to the conclusion that either being older we just either appreciated being with kids more, or maybe we just had more time. In my experience guys in their 20s tend to be more self-absorbed than when we get into our 30s. But who knows.

I don't think there is a wrong or right time to have kids or not to have them. One thing you get with kids is more involvement with the neighborhood, a good helping of delights along with a dishes of difficulties.

I wouldn't have had it any other way though.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:39 PM   #25
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We knew we wanted a couple of kids and spent our 20s preparing for that. Spent half of our take home pay that decade on a 4BR house in a good school district. Then we took a type of vacation we wouldn't be able to take for a decade after having kids. Had two kids in early 30s. With no mortgage my spouse can stay at home splurging on the kids and I can still max out the tax advantaged retirement accounts. We wouldn't have been able to do that having kids earlier. At the same time, if we had kids much later than we did I'd be far more concerned about age/experience related layoffs when paying for college.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:24 AM   #26
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I need to ask then why you were turned down for the financial aid because it sounds you played your cards right. Were your assets so high that their share of 5.2% made a big dent? I'm not familiar with FAFSA, many years until we need to read and fill it out.

Still it was a good 'problem' to have, right?
Yes, assets too high, so we could easily afford paying for college.

But not only that, they can see that a couple puts $46,000 a year into 401(k)s and lowers their taxable income. They expect a couple to stop that and use the money to pay for college instead. So while retirement plan assets are not included in the calculation, potential retirement plan contributions are.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:10 AM   #27
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I am going to throw another viewpoint in here. My parents married later in life and were in their late 40s (Father was 48) when I was born. They were not rich but with both of them working we had what we needed. The problem is that both of them passed away before my 29th birthday. I very much wish they had been around for more of my life. Although, having no siblings the situation made me a very independent person. Just something else that should be considered.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:47 AM   #28
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We had our two kids at 28 and 31. I retired at 52, when the youngest was finishing up college. Not sure I would have been comfortable retiring with two kids still in college, or not even IN college yet. And by age 50, my job had reached unhealthy levels of stress and dissatisfaction. So I'm glad we didn't wait any longer to have kids, although that had no bearing at all on the decision at the time.

Also, child-rearing can be physically demanding... I vividly remember carrying a gangly, 55-lb, 6-year-old, from the car, upstairs to bed. Not sure I could have done that at 45.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #29
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^ I say kids can keep you young and fit. My 18-year-old and I share our clothes. He's worn my suit more times than I have in the past 3 years.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:47 AM   #30
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Kids when young vs. kids when old(er)

When first looking at the thread title, I thought the OP was asking us to have a self-examination to cut down on observe our own childish behavior.

Perhaps someone can start a thread about the above. Now, that could be fun.

Anyway, now that my children are grown and self-reliant, I am glad the child-rearing years are behind me.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:14 PM   #31
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We had our two kids at 28 and 31. I retired at 52, when the youngest was finishing up college. Not sure I would have been comfortable retiring with two kids still in college, or not even IN college yet. And by age 50, my job had reached unhealthy levels of stress and dissatisfaction. So I'm glad we didn't wait any longer to have kids, although that had no bearing at all on the decision at the time.

Also, child-rearing can be physically demanding... I vividly remember carrying a gangly, 55-lb, 6-year-old, from the car, upstairs to bed. Not sure I could have done that at 45.
When I retired at age 50 about 15 years ago, my 16 month old and my 3 year old attended my "retirement breakfast". I had something to retire to.....primarily just being a Dad. Coached several youth soccer teams where I was about the age of the kids grandparents! Until they weighed more than 40 lbs, each boy spent a lot of time on my back in a kid carrier as we went on hikes and traveled. They did keep me thinking young and fit. Most of the adults I know in the community are at least 20 years younger than me due to kids activities, I'm seldom around people my age.

I've always been LBYM and a saver/investor. In the first five years or so of retirement, I was a bit concerned if enough stash but now 15 years further down the road, I don't worry about it. A COLA'd pension helps too.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:45 PM   #32
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I am a much better 'older' father than I would have been as a younger father. Much more patient and have/had the time to spend with her. I was established in my career by the time I had my daughter, and had the money and flexibility to do things with her, that I am not sure I would have when I was younger. I do see that I am the oldest father of my daughters friends, but I am also the fittest! Being younger isn't any guarantee of having an active dad.

I am retiring this year at 55, and my daughter is just starting college this fall. I, personally am happy with the way things have turned out.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:09 AM   #33
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I should add - I didn't plan to marry later in life and have the "AMA" tag on my OB file. (AMA=advanced maternal age). But I didn't meet the right man till I was 38. I know I got lucky having 2 pregnancies with little effort and no complications.
Yeah, kind of this. I got married at 37 to a man who had 3 adult children (he was mid-40s and married at 19 the first time). He was willing to have more children. I had my one biological child 8 days after I turned 40 and we subsequently adopted 2 older children.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:57 AM   #34
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We married at 19 and DW basically supported me through three degrees; had first as soon as I finished and second appeared 14 months later. That forced a serious frugal mindset that we already had, through our twenties. She mainly spent time as SAHM while I engineered. At 30 I got a major jump with job change and all the new money went to savings; much with idea of college that we were prepared to fund undergrad. Turns out they both got scholarships so that was major boost to "our" money.

Can't say DW was that career motivated but did work once kids gone, my salary was the main driver. Yes there was a cost to kids, but if you even are thinking about that as negative, you probably better not have any. Ours have added a lot to our enjoyment of life. Right now I'm sitting in a hotel in Dar es Salaam as our son got married Saturday in highlands here. Because of him, we've been all over Africa to places we wouldn't have dreamed (like Timbuktu!). DD lives in London so that takes us there a lot, but admittedly that's getting a bit old. Now at 63 with her 4 kids and DS with one on the way, it adds another dimension. So for us it was easily worth the costs, which given my career and LBYM style wasn't that big a deal. I can certainly see how kids are NOT for everyone though, they are a time and emotional investment that pales the financial.

To each his/her own!
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:15 AM   #35
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We had our two kids in our late 20's. We were thinking it would be good to be young and healthy to be able to keep up with them and fully enjoy them. It was also our plan to have them through college by the time we reached our mid-50's so if we were able to retire, we would be young enough to really enjoy those earlier retirement years. Looking back, I wonder if maybe we would have been better parents (at least more relaxed and patient) if we would have waited longer... or maybe not. Anyway, at this point I'm so glad we have our children and I'm very happy with how things are turning out. Number one son is a year away from college now and it's an exciting time. And retirement in our mid-50's still looks doable!
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:41 AM   #36
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I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

We had my son quite late (me 40, DW 42). My sister, on the other hand, did it very early. She is DW's age and was an empty nester by the time we had our son. So I've seen one 'extreme' up close and am living the other.

In my case I was already FI when we had our son, though still working. I retired before his 4th birthday, with enough in the kitty for our retirement and with his 529 fully funded. There was never any question of how we were going to find money for diapers, child care, summer camp, or even college and grad school for that matter. Another big advantage, (like an earlier poster said) is that I get to focus on being a parent in a way that never would have been feasible had we done this 15-20 years earlier. (I think my wife would have taken off work, but not me, as I out-earned her by many multiples).

The downside is I'll be pretty damn old when he graduates from school, and may very well never get to meet any grandkids. And speaking of grandparents, he never met two of his four and the third died when he was just 2. The remaining grandparent is too old and infirm to take care of him, so his relationship with her will be very different from the relationship many of us had with grandparents. (and we've never had a weekend away, FWIW).

My sister had the opposite experience. She was always the youngest parent in her kids peer group, while DW and I are the oldest. While 'struggle' is too strong a word, it definitely took them time to finally get a house, and paying for college certainly got in the way of retirement planning. On the plus side, she got into parenting so young she was able to go to grad school while her DD was in high school. This ended up taking her career to a new level as an empty nester in her early 40s. She likes her job, as does my BIL, so they don't mind working to their late 50s (early 60s for him) before retiring.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #37
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We have two kids, one when I was 38 (and wife was 34) and the other when I was 41 (and wife was 37). By that time, we had a substantial nest egg and high-paying careers, so money hasn't been an issue. We are also both "gym rats," so the physical demands of our kids don't phase us - though the initial sleep deprivation during the first couple of years of each kid's life was by no means fun.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:43 AM   #38
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I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

...

The downside is I'll be pretty damn old when he graduates from school, and may very well never get to meet any grandkids. And speaking of grandparents, he never met two of his four and the third died when he was just 2. The remaining grandparent is too old and infirm to take care of him, so his relationship with her will be very different from the relationship many of us had with grandparents. (and we've never had a weekend away, FWIW).

My sister had the opposite experience. She was always the youngest parent in her kids peer group, while DW and I are the oldest. While 'struggle' is too strong a word, it definitely took them time to finally get a house, and paying for college certainly got in the way of retirement planning. On the plus side, she got into parenting so young she was able to go to grad school while her DD was in high school. This ended up taking her career to a new level as an empty nester in her early 40s. She likes her job, as does my BIL, so they don't mind working to their late 50s (early 60s for him) before retiring.
I understand about being the youngest parent in a peer group. Although during the few years that I taught in small town Iowa there were definitely parents younger than we were. Also, as I mentioned in my first post, we definitely had to be frugal with DW finishing her degree and then my having the bright idea to go back to grad school. All in all, we were able to spend large chunks of time with the kids when they were young and then entered the w*rk world full-time after they started school.

Since my parents were very young (mom was 18 )when I was born and we were young when my kids were born both of my daughters have many years of memories of their grandparents and even some memories of great-grandparents on my mother's side. This is even more remarkable(?) since my dad died at 62 and mom at 66.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:10 AM   #39
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My sister had the opposite experience. She was always the youngest parent in her kids peer group, while DW and I are the oldest. While 'struggle' is too strong a word, it definitely took them time to finally get a house, and paying for college certainly got in the way of retirement planning. On the plus side, she got into parenting so young she was able to go to grad school while her DD was in high school. This ended up taking her career to a new level as an empty nester in her early 40s. She likes her job, as does my BIL, so they don't mind working to their late 50s (early 60s for him) before retiring.
This seems to be the major downside to having kids "too young" (i.e. early-mid 20s). You're not yet established enough in your career to build a sufficient nest egg that will benefit from long term compounding. Furthermore, you're working like a proverbial dog during your kid(s) formative years achieve these things, often missing out on important events in their lives.

Having kids later allows you to establish your career, build a nest egg, enjoy long-term compounding, and if you're lucky, retire early to enjoy your kid(s) formative years - albeit as an older parent. The tradeoff in this scenario is that your parents don't get grandkids early enough for their taste (and it's never early enough) and your kids don't get to enjoy their grandparents (or even meet them). Plus, you won't have built-in babysitters for when you want to take a vacation in your 40s (when you can then afford it).

Perhaps having kids in one's very-late-20s or early-30s is the ideal balance of time vs. money vs. career. The key to keeping FIRE hopes alive in that scenario is to LBYM.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:51 PM   #40
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We finished having kids by the time I was 31, and feel the kids kept me young all these years. I am a very active 50 yo with 3 college kids and still feel I can downsize or RE at a decent time. Plus my kids knew my grandmother as well as their own grandparents.


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