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Any of you with young kids?
Old 03-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
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Any of you with young kids?

Mine are 10 and 1-1/2 years old.

I left conventional work 4 years ago, and returned to university.

Once in a while, I go through phases of "what is next, where is this leading me"?

The easy answer is to take care of the kids.

But, often, I need and want more.

So, how do you find "more"?


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Old 04-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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I am a second time around "stay at home Dad". My DD is finishing up her Doctorate (23) and I look back fondly at all the years we spent together when she was little. My current project is my son who will be 7 in a few months and admittedly at 59, I have less patience to teach rollerblading/bicycling and burning ants with a magnifying glass, but it is still rewarding. YW and I are in the "practicing stage" still, but we plan to have another child in a few years. I have raised one child in a suburban locale, One in the "Big City" and we are contemplating raising the last one in a "Jungle Environment"? I have found parenting (with adequate resources) much more rewarding than work and playing with "stacks of money" although both will get your hands dirty.

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Old 04-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #3
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I have an eight year old and fifteen year old at home and two that are grown.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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I have a 14 and almost 16 year old at home. Both boys. We buy milk by the barrel and food that comes on pallets. It is also very loud here at my house. They have this idea that it is their house, however, and DW and I are here to serve them. Ah, the joys of parenthood!
Retired July 4th, 2010 at age 43
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vickko View Post
Once in a while, I go through phases of "what is next, where is this leading me"?
The easy answer is to take care of the kids.
But, often, I need and want more.
So, how do you find "more"?
I retired when our daughter was nine years old... what we parents called the beginning of "the danger zone".

I think you're doing the most fulfilling part of being a grownup: raising the next generation.

"What's next" is that your oldest turns into a teenager, and you turn into the stupidest and most embarrassing human on the face of the earth. The advantage of this phase is that they want to have as little as possible to do with you. They really just want you to give them money, drive them to a party, and leave them alone... until they call you to come pick them up. Preferably at 3 AM, perhaps with a stop at Taco Bell on the way home.

After their first semester at college, they realize how much you've learned since they graduated high school.

Most of your own free time will be during the few hours each weekday when they're in school, which means you still have a while to go with your youngest. That free time is when you can figure out the next stage of your own life. But some of your most valuable memories will be the time you spent with your kids, and I can't think of any "me time" that's more valuable than those quickly-vanishing days with family.

But our daughter's been out of the house for almost two years now, so my memories are mostly tinged with a rose-colored glow.

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Old 04-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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I have a nine and a twelve....
I'm 43...
I feel extremely blessed everyday that I can play and run with them, swim, bicycle ....still have energy to do these things...

They don't get any younger. And alas, we get older.
It's all good...
As simple as that, it's all good.
Everyday is Saturday!
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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Yup, DS (4) & DD (5), both with birthdays later this year.

DW & I are 43 this year, thinking more and more about semi-ER, but just waiting for a larger cushion.

Is there something more out there? For me I think it might be staying in my profession, but working 20 - 30 hours a week which in turn would offer me more time with family. It will probably not happen in my current job, but other employers might be game to my idea. ;-) I might have to start networking.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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Hey Vikko,
I also have kids 4 and 6.. as far as looking for "more" personally I take my time and look at the different things out there.. typically it boils down to 2 things:
Here's something I've found that have made so much of the difference in everything from providing and getting more to doing more and loving life - I know it sounds hokey but it's true..
- Test Everything that perks your interest, then test many things that are just outside of your traditional interests..
- And then knuckle up and do it.. 1st on an extremely small scale and scale up if it's something you enjoy.

For instance, I found a blog the other day where a gentleman talks about his retirement. anything and everything, from his view on particular quotes from the past, to flowers, to his money.... Literally just random stuff, nothing in particular. What caught my attention is that he also shares how many people are visiting his site per month.. he's at about 30K a month and has small ads sprinkled all over his site.. He makes money on every add that's clicked - it called pay per click.. I know it sounds obvious and all but that completely tripped me out. This guy is literally rambling off the side of his neck and making money with it.

same with investing - If you're currently in the market here's something that I do. I'll look around and see how some people are really making money out there in the market... I try to look at the friends of friends because most of the time my immediate friends are on the same "wave length" and I'm typically looking for something higher. Then, I'll take my time and spend about a day or two looking on for 3 of what look like the best books out there.. As I'm reading the books I'll internet search what looks like the best providers of that service and get pitched. Let them sell me the best they can and let them send me as much information as possible. Then I'll couple what I was pitched with what I've personally learned and buy lunch or dinner for the person that initially told me about how they were making money. typically by the time were done with our meeting I'll have a good idea on if I should try it out or not..
And then go from there...
I actually use this little cheat sheet formula on nearly everything..
and for instance when I got into forex I did this and instead of putting money on the line I opened a free dummy trading account so I could play with the controls, further my learning and see if it was completely for me or not..

I say this with deep concern because until I learned this mode of thinking I was stuck in a job that kept me from my family and when it came to investments my 401K options where based off of what so-and-so told me they were doing and thought CD's were a good tool.. Now I've realized that all of that is crap and a huge reason why I'm extremely thankful to have experienced and learned what I have because my old way of thinking was financial suicide..
Sorry if I went off on a tangent, just trying to be completely honest with you.. hopefully it helps - Have a good day!!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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We have two daughters who will be 7 and 9 when I retire at the end of 2012 or early 2013. Looking forward to spending more time with them....whether they are looking forward to spending more time with me is another matter.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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I have 2 boys, ages 4 and 1. I hope to retire at the end of 2016 and spend a lot more time with them. Can't say much about finding "more", because right now my dream of "more" is a lot LESS (w*rk, that is).
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #11
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Retired in 2000 at the age of 50 with 3 and 1 year old boys. They are the primary reason I pulled the trigger, having the time to spend with them and participate in their activities. Now 15 and 13. My time is when they are in school, the rest of the time is tied up with participating in their activities. Been a scout den leader, treasurer of organizations their involved in, soccer coach or manager etc.

It occurred to me, as I was trying to make the decision whether to accept an early retirement offer at work, was that I was being handed the opportunity that many parents can only wish for, to have the time to be a dad without the added pressures of work, career decisions.

Absolutely no regrets, but it is far from what most folks think of as retirement schedule is pretty well dictated by school and their activities.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:01 AM   #12
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I waited to retire until both kids were mostly through college. From a financial perspective, I was in no position to retire before then. From a parental perspective, I ache over every little league game, every swim meet, every school play I missed due to the job. I made it to a lot of them, but not all, and the ones I missed, well, I miss.
"The future's uncertain, and the end is always near. Let it roll, baby, roll." - The Doors
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:35 AM   #13
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I have 13 and 11 year olds at home, stay at home DW. I am down to working 4 days a week, and take 1 week off a month. The time I am off, I feel like a chauffer for the kids, and maybe I embarass them, but hopefully they will remember their childhood spending time with their Dad. I spend time with DW and have plenty of time to run, ride my bike, read, and learn German and French with online courses. There are even more things I am interested in learning, so I am planning within 2 years cutting back to working 24 weeks, 4 days a week just so I have income while they are in college.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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3 year old and a 6 month old (plans to have one more)

I'm not retired yet, but am here because I plan to retire early (hopefully around 50).

Right now DW and I are facing similar questions... balancing raising our kids with fulfilling childhoods vs also setting ourselves up for FIRE. Even though it might mean pushing my ER dreams back to age 50-55 instead of 45-50, we felt that it was important to make sure DW stayed at home with the kids until they are in school.

I imagine at the end of life I'll look back and think that it was a good trade-off... I know I am very fortunate to have had parents who made similar sacrifices for my siblings and I. I can honestly say I loved everything about my childhood and the time we spent together as a family.

4 years ago I had a completely different mindset... "work, work, work... so I can get out by age 40." Then I was willing to do 60 hours week... now, not at all.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #15
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When I fired the 2 boys were 3 and 6 (now 10 and 13). Been a blessing being there for ALL the school activities (with the mom's). And being able to vacation with them every school break. My older son and I skiied 20+ times last winter!

As far as finding "more" ... what's your passion? Only you can define that. For me it's finding, buying and rehabing bank owned property. To each his own.
FIRE'd since 2005
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #16
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I'm 50 with 9 and 11 yo boys. DH is 60.

Our goal is to retire at ages 52/62.

Our goal is to be that annoying/embarassing parent that Nords talks about - because it really is the danger zone.

For now we both work about 80% schedules and are pretty active in their activities/academics. (Volunteer in classroom, serve on boards of their academic and activity groups and foundations).

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