Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Having children.
Old 05-10-2006, 09:43 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 70
Having children.

Hello everyone.

I'm 22, have a wonderful girlfriend and no children.

When my girlfriend was 18, she said she wanted to have 4 children, that she would love to be a mom, etc.

When she was 20, she said that 2 was ok.

When she was 22, she said that 1 was everything she wanted.

Now that she is 24, we're already discussing about not having a baby, even more now that she was converted convinced to the LBYM and "time is gold" principles.

I already know about the financial consequences of having a child, and I'm sure that with one I'll be delaying my ER for some years. I do not have a doubt about that.

My worries are about the emotional side of things. I heard about a lot of couples that break up after a child, that their time are completely absorbed by the child, that they lose part of the freedom to travel, etc. However, I'm also constantly hearing by some parents that their children were the best thing that ever happened to them.

I mean, I love babies and etc, but just can't imagine having to be taking care of him all the time, and when he/she gets older to become a freaking teenager and then get it's own life as a young adult. I'm not sure if I want that.

So, this come to an awkward question: are they worth it? I'm really unsecure about this and I don't want to put a kid in the world and regret it for the rest of my life.

I'm already feeling that the answer will depend about me more than anything...
__________________

__________________
:)
Leonardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Having children.
Old 05-10-2006, 10:08 PM   #2
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 38
Re: Having children.

Hi Leonardo,

You and your girlfriend are still very young. You have the time to wait a few years and see what life brings your way. You may decide a few years down the road that you want children, or the decision not to have children might become more clear. It sounds like at this point you are both having doubts, and therefore you should wait. Children will set you back financially, no doubt about it. But you need to decide what is most important to you. Personally, they have been one of the greatest joys of my life. If that sets me back a few years for FIRE, then so be it.
__________________

__________________
J-Lu is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-10-2006, 10:53 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,913
Re: Having children.

There is no investment that guarintees a great return.. including having children.* But, if you invest in your child (time and education) there is nothing that is more likely to return a life of joy.* Who else will care about your welfare when you are frail??* There are no grandchildren without a child, and no relationship richer.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 05:34 AM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 569
Re: Having children.

I had a girl friend like that, at 30 I felt the need for family, she didn't.

We both married someone else, I had two kids, she had none.

30 years later, she's a lonely Widow, I have my family and all the warts that went into raising them.

My Buddy is 52, he has just had his first child.(he quit being an International businessman, prefers to stay home with his son, his wife works, the are Financially very O.K.)

The time may come when your feelings change, logic goes out the window, you may still be with the same lady 10 years from now or some one else, but in the meantime, quit worrying and concentrate on life.
__________________
Maximillion is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 06:17 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,638
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo

I'm 22,
When my girlfriend was 18, she wanted 4 children
When she was 20, she said that 2 was ok.
When she was 22, she said that 1 was everything she wanted.
When she is 36 she will be dragging you to the fertility clinic.

Quote:
My worries are about the emotional side of things.

I mean, I love babies and etc, but just can't imagine having to be taking care of him all the time

So, this come to an awkward question: are they worth it? I'm really unsecure about this and I don't want to put a kid in the world and regret it for the rest of my life.
That is a great state of mind to be in at 22. Similar worries about marraige make sense at your age. Work on FI for now and come back to this question in five or ten years when your head will be in a whole different place. BUT, don't get married without resolving the issue.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 07:50 AM   #6
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Re: Having children.

I agree 22 is young to know for sure, but I do know that most of my friends who ever mentioned wanting any kids, wound up having at least one down the road. Only the ones that said no way, never, have held out against the call of nature (myself included). You might have her read a book that I learned about from Gia's post on this issue, called Beyond Motherhood, that helps clarify a lot of the issues women have.
If you really want kids, the financial aspects are immaterial. If you really don't want kids, the financial aspects help "prove you right". Sort of like the old analogy about using statistics like a drunk man uses lightposts, for support rather than illumination.
Sarah
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 09:08 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Lusitan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 620
Re: Having children.

Ola Leonardo,

I'm 31 and my wife is 29 and we're expecting our first child soon. So that's where my perspective is coming from ...

I think the ultimate answer to your question of whether children are "worth it" is yes.

Raising children and teaching the next generation is worth the effort. That doesn't mean everyone will want to have kids - some will opt not to, others are unable to have children. But for those who put in the effort, it is worth it - to say otherwise would be to say that the time and effort is "not worth it", and few people who have children would say that.

But that said, both you and your girlfriend are very young. Having kids is something you should do only when you're ready, and if either of you have doubts, now is not the time to have a child. You need time to explore your careers (and perhaps get sick and tired and jaded about the "wonderful world of work"). You've got at least a 3 or 4 years before you need to think about kids.

You should get married before you have kids. And I think that there's a benefit to having a few years of marriage together before kids come along, to give you guys time to settle down, so that would be another reason to wait a few years before having kids at this point.

To what degree having kids will set back your plans for FIRE I can't say. I'll be finding that out soon enough myself. But by looking at how our parents raised us, and not how our peers are raising their kids, my wife (who is Portuguese, by the way) and I are pretty confident we can continue with our LBYM lifestyle and have kids. We just need to avoid getting sucked into the false "needs" of our materialistic culture.

Sometimes when I'm at family gatherings, I look around and see the smile on the faces of the elders and realize that, if I'm lucky enough to live that long, that will be me one day. My parents, uncles, aunts, and all of the older generation that I know know will have died. I'll be old, and at that point my family will be my children and grandchildren. And I'll sit back enjoying the feasts and smoking my pipe and playing the accordian. That's the way I want to go out!

Boa sorte!
__________________
Lusitan is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo
I'm 22, have a wonderful girlfriend and no children.

Now that she is 24, we're already discussing about not having a baby, even more now that she was converted convinced to the LBYM and "time is gold" principles.
Ok, here is my take on kids. They do take up time and money, but the payback in joy is HUGE. I love playing with my 15 month old boy. I spend money on him, but I don't rent as many movies and he really only eats a little bit. So overall he is only costing me about $150/month. So kids can be fairly cheap, it depends on how much you want to spend. Just like everything else.

By the way, I suggest having them when your young. Like NOW. Why? You will have them out of the house sooner. You are 22 + 22(years of care and helping in school) =44 years old and the first child should be out of your house. That will leave you TONS of time to enjoy retirement.

Just my thoughts,
CF
__________________
Warming up to FIRE while trying to avoid the cold!
Canadian FIRE is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 01:32 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian FIRE
By the way,* I suggest having them when your young.* Like NOW.* Why?* You will have them out of the house sooner.* You are 22 + 22(years of care and helping in school) =44 years old and the first child should be out of your house.* That will leave you TONS of time to enjoy retirement.
Speaking from the perspective of starting parenthood at age 32, at that age you should attempt to raise a kid or a job-- but not both at the same time.

There's nothing wrong with holding off parenthood a few years to build your nest egg and your financial stability. I think marriage & childbearing ages have steadily risen over the last 50 years, and I can't imagine having to find a mortgage and buy diapers with the same paycheck.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 01:45 PM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo

I'm 22, have a wonderful girlfriend and no children.

When my girlfriend was 18, she said she wanted to have 4 children, that she would love to be a mom, etc.

When she was 20, she said that 2 was ok.

When she was 22, she said that 1 was everything she wanted.

Now that she is 24, we're already discussing about not having a baby, even more now that she was converted convinced to the LBYM and "time is gold" principles.

So what has YOUR position been over the past 6 years? Have you and gf been together since she was 18? Have you been saying no, you don't want any and she keeps coming down in the number that she wants? I guess what I'm asking is - is she changing HER mind because you have not changed your mind? Or are there other factors that come into play in her decision?

As an "older" mom to two sweet little guys, I would say that yes, they are definitely worth it. But, they will prolong our time until ER. They do change your life, for some that can be a good thing, for some it can be difficult to handle. IF I had it to do over again, I would definitely have started trying to get pregnant much sooner than my 30s.
__________________
trharris is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 02:32 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Re: Having children.

As for kids and money, I'd like to think that if you delay having them until you have your career in order, bought a decent-sized house, own a couple of cars, and have a solid nest egg, you're probably in the best shape to have them. Unfortunately, most people have a "want it all...NOW" attitude and end up incurring every expense under the sun all at the same time. No wonder many young families are strapped for cash.
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 04:31 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,913
Re: Having children.

I side with Jay, but there is no perfect time. Work long enough to be seasoned in your profession, max out your IRA/401k (and don't touch it until you are 60), be married 2-3 years minimum. Remember the time value of money? Those dollars invested early in retirement accounts, even when your earnings are low, will be worth more than any catch-up contribution when you are in your mid-30s. Save money for a starter home in a neighborhood with a great grade school. Resolve to pay all your bills at the end of the month, your only debt your mortgage.

Then start a family.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 04:49 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
Re: Having children.

DW and I met when I was 22, she was 21. I was 30 when our daughter was born. We are very glad we waited and had some time for just the two of us. We absolutley love her and love this part of our life now.

I'm all about LBYM, but that should be applied to fast cars and diamond rings, not children. Silas Marner was the ultimate LBYM, and until the plot twist, he was the biggest loser ever IMHO.

When you ask yourself "What are you saving it for?", if your answer sounds like a speech by Che Guevera ("free myself from the chains of the capitalist dogs!"), you might have a problem. That's something your running away from. What's your destination? I wouldn't suggest thinking that you'll figure it out once you get there.

So yes, will my daughter delay ER? You betcha. Do I think I'm happier for it? You betcha.
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 04:56 PM   #14
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Having children.

If you don't want kids, that's fine. - Don't let anyone guilt trip you about it. IF you want one someday you'll know it - it's never too late. If you never want one, that's OK too.

Biological or adopted -does not matter. People adopt their pets and love them as much as their children.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 06:52 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,038
Re: Having children.

Are the doubts about having children or staying together? Most women want children.
__________________
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
Lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 07:48 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 223
Re: Having children.

These are big issues for me and my GF too.*

Here are some links to sites that I've found interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childfree

http://www.childfree.net/

You may notice that there is a strong tone of defensiveness to those who espouse the "child free" lifestyle.* It's almost as if they've been harassed by friends and family about having no kids, and they've just lost all perspective and started ranting.* But it's also true that our culture is extremely pro-kid.* And you'll be hard-pressed to find a parent to admit that they regret having kids.* So these resources may be worthwhile.
__________________
SLC Tortfeasor is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-11-2006, 08:07 PM   #17
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Having children.

Quote:
It's almost as if they've been harassed by friends and family about having no kids, and they've just lost all perspective and started ranting.
Almost? - For Sure! - I've had a child, and I used to get - ONLY ONE? - What's wrong with you??

NOYFB!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-12-2006, 08:06 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
These are big issues for me and my GF too.*

Here are some links to sites that I've found interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childfree

http://www.childfree.net/

You may notice that there is a strong tone of defensiveness to those who espouse the "child free" lifestyle.* It's almost as if they've been harassed by friends and family about having no kids, and they've just lost all perspective and started ranting.* But it's also true that our culture is extremely pro-kid.* And you'll be hard-pressed to find a parent to admit that they regret having kids.* So these resources may be worthwhile.
Love the glossary of terms for the Wikipedia entry...many are so true.
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-12-2006, 08:41 AM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 569
Re: Having children.

Children are the only reason your ancestors existed.
__________________
Maximillion is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Having children.
Old 05-12-2006, 08:59 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 388
Re: Having children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximillion
Children are the only reason your ancestors existed.
I like that. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I do.

setab
__________________

__________________
I told you I'd taunt you a second time.
setab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much do children cost? Olav23 FIRE and Money 63 05-11-2007 11:20 AM
Children and FIRE Lusitan Life after FIRE 9 03-14-2007 12:13 PM
Playing With Your Children boont Life after FIRE 32 11-06-2006 09:08 AM
How many of you can RE now, but working because of children at home? yakers FIRE and Money 16 04-18-2006 12:44 PM
HSA & young children pinkmali FIRE and Money 0 03-07-2006 12:07 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:22 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.