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Old 04-28-2010, 09:22 AM   #21
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I think there are too many folks having kids that should not even think about having kids. I personally thought I would never have them, but DW wanted two and that's what we have. yes, they are very expensive early on, and they drive you nuts at time, but I could not imagine my life without them.

Whatever decision you make, as long as you are comfortable with it, is the right one. Don't have any regrets, you can always dote on nephews and nieces, or volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, etc..........
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:40 AM   #22
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It's been lifechanging for me, in a great way. I have one kid, won't have more as I'm almost 44 now. Was planning to ER at 56, but unsure I can now. DD4 has autism, so it really depends on how independent she turns out.

Biggest cost to me so far is daycare. I shop at consignment stores when I can, and wal-mart for granimals, $10 shoes, etc. Things may get more expensive if DD catches on to fashion and as she gets older.

Having a kid has made me even more risk adverse. I need my job to provide for her, so won't take chances with job changes and start ups.

I already had family plan health care, and a 3 bedroom house. So, only medical costs are additional well care visits, dentist visits, etc.

Definately worth it. You should be prepared to change your life style. Most of my free time revolves around kid activities and trips. But its still fun. Get to go to the museums, aquariums, etc again!
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:47 AM   #23
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Kids are like yachts--if you have to ask how much, don't do it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:50 AM   #24
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Whether to have children or not is a personal thing Lilly. Decide that one way or the other and then figuring how you want to spend your life so that you wind up FIRE'd at some point will be easy.......
Good advice.

We had kids in our 20's when ER was not even in our thoughts, and still ER'ed at 55, so the two are not mutually exclusive. Same goes for DW's older sister - her and her husband ER'ed at 57 and are absolutely loving being grandparents.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:05 PM   #25
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Before we got married my wife and I talked about having kids in hammocks during a tropical vacation. I was zero or two, she was two or three. We agreed on two, which we have, and I got the snip as well. My wife stays home with the kids, and will likely be part time when they are school aged. That is the biggest financial impact. Probably could retire at 45 w/o kids and my wife working. But its a fallacy since she would not have married me if it meant she would not have a family. I think a retirement at 55 is possible for us. So, 10 years.

Our kids are young, 4.5 and 1.5. My life looks NOTHING like my single days. The second kid is as big a game changer as the first. Its a lot of work. Your sleep is messed up. One kid can set off the other. Your likelihood of a sick kid doubles, they fight over toys, etc. But they are also total buddies.

I am happy with our choice. I would like a tropical vacation again though - or even an hour in a hammock.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:48 PM   #26
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I am 30, and still on the fence about having kids. I am leaning toward yes, but it would be a few years.

I know a lot of people on here are child free by choice and it obviously increases your chanced of early retirement, but I also see many of you with children still in high school or college and you still managed to get out of the rat race.

Here are my random questions....

1. How did having kids change your retirement plans?
2. How much do kids really cost? I already bought a house, so that is fixed....seems like it wouldn't be as bad as some of these calculators suggest.
3. Is it really as rewarding as they say!? (Be honest!)
4. What if you only have one kid? My experience (friends) is that an only child is a little weird!
5. Does having a kid make work worth it? Make it suck a little less?? (wishful thinking!! )

Thanks for your advice.
1. I could have retired sooner without kids.
2. They cost a bunch.
3. Yes. And yes. Finally, yes.
4. Don't know. I have 3 kids. But I doubt your concern is valid.
5. Work still sucks. But family provides motivation and incentive to deal with it. But it does not make work inherently better.

I agree with other posters. Don't base your decision for children upon your retirement date. If the latter is your primary concern then you should not have children. Once you have children they must be your primary concern with all else secondary and therefore subject to slippage.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:20 PM   #27
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1. I could have retired sooner without kids.
2. They cost a bunch.
3. Yes. And yes. Finally, yes.

I agree with other posters. Don't base your decision for children upon your retirement date. If the latter is your primary concern then you should not have children. Once you have children they must be your primary concern with all else secondary and therefore subject to slippage.
pretty well said. If you want a speckled puppy then get a speckled puppy. But definitely don't comingle retirement date as a basis to have children or not. Truthfully, I'm suprised at how cold some of the responses seem about being a parent. I have a 7 and 9 yr old and couldn't imagine life without them. Best thing that ever happend to my wife and me...a 40+ year retirement without them and/ or grandchildren potentially seems selfish and lonely in a way. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, after all this forum is about early retirement, and by nature that topic is fairly selfish.

Answer to #3 is resounding yes! yes! yes!....
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:29 PM   #28
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Once you have children they must be your primary concern with all else secondary and therefore subject to slippage.
Which is a major reason we ultimately decided not to have any. My wife and I ultimately decided after a few years that we always wanted to be each other's undisputed #1 in our lives.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:51 PM   #29
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I love my chidren, but would not call child-free people selfish. Please!

However, one thing is for sure. If you are financially secure, but still messing with a spreadsheet to see how it is going to impact your ER, then perhaps you should not have children.

The other extreme case is that if you have to see if your budget can allow for food and diapers, then also don't have children.

As I said before, children are people. They will develop their own mind, despite your nurturing and best effort to raise them. The risk of them not growing up to become responsible citizen was the ONLY thing in my mind when I thought of the downside of having children. There is just no guarantee. They may break your heart, despite your caring love. Don't worry about the money part!

PS. A lot of people, like ronocnikral after my post, are thinking about college costs. I would say to not worry too much about that. Plenty of people, if they really want to attend school, will find a way.

Just be sure to give your children the most loving care you can (and I don't mean to spoil them :-)
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:51 PM   #30
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i'm loving this place. excellent insight here. unlike lilly, there is no question if we will have kids, it's when. like lilly, however, i am concerned about the costs. not so much the day to day costs, as i'm confident we can manage those. college is my biggest concern, as i am uncertain how much it will cost 20 years from now. we've decided that we would give each kid enough money for 4 years of schooling @ an in-state institution and a uhaul to move all their crap out. if they choose to go to college, so be it. if they throw one huge party, so be it. that's all they get. we'll see how much we actually save for them...and if we stick to our guns about kicking them out when they're 18.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:02 PM   #31
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I love my chidren, but would not call child-free people selfish. Please!
careful and reread please. I called my 40+year retirement potentially selfish and lonely
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:15 PM   #32
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... my...
Understood. I remember that there was a recent thread about the subject of children, and it got closed by moderators when it got too contentious.

Having and not having children are two alternate universes. We cannot compare them. I only experience one of the outcomes. If we did not have children, would our lives be empty? I don't know! I like the way it is now, and that is it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:31 PM   #33
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This should not be an early retirement question. You can FIRE with kids, or without. You can't put a price on your children. We had two, and semi retired at 43, total at 60. Could it have been earlier, probably, but then again, I would not have the joy of visiting kids and grandkids.

This is a question only you can answer. If you want kids, and you can afford them, have them. You will never notice the effect on FIRE and you should never regret it. If you think you are going to hold your kids hostage to your FIRE aims, then you might just think again.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:57 PM   #34
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No impact on retirement plans(one child, now 27). Only regret is that we didn't have a second.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:39 PM   #35
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Having and not having children are two alternate universes. We cannot compare them. I only experience one of the outcomes. If we did not have children, would our lives be empty? I don't know! I like the way it is now, and that is it.
agreed
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:19 PM   #36
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I used to w*rk with a guy who liked to tell us "when we got married, my wife and I wanted a nice round number of kids, by the time we realized what the round number was we already had one".

Everybody's Mileage Varies on this Subject.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:32 PM   #37
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Kids are like yachts--if you have to ask how much, don't do it.
Um... I beg to differ, because owning two yachts would have sent me into debtor's prison, leave alone thinking about ER.

They are more like, er, RVs.

Again, I never added up the cost, but they are not like a used class C I just got though. Definitely new class As. If you are rich, they would be like ten-wheeler Prevosts. Else, run-of-the-mill diesel pushers.

No matter how much you are going to spend, what cannot be priced are the TLC, the time for maintenance, and hopefully, not too many sleepless nights worrying about them.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:01 PM   #38
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No matter how much you are going to spend, what cannot be priced are the TLC, the time for maintenance, and hopefully, not too many sleepless nights worrying about them.
Wait, I lost you. Are you talking about kids, yachts, or RV's?
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:04 PM   #39
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Good question.

Just kids and RV for me, as I have no yachts, but I guess the latter would be pretty bad for their owners. However, "stuff" does not cause me sleepless nights.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:28 PM   #40
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It took many years for me to find a woman I would even consider having kids with... unfortunately, we are both 38 now, and we feel it is too late to start a family. The upside, obviously, is that FIRE is very possible for us... if things work out, FIRE at 45 is acheivable... I know years down the road we will likely regret not having children...
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