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Old 04-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #41
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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...
Even to this day, we haven't completely ruled out adoption. But as we get older (I'm 44, she's almost 42) the chances become a little slimmer.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:57 PM   #42
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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.
Lilly (assuming you would be the mother) - 30 is already getting a wee bit old for having children (after 27 actually) and statistically conceiving gets more difficult with each year that goes by. I hope you are aware of this.

I never had kids because I never felt the very strong urge to have them (I'm not much of a maternal type), and my eventual DH felt even stronger about not being a father. Yes, it helped us retire early, but that is not why we didn't have kids.

I feel it children are something one should feel strongly enough about to have, because they are a huge commitment. But, again, biology doesn't let you put off the decision much past 30.

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Old 04-28-2010, 09:02 PM   #43
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I know years down the road we will likely regret not having children...
Don't be!

I am no psychologist, but I think we have children because we value the relationship with them, from their birth until the time we have to treat them as adults. Not equal, but as an adult. Yet, we have heard of so many people who are estranged from their children. It is so sad; I do not try to ask, and will never understand anyway.

One can cultivate relationships with other relatives or friends. Is there any guarantee that you would have a good rapport with your children?
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:05 PM   #44
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If I think about doing something and the first thing that comes to mind are obstacles that would prevent it from happening (like, "let's buy a car, but a new one is so expensive") or negative things (like, "I want to retire but what would I do all day") then I know I don't really want to do it. If I wanted to do it, I'd think about how I could make it happen, not what would stand in the way. If I find myself overanalyzing a decision, I'm pretty sure that I don't really want to go through with it.

If I really wanted a yacht or an RV, I'd figure out how to do it--buy used, buy smaller, buy a share of one with someone else, rent one, whatever. Same for kids with us (although no one took us up on sharing one )--we wanted them, we figured out a way to have them and raise them and didn't really consider the obstacles or possible negatives.

About half of our friends don't have children and are very happy with fulfilled lives. Interestingly, almost none of them our age have chosen to retire!
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:13 PM   #45
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... we wanted them, we figured out a way to have them and raise them and didn't really consider the obstacles or possible negatives.
When we had our children, we never thought of the negatives. It was only after we survived some near calls, and saw what happened to other families that we knew that we had walked through a mine field!

I hope I have not scared anyone here with the potential pitfalls. I just like to point out there are pros and cons, and when thinking of cons, things that you can put on spreadsheets are actually no big deals. We did not have any spreadsheet of living expenses, leave alone kids' costs.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #46
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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.
We were in our mid-30s when our first was born. We both worked. We did not own a home.

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1. How did having kids change your retirement plans?
Either no change or helped us retire sooner. We spent a lot of time with our kids and still do. They are teenagers now, but rather pleasant to be around. They make me feel very young.

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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.
Kids cost practically nothing if you (a) have good health insurance (pregnancy and birth is a $20 co-pay) and (b) have friends & relatives with kids that are 1 to 2 years older than your kids (you get all clothes, toys, books, and tons of other stuff for free). I'll admit to some extra cost for auto insurance, maybe college, and some early day care, but all that is minimal if you don't go overboard. As already reported, some folks just don't know how to say No to their kids.

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3. Is it really as rewarding as the say!? (Be honest!)
Absolutely. Right now my daughter is powerwashing the patio and outdoor furniture. My son is mowing the yard. I'm laying in bed browsing the web. I've been able to do some things that I would never have done without kids. For example, I've coached lots of youth sports teams that has been quite a lot of fun.

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4. What if you only have one kid? My experience (friends) is that an only child is a little weird!
I don't think it matters. We had one kid for awhile and now have 2 kids.

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5. Does having a kid make work worth it? Make it suck a little less?? (wishful thinking!! )
Work and kids are unrelated in my book.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:29 AM   #47
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A late decision made -

I'll weigh in here as someone who decided against kids in my 30s then changed my mind at age 43. Odd really, because there had been no regret about not having kids earlier. No way here to explain the shift. It was very quick - literally in about 10 minutes with my beginning the adoption process within a couple of weeks, which in most situations potentially would be worrisome. Part of was realizing that I was deferring some of what I wanted to do in life that I defined a personally meaningful until I retired but that life should be lived more in the present. Fortunately I was able to make it happen. I'm now retired with a teen.

1. How did having kids change your retirement plans?
For me, I could well still be working if I hadn't adopted. Probably would have taken an offered promotion etc. Rather than my daughter keeping me from retiring, she was the reason I wanted to be home.

Many of my former co-workers (eligible for a pension) continue to work, however, due to kids. Most of it seems to be to fund expensive private colleges and graduate school. Their choice.

Other friends like myself in their 50s with teens may not be able to retire for some time. But their kids are only one factor, and probably less important in the equation than say availability of a pension, early spending patterns, too expensive a house etc.

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. Obviously, the basics (decent standard of living) need to be covered. Outside of that, I get far more enjoyment from money spent on my daughter than myself. Granted, having many years of spending (or not) as I wished may promote that attitude.

As for the absolute amount, some expenditures may be beyond your control (possible special needs). Some can be evaluated now - you say you've bought a house. How is the school district? Do you tend to spend conservatively? If not, can that be changed? Will you be able to set spending limits for a kid? We live in an expensive area and there are lots of 12 and 13 yo with iphones. (My kid still has a pay-as-you go cell used only for emergency calls home.)

3. Is it really as rewarding as they say!? (Be honest!). The word "rewarding" is wrong somehow. Much of daily kid care isn't particularly rewarding but tiresome, inconvenient, and at times boring. But that's true of many endeavors that in the end are profoundly life changing. The kid's job is just to be a kid. The focus of parenthood is more on what you the parent become. It's certainly possible that some kids are so challenging that an individual can't be the parent they would want. That may be somewhat unknowable in advance; life has risks. Another scenario is that an individual doesn't choose or can't make the transition to being a parent. Only you can answer that question.

There is one other consideration. For most? (certainly me), your child becomes by far the most important person in the world and the central ingredient of your life. With all the very, life-enhancing emotion also comes fear of loss and the responsibility of making decisions that impact a life.

Would *I* do it all again? Absolutely, YES. It is a unique emotional connection. (Though that's not to say that there aren't other unique life experiences that may be better suited for someone.)

4. What if you only have one kid? My experience (friends) is that an only child is a little weird! Depending on the parents and particular family dynamics, I suppose there may be some differences - potentially positive or negative. Again, it is what you make of it. There are times my daughter would have liked a sibling. For her sake, I considered but didn't pursue it.

5. Does having a kid make work worth it? Make it suck a little less?? (wishful thinking!! ). Having my daughter changed my relationship with work - again, for better and worse. Better in that I mentally left work once I got home (not true before). Worse in that it was hard to juggle sometimes endless hours of needed overtime and being home at night and weekends. Being single was a big factor here.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:57 AM   #48
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EverLady,

As I read your post, I just kept thinking your daughter is very lucky to have you as a Mom
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:19 PM   #49
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Lilly (assuming you would be the mother) - 30 is already getting a wee bit old for having children (after 27 actually) and statistically conceiving gets more difficult with each year that goes by. I hope you are aware of this.

I never had kids because I never felt the very strong urge to have them (I'm not much of a maternal type), and my eventual DH felt even stronger about not being a father. Yes, it helped us retire early, but that is not why we didn't have kids.

I feel it children are something one should feel strongly enough about to have, because they are a huge commitment. But, again, biology doesn't let you put off the decision much past 30.Audrey
What kind of statistics back up your post?

DW had both kids over 30, and both healthy as can be.

Age 40 is a different story. over age 35, the docs start doing extra tests for potential problems. Downs Syndrome is a concern for women over 40 having kids.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:46 PM   #50
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What kind of statistics back up your post?

DW had both kids over 30, and both healthy as can be.

Age 40 is a different story. over age 35, the docs start doing extra tests for potential problems. Downs Syndrome is a concern for women over 40 having kids.
I didn't say anything before, but I had always thought 35 was when the risks started picking up and 40 is considered to be risky. That's what the OB told us.

Seriously, who has kids BEFORE age 27 these days!!??
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:42 PM   #51
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I didn't say anything before, but I had always thought 35 was when the risks started picking up and 40 is considered to be risky. That's what the OB told us.

Seriously, who has kids BEFORE age 27 these days!!??
Hmmm ... interesting that both responding to Audrey are men. Maybe a coincidence.

It struck me that Lilly has it about right if she's 30 and realizes that she *needs* to make a decision but that even so it would/could be a few years before the "blessed event."

It wasn't clear from your posts if your current b'friend is someone you are planning on marrying. If not (and even if marrying him) the logistics of it all could well take a few years. Fertility does start to decrease in the 20s and, I think, starts to fall off sharply at 35. Dredging up my own twists and turns from those days, part of the decision made in my 30s to not have kids was based on both the current relationship(s) and how I felt about all sorts of factors (the possibility of being a divorced mom, being financially dependent on another, working or not, daycare, etc. etc.).

So I *decided* (think it was mid-30s, definitely late for an affirmative call if not married) knowing that even if I later felt differently (and it turns out I did) and it was "too late" it was not because of simply drifting along oblivious. In retrospect, it wasn't even so much that I changed my mind but that I learned of singles adopting from China - had started in small numbers a few years earlier - and it just felt right.

Since I adopted, it probably makes sense to add a few words here. My cousin called me not long ago hysterical because she had finally decided to adopt and assumed she could follow my path. Naught. I was so sad for her (in large part because of her dismay that she just hadn't "realized"). There was a window for singles to adopt a healthy baby (with work and limited leave thought it prudent to minimize known issues) that in large part closed a few years back. Not realized by many is that domestic adoptions (of any ethnicity) can be about as difficult if not more so than internationally. For China (the country I know most about), the waiting periods for couples are about 5 years these days.

We live in an area where many women are highly educated and delay having kids. Some are fortunate (as I was with adoption) and begin families in their late 30s. Two of my acquaintances have bio-kids born after age 43 - one at 48 (which was a major but very welcomed surprise). Lots of others turned to fertility clinics (a big business here) or adoption after failing to become pregnant (many adopted kids - maybe 5 % in our elementary school ).
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:02 AM   #52
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What kind of statistics back up your post?

DW had both kids over 30, and both healthy as can be.

Age 40 is a different story. over age 35, the docs start doing extra tests for potential problems. Downs Syndrome is a concern for women over 40 having kids.
Age 35 is "advance maternal age" per the docs, considered high risk (not highest risk or anything) much to the chagrin of most women.

The age 30 bit is true also, but risks are relative. Basically, biologically we are supposed to be having kids as teens and early twenties.

Look here:
Maternal age effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can see the downs risk basically doubles at 30, 35, and 40, then goes up exponentially, quintupling at 45. Downs is of course only one risk. The other caveat is that most of these risks are really low probabilities with potentially tragic results. When my wife was pregnant with our first we were advised that we had a host of different risks (my wife was 31). You jump on the internet and the consequences of these risks were all horrible. The thing was, the chance was well below 1% for each of the three risks. But it really made us uneasy during the pregnancy. There was no chance we'd abort, I would have preferred ignorance. My kids are healthy. We did get the second in before my wife turned 35.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:14 AM   #53
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When does a woman's fertility start to decline? - Google Search

The main issue I point out is that a woman's fertility starts to decline after age 27. I just wanted to point out that it becomes more difficult to become pregnant and carry to term after 30. After 35 the fertility drop is dramatic. Women delaying childbirth need to be aware of these facts.
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The clock in ticking. How much time does a woman have?
Late thirties or early forties? No, actually a woman's fertility begins to decline in her late twenties. This means that the average number of cycles it takes to get pregnant will increase after the age of about 27. Delayed childbearing has resulted in about 20% of all women in the United States now having their first child after age 35. If you wait until you are 30 the probability of having a baby decreases 3-5 % per year, and even faster after 40.
...
A woman in her 20s has only a 12-15% chance of having a miscarriage each time she becomes pregnant. On the other hand, a woman in her 40s faces a 50% risk of miscarriage. J. Clark Bundren M.D., P.C. - Questions and Answers
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:35 PM   #54
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Lilly (assuming you would be the mother) - 30 is already getting a wee bit old for having children (after 27 actually) and statistically conceiving gets more difficult with each year that goes by.
However true this may be, every day I see mothers who in an earlier generation would have been thought grandmothers. Many women today are not even stably paired up by 30, let alone already mothers.

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Old 05-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #55
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Trivia on 20 Famous People Who Were an Only Child | Trivia Library
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:01 PM   #56
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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...
This post made me sort of sad.... I think if you started right this minute you could have at least one child by 40 and it's not that late by today's standards.

I have no regrets having 2 kids. They're still very little (almost 2y.o. and 4.5 old), so I cannot say I'm an accomplished parent yet. I need another 10-20 years of hard work before I can brag we've raised respectable people.
My DH wanted 3 and I said "two is all I can handle" and got my wish fulfilled since we've got DD and DS. We're both FT working so our major expense is daycare, of course and then before/after school care if I continue working (hopefully).
Before we had kids we didn't look at the spreadsheet because we didn't have one yet. We just knew we could afford kids based on our LBYM style, work income, and hoping for our job stability. What I miss most is our spontaneous trips and sometimes I miss serenity in the house . But then I look at my little DS chasing his older sister in the house and my life becomes meaningfull at that minute. So, for me these tiny things like a child's mimic, a smile or a kiss make up for the lost things that I might have had if we stayed DINKs.
Once in a while I think that maybe I'm a terrible mother because I work FT when there're so many SAHM's. But when I try to imagine myself as a SAHM, I always come to the same conclusion that I might turn out even a worse mom then than I'm now .
We're not 100% sure we'll be able to ER. It will depend at our financial picture in 10-15 years, potential college costs, and health insurance for the family at the time and we'll take from there.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:58 PM   #57
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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...
I had two biological children in my 40's, one at 41, the other at 43. I know many ladies who have had children at age 39+. Not the greatest time for fertility, but then again, it depends on each individual couple. There are many 20 something couples who are infertile just as there are many 40 something couples who are fertile. Statistically, yes, fertility of a population drops starting in the early 20's. However, statistics are meaningless when considering each individual couple.

Interesting fact, infertility is due to male factors as often as it is due to female factors even though we often associate infertility as a problem with the female partner.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:54 PM   #58
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Our only son went off to college last Fall and it's been one of the hardest years of our lives, adjusting.

I wasn't doing any retirement planning for the first 10 years of his life. My first reaction is to say that having him delayed retirement a lot. But it's not so clear now. I actually made a career change after he was born, because of the need for security, and probably did much better because of it. Ironic.

It is as rewarding as they say. And I'm a good test case. Didn't want kids, and it took many years to change my mind. Being a parent was incredibly hard but it developed skills and experiences, an entire life, I never would have experienced otherwise. And it paid back: I can honestly say the best times of my life were our outdoor adventures during his teenage years.

Many of my friends have only children, and my family has a history of them. There are some issues, to be sure. They inevitably have to battle self-centeredness. But I think it's a good solution for the couple that still wants to have a life, and I know it's better for the planet.

I did resent having to work more. Having a family provided motivation and a higher purpose, but it didn't change that work was just hard and boring a lot of the time. I leveraged my work-from-home position to maximize time with him, at the expense of career, and I've never regretted a minute of that!
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:23 AM   #59
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My perspective is someone who has spent the last 2 years pondering the same question with DW and deciding that kids aren't for us. We decided that memes mean more than genes and will adopt in the future if we change our minds. We are both FIRE and money played no role in our consideration not to have any in the forseeable future.

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1. How did having kids change your retirement plans?
The only work we would have been doing if we chose to have them would be raising kids. I hear it's full time work.

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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.
From talking to more people than I care to admit while I was trying to answer this question for myself, I can confidently say that it depends most on the parent. If a nany, $1000 for a pram, the latest fashion for your baby, private schooling, expensive hobies, the latest mobile phones and ivy league schools are a must to give your child all that you can give, the sky is the limit.

My DW and BIL were raised by incredible parents. MIL was a stay at home mom and FIL is and always has been a P/T worker who never made that big money. They managed to stay debt free through both their kids. DW is incredibly intelligent, graduated with a degree from a top school and has lots of fond memories about her childhood. Happy ending?

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3. Is it really as rewarding as they say!? (Be honest!)
The most honest and thoughtful of my friends say that you have to love the process. If you're doing it because you have high expectations for your child (dr., lawyer, upstanding citizen, someone to take care of you in old age...), you might be in for a big unpleasant surprise that will give you lots of regrets if you never loved the process when they were young.

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4. What if you only have one kid? My experience (friends) is that an only child is a little weird!
I have lots of friend who only have one child and friends who are an only child. They seem okay to me.

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5. Does having a kid make work worth it? Make it suck a little less?? (wishful thinking!! )
Let's just say I'm sure most are happy you added "".
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:09 AM   #60
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I had the dream of having children long before I had the dream of early retirement. I'm glad I never weighed money against having children, as my kids changed my life. Even though it was not easy raising 2 boys on my own I wouldn't change a thing. I'm just grateful I was still able to ER.
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