dusk_to_dawn said:
So............ for those that don't have kids, who are your beneficiaries?  Assuming you don't spend it all, who/what is going to get your stash?

Why leave any stash to anyone? DW and I have 2 adult sons and they are getting by on their own. Could be doing better if they put some muscle behind their effort. It's their choice how they want to live their lives. I intend to have a good time spending my stash in retirement.... starting about 36 days from now.

Oh yeah, since this was about having kids.. I would repeat the experience of having kids. It was mostly fun. No grandkids in sight though and not sure it matters either way.

I agree with this,

I think there must be a gene that causes one to want to remain child free.

But I have a stupid theory that for many men it is dormant and has to be turned on somehow. At least that was the way it was for me.

I would have been very happy to not have kids. But them something kicked in around the birth of my first one that made me realize that it was the best thing that every happened to me.

CyclingInvestor said:
I always knew I did not want kids. As soon as I found a doctor
who would snip a young, unmarried guy, I had it done (at 27),
before I got married.

If you do enough cycling, this should take care of itself....
....The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will leave no genetic legacy. Nor will their emotional or psychological influence on the next generation compare with that of their parents.

....These circumstances are leading to the emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm. These values include an adherence to traditional, patriarchal religion, and a strong identification with one’s own folk or nation.

This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism. Among states that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, fertility rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry. It may also help to explain the increasing popular resistance among rank-and-file Europeans to such crown jewels of secular liberalism as the European Union. It turns out that Europeans who are most likely to identify themselves as “world citizens” are also those least likely to have children.

On a lighter note (for liberals, anyway):
The international social club for childfree and childless couples and singles.
Cool Dood said:
If you do enough cycling, this should take care of itself....
I wear cushioned bike shorts and tilt the seat so the prong is down when biking.
No more kids planned, but I like to know I still got what it takes.
Who will get my stash when I'm gone? If there's any left 1/3 will go to dh's kids, 1/3 will go to my two nephews (yes someone in the family did have kids) and the other 1/3 will go to an animal charity.

I always knew I wasn't cut out for having kids, plain and simple. I have many reasons which I won't go into but I know it was the right decision for me.

I will tell you there was a time I thought I should have them, someone to take care of me in my old age. I had a long talk with my stepdad about that and his answer to me was. "Go to a nursing home and see how many people are there who's kids never visit". Clinched it for me.
The people who should have kids , don't, those that shouldn't, Do:confused:

You end up paying for kids anyway, they are just other people's.

Many families are dependant upon Child Welfare Payments, te children become the de facto employer.
AltaRed said:
Why leave any stash to anyone?

Because you can't take it with you. The question was who/what will get your stash when you are gone. If not a person, perhaps an organization. It seems highly unlikely that any of us will die with a zero balance. Many on this board will probably have substantial assets at the time of death.
dusk_to_dawn said:
Because you can't take it with you. The question was who/what will get your stash when you are gone. If not a person, perhaps an organization. It seems highly unlikely that any of us will die with a zero balance. Many on this board will probably have substantial assets at the time of death.
We have children, but in our wills in case our children don't survive us - we have designated Minnesota Public Radio and American Friends Service Committee to get the stash.
Our stash goes to our surviving parents, if any, a sister (who has children), and a few of our favorite charities. If we outlive all our parents, and as long as sis' remains financially secure, we'll leave her all the sentimental stuff and probably 1/4 of the moolah -- to compensate her for the trouble of weeding through all our junk heirlooms looking for the good stuff :D, with the rest going to charity.

I like knowing that after we check out, a big chunk of what we own is going to be used for something good.

Beneficiaries? Siblings, and organizations that work with refugees.

Here in NY leaving it to nieces and nephews likely sentences their family to a lifetime of dealing with the Court if they are minors. People hate it.
Our Son and DIL have decided not to have kids, and while DW and I think that is a mistake, because they both love kids, for what ever reason it is their choice and there life, and it is OK with us.

For those trying to decide if they should have kids the one thing that seems to come through here is that those of us that do, even those who thought they didn’t want kids, would not trade them for anything. I personally can not think of anything worse than turning 60 or older with a huge stash of cash and regretting that decision. There is an old decision matrix that says there are only 4 outcomes to all decisions for children it would go like this:

I don’t have kids and I didn’t think I wanted kids – good
I have kids and I wanted kids – good
I have kids and I thought I didn’t want kids – good in most cases
I don’t have kids and I should have had kids – bad

Yes you can turn these around, but most of our friends 60+ years old or older that thought they wanted kids and waited too long have regrets, those that didn’t want kids and didn’t have them are just fine. Frost poem about two roads comes to mind. There are times in life you make a decision and you can’t go back. For us it was to have kids. We retire May 5th, at 62, could have retired at 55 but didn’t think about it. No excuse!
I have absolutely no doubt that if I'd had children I would love them fiercely and probably be one of the people saying they are the best thing that ever happened to me. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm happy with my decision.
I've been very close for more than ten years with a group of childfree women who originally met on an AOL message board, so we've had all sorts of discussions on this topic.
One of the biggest challenges for me is this: Many people who are parents can comfortably say their greatest achievement is/was raising their children. They can say without a doubt, the most important thing in their lives is their families. And that's a good thing. But for a childfree person, (at least this one) it's important to have some other achievement or focus, in order to feel that I have contributed something positive to the world, or that I have some meaning and existence.

[existentialism before breakfast - not good!]

As to who gets the stash - Right now SO's son gets his, my brother and several charities get mine. As the son and impending grandchildren grow up, and my nephews mature that may change. If it seems they would benefit from it, they'll get more, if they are bums who would blow it all on dope, I'll leave it all to charity.
I'm 37. Don't have kids (good, since they would have had to go through their parents' divorce). Don't think I want kids at this late stage in my life. Current BF doesn't want kids either, which helps. I like kids, just don't have that maternal instinct.

I have 2 cats and BF and I want to get a dog.

My sister and her husband, for 10 years, said they didn't want to have kids. About a year ago, they changed their minds and are trying to have one. You just never know! I'd LOVE to be an aunt.

Both of my aunts don't have any kids (one couldn't, one didn't want to). I am very close to the aunt who never wanted kids, she is like a second mother to me.

As for the "who do you leave your money to" question: my aunt's estate will go in a trust to provide income for her second husband if he is still alive, and then the assets go to my sister and I. And since I am not currently married, my will gives money and stuff to: my sister (if I have a niece/nephew, I'll change that), several charities, and a small amount to one of my best friends' kid.

I have a 5 month old and what a blessing. I couldn't begin to imagine my life w/out kids. We plan on having 2-3 more.
So it sounds like everybody has no regrets about their decision to have or not have kids.  Is there anyone here who does have regrets one way or the other (just curious)?   I became a mother for the first time last year at 35 and just found out that #2 is on the way.  I always wanted to have children but didn't get married until 34.  Although I always liked children, I found that other children do not come close to the love that you feel for your own.  As soon as my son was born, I knew that I would die for him in a second.  It's like nothing I've ever experienced.  I'm sure I will have momentary thoughts of regret as I will soon have two under 18 months  :)  But hopefully those thoughts will be the exception and not the norm.  
If someone did regret not having children, there are plenty of kids out there who need either foster care or adoption. And if there are those who regret having children there is foster care or adoption.

My cousin (65) just informed me that she got a call last year from a sister she had no idea she had.
Ceberon said:
So we're both making a pretty bundle, we moved into a nice new ouse (not above our means, but not really below either), and are doing well for ourselves.

... we can't afford our house / insurance / cars / etc on one salary.

Something doesn't add up here. If you were even contemplating having kids, then the new house IS above your means. Seems to me if you were really trying to keep your options open (to have kids or not), you would have arranged your financial life to be within your means in either case. My wife and I were married for 5 years before we made that decision. She then stayed home for 9 years while the kids were small. We had bought a smaller house in a less expensive area than many of our friends. We still managed to retire at age 57.

No grandkids yet. Our son is 31 and just broke up with his girlfriend after 2.5 years. No near term prospects there. Our daughter (28) works in the theater ("forget it dad, all the unmarried men I meet are gay!"). Raising kids was both the most difficult and the most rewarding thing we have ever done. I have to bite my tongue to keep from reminding my son that he is the only male on my father's side of the family who can carry on the family name.

When I think back over the unbroken chain of couples that struggled to survive and reproduce across the ages to put me on this earth I can't help feel it would have been a betrayal of them not to have kids. While I didn't do it for that reason, I know I would feel guilty if I had made the other choice. Just my opinion.

Just a side note my MIL, who raised 5, says that raising kids is the easiest task in the world. Proof of that: 100% of those are armatures when they start and 95% of the product come out just fine, no other process has such a success rate, so, therefore, it must be easy. (I think her tongue was in her cheek)
Any one who says that at certain times of raising Children they did not regret their decision must be a Saint.

I could not imagine life without my sons, but there were times when He went through the Purple Hair, Tatoos, Earing Stage that they tried my patience(Youngest totall opposite, no marks or holes of any kind)

They did No Drugs, Mimimal alcohol(one, youngest total abstainer) and had more Girl Friends than I thought he deserved(youngest , total opposite, a few long term relationships).

Oldest, took off for China and has stayed for 8 years, youngest I needed dynamite to get him out of our basement.
J-Lu said:
So it sounds like everybody has no regrets about their decision to have or not have kids.  Is there anyone here who does have regrets one way or the other (just curious)?
"My parents moved a lot when I was a kid, but I always found them."  -- Rodney Dangerfield.

Spouse and I watched one couple try to conceive during a Western Pacific deployment.  We'd be pulling into port and she'd be waving from the pier (the spouses refer to this meet-'em-in-every-port behavior as "sea gulling").  The topside crew would be nudging him and saying things like "Hey, Rick, dude, who's the major babe?  Ouch, geez, sorry man, izzat your wife?!!", "Rick, do you have to cancel any other plans?  Want me to call your girlfriend?" and "Want me to take your duty, man?  Or do you want to take mine?"  Even the CO got into the act by making sure that he was the first man off the ship.  Rick would just groan or whimper a little and next morning come crawling back across the brow.  It was pretty hard for those two to keep their conception challenges private, but today they have three bouncing boys and no regrets.

Spouse was watching this behavior with some amusement (I was just hoping to get one of my best guy's mind back on his job) but evidently it started a train of thought.  A few months later, as we approached a couple years' shore duty in the sixth year of marriage (in our low 30s) I called her from Seattle (another "short" deployment) and she said "So, wanna start a family on shore duty?  Think about it on your way back to Hawaii-- no pressure!"  Yeah, right.  I knew better than to discuss my thoughts with any of my shipmates.

We had read that childless couples were "missing out", "too selfish", and ostracized by family/friends.  We couldn't imagine the pain of trying to conceive in vitro later in life after passing up what seemed to be a valuable opportunity.  OTOH both of us had dealt with a problem sibling while growing up and we weren't sure that more than one kid was such a smart idea.  No way did we want an "Eight is Enough" experience, either.  Other than those concerns, there wasn't much productive thought or discussion because we could imagine our lives either way and felt we should just give things a try.  We decided that raising kids was probably better than not having kids, and shore duty was probably a better time to try than during sea duty.  

After watching Rick's public travails we decided to take it easy and not sweat any deadlines.  Spouse went off birth control to make a gradual transition to fertility.  I was still six months away from shore duty when we rented a vacation cottage at Bellows Beach after the holidays, lost power for a couple days during a thunderstorm, the water was too cold for swimming, and we had no other sources of entertainment... bam.  So to speak.

We knew the day we left the delivery room that our family was the right size.  I've posted before about how tough some kid's personalities can be and how the military is not easily made family-friendly.  For a while, especially between six months and three years, I felt tricked by my genes.  (Our daughter, the spitting image of my deceased contentious mother, has everything in my DNA but my Y chromosome.  Freud would get a lifetime of research out of this one.)  We traded a lot of comments like "Hey, you already made your first mistake by marrying me, what warning signs weren't strong enough to keep you from procreating?!?", "$#@%ing sailors", and "There's no doubt this is your kid!"

Today I still feel a little hoodwinked by my male biological imperatives, but somehow kids worm their way into your affections and won't let you go.  Spouse and I agree that this project has been worth the effort and that we are better human beings for having been parents, as long as we don't give in to the occasional temptation to kill her before she reaches adulthood.  I enjoy teaching, and this seems to be the ultimate teacher's challenge.  Our kid has taught me more strategy, tactics, patience, leadership, psychology, humility, and endurance than from anything I've ever done in the Navy.  (I'm also a trained police interrogator & human polygraph.)  I've learned more about human beings-- especially women-- than I ever thought I would need (or want) to know.  Our kid does share interests with me that spouse doesn't, which is nice.  And at least I have someone who hasn't heard all my sea stories yet.  But I'm pretty sure that God (or my mother) isn't finished punishing me for the things I did as a teenager.  Parenting is truly a life sentence without parole.  And any parent who claims "Oh, my kid always..." or "My darling child would never..." has a lot to learn.

Both of our siblings appear to be in lifetime relationships, but AFAIK neither has kids.  I don't know if that makes them sad or, after spending time with our kid, feeling like they've received the governor's pardon.  We think they're missing out a little but we don't know if they've even tried to have kids or not.  We don't think that being childless has ruined their lives.  It's certainly improved their vacations & recreations!

So emotionally I'm 100% for having kids.  Intellectually the decision is about 75-25 in favor.  Financially, a kid is a big loser.  However if intellectual or financial considerations are an issue then you probably shouldn't be having kids in the first place.

It's just like ER.  If you're considering parenthood, then I recommend offering to watch a friend's or relative's kids for a couple weeks.  They'll be extremely grateful (although initially suspicious-- "Have you lost your ever-loving minds?!?") and you'll certainly learn how you can handle the subject.  But don't worry-- somehow kids survive all our attempts to raise them.
When ever I would get the urge I had two small boys I could borrow from a friend, that cured me.
It might not be the same thing but I knew I didn't want to deal with that, they are great kids and have grown up to be wondeful men and I love them dearly but as kids they were..well... normal little boys. I just don't tolerate childern well , never have, never will. I think it's wonderful that others want to have kids it just isn't/wasn't for me.
I remember as a Bachelor a buddy visited with his kid, the little boy, about 5, ran and ran and ran, my Girl Friend at the time said, she could not handle the energy.

The little boy, Kris Draper with the Red Wings, still high energy.

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