The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

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Brianmcg321
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Brianmcg321 »

I'm as golf nuts as anyone.

I hate to break it to you, but once that baby is born, the last thing your going to want to do is play golf. Sleep will become your number 1 priority for about 2 years.
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123
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by 123 »

I would focus on the care, welfare, and upbringing of your child rather than being focused on building in diversions ahead of the child's birth. A family country club membership (with childcare to avoid inconvenience), likely a series of nannies, and then likely school years away in boarding school, seems like the life you're planning for your child. All of these can be justified as being great opportunities for your child and there are no financial issues because you can afford it. That is not the problem. It seems like you're on the way to planning a life that will miss the greatest joy in life, being a parent.
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jackson313
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

123 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:25 pm I would focus on the care, welfare, and upbringing of your child rather than being focused on building in diversions ahead of the child's birth. A family country club membership (with childcare to avoid inconvenience), likely a series of nannies, and then likely school years away in boarding school, seems like the life you're planning for your child. All of these can be justified as being great opportunities for your child and there are no financial issues because you can afford it. That is not the problem. It seems like you're on the way to planning a life that will miss the greatest joy in life, being a parent.
Your post feels a bit presumptuous. I think the argument that this could create diversion is fair and worth discussion, but I'm certainly not "focused on building" diversion. Further, I never stated anything about nannies or boarding school. In fact, my wife and I both had great experiences with the public school system and will have our children go through public schools as well. To state that I'm making plans that will miss "being a parent" feels like a stretch and a bit offensive. I plan to be a good, present father and the intent of my post was to weigh the viability and tradeoffs of this decision for myself, my wife, and our future child.
anil686
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by anil686 »

While it will never make sense economically, I think it could make sense socially depending on the area. For some areas, it is the social gathering spot of the neighborhood and thus it helps foster friendships amongst kids in the neighborhood. In addition, it can be a quick way to have dinner out if it is close by (closer than many restaurants) which helps with time and stress for meal prep allowing you to have family meals where you all can focus on events of your days versus cooking, cleaning, etc. however, that time is probably not now. Maybe in four to five years it may start to make sense and certainly could be a consideration when your kids are in elementary school, but for right now, I don't think you would have time to enjoy what your $20K over two years would be paying for. JMO though...
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hand
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by hand »

On one hand, *this* is a perfect time to try the trial membership as you get to experiance life without and then with the baby and assess how much value you get from the club post-baby.

On the other hand, consider whether list price for buy-in / membership is what people really pay. My understanding was that private club membership and golf are both down significatly in the last decade and golf clubs are very hungry for new members. There may be a false sense of urgency with this *deal*. Perhaps just wait until the baby comes and consider a trial membership then if you're still interested.

Personally, I wouldn't commit to a buy-in plus 5 figure annual dues without more savings than you've indicated especially if some risk that Mom's income drops to zero post-baby. If your income is stable, considering this amount discretionary and prioritizing the "now" vs financial independence isn't unreasonable.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Discarded.
Last edited by Broken Man 1999 on Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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corysold
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by corysold »

So it seems you are saving $70,000 into taxable plus maxed out retirement, which I suppose depends on what you're using, but I'd assume safe to say you are saving somewhere around $120,000/year?

That $20,000/yr for the club is obviously going to cost something closer to $400,000+ in opportunity cost, but as others have said, you can't take it with you. $90,000-$100,000 savings rate is still very good. You have two years to try it and see if it fits in your lifestyle. You'll have a better sense of your finances with the child then, plus a sense if your wife is going back to work, daycare, etc.

In your situation, I'd say $9,000-18,000 sounds like a pretty low barrier of entry to try it for a year or two and see if you like it.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:38 pm
123 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:25 pm I would focus on the care, welfare, and upbringing of your child rather than being focused on building in diversions ahead of the child's birth. A family country club membership (with childcare to avoid inconvenience), likely a series of nannies, and then likely school years away in boarding school, seems like the life you're planning for your child. All of these can be justified as being great opportunities for your child and there are no financial issues because you can afford it. That is not the problem. It seems like you're on the way to planning a life that will miss the greatest joy in life, being a parent.
Your post feels a bit presumptuous. I think the argument that this could create diversion is fair and worth discussion, but I'm certainly not "focused on building" diversion. Further, I never stated anything about nannies or boarding school. In fact, my wife and I both had great experiences with the public school system and will have our children go through public schools as well. To state that I'm making plans that will miss "being a parent" feels like a stretch and a bit offensive. I plan to be a good, present father and the intent of my post was to weigh the viability and tradeoffs of this decision for myself, my wife, and our future child.
It never ceases to amaze me what can be read into posts with no knowledge of OP's plans for the child's future. Might be projection.

OP, if wife is onboard, go for it.

Broken Man 1999
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FlyAF
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by FlyAF »

I will say this about the social aspect of cc's. I've been a member of about 6-8 in various places around the US. Make no mistake about it, cc membership is 90%+ old men. Your family will likely be one of the very few younger families. That is why virtually all clubs have a "junior executive" membership like what OP is considering for people under 40. All clubs are hungry for young members, bonus if you're a really good stick. I mention this to temper expectations in this area. I joined my first CC at age 22 when I could barely afford the dues. I'm a low single digit HCP and therefor make my way into the good groups fairly easily. Even though I've had nothing but positive experiences at every club I've been a member of, understand that you will be socializing and playing golf with people that are mostly 20+ years older than you.
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jackson313
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

corysold wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:46 pm So it seems you are saving $70,000 into taxable plus maxed out retirement, which I suppose depends on what you're using, but I'd assume safe to say you are saving somewhere around $120,000/year?

That $20,000/yr for the club is obviously going to cost something closer to $400,000+ in opportunity cost, but as others have said, you can't take it with you. $90,000-$100,000 savings rate is still very good. You have two years to try it and see if it fits in your lifestyle. You'll have a better sense of your finances with the child then, plus a sense if your wife is going back to work, daycare, etc.

In your situation, I'd say $9,000-18,000 sounds like a pretty low barrier of entry to try it for a year or two and see if you like it.
Thanks for your input. Yes, savings are ~ $84k for retirement (technically $95k if I include employer match) + ~ $70k into taxable ($154k). If helpful, retirement breakdown:
  • pre-tax 401(k): $19,500 + $9,750 emplyer match
  • afer-tax 401(k): $27,750
  • my Roth: $6k
  • wife Roth: $6k
  • wife 403(b): $19,500 + $0 match
  • HSA: $5k + $2k employer match
psteinx
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by psteinx »

Once the baby is born, assuming you and your wife had premium college educations and see it in your child's future, you may want to start a 529, especially if New Jersey offers incentives (deductions/credits/etc) for them.
BuckyBadger
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by BuckyBadger »

Let me clarify that I don't think you're saving too little annually, but that your totals seem a little low to be comfortable spending this much on a country club.

Have you priced out child care yet?
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jackson313
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

psteinx wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:59 pm Once the baby is born, assuming you and your wife had premium college educations and see it in your child's future, you may want to start a 529, especially if New Jersey offers incentives (deductions/credits/etc) for them.
I can't say I've read up much yet on the incentives for NJ, but do plan to do so and open one up. Thank you for the tip!
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jackson313
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

BuckyBadger wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:02 pm Let me clarify that I don't think you're saving too little annually, but that your totals seem a little low to be comfortable spending this much on a country club.

Have you priced out child care yet?
Understood, thank you for clarifying. I have not priced out child care yet. We are still discussing what my wife may want to do (and know that can change), but do need to start pricing this out ASAP. Anecdotally it sounds really expensive (I've heard lots of numbers thrown out like $30k, $40k, etc. per year).
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Foredeck »

psteinx wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:58 pm Oh, and of course, how does your wife feel about all this?
Beyond the financials this is the most important question of them all. Will she be okay with you going out playing golf, while she's home taking care of the kid(s)?

My suggestion would be to talk with her. If she's onboard with your idea then i think you move forward, granted you can afford to spend the money and time. You might have the money, but not the time.

In my experience I joined a yacht club. I had the money, but not the time and it quickly became impractical. She expected me to be home with the family, which I quickly adjusted to.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by corysold »

The bottom line to me is OP has an income over $300,000/year. If someone who has the rest of their spending seemingly under control, can't splurge a little for a country club membership, then what is the point of working at all?

That of course doesn't take into the account the relationship aspect of the whole thing, but financially, I don't see how OP can't make it work.

Even going by the Klang rule of saving 1 year of expenses every year, OP could join two CC and still be ahead of the game.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Doom&Gloom »

I have belonged to a number of country clubs and golf clubs in several different places. (The golf clubs offered little more than a bar and/or snack bar in addition to the golf course.) With one exception I enjoyed all of them immensely and do not regret the expenses at all. The one I regretted was a golf club that was too far from home and at which I really didn't "catch on" with a group of golfers and/or card players in the club. I probably could have caught on had I stuck it out longer, but it was just too much of a drive for me to go through that initial phase of joining a new club.

I may have missed it, but does your membership entitle you to a share of ownership? Some clubs I joined did; others did not. There are pros and cons to each arrangement. However, I belonged to clubs of both types that assessed members a hefty additional fee when the club fell on hard times and could not make ends meet. I would ask current members if that has been the case during their tenure, how much the assessments were, and to whom they applied. I may have also missed how close you are to the club. Commuting time for a round of golf can be a real drag when you are already on the hook for monthly fees and feel pressured to make the trip to justify your expenditures. Does the club have minimum required amounts of spend in the restaurants/bars? Most of the country clubs I belonged to did. Are the requirements reasonable and convenient?

I think the "trial" membership (or whatever it is called) is a great opportunity to see how good of a fit the club is for you--IF you are prepared to walk away if it doesn't meet your expectations rather than try to tough it out until you can make it fit.

Good luck! I hope it works out and that you and your family enjoy it.
Wyatt007
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Wyatt007 »

I say do it.

We joined our local CC about 3 years ago (kids were 4 and 2 at the time) mainly for the pool and it has been absolutely worth it. We were still relatively new to the area when we joined and it has been a great way to meet people and make friends.

Its really enjoyable in the summers to be able go play a round and then cool off at the pool afterwards with the wife and kids. The kids can now swim like fish and are also involved in golf and tennis.

As others have pointed out though, the drive time may make a lot of difference -- we live close enough to drive a golf cart to our club.
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ICMoney
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by ICMoney »

jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:45 pm
psteinx wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:58 pm Oh, and of course, how does your wife feel about all this?
She has a balanced POV on it from our discussion so far. Knows longterm it would absolutely make me happy, and is supportive of it being a part of our family life. She is not a "traditional country club person" although I am not really either (in terms of the stuffy/snobby reputation many have), so she is open to feeling this preview period out, meeting people, and seeing how much of it we can enjoy together. She's also excited at the prospect of occasionally bringing a friend or two to the pool or to play tennis.

On the flip side, she is tempering the fantasy image I have in my head of her and I happily meeting for a drink at the pool with the newborn. Her ultimate advice on it has been to the effect of, "do this for you because you work hard, but know in the short-term it's unlikely I fall in love with the place and you're probably not going to use it even close to as much as you'd want to early on".
If this is your wife's input so far, I would give pause. My suggestion if you want to join something is once baby is born, healthy and about 3 months old is to join a nice gym with great childcare. (Maybe you are already doing this...) This will give you as parents much needed breaks and as you workout to improve your physical health your mental health will get a boost as well. Getting these breaks from my youngsters at our local athletic club has been much needed for my own health in so many ways. And the kids like going there. You will also be more likely to meet other people in a similar life stage. I can't imagine there will be a lot of new parents in a country club setting, so you/your wife may not find the social connections in a CC you'd be looking for. I imagine a nice gym membership would be far less expensive as well...

Also, I would venture to guess that until at least age 7, the CC vs. other options probably doesn't matter at all from a kid's perspective.

Best, ICM
minimalistmarc
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by minimalistmarc »

We joined our local “spa” which is part of a luxury hotel and golf course. Didn’t pay for the golf as my wife doesn’t play and kids are 5 and 2.

Basically we just wanted access to the swimming pool and it has been great. I go 3,x weekly in the morning before work and so does my wife. At the weekend we take the kids. It’s always quiet, but we don’t really like mingling anyway.

I have no idea how any new parent would get away with playing golf. You have no idea about how tired you are going to be for the next 5 or more years (if you have kids)
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Not Jacob Fugger »

I’d say go for it if it will make you and your wife happy. As with many other decisions people tend to rationalize their way toward a result that they want. That being said:

Don’t discount the potential professional/career advantage to club membership. Ordinarily this benefit applies more to very high-end clubs but at your age I would think that any respectable course gives you a place to invite business and social contacts to play. Good things can happen. The cost of your club seems pretty reasonable for NJ. One thing to think about — sometimes people switch clubs as they get older and more financially capable, moving to a more expensive/prestigious club. That is expensive because most traditional clubs will not return any initiation. That is a sunk cost at the high end clubs.

Don’t ignore the fact that club membership will come with a fairly wide range of “hidden” expenses. These run the gamut from bag storage fees, caddy fees (if you have caddies), cart fees, holiday or scholarship contributions, range fees (if separately charged), etc. etc. Plus having signing freedom can result in a good bit of free spending that creeps up on you. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying it is bad, simply something to consider. While you grew up in this kind of atmosphere it might be that you were not paying the fees. Some clubs also have a culture of betting that can result in a surprising amount of wagered amounts. One can avoid that but it takes a bit of discipline.
quantAndHold
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by quantAndHold »

Does this club have the full set of country club amenities, or is it just a golf club?

We belong to a club near home that has all the usual amenities except golf. We use it several times per week, and you’ll pry the membership out of my cold, dead hands. Mostly we just use the fitness center and pool nowadays, but we used it more when the kids were kids, because the club has a lot of great programs for kids and families. Since it doesn’t have golf, it’s a lot cheaper than a club that has golf, but we aren’t golfers. We’re also more price sensitive than you, so not having to pay for a golf course was good for us.

Financially, you seem fine, but it sounds like you’re the only one who’s going to use it. If it were me, I would be looking at something everyone in the family will use.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
MarkerFM
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by MarkerFM »

You have thought this through, you can afford it. Do it at least for the trial period and re-evaluate.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by EconMom »

The only thing I would caution against is assuming your wife will know how she will feel for you to go play golf and she is home with a baby *before* the baby is here. If you had asked me when I was pregnant if I would mind if my husband had a once-a-week 2 hour hobby I would have said no problem. Once the baby came, I would have filed for divorce if he did that once a month (not really, but close....especially that first year).

Basically, make sure there is room for the possibility that how she thinks she will feel may wind up being quite different from how she ends up feeling.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by pasadena »

EconMom wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:11 pm The only thing I would caution against is assuming your wife will know how she will feel for you to go play golf and she is home with a baby *before* the baby is here. If you had asked me when I was pregnant if I would mind if my husband had a once-a-week 2 hour hobby I would have said no problem. Once the baby came, I would have filed for divorce if he did that once a month (not really, but close....especially that first year).
This. As first-time parents, you probably have no idea what's it's going to be like - nor does your wife. You think you do, but you don't.

Everybody speaks of free time. But the real question is not how much free time you will have, but how you will feel during that time. And you probably won't even be thinking of golfing before the child is at least a few months old. All you will want to do is sleep. Week-ends? Your wife, who would have spent the whole week taking care of the baby, will want to kill you if you get off for a few hours during the week-end.

I won't comment on the financial and social part of your post - I dont know anything about golfing and country club (except - holy cow, I never thought those were so expensive). But if I were you, I would wait until the 2021 season, when the baby will be a few months old and you actually know what you've gotten into, before making such a decision.
bluebolt
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by bluebolt »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:18 pm
You are free to call babysitting parenting, but I am also free to call it babysitting. See how that works? Hopefully the child won't be scarred for life.

Broken Man 1999
I’m guessing you don’t call it babysitting when the mother does the parenting.
ThankYouJack
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by ThankYouJack »

jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:31 pm I probably had much too rosy of an image of my wife, baby and I just relaxing peacefully there. :)
I think most first-time expecting parents have a rosy picture in mind. I know I definitely did :)

I feel a bit bad for you as some people are jumping on you a bit. From one side it's "How could you miss out on parenting, the greatest joy of your life!" and the other side is "Your wife will kill you if you leave her with the baby on the weekend!".

Anyway, best of luck and hope you get a great sleeper and some rounds in once the baby comes along (I personally would still wait on the membership though).
almostretired1965
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by almostretired1965 »

So I'm curious, did your parents have the membership before you were born? If so how did they manage it? Either way, it trikes me that they would have some valuable insights for you in regards to the early years .... as opposed to the peanut gallery here .....
BuckyBadger
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by BuckyBadger »

ThankYouJack wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:01 pm
jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:31 pm I probably had much too rosy of an image of my wife, baby and I just relaxing peacefully there. :)
I think most first-time expecting parents have a rosy picture in mind. I know I definitely did :)

I feel a bit bad for you as some people are jumping on you a bit. From one side it's "How could you miss out on parenting, the greatest joy of your life!" and the other side is "Your wife will kill you if you leave her with the baby on the weekend!".

Anyway, best of luck and hope you get a great sleeper and some rounds in once the baby comes along (I personally would still wait on the membership though).
My baby is, objectively, an incredibly easy baby. Great sleeper. Great eater. Hardly ever cries. Never fussy. Never sick.

And this is still the hardest thing I've ever done.

I've gotten a PhD. Passed board exams. Worked 3rd shift in a sheet metal factory.

Nothing compares to the stress, mental anguish, emotional labor, and lack of sleep (even with a great sleeping baby!) that you will experience with your baby and especially your first.

You need to be 100 percent with your wife at this time. Whatever she says now may not be how she feels later. She's going to go though mental and physical changes and stresses that she can't imagine. (Again, i was lucky to have an incredibly easy pregnancy and it's still impossible to make someone understand the changes.)

Maybe a country club membership will be great when the kid is 3 or 5 and can participate in family events. There usually isn't anything for the little ones to do until they're older. All the kids activities at our faculty tennis club are for slightly older kids. You can't take a little baby to the pool for much time, and there's NO relaxing around a pool with a toddler. Not even for a second.

But right now just didn't seem right.

Wait a few years until you get used to being parents and have figured out your family budget. Maybe at that time it'll all day into place.

But as a new 39 year old mom with a similar family income and similar yearly savings but more saved, it didn't seem like the right thing to do from a financial or familial aspect.

That's just my opinion.
jb1
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jb1 »

For that price I’d wait 3 years, get a GTR and call it a day
S7M832
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by S7M832 »

I'm in a somewhat similar situation - 32yo, married, 1 year old, income ~200k. Though I was never a CC member growing up, I always loved golf and was scratch in my high school / college years. I currently have a CC membership as a fringe benefit - my employer pays the monthly dues/fees, and I only pay the food bill (minimum of $150/month).

Despite it only costing me ~150/month, I recently approached my boss and asked for the cash rather than the membership.

Here's why:

(1) I'd rather have the money - in my case, several hundred dollars per month - to invest rather than it going to a membership.

(2) A baby takes up an enormous amount of your time; it is (quite literally) an around-the-clock-job for most parents. Your wife will be exhausted and so will you. You will have very little (if any) leisure time the first 6-9 months of the baby's life. We have a lot of family close by; they never volunteered to take the night shift. (I wouldn't trade it for anything, but leisure time is a thing of the past.) I went from 20+ rounds of golf per year to 2 rounds last year.

(3) At our CC, there are very few people our age. In our area, only a small percentage of people our age can afford the CC membership, and many of those who can afford it, choose not to. We would rather have the $150/month "food minimum" to pay a babysitter and go out with our friends a couple times a month. (Again, with a baby, the nights out occur much less frequently.) This may be different in your case.

In the summer, we went to the pool 2-3 evenings per month. Our son loves the pool, but because he is 1, is it not a relaxing experience. We spend an hour or two trying to get him to sit still to eat, and making sure he doesn't fall in the deep end. We never eat in the formal dining room because we don't want to infringe on others' dinners with a jabbering baby.

In short, we didn't receive enough benefit to justify the cost. I'm sure I will have a different opinion in 5-8 years, when he's old enough to play in the pool with minimal supervision, old enough to golf, etc. At that point, it would be a more relaxing experience.

My advice is to wait a few years, then dive in. Not an affordability issue, but a time/enjoyability issue.
LaborDoc
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by LaborDoc »

BuckyBadger wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:30 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:01 pm
jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:31 pm I probably had much too rosy of an image of my wife, baby and I just relaxing peacefully there. :)
I think most first-time expecting parents have a rosy picture in mind. I know I definitely did :)

I feel a bit bad for you as some people are jumping on you a bit. From one side it's "How could you miss out on parenting, the greatest joy of your life!" and the other side is "Your wife will kill you if you leave her with the baby on the weekend!".

Anyway, best of luck and hope you get a great sleeper and some rounds in once the baby comes along (I personally would still wait on the membership though).
My baby is, objectively, an incredibly easy baby. Great sleeper. Great eater. Hardly ever cries. Never fussy. Never sick.

And this is still the hardest thing I've ever done.

I've gotten a PhD. Passed board exams. Worked 3rd shift in a sheet metal factory.

Nothing compares to the stress, mental anguish, emotional labor, and lack of sleep (even with a great sleeping baby!) that you will experience with your baby and especially your first.

You need to be 100 percent with your wife at this time. Whatever she says now may not be how she feels later. She's going to go though mental and physical changes and stresses that she can't imagine. (Again, i was lucky to have an incredibly easy pregnancy and it's still impossible to make someone understand the changes.)

Maybe a country club membership will be great when the kid is 3 or 5 and can participate in family events. There usually isn't anything for the little ones to do until they're older. All the kids activities at our faculty tennis club are for slightly older kids. You can't take a little baby to the pool for much time, and there's NO relaxing around a pool with a toddler. Not even for a second.

But right now just didn't seem right.

Wait a few years until you get used to being parents and have figured out your family budget. Maybe at that time it'll all day into place.

But as a new 39 year old mom with a similar family income and similar yearly savings but more saved, it didn't seem like the right thing to do from a financial or familial aspect.

That's just my opinion.
100% agree

I’ve done 15 hours construction, I’ve done bartending overnight in college, I’ve done residency, and now I’m on call once a week. I even take call with residents to teach.

I’m gonna tell you a little secret... that call pays well and occasionally gets me away from a very tired and angry toddler. It get me away from parenting (or babysitting as some want to call it).

If you can make this arrangement work for BOTH OF YOU I say go for it. If not, don’t. At the current buy in price, it may be worth it to try it out and see how it works 12-24 months from now.

Btw, 12-24 months from now you will be in a very weird place. You will both remember how tough a newborn is AND both love you’re 1-2 year old so much that you’ll want baby #2... as some have stated before, think about how much golfing/utilizing of the club you will do. This isn’t a one step decision. You need to analyze the financial and time cost now vs the same cost with one kid vs the same cost with more kids.

Personally, probably gonna never join a CC. But I’m fortunate enough in my profession to know tons of people that are members and I have zero problem paying minimal fees for a round.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by watchnerd »

Skeet shooting club, tweed required, I'd be down for.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by beernutz »

If you join the CC you have a chance of being a character in a Harlan Coben novel.

I am terrible at golf but enjoyed playing it with friends 20 years ago. If I was in your shoes with your income, debt, and family sit I'd join the CC in a heartbeat.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by il0kin »

Father of two kids under 5 checking in. My thing is duck hunting, which is relatively cheap. I get out for a few hours most Saturday mornings during duck season. My wife is a saint and "gets it" that it's what recharges my batteries. So, I understand wanting to indulge a hobby.

But, it is truly hard to put into words how tired you will be and it is impossible to really understand unless you put an alarm every two hours on your phone one night and then let the alarm shriek for 20 straight minutes. You feel the fatigue in your bones. I duck hunted maybe 5 times the years my kids were born.

You can afford it, but your savings are still pretty light relative to your income. The CC's will always be hungry for members. Daycare is EXPENSIVE. I would tell you, make joining a CC your goal when your first kid hits 5. You have something to look forward to, you can get your savings up quite a bit and be on more stable footing, and you won't have wasted quite a bit of money to play golf 5x per year.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Random Musings »

Golfed regularly my entire life, on HS golf team. 9 hole golf league during week and 18 on weekends as an adult. President of league for two years. Then, had two kids. Think I have golfed, at most, ten times last 14 years, mostly work related. Didn't think my interest in golf would basically disappear, but found I rather spend time with my kids than with my clubs. Plus, there was less free time when being a parent.

OTOH, I know people at work who golf a lot who have kids. Just depends on what you prioritize in life, there are many paths to take.

Saying that, I'm in the mood to watch Caddyshack.

RM
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Cubicle »

I think you can afford it, financially. I don't think you can afford the time & energy to get "your money's worth". Maybe join for the intro cheap period. Don't make plans to stay.

$9,000 / 12 months = $750 a month. Could you play golf & dinner with the wife, go to the pool, etc... for less than $750 a month? If not, go for it.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by kelvan80 »

goingup wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:10 pm You'll be wanting to get your money's worth and she may have different ideas for your spare time. Perhaps she already is already familiar with your 4 hour absences on sunny weekend days, but it may cause some friction with a newborn at home. :|
Ha ha it's never just a four hour absence though, is it? My husband golfs and I love that he has an outlet outside of work and something that is his (although I do play a little). That being said, he max played twice a month each time after a newborn arrived and we have four children. The pool would be nice and if you have childcare and your spouse would use it as a place to socialize while you stay home and watch the new baby then it might be worth it.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by abracadabra11 »

BuckyBadger wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:30 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:01 pm
jackson313 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:31 pm I probably had much too rosy of an image of my wife, baby and I just relaxing peacefully there. :)
I think most first-time expecting parents have a rosy picture in mind. I know I definitely did :)

I feel a bit bad for you as some people are jumping on you a bit. From one side it's "How could you miss out on parenting, the greatest joy of your life!" and the other side is "Your wife will kill you if you leave her with the baby on the weekend!".

Anyway, best of luck and hope you get a great sleeper and some rounds in once the baby comes along (I personally would still wait on the membership though).
My baby is, objectively, an incredibly easy baby. Great sleeper. Great eater. Hardly ever cries. Never fussy. Never sick.

And this is still the hardest thing I've ever done.

I've gotten a PhD. Passed board exams. Worked 3rd shift in a sheet metal factory.

Nothing compares to the stress, mental anguish, emotional labor, and lack of sleep (even with a great sleeping baby!) that you will experience with your baby and especially your first.

You need to be 100 percent with your wife at this time. Whatever she says now may not be how she feels later. She's going to go though mental and physical changes and stresses that she can't imagine. (Again, i was lucky to have an incredibly easy pregnancy and it's still impossible to make someone understand the changes.)

Maybe a country club membership will be great when the kid is 3 or 5 and can participate in family events. There usually isn't anything for the little ones to do until they're older. All the kids activities at our faculty tennis club are for slightly older kids. You can't take a little baby to the pool for much time, and there's NO relaxing around a pool with a toddler. Not even for a second.

But right now just didn't seem right.

Wait a few years until you get used to being parents and have figured out your family budget. Maybe at that time it'll all day into place.

But as a new 39 year old mom with a similar family income and similar yearly savings but more saved, it didn't seem like the right thing to do from a financial or familial aspect.

That's just my opinion.
+1

Think of any other professional milestone achieved and any hardships that you've encountered along the way and it will pale in comparison to raising a young child.

Success in one's professional life only makes raising a child an even more difficult challenge in my experience. You will have received no formal training and there are few techniques that will prove to be effective and persistent. You will fail often and question your merit as a parent.

That said, I would wait until your newborn has joined the world and you and your wife have settled into a routine. Under the right conditions it might be doable.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by softwaregeek »

Foredeck wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 5:14 pm
psteinx wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:58 pm Oh, and of course, how does your wife feel about all this?
Beyond the financials this is the most important question of them all. Will she be okay with you going out playing golf, while she's home taking care of the kid(s)?

My suggestion would be to talk with her. If she's onboard with your idea then i think you move forward, granted you can afford to spend the money and time. You might have the money, but not the time.

In my experience I joined a yacht club. I had the money, but not the time and it quickly became impractical. She expected me to be home with the family, which I quickly adjusted to.
She might be OK with you leaving for half a day now, but when she’s got a two month old screaming all day she will be a little less forgiving. I don’t think you’ve fully grasped the lifestyle change inherent in parenting. I would pick more childcare over the country club any day. It would improve your life more. Also, your future social circle will probably be other parents once your kid starts school.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Bot403 »


Thanks for your input. Yes, savings are ~ $84k for retirement (technically $95k if I include employer match) + ~ $70k into taxable ($154k). If helpful, retirement breakdown:
  • pre-tax 401(k): $19,500 + $9,750 emplyer match
  • afer-tax 401(k): $27,750
  • my Roth: $6k
  • wife Roth: $6k
  • wife 403(b): $19,500 + $0 match
  • HSA: $5k + $2k employer match
How can you contribute to a ROTH? Your *savings* rate alone is almost above the income cutoff. Your earned income/AGI must be far beyond that.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by corysold »

It's amazing to me that anyone has more than one child given how difficult it is.

OP, you'll be fine. Parenting is hard. It isn't so difficult that you probably won't want to try it a second or third time. Yes, you have to make sacrifices. Yes, you may be a bit more tired for a little bit. Yes, you won't have as much free time as you used to.

Like anything in life being a good parent is about balance. Balancing the amount of time you spend in various aspects of your life is one of those things.

As someone with 6 kids, 12 to 3, who spent all of that time waking up at 3 AM doing a paper route every day and being a stay at home dad during the day, the one thing I wished I did better was ensuring my wife and I had more time enjoying things we enjoy doing. Even it is was only a couple of hours a week. Nobody is so busy they can't spend a few hours a week on themselves. No spouse should resent that time spent by their significant other if they are afforded the same opportunity.

It may not be at the CC, but find a few hours a week to do something for yourself and make sure your wife does the same. Maybe even force her to take an extra hour or two. I think you'll be a better father for doing it.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by EFF_fan81 »

Brianmcg321 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:19 pm I'm as golf nuts as anyone.

I hate to break it to you, but once that baby is born, the last thing your going to want to do is play golf. Sleep will become your number 1 priority for about 2 years.
Yep. I have kids 6, 3 and 1. If I had joined a country club seven years ago, I probably would have been paying $1,000 per visit.

Maybe when the kids are grown and I have more money in the bank.

No need to put the cart before the horse.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

Bot403 wrote: Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:31 am

Thanks for your input. Yes, savings are ~ $84k for retirement (technically $95k if I include employer match) + ~ $70k into taxable ($154k). If helpful, retirement breakdown:
  • pre-tax 401(k): $19,500 + $9,750 emplyer match
  • afer-tax 401(k): $27,750
  • my Roth: $6k
  • wife Roth: $6k
  • wife 403(b): $19,500 + $0 match
  • HSA: $5k + $2k employer match
How can you contribute to a ROTH? Your *savings* rate alone is almost above the income cutoff. Your earned income/AGI must be far beyond that.
Via backdoor method (contribute to traditional IRA, convert to Roth).
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by il0kin »

Another thought:

Perhaps you’d be better off using your discretionary income employing a nanny to assist you with childcare, household chores, groceries, etc... Your wife will definitely prefer it!
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by h82goslw »

jb1 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:30 pm For that price I’d wait 3 years, get a GTR and call it a day
This is the winning post! :D

OP.....wait until your baby is born. You have no idea what it’s like having newborn. And as another poster said, whatever your wife is saying now, it will definitely be different when she’s been up 24 hours straight. Good luck!
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

almostretired1965 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:27 pm So I'm curious, did your parents have the membership before you were born? If so how did they manage it? Either way, it trikes me that they would have some valuable insights for you in regards to the early years .... as opposed to the peanut gallery here .....
Yes they did. That said, they ended up divorced... :shock:
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by jackson313 »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:01 pm Does this club have the full set of country club amenities, or is it just a golf club?

We belong to a club near home that has all the usual amenities except golf. We use it several times per week, and you’ll pry the membership out of my cold, dead hands. Mostly we just use the fitness center and pool nowadays, but we used it more when the kids were kids, because the club has a lot of great programs for kids and families. Since it doesn’t have golf, it’s a lot cheaper than a club that has golf, but we aren’t golfers. We’re also more price sensitive than you, so not having to pay for a golf course was good for us.

Financially, you seem fine, but it sounds like you’re the only one who’s going to use it. If it were me, I would be looking at something everyone in the family will use.
Full set of amenities. Pool, tennis, kids' camps, lots of family activities (we've reviewed the schedule), etc. We have extended family who have been members for a long time, and they said the club has really geared itself towards families (and attracting young ones) over the last ~ 10 years.
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Re: The annual "Boglehead considering a country club" thread

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

bluebolt wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:56 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:18 pm
You are free to call babysitting parenting, but I am also free to call it babysitting. See how that works? Hopefully the child won't be scarred for life.

Broken Man 1999
I’m guessing you don’t call it babysitting when the mother does the parenting.
Well now, you will have to continue guessing. Hopefully you will be able to power thru the bitter disappointment of your lack of closure on the question.

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