Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

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turbodiesel
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Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by turbodiesel » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:10 pm

hello, newbie here. Lots of helpful investment information in these forums - however, my question is more of a personal finance one.

My husband and I are in our early 30s and we'd like to start having kids. However, I'm stressing out because of the two below conflicting points:

a) I hate the idea of not raising my own kids and leaving them in a daycare or with a nanny all day;
b) but I also am scared of leaving the workforce for a few years and not being able to recover as a woman in her late 30s.

We live in a high cost of living city where daycare for an infant costs $1500-2000 a month and a starter home costs $500K+.

The basics: Husband makes around $110K a year, I make about $70K a year. We have a six month emergency fund. We are doing okay regarding retirement - we both started late but he will be at 3x income around age 35, and I should be there by age 40 (if I keep working). We have around $45K in student loan debt which we are paying down aggressively.

We rent and have a good deal for the area - less than 15% of our gross income. We haven't saved for a house down payment yet due to getting retirement and student loan on track - we could handle one small child in our current place, but we'll probably end up renting a bigger place after that, which would likely mean a 50-75% increase in rent (due to our current underpriced deal).

So we're doing okay but not great. Me not working would drop our income by nearly 40%. However, daycare would eat up over half of my take-home pay. My job skills do not translate well to freelancing or working from home, and I don't feel confident that I could find freelance work that could make up for that lost income. I also work in an industry that is very competitive - I feel lucky to be where I am. That said, I am not in love with my job at all. Husband is in a lucrative field where he is moving up quickly, so he definitely should keep working full time.

We have also always been all about contributing equitably to our expenses, even before we were married and living together. Husband thinks that I should keep working after having kids - a little bit because of the lost income, but mostly to preserve my sanity as I get older - he knows that I will want to keep working into my 40s, 50s, and 60s, and not at some dinky part-time consolation gig.

I would like to be able to retain a career and keep moving up, income-wise and job-wise. However, the idea of leaving a four-month-old with a stranger makes me physically ill.

I know this is an issue that plagues a lot of women, and that this forum is mainly men. But I'd love to hear from both sides - in our position, what would you do?

Thank you in advance.

red5
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by red5 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:15 pm

I can't speak for you, no one really can. But we decided to have one parent stay at home with children, at least until they are into school. We are doing this on less than 70% of what your husband makes (but we are also probably in a lower cost area). Also, in our case, the stay at home parent enjoys being a stay at home parent.

Is it a big financial sacrifice? Sure, absolutely.
Will it impact the career of the stay at home parent? In our case, yes.
Has it been worth it? Yes.

This is a very personal decision. Ask yourself if you would truly enjoy being a stay at home parent. It is not a job for everyone. It's busy, comes with long hours and is extremely exhausting, mentally and physically. But it is also rewarding. And a 40% reduction in pay is certainly significant but careful spending priorities would help offset that.

As they say, money is not everything.

Good luck in your decision.

Cuzz35
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Cuzz35 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:21 pm

You guys make about three times what I do and we're doing OK. Seems like if I even made your husbands salary we'd be doing great. Of course our savings rate is not what I'd like it to be but I know my salary will be going up as I am only 27 and my wife being a nurse can get a job pretty easily if needed.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by dpbsmith » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:25 pm

"It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money."

--Elinor Goulding Smith, The Complete Book of Absolutely Perfect Baby and Child Care, 1957.

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frugaltype
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by frugaltype » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:34 pm

In my view, your household has enough money for you to have at least one child if you stay at home. If you do so, you might consider training for/looking for work you like more once the offspring starts school, even if it does not pay as well.

Many households live good lives on a lot less than you two are making. Start looking at what you're spending money on and see how much of it is really important.

[off topic comments and followups deleted by admin alex. I'd like to remind everyone that (as stated in the forum policies) "We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions", so be respectful with your comments.]

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bottlecap
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by bottlecap » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:43 pm

If you want kids and wish to take care of them, I'd say just do it. Don't close your eyes to the ramifications, but don't let them paralyze you either. There is never a financially ideal time to have a child.

There are options that will present themselves. My wife and I hated the idea of leaving our child with someone else, but fell into a good situation with someone we were comfortable with that "allowed" my wife to work part time. I use quotes because she would perfer not to work part time.

We're in a situation now where it's time to have another, but we are in a less advantagous financial situation than the first time around. We're just going to do it. If worse comes to worst, we move and downsize. But we learned from the first time that waiting too long doesn't make it better. I wished we started sooner, finances be damned!

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Rodc
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Rodc » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:53 pm

a) I hate the idea of not raising my own kids and leaving them in a daycare or with a nanny all day;
b) but I also am scared of leaving the workforce for a few years and not being able to recover as a woman in her late 30s.
It is not all or nothing. I understand not wanting to leave your kid for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch. I would not do that either. In fact I kind of wanted my wife to stay home long than she did, but she wanted to go back and did when they were 14 months old and we sort of shifted hours a bit so they went to daycare for 6 hours. I thought this was a bad idea and she said they would be fine. In fact she was more than right, they loved it.

Honestly, part time daycare is not going to hurt your kid. If they are very young and in daycare say 6 hours they are going to sleep for three of those hours. Ours did anyway. A little later they will only sleep for 2 hours and spend 4 hours playing games with their friends and adults who at least really like kids and very possibly love them (yeah, not as much as you do. :))

So, you take care of them for 2X24 + 5x18 hours a week or 138 hours and they are in daycare for 30. Is that really having someone else raise your kids? And of those 30 hours a bunch will be them sleeping.

So sure, if working means 10 or 12 hours like some people do, I get it, I would refuse too. But if you can work near home so little commuting time and one of you can start going in extra early and get out early and the other goes in late and comes home late, this does not have to be an all day thing.

In the end not only did our kids love it but I did too. I took them in around 9 am, stayed and played with toddlers a bit, and later when they were a little older, every day I would gather up the kids into a circle and read a couple of books while the teachers had a cup of coffee and took a little break in the corner. Then I'd go off to work. Wife did pick up at 3 pm. It was a very positive experience all around.
Last edited by Rodc on Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kenyan
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by kenyan » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:54 pm

If you want kids, then have them. Finances and fertility are temporary. Even if the 'big box' day cares are that expensive, in-home day cares are not. We have the current arrangement of the wife working half-time, with the kids in day care half time at a certified in-home location. It works great for now - wife gets her social interaction and needed break from childcare, kids get regular social stimulation but still see plenty of mommy (and a reasonable amount of daddy too, due to work schedule). However, such a situation does require a very flexible employer, and it might be noted that the wife's employment basically only covers the cost of day care, retirement contributions, and transportation costs between those locations. Still, it's a temporary financial hardship, and she will resume full-time work eventually.

Overall, you're doing better than us with both current income and prospects for income increases, and we're in a similar COLA. We're doing just fine, though I'd prefer a higher savings rate than we're capable of at the moment. My wife did feel the same way as you about leaving a very young one with a 'stranger,' and stayed home with our first for almost a year (while trying to cobble together part-time work hours). With the second, she did go back to work at four months and was mostly okay with it.
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The Wizard
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by The Wizard » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:55 pm

It's good if the parents can stay together AFTER the kid(s) are born as well. Till they're age 22 or so. Sadly, it doesn't always happen...
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Meaty
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Meaty » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:57 pm

As an employer, I always like it when my staff either takes out a mortgage or has kids....they need their jobs even more than before :)
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:00 pm

Your circumstances present almost exactly to my own prior to starting a family in almost every respect - HCOL city, high daycare expense, income, childcare and career impacting decisions. My wife wound up making the decision to go back to work for sanity reasons and yes, to be selfish for the benefit of the family. We both work in industries that are not recession proof. Easy for some to say, stay home money be damned - unfortunately, real life gets in the way. As you say, you may be giving up half of your net pay at least for the first 2 1/2 years, but you would also give up personal connections, business connections, your sanity (didn't I already mention that? :wink: ). I will not lie, it was difficult the first few months after maternity leave was over, but my wife doesn't regret not doing it and my child is not any worse off for it. The most stressful time for us was obtaining daycare references and checking and double checking, and checking again.

We can not give advice - this is a very personal decision that should only be made by you and your husband. Ignore the fertility wanna-be specialists on the board - you have plenty of time and the last thing you need is any unwanted added stress. Your question was about your financial circumstances - speaking about medical conditions is a forum -no -no! Some people just don't get it.
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by livesoft » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:06 pm

We had our first child while living near NYC. We were in our late 30's and did not own a home. Let me just say that it is really no problem financially.

We both worked and had our child in daycare. Studies have shown that home-raised kids are not any worse off than kids raised in daycare except when the mom is a psychopath.

We both work to this day and our kids (plural) spent some early years in daycare and seem to have turned out OK. Our friends have had kids who didn't go to daycare and those kids seemed to have turned out OK as well.
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zagyzebra
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by zagyzebra » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:13 pm

I SO FEEL FOR YOU. It was this exact conundrum that made me jettison my 10-year-old agency, and downscale by leaving Los Angeles for Oregon. In my case, having a child and experiencing the overwhelming guilt I had coming home at 6:30 or 7 and having just 30 minutes with my baby before he fell asleep was enough motivation to cause me to force my family through some serious lifestyle changes. I personally couldn't do both: work and raise a child. Seeing that grumpy nanny's face at the end of a busy work day made me question why I chose to have a child in the first place. All the successful professional couples with kids I know have nannies, unless one of the parents opted out of the workforce to raise the kids. So my advice to you is choose your nanny wisely. That said, I do believe the work force respects women who take time off to be a mother, up to a point. You have a window of time -- believe it or not -- that is probably in the range of 5-8 years. Particularly if the person who is doing the recommending is a woman and the person hiring you is a family person. I didn't fully believe I could re-enter the work force again and surprised myself by getting the first job I applied for when my son was about 7 or 8 years old. But when you get back in the game, stay in it. Because your husband is right, you will eventually get bored with being mommy and will crave the mental challenges and adult interactions of the workplace again.

leonard
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by leonard » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:28 pm

You seem to be planning for the neutral case - the kid is reasonably "normal". I think one should at least have thought about "what if" it is not a normal child but has some serious problems.

What if... Autism. Birth defect. etc. etc.

Then, what do finances, along with the rest of life, look like.
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in_reality
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by in_reality » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:37 pm

turbodiesel wrote: a) I hate the idea of not raising my own kids and leaving them in a daycare or with a nanny all day;
b) but I also am scared of leaving the workforce for a few years and not being able to recover as a woman in her late 30s.
Either a or b will work just fine and you will have a wonderful life!!!!!

a) You can quit work anytime if daycare or a nanny doesn't go well! You will still be raising your kids -- do you think your work will finish when your workday ends???? Maybe your feeling will change the more you know about the daycare or nanny perhaps by talking to current/former clients.

b) Decent positions are difficult to come by and you have worked hard to get yourself into a fortunate position. I don't think recovering from years out of the workplace only affects women though...

Anyway, the extra money you would have by working two jobs (one for income, one taking care of children) to me is a security blanket for anything that might go wrong. A nicer car, better clothes, pampering yourself or whatever is not worth it if it comes at the expense of time with your children. However, having a financial security blanket for your family is very much worth it I believe. In my case, I never expected to be needing a speech language pathologist for our child nor had any idea of what they cost.

I'd invest in your career knowing that it's not without risks but also knowing you can ditch the nanny or daycare if it doesn't go well enough. Personally, I try to buy the caregivers this or that -- not so much to raise their wages but just to say I do appreciate the effort.
Last edited by in_reality on Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Toons
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Toons » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:40 pm

As my Grandmother passed on to my Mother and she passed on to me:"If you wait until you think you can afford to have children,you will never have any. :happy. I was 40 when we had our child,income was cut almost in half,,,,I forgot all about it,Everything worked out the way it was supposed to,,better than fantastic. :happy
Don't stress yourself out about the negative aspects of what might happen in the future,which by the way 99.9% of the doom and gloom one envisions in their mind NEVER happens.Think Positive,good luck :happy
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Texas hold em71
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Texas hold em71 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:11 pm

Lots of good advice here. Life is about choices.

I have always worked outside the home and it was very hard when they were infants even with wonderful daycare options. Much harder on me than them. A lot of guilt.

Now that they are teenagers and almost all the moms we know are going back to work, my children are every bit as bonded to me as their peers are to their mothers. They are successful socially and academically. I have no 12 to 15 year gap on my résumé. College accounts are funded, retirement is on track. They see a working mother and a father who does (more than?) his share around the house as normal. It has worked for us.

Most of the mothers who are headed back to work are happy to have had the time at home with their children and don't regret the choice they made.

If you can relocate to a lower COLA area it MIGHT make your choice easier.

123
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by 123 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:13 pm

You'll get more out of life with a child then with investments. Is the only purpose in life to live comfortably and then retire?

It's even more fun talking about your children then your 401K or IRA.
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Savvy
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Savvy » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:22 pm

My two thoughts:
1. Can either of you search for employers in your industry in your area that offer daycares? Some large corporations nowadays offer daycare.

2. YOLO

MN Finance
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by MN Finance » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:26 pm

If you weigh financial consequences of children at all, then clearly you would never have them since they represent a significantly negative financial outlay at any income level or net worth. Clearly it's not a financial decision, however. No matter what the financial sacrifices end up being, I doubt you two will look at each other sitting in your rocking chairs in 50 years and say, "gee to bad we had those kids because they really put us behind." Whereas you might clearly say the opposite with an alternative decision.

I had always assumed growing up that I would marry another professional spouse and we'd both have fulfilling careers, but now that my spouse stays home with our 4 ages 2-7 I could absolutely not imagine doing it another way. There's no way I'd let someone else raise my kids even if it meant i had to live in my parents basement, save nothing for retirement, work to 75, and walk up hill both ways to work barefoot in the snow. We all have different values, though.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by tibbitts » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:01 pm

I only have experience with foster children, from a few days to a couple of years old (just one at time), but my experience was that having both parents work full time while having young children would be extremely difficult. The traditional 40/hr a week job is more like 60hrs/week, including getting ready for work, commuting to and from work, mandatory lunch hour at work, etc. That's not even including any additional time working at home, or any overtime hours. There just isn't a lot of time left over. I'm guessing that a high percentage of forum members have more flexible employment than average, so if you don't, you have to weigh the responses in that regard.

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island
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by island » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:04 pm

Personal decision only you can answer. My guess is you're going to hear opinions on both ends here, Your friends, family and coworkers can probably provide a more accurate view from where they're sitting.

You either want children or you don't and if you do then you do what it takes. Sometimes having choices is harder than if you don't.

There are a lot of 2 working parent households. It's 2013, not 1950 and thank God. And by that I also mean if both are working, there should be an expectation that both parents will pitch in equally at home.
Like someone said earlier it's usually not either or and needing or wanting childcare is not having someone else raise your kids. Your family income and potential for income growth puts you way ahead of most. You'll most likely have options and will find a balance. Good luck.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by jackholloway » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:14 pm

We had income similar to yours when we had our child. My wife had a job in a tech field, feared losing her career, but did not love the job. She went back after leave, decided that she really did like the sahm life, and did odd bookkeeping jobs to keep the wolf from the door. Eventually my income rose to where she did not need to do that, and she stopped paid work and started volunteer work.

It is a good life.

Yes, you will take a financial hit, but it is so worth it. The offspring has a science mommy, who showed her that you can be smart, geeky, and popular.

If you decide to go back because you like the work, it will also work out. You will have more resources to handle problems, and a few more constraints. A turndown in your husbands career will be less important.

Both ways work - do what feels right, plan well, but accept that you will have surprises that you need to adapt to. As far as the "what if you get divorced" meme, accept that it is a risk like any other. Since exactly the same steps are needed if your husband dies uninsured or if he gets disabled, or his career suddenly ends, you can take appropriate steps. Stay current in your field, or pencil In learning your next career.

turbodiesel
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by turbodiesel » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:18 pm

Thank you for all the helpful advice, everyone! [response to OT comments deleted by admin alex]

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by haban01 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:28 pm

This may not be directly related but I know if a special person that was disabled and in a wheel-chair from birth. His mother was forced to stay at home because he needed and continues to need 24/7 care. There are many kids that have a severe disability like Cerebral Palsy and are confined to a wheelchair. The parents ended up giving up the chance of one person working. Fortunately they made it work. It's sad to say that any parent could come in this situation of no fault of there own and need to incomes to live and then what does one do. It is hard in any cost of living area to provide for a family on one income. I think about all the people out there that need a dual income household and what could happen if something like that happened.
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by travellight » Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:54 pm

You did not mention if your husband loves his job; just that you don't love yours. I would strongly consider the point that he does not want you to quit working. I don't think it is fair to the men to be the full time financial providers unless that is what THEY truly want.

I would look aggressively at ways that you can both pitch in and cover the parenting and use a nanny or day care for the parts you can't cover. I am a female and I worked full time but used my vacation time every week rather than traveling in a lump sum. My son went to preschool 3 days a week and really enjoyed it.

I only have one child but it is the best thing I have done and worth any/all financial cost/sacrifice. I did it as a full time working mom and he has turned out very fine.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Atilla » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:08 pm

My recommendation is that whatever you decide that you both make each other and your marriage top priority.

Otherwise it won't matter which way you go - kid or no kid.
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by newbie_Mo » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:19 pm

Our situation is very similar to yours, but I am in my mid 30's. However, it was not money that concerns me the most, it was more of a question whether we really want to have a kid. At one point in my mid 20's I wanted to have kids, but I thought that was too early for us, so we have pets instead. Over the years, I kind of drifted away from "wanting" to have kids. As I am getting older, I started to asked myself this question again "do I want to have kids?". I am worried that in 10 years time, I would really want kids, but not able to have them due to age. Well, I still don't have an answer, but I definitely didn't come up with a conclusion that "I DON'T want to have kids". So here we are, expecting our first child (and only one for sure).

Edit: Just want to clarify that I didn't mean to say the OP will be too old to have kids. My point of telling my story is to say if you want to have kids, just have them.
Last edited by newbie_Mo on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:32 pm

[quote of OT comments deleted by admin alex - I'm leaving in the rest because it stated so well.]

In all fairness to the OP, the title of her post was "Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences". No where in the OP's post was there a question of fertility, only about financial issues. Unfortunately, a few of the regular offenders feel it's okay to interject about fertility and it's not just sometimes, but in every one of these similar type postings.

I agree with the OP - it is totally rude for folks to be making medical commentary. If you don't have something constructive to say, then say nothing.
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bornloser
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by bornloser » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:16 pm

As a parent of three children, all planned, all by choice, I think you are wise to be apprehensive about the costs. We had kids only when we knew we could give them the basics to make it in this world. My wife and I both worked full time for the first two, then she retired to stay home with the third. There are a few jack-legs that occasionally make posts about kids not being expensive and "they can pay for college themselves, I did it", etc. But for most responsible persons who decide to bring a child into the world, the significant costs are readily apparent. I love my kids but they ARE HARD WORK and ARE EXPENSIVE. I often joke that kids are like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving (yes, I know I now have offended many). I would love to say we are the Waltons, but that shxt is not the real world. We are no longer concerned with survival of the 6 billiion strong super-adaptor species or the need for cheap labor to work the fields. This is strictly an elective deal here. So think long and hard...you can't give 'em back, healthy or not.

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stemikger
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by stemikger » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:35 pm

Never ask a decision that the heart should make on a financial forum. The two don't get along so well.
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by denismurf » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:30 pm

An earlier poster said they would move or downsize if a child or children made it impossible to maintain their standard and style of living.

If both parents really are capable of being happy even with a move to a cheaper neighborhood, getting by with one aging car, shopping at the Goodwill, seldom eating out, etc., they should have no significant financial problems under normal conditions, assuming everybody's healthy and at least one parent has a "living wage" job. This scenario also assumes that the family does not, not, not borrow, even for buying a house, which usually ends up being a money pit, particularly at the lower end. There will be time for a house and mortgage when the kids no longer need day care and the "other" parent goes back to work full time.

Easier said than done, of course. There could still huge problems even after going cheap, but they would not be financial.

As everybody else says, we are generalizing the heck out of a seriously personal question with very limited information. Even so, we hope our thoughts help you avoid letting finances mess up your lives.

tibbitts
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by tibbitts » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:16 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
ieee488 wrote:
turbodiesel wrote:And for those of you on the more rude end of things who are saying I'm too old to have children - I'm 31 and am not waiting any longer. I'd hardly call that too old.
No one one was being rude by saying you were "old". The actual phrase was fertility vs age.
Your original post was "early 30s" which can mean anywhere from 31 to 34. No one knew you exact age.
Perhaps it is your subconscious rearing it's head?
In all fairness to the OP, the title of her post was "Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences". No where in the OP's post was there a question of fertility, only about financial issues. Unfortunately, a few of the regular offenders feel it's okay to interject about fertility and it's not just sometimes, but in every one of these similar type postings.

I agree with the OP - it is totally rude for folks to be making medical commentary. If you don't have something constructive to say, then say nothing.
I disagree completely, and think it was rude for you - and especially the OP - to say that other members were rude for opening the OP's eyes to the possibility that healthy children may not be able to be cost-effectively created upon demand. If she is even slightly concerned about the financial implications of having a healthy child on what she believes is a secure and rapidly-growing $110k income, she should be absolutely terrified of the financial implications of the alternatives, and that's what some of these posts were trying to address. Many of us know of, or have personally experienced, situations where people have spent vast sums of money trying to have a child, or had a child that needed incredibly expensive 24x7 lifetime care. And it might be helpful for the OP to know that there actually are people for whom 31 did turn out to be too late, or at least too late to have a child without extraordinary financial intervention. It may be that someone did wait too long, or experienced a devastating financial outcome, and posted in hopes that the OP could benefit from that experience. Medical commentary is not OT when it's directly related to the financial implications in the OP's question.

Question: if the OP had written that she'd decided to invest in 5 stocks that she was certain would outperform the market, but was unsure whether to use a Roth or Traditional IRA for her investment, would it have been rude to question the stock-picking premise? We all know that the responses would have trivialized the Roth vs. Traditional issue, and attacked the stock picking concept, because that was what everyone here would have believed really mattered about the question.

Nobody would have said "a few of the regular offenders feel it's okay to interject about [stock picking vs. indexing] and it's not just sometimes, but in every one of these similar type postings."

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in_reality
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by in_reality » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:47 am

tibbitts wrote: I disagree completely, and think it was rude for you - and especially the OP - to say that other members were rude for opening the OP's eyes to the possibility that healthy children may not be able to be cost-effectively created upon demand. If she is even slightly concerned about the financial implications of having a healthy child on what she believes is a secure and rapidly-growing $110k income, she should be absolutely terrified of the financial implications of the alternatives, and that's what some of these posts were trying to address. Many of us know of, or have personally experienced, situations where people have spent vast sums of money trying to have a child, or had a child that needed incredibly expensive 24x7 lifetime care.
My wife sat me down and we agreed to take these risks before having children.

I know from being in such a situation personally that having a child like that has made me a better person. I understand life and appreciate life better than I would have otherwise. I don't think the possibility of having such a child is a reason to not try and have a family though or is something one should worry excessively about. If the day comes, I think you can find it in you to really see the beauty in life no matter how hard you have to look.

People don't always say things as well as they should and some people are really poor at expressing themselves in what everyone thinks is an appropriate manner. That's a reality that perhaps needs to be accepted.

gulliver
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by gulliver » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:53 am

Children have very high expense ratios but they tend to outperform all other investments.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Honobob » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:19 am

http://www.raleighnokidding.com/article ... icate.html An old poll but 70% wish they were childless. I think it would be more now. I think the better question is "WHY" do you want to start having kids AND "WHAT" are you willing to give up to accomplish that.
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morbster
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by morbster » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:32 am

Honobob wrote:http://www.raleighnokidding.com/article ... icate.html An old poll but 70% wish they were childless. I think it would be more now. I think the better question is "WHY" do you want to start having kids AND "WHAT" are you willing to give up to accomplish that.
Correction: 70% of people who wrote a response to this column said no.

I'm very hesitant to accept that number as being anywhere near accurate. In the spirit of conflicting statistics, Newsday ran the same poll in 1976 (on a randomly-selected sample) and the results came back that 91% of people did not regret having children. Parents and Buyer's Remorse

I happen to agree with the previous poster who said that asking something like this on an investing forum isn't the best idea. They put it much better than I did, though.

edited for spelling

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AustenNut
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by AustenNut » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:29 am

This is something that we have had concerns with as well. In our area, starter homes cost about half as much as they do in your area, but then again, our salaries are less than half of what yours are as well. A few thoughts:

1) Create a spreadsheet with what your current spending patterns are now, versus what they would be with one child (and additional spreadsheets for each additional child you want to have). At what point do you say the financial sacrifice is not worth it?

2) Rethink what is "necessary" for a growing family. This is particularly true in terms of space...why can't you stay at your relatively "cheap" rental with one child, or even two? Perhaps the family will need to keep an eye on not acquiring too much stuff, but it's definitely not impossible. People from around the world often have a lot more than 4 people living in a 2-bedroom space.

3) Investigate if there are any passive (or relatively passive) things you can do for income. For instance, we own a multi-family home and rent out part of it. Or see if there are any things you can do part-time or from home, even if they don't directly relate to your career. You can work on a different skillset, bring in some money, while still spending time with your child.

Best of luck with your decision.

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stemikger
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by stemikger » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:33 am

For the record, my wife and I were nowhere as established as you guys are when we got married and then had my daughter who is in her second year of college now. Somehow you make it work and thinking back, that is a big part of the fun.
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by dickenjb » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:26 am

You are asking a question that probably should be decided by the heart and asking us to help you provide an analytical solution.

(paraphrasing stemikger above)

Either you and your husband do or don't want kids.

If you do, you will find a way to make it work.

If you don't, there is no problem.

I can say that now that I am retired I am very glad my wife and I chose to have kids. It is great to see the many accomplishments they have achieved already at 19 & 17.

My wife was a career oriented person and always thought she would go crazy as a SAHM. After our first son was born, I did a short (< one year) expat assignment in Europe and my wife was allowed to spend 4 months with me. (Three months unpaid leave and one month saved up vacation). During that time she got comfortable with the SAHM role. Perhaps you could find a similar way of extending your maternity leave and using the time to reflect on the career / parenting balance issue(s).

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by zagyzebra » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:44 am

Since there have been posters sounding the alarm on the potentially dire consequences of waiting to have a child past the age of 31, I will offer my counter view. I did not start my business until I was 31, my success arced when I was 36, I got pregnant on my 40th birthday, and retired at the age of 41. It was during those prime earning years in the decade of my 30s that I made enough money to then comfortably make a choice whether to become a SAHM or continue working when I finally did become pregnant. I chose the former and do not regret that decision. Therefore, from my point of view, while there are certainly risks with waiting to have your first child, if you play your cards right there are also HUGE potential financial advantages. In all honesty, in my line of work, I do not believe I would have been able to have had a small child at home while giving 150% of myself to growing my own business -- financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically. By the time I turned 40 I had all but given up on having a child and frankly, was not particularly focused on it because, like so many posters have said, they are a financial hardship and they do permanently alter your life. I personally feel an extremely rewarding life can be lived without children. But then, like magic, it happened. And because I waited, when it finally did happen, I was more than prepared financially to take on the challenge, which made everything so much easier.

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greg24
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by greg24 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:47 am

You make $180k a year. You can afford kids. There will be financial consequences, but you won't be in the poor house.

If having kids is important to you, do it.

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jjg247
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by jjg247 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:09 am

Rodc wrote:
a) I hate the idea of not raising my own kids and leaving them in a daycare or with a nanny all day;
b) but I also am scared of leaving the workforce for a few years and not being able to recover as a woman in her late 30s.
It is not all or nothing. I understand not wanting to leave your kid for 10 or 12 hours at a stretch. I would not do that either. In fact I kind of wanted my wife to stay home long than she did, but she wanted to go back and did when they were 14 months old and we sort of shifted hours a bit so they went to daycare for 6 hours. I thought this was a bad idea and she said they would be fine. In fact she was more than right, they loved it.

Honestly, part time daycare is not going to hurt your kid. If they are very young and in daycare say 6 hours they are going to sleep for three of those hours. Ours did anyway. A little later they will only sleep for 2 hours and spend 4 hours playing games with their friends and adults who at least really like kids and very possibly love them (yeah, not as much as you do. :))

So, you take care of them for 2X24 + 5x18 hours a week or 138 hours and they are in daycare for 30. Is that really having someone else raise your kids? And of those 30 hours a bunch will be them sleeping.

So sure, if working means 10 or 12 hours like some people do, I get it, I would refuse too. But if you can work near home so little commuting time and one of you can start going in extra early and get out early and the other goes in late and comes home late, this does not have to be an all day thing.

In the end not only did our kids love it but I did too. I took them in around 9 am, stayed and played with toddlers a bit, and later when they were a little older, every day I would gather up the kids into a circle and read a couple of books while the teachers had a cup of coffee and took a little break in the corner. Then I'd go off to work. Wife did pick up at 3 pm. It was a very positive experience all around.
+1 for staggered schedules! My wife and I do this and it works for us 99% of the time. They go to school for 6-7 hrs, 2-3 of which are sleep. The rest of the time they get to play and socialize. I would be lying if there weren't days we wish one of us could stay home full-time, but a little bit of flexibility with our jobs goes a LOOONNNG way.

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market timer
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by market timer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:22 am

turbodiesel wrote:We live in a high cost of living city where daycare for an infant costs $1500-2000 a month and a starter home costs $500K+.
Have you considered moving to a different part of the country? You might find life much more pleasant and affordable, even if it means taking a pay cut.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by sls239 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:25 am

Pick what you think you want to do. Then try to live off that money for about 6 months.

If you think you want to keep working, then set aside the $1200 or so it costs for a nanny and see how that goes. If you'd rather stay home, try putting all your salary into savings and see how that goes.

Either way, you'll be more informed and have a little nest egg.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by mathwhiz » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:31 am

Have you considered moving to a different part of the country? You might find life much more pleasant and affordable, even if it means taking a pay cut.
Yes, Is a job transfer possible for your husband? You might find the economics of your situation much improved if your husband was making $110,000 in a low cost of living city. It might enable you to buy a house, and you to stay at home with the kids until school age, and live extremely comfortably. $110,000 is a lot of money in much of the country. Even with a pay cut, the situation could be drastically improved.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Honobob » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:36 am

greg24 wrote:You make $180k a year. There will be financial consequences, but you won't be in the poor house.
Actually they don't have a house, poor or other. They're renters. And despite having subsidized rent they still have no money saved for even a starter home. Take $70,000 of that $180,000 away and add the cost of a child and do you still come to the conclusion that a child is a good financial decision?
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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by Hector » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:40 am

market timer wrote:
turbodiesel wrote:We live in a high cost of living city where daycare for an infant costs $1500-2000 a month and a starter home costs $500K+.
Have you considered moving to a different part of the country? You might find life much more pleasant and affordable, even if it means taking a pay cut.
I haven't read every response and commenting to this particulate response.

Moving to different part of country is not that easy. For some of us friends and family are more important than saving more. Some of us would move if we can save more. Some of us would not move even if we are saving less.

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by jackholloway » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:49 am

Honobob wrote:
greg24 wrote:You make $180k a year. There will be financial consequences, but you won't be in the poor house.
Actually they don't have a house, poor or other. They're renters. And despite having subsidized rent they still have no money saved for even a starter home. Take $70,000 of that $180,000 away and add the cost of a child and do you still come to the conclusion that a child is a good financial decision?
It depends. The simple truth of the matter is that they are way above the median income as it is. Even on just one income, they are notably above it even for some fairly HCOL areas. This implies that half the people, many of whom have children, make less and are still surviving. The others provide an existence proof that having a child on 110k a year is quite feasible financially.

Will they make more money keeping two salaries? Obviously. Will they save more? Unknown.

Further, they have gotten the usual responses, ranging from "we did it with less, and did ok" to "I tried with more and my life sucked". Again, responses show that it can be done.

For many people, the financial impact of their offspring is what motivates them to save. They save for the child, when they would never save for themselves. My cousin is that way - she lives a pretty hand to mouth existence, but saves a lot to support her child in his chosen career.

Whether this poster should have children is a personal decision based on their life choices and aspirational life trajectory. Knowing, though, that they want to frames the question as "Given the desire, how do they best bring it about? Will there be consequences that they do not yet know? Have others done it?"

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Re: Want to have kids, scared of the financial consequences

Post by beachplum » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:50 am

Since it has been brought up I thought I would share an excellent article in the Jul/August issue of the Atlantic titled "How Long Can You Wait to Have a Baby?" that can be read on-line.

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