Author Topic: Am I being Reasonable?  (Read 2953 times)

Bucksandreds

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Am I being Reasonable?
« on: April 21, 2017, 09:08:11 AM »
35 y/o male with wife and 2 children under 3. My plan is to cut down to 2 days work per week by early to mid 40s and plan is for my wife to work 2 days also. This would allow us to continue to save for 100% undergrad tuition for the children which is non negotiable to the both of us. I make about double what she makes on an hourly basis. This work situation sounds great to both of us.

The problem is my wife desperately wants a 3rd child and I feel 2 is enough but I wouldn't mind a 3rd child if it were not for the financial implication. I am not willing to run the full time rat race for several extra years so that I can afford a 3rd child.  I told her that I am fine with a 3rd child only she would need to work 3 days per week until at least the child's college fund is fully funded (At her salary probably 5-7 years of work.)   I don't think that I should have to change my life plans because of something that she wants but that I feel already fulfilled with.

Am I being reasonable?

Dicey

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 09:25:32 AM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.
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bacchi

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 09:36:13 AM »
Sounds reasonable to me. You're both compromising.

Really, though, you need to talk with her. Why does she want a 3rd child so badly? What makes 3 better for her than 2? Are they both boys and she wants a girl?

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 09:43:48 AM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 09:53:15 AM by Bucksandreds »

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 09:46:32 AM »
Sounds reasonable to me. You're both compromising.

Really, though, you need to talk with her. Why does she want a 3rd child so badly? What makes 3 better for her than 2? Are they both boys and she wants a girl?

She has always wanted 3 and we do have 2 boys and she thinks she'll have a girl even though statistics say it will be a boy.  Thank you for your input. She has always said 3 so, even though she's unrealistic, she's consistent.

mozar

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 10:11:09 AM »
She always wanted 3 and you married her. Did you change your mind?

It would cost even more but you can do invitro fertilization and pick the gender.
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Laura33

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 10:14:27 AM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is

3.  No it's not.  See:

"She has always wanted 3"

and

"I don't think that I should have to change my life plans because of something that she wants but that I feel already fulfilled with."

The problem is that you guys have a fundamental disconnect on what your family unit should be.  And your solution is to go along with what she wants as long as she bears all of the burden associated with the choice.  In this case, the burden you are focusing on is money.  But it is fundamentally no different than "fine, you do all the diaper changes and overnight feedings and doctor's appointments and sick days and homework supervision and [insert annoying child chore here]."  Meanwhile, it sounds like you'd be perfectly happy to enjoy the good parts of parenting -- you love your kids and wouldn't mind having another, except for that downside of it costing more.  So, she bears 100% of the downside, and you share the upside, because it was her idea, not yours.

You guys are a team.  When you are talking about something as central to your marriage as the composition of your family, you need to make that decision jointly, and then share whatever the consequences are of that deision. 

This is also in your long-term best interest, btw.  Imagine yourselves 5-10 years into the future:  you have those three great kids, you are RE, and your wife is still going in to work every day at a job she hates, because you refused to modify your personal plans when life happened.  How happy do you think she's going to be with you?  How much fun do you think daily life is going to be?

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Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 10:20:26 AM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is

3.  No it's not.  See:

"She has always wanted 3"

and

"I don't think that I should have to change my life plans because of something that she wants but that I feel already fulfilled with."

The problem is that you guys have a fundamental disconnect on what your family unit should be.  And your solution is to go along with what she wants as long as she bears all of the burden associated with the choice.  In this case, the burden you are focusing on is money.  But it is fundamentally no different than "fine, you do all the diaper changes and overnight feedings and doctor's appointments and sick days and homework supervision and [insert annoying child chore here]."  Meanwhile, it sounds like you'd be perfectly happy to enjoy the good parts of parenting -- you love your kids and wouldn't mind having another, except for that downside of it costing more.  So, she bears 100% of the downside, and you share the upside, because it was her idea, not yours.

You guys are a team.  When you are talking about something as central to your marriage as the composition of your family, you need to make that decision jointly, and then share whatever the consequences are of that deision. 

This is also in your long-term best interest, btw.  Imagine yourselves 5-10 years into the future:  you have those three great kids, you are RE, and your wife is still going in to work every day at a job she hates, because you refused to modify your personal plans when life happened.  How happy do you think she's going to be with you?  How much fun do you think daily life is going to be?

I've always wanted to move to Europe since the day I met her and discussed that. She flat out refuses to consider it. No one gets married with 100% accord on all subjects prior. To think differently is naive. I guaranteed her I wanted kids but we never agreed on the number.

I do appreciate your insight on that I would be getting the benefit without the cost. That is a good point when considering whether I am being reasonable.

bogart

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 10:33:30 AM »
In my opinion, your proposed solution is not reasonable.

If you want 2 kids and your wife wants 3, I cannot tell you what the reasonable solution is.  I'm often a fan of splitting the difference, but -- the math doesn't work (unless you round 2.5 up to 3 in which case -- problem solved ;) ). 

But a kid is, of course -- a person.  This isn't just a question about finding a reasonable solution between yourself and your wife.  It's also a question about having reasonable relationships and taking reasonable responsibility for each of your kids.  Splitting that responsibility evenly for kids 1 & 2 and then your wife taking on 100% of the extra responsibility for kid 3 does not seem to achieve that (obviously I am oversimplifying but hopefully you get what I am saying).

I'm another fan of/plan to pay for my kids' college parent, but in your shoes I might be tempted to consider whether planning to pay for 2/3 of each of 3 kids' college is a better compromise than what you are proposing, bearing in mind that -- at least in theory -- an additional sibling is of value also to your existing kids.

valsecito

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 10:47:42 AM »
But a kid is, of course -- a person.  This isn't just a question about finding a reasonable solution between yourself and your wife.  It's also a question about having reasonable relationships and taking reasonable responsibility for each of your kids.  Splitting that responsibility evenly for kids 1 & 2 and then your wife taking on 100% of the extra responsibility for kid 3 does not seem to achieve that (obviously I am oversimplifying but hopefully you get what I am saying).
I did read the OP's question differently. He seems like a very responsible father. "I really want a sound financial plan if we decide to have a third child." and "I really appreciate our current work situation, and I would like to keep it. I just don't see how to combine that with a third child."

Maybe you could reframe the question as "If we are getting a third child, how would we pay for it?".

P.S. Some parts of Europe are really high quality and affordable in terms of education and health care. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden come to mind...

WoodStache

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 10:56:47 AM »
I'll echo others. To me, once you can afford children it ceases to be a financial decision. Kids never make financial sense.
 
In my opinion you need to decide together whether you'll have 2 or 3 and then both fully accept the decision and consequences thereof. Meaning if you do decide on a third, you both work three days per week until college is funded. As you make much more than she makes, this might end up being just 2-3 years, no?

By the way - I'm not saying having three is the answer. I also don't think "need a girl" is a good reason either. Otherwise what - maybe 4, 5 or 6 kids?


WildJager

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 10:59:30 AM »
I think the comprise portion of marriage is compromising on what decisions are made overall (we went camping last week which I wanted to do so this week we can go to the art gallery which you want to do).  However, once a decision is made both partners must fully commit, both with effort and resources.  It wouldn't be much of a fair compromise if my partner had a good attitude and helped make the camping trip fun, but then at the art gallery I drug my heels and bitched and moan all day about how boring the activity is.

Same with a large purchase.  One partner wants a new car, and as a couple they decide together whether it's a wise decision or not.  If so, they work together to purchase it.  Now, if no agreement was reached and the partner who wanted the car just went and bought it anyway, then that doesn't bode well for the relationship.

Laura33

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 11:14:41 AM »
I've always wanted to move to Europe since the day I met her and discussed that. She flat out refuses to consider it. No one gets married with 100% accord on all subjects prior.

Right.  So she can be a doink, too.  ;-)

Not saying the answer is to give in and have the third child (I like the line of thought that major life decisions require two yesses and one no).  Just that the proposed solution didn't sound reasonable to me, any more than her flatly vetoing your dream was.

Valsecito's comment may work brilliantly for you -- child-rearing and college can be much cheaper in parts of Europe given the higher government support, so you can agree to the third if she agrees to raise it elsewhere.  :-)  (Kidding.  Sort of.)  Larger point is for both of you to be flexible and creative in your ideas, looking to find ways that both of you can get as much of what you want as possible.
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mad9q

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 11:54:35 AM »
Sorry, but your attitude rubs me the wrong way.  I sounds like you are putting a child on the same plane as money.  I say that because you have said you would like a 3rd child if not for the assumed need to work more.  You do not HAVE to pay for college and once you acknowledge that, a 3rd child does not need to add that much to the overall costs of the family.   
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 11:56:56 AM by mad9q »

bacchi

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 12:02:33 PM »
I'm another fan of/plan to pay for my kids' college parent, but in your shoes I might be tempted to consider whether planning to pay for 2/3 of each of 3 kids' college is a better compromise than what you are proposing, bearing in mind that -- at least in theory -- an additional sibling is of value also to your existing kids.

^^ This is the best solution.

Also, the OP never stated that the 3rd child would be entirely her responsibility. The additional college costs, he proposed, would be borne by her but not the diaper changes and the errands and cleaning up messes. In fact, with an extra day, he'd be taking care of the kids more.

This is not different from any other SAH situation where the parents decide that one spouse works full time and the other handles childcare duties during the 8-5/5 time. In this case, one parent is working 3 days and the other is working 2 days. As any parent will tell you, taking care of an infant (or an infant + toddlers) doesn't mean sitting around watching TV all day.


the_fixer

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 12:09:04 PM »
If it helps you would be adding another potential resource for your old age adding to the odds that one of them will be willing to help you deal with old age needs.

:)


bogart

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 01:04:08 PM »
I'm another fan of/plan to pay for my kids' college parent, but in your shoes I might be tempted to consider whether planning to pay for 2/3 of each of 3 kids' college is a better compromise than what you are proposing, bearing in mind that -- at least in theory -- an additional sibling is of value also to your existing kids.

^^ This is the best solution.

Also, the OP never stated that the 3rd child would be entirely her responsibility. The additional college costs, he proposed, would be borne by her but not the diaper changes and the errands and cleaning up messes. In fact, with an extra day, he'd be taking care of the kids more.


You're right, I think I read more into his first post than was actually there.  My bad.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 01:22:57 PM »
I've always wanted to move to Europe since the day I met her and discussed that. She flat out refuses to consider it. No one gets married with 100% accord on all subjects prior.

Right.  So she can be a doink, too.  ;-)

Not saying the answer is to give in and have the third child (I like the line of thought that major life decisions require two yesses and one no).  Just that the proposed solution didn't sound reasonable to me, any more than her flatly vetoing your dream was.

Valsecito's comment may work brilliantly for you -- child-rearing and college can be much cheaper in parts of Europe given the higher government support, so you can agree to the third if she agrees to raise it elsewhere.  :-)  (Kidding.  Sort of.)  Larger point is for both of you to be flexible and creative in your ideas, looking to find ways that both of you can get as much of what you want as possible.

I agree with Valsecito as well. In 6-7 years we could afford to pack up and move away with no guarantee of future income if health care and education were provided. ( I would work 2 days per week wherever I move.) Portugal near the coast somewhere would be my ideal. Tons of sun, mild winter, great health care system, very liberal, I speak fluent Spanish and am aware of how quickly one can pick up Portuguese if they speak Spanish, etc, etc.  She will not consider leaving Ohio under ANY circumstances due to family. I can accept that and am planning for family summers in Europe when I'm semi retired.  You can find a middle ground on location.  You cannot find a middle ground on whether to have 2 or 3 kids. I will provide 100% undergrad tuition for each child and it's not up for debate. I have the means to do that and I will. Since she wont move to where it's cheaper or free, I will have to save for it if we have another.  Right now I work 40 hours per week and she works 10.  I help with raising my kids and cooking and cleaning. We are massively saving money and she's on board with that.  I am 100% fulfilled with 2 and she says she won't be unless she has 3 (probably because she believes in spiritual stuff and feels she's having a girl.)  I either get what I want and have 2 or she gets what she wants and has 3.  Since her getting what she wants requires my cooperation (Unless it's not my child) why would I rationally just give her what she wants at the expense of what I want? This is not a tit for tat scenario. This is a should I make myself less happy to add to the potential happiness of another. Before I'm attacked for that the unhappiness I would feel is extra years of the rat race.

fatcow240

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 01:32:26 PM »
I disagree with tying who works how much to whether or not you have a third child.  We are in a similar situation.  We have two girls (1&3).  From the beginning (13 years) we have said we were having two children.  A few months after our second daughter, she start wanting a third.  I still don't want to go for a third.  For me, it isn't about the funds.  I just like having two children.

We don't keep separate finances.  I earn about 4x her hourly rate.  I would be willing to work the extra ~1 year to fund the endeavor.


the_fixer

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 02:33:20 PM »
You are looking to drop to part time in min of 5 years correct?

How much are you trying to set aside for each kid?

If you are both working on it as a team how much longer beyond the 5 years would you have to work full time to save up for the 3rd kids college?

« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:39:17 PM by the_fixer »

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2017, 03:11:29 PM »
You are looking to drop to part time in min of 5 years correct?

How much are you trying to set aside for each kid?

If you are both working on it as a team how much longer beyond the 5 years would you have to work full time to save up for the 3rd kids college?

Probably a year but I'm conservative and would want a larger HSA, larger emergency stash and larger taxable investment (spending account). We save around $80,000 per year which would be about what I'd want saved for the kid but we'd still be saving $25,000-$30,000 or so per year down to 2 days per week so every extra year worked by me would be $50,000 or so extra to add to net worth but being that I would like a bigger cushion with a 3rd child I'm estimating 3 years extra but possibly 2.5.

PS- I f*<{ing hate the rat race and would gladly lose a couple years at the end of my life than do it an extra couple of years now. 40 hours a week to me is probably similar to being in the prison hole to the average person.

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 03:49:31 PM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is

For number 3 I think you're being a little naive to say it's just about the money. The money buys you experiences and time and freedom. Neither of you should think about kid 3 vs money. You should think about kid 3 vs time and freedom. What would you do once you are FIRE'd? Take trips? Go exploring? Volunteer? Hobbies? The 3rd kid (and the money that requires in your family) takes away from those other things in your family not your retirement fund.

Does reframing the decision in this way change the equation for either of you?
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Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2017, 03:54:58 PM »
Another possible part to consider. I could easily fund the 3rds college with less retirement savings added. My combined parents and in laws net worth would be in the $5-$7 million dollar range with 1-2 siblings to split it with. They are in their 60s. Since funding 100% of undergrad (and probably 25-50% of grad school if they go) is non negotiable to me, would you require a lower personal elderly net worth assuming likely $100,000s inheritance. My wife said that to me (
"Our parents money will pay for this") when I proposed her working more. My brain is very mathematically orientented and the numbers only add up this way if I add inherited money.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 03:58:37 PM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is

For number 3 I think you're being a little naive to say it's just about the money. The money buys you experiences and time and freedom. Neither of you should think about kid 3 vs money. You should think about kid 3 vs time and freedom. What would you do once you are FIRE'd? Take trips? Go exploring? Volunteer? Hobbies? The 3rd kid (and the money that requires in your family) takes away from those other things in your family not your retirement fund.

Does reframing the decision in this way change the equation for either of you?

You are correct. It's not about money per se. It's about exiting the rat race at the quickest possible opportunity. I want to learn a 3rd language. I want to learn piano. I want time to master diy projects in the home. I want to wake up one day of the week without either rushing to work or thinking about my long list of things to do. Life is about experiences and not about completing mundane tasks. Humanity is enslaved by wage slavery.

nawhite

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2017, 04:28:16 PM »
1. Marriage is about compromise.

2. After you get the hang of how to do it frugally, subsequent children can be reared for less, with judicious application of hand me down gear. College is more, but your timeline is longer, so you will need fewer dollars if you fund the account at birth instead of over time.

3. This is not about the money.

1 of course

2 We fund college from birth. There would be no budget for $250 extra per month in 529. I'm frugal as hell with hand me downs.

3 yes it is

For number 3 I think you're being a little naive to say it's just about the money. The money buys you experiences and time and freedom. Neither of you should think about kid 3 vs money. You should think about kid 3 vs time and freedom. What would you do once you are FIRE'd? Take trips? Go exploring? Volunteer? Hobbies? The 3rd kid (and the money that requires in your family) takes away from those other things in your family not your retirement fund.

Does reframing the decision in this way change the equation for either of you?

You are correct. It's not about money per se. It's about exiting the rat race at the quickest possible opportunity. I want to learn a 3rd language. I want to learn piano. I want time to master diy projects in the home. I want to wake up one day of the week without either rushing to work or thinking about my long list of things to do. Life is about experiences and not about completing mundane tasks. Humanity is enslaved by wage slavery.

I totally agree. How does your wife feel though? Does she recognize what she'd be giving up (other than money) in order to have the 3rd kid?
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babysnowbyrd

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2017, 06:27:37 PM »
My mother always felt strongly that she wanted a third child and my father wasn't really on board. The desire grew until eventually she pulled the ultimate wife trump card, so eights years after my younger brother was born, I got a second brother.

Was sad, but years later when they ended up divorcing, my mother would tell my then 11-yr old brother that my father didn't want him. Of course there's a huge difference (to me anyway) between not wanting a hypothetical child vs not wanting a child that's here now so that was pretty low thing to say, but divorce can make people do nasty things.

We couldn't imagine our family without him now, and he and my dad are very similar and pretty tight. Despite my mother's early attempts at manipulating my brother, he ended up choosing to live with my dad on their second custody battle.

I don't think I really have a point, just sharing a story.


meghan88

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2017, 07:05:21 PM »
My mother always felt strongly that she wanted a third child and my father wasn't really on board. The desire grew until eventually she pulled the ultimate wife trump card, so eights years after my younger brother was born, I got a second brother.

Was sad, but years later when they ended up divorcing, my mother would tell my then 11-yr old brother that my father didn't want him. Of course there's a huge difference (to me anyway) between not wanting a hypothetical child vs not wanting a child that's here now so that was pretty low thing to say, but divorce can make people do nasty things.

We couldn't imagine our family without him now, and he and my dad are very similar and pretty tight. Despite my mother's early attempts at manipulating my brother, he ended up choosing to live with my dad on their second custody battle.

I don't think I really have a point, just sharing a story.

And a poignant story it is.  Though it sounds like everyone turned out OK, life happens and it's not likely going to be how we try to script it.  What happens to the plan if someone gets sick, or dies, or leaves?

chasesfish

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2017, 07:07:22 PM »
Have the 3rd and be damn glad you can...

Its also not required you pay for college.  Loans can fund college, but loans don't fund your retirement.
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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2017, 07:09:39 PM »
Just a few more considerations from someone who works at a college. I commend you for wanting to provide free undergraduate education for your children. I'm confused about how you're so confident about the amount of money necessary. I work at a private college. Some students pay $18,000/yr in tuition. Some pay none. In the last 5 years, my state has introduced free 2 years of community college to any resident with the proper GPA. I'm sure that 10 years ago no one in the state would have predicted that would happen. Are you both in careers where you are confident that you can go to X days/week? And will your salary/benefits be commensurate with the reduction in hours (i.e., employer could allow you to go half-time but earning only 40% of your prior salary, etc.). I have to say, if I hated my job and much as you describe hating yours, I would be really focused on creating a self-employed situation for myself.

Having said that, I understand that you're a planner and want to have a good plan. I play this role in my family too and I can respect that.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2017, 09:45:14 PM »
Just a few more considerations from someone who works at a college. I commend you for wanting to provide free undergraduate education for your children. I'm confused about how you're so confident about the amount of money necessary. I work at a private college. Some students pay $18,000/yr in tuition. Some pay none. In the last 5 years, my state has introduced free 2 years of community college to any resident with the proper GPA. I'm sure that 10 years ago no one in the state would have predicted that would happen. Are you both in careers where you are confident that you can go to X days/week? And will your salary/benefits be commensurate with the reduction in hours (i.e., employer could allow you to go half-time but earning only 40% of your prior salary, etc.). I have to say, if I hated my job and much as you describe hating yours, I would be really focused on creating a self-employed situation for myself.

Having said that, I understand that you're a planner and want to have a good plan. I play this role in my family too and I can respect that.

Luckily I'm a dentist who has no interest in running my own practice. I can pretty much work however many days and hours as I want and will make the same per hour regardless. She's a hygienist so same deal. Better to have too much for college and use the rest for grad school or transfer to future grandkids than have too little and be caught with your pants down.  My wife and I didn't get scholarships and would probably be losers without our parents pushing us through school.  Thanks for the time but I'm looking for NO advice about whether I should save for college or how much.

lhamo

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2017, 10:19:31 PM »
I'm having trouble understanding your math here, and why this is such a big issue at your income/saving level, stage of life, and level of professional flexibility.

Since you hate work so much, but have pretty good flexibility about hours, etc., have you considered cutting back your hours NOW so that you can have a better quality of life?   Especially when your kids are little, there is so much stress (and I never had two under age 3 -- DS was 3y 8 mo when DD was born).  Yes, reducing your hours will reduce your immediate savings, but maybe it will increase your quality of life so much that working longer won't seem so awful.

Alternatively, is there work you could do -- perhaps as a highly paid consultant -- that would take advantage of your training in dentistry while allowing you to get away from the practice OF dentistry, since you don't seem to enjoy it.   R&D?  Sales?   Insurance consulting?   

I know you mentioned your wife is unwilling to move away from family, so I understand that may limit your options.   But it just seems so sad that this is such a black and white issue for you.   I understand your wife's desire to try for a girl.  I was lucky --  I got one of each and then could happily quit, and I think our family situation is perfect (my kids are awesome, too!)   But I do wonder if I would have wanted a 3rd if DD had been a boy. 

I'm not trying to say that your wife is totally right here -- but at the same time it just makes me sad that you can't find a way to meet both your needs/desires.   I understand she mentioned the possible inheritance when you raised the idea of her working more -- I don't think that is the way to go, as you never know what will happen down the road, and both or either sets of parents could lose all their money to a medical crisis or some other disaster.   

That being said, another option, if you are able to talk openly with them about financial matters is to talk with them about your dilemma -- not in a money-grubbing way, but just a "hey, wife would really like to have another kid.  At the same time, we feel fully funding college for all our kids is important, but we both want to be able to cut back at work in 5 years or so.  Not sure what to do."   Maybe one or both sets of grandparents already have plans to set up a 529 or trust for the grandkids -- that kind of generation skipping wealth transfer is not uncommon among people with means.   Gifting the money earlier means the heirs actually take advantage of it while the benefactors are alive to see it.   I hope to be in the position to do that for my grandkids.   It sounds like both sets of parents were supportive of you guys pursuing education -- is there any reason why they wouldn't want the same for their grandkids?

   
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ahoy

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2017, 12:20:44 AM »
No, I don't think you are being unreasonable and I am a female, it takes two in this marriage.  She flat out refuses to live in Europe and seems to be now demanding another child.  It seems as though a lot of husbands just do whatever to keep the peace, but resentment will grow.   Another child is a HUGE deal.  Like another poster above, I do know of a couple that had two children when the husband wasn't ready and the wife went off the pill.  They divorced when the kids were young (I don't know if it was over the kids, as the wife is not a nice person at all), but doing what she did was very deceiving. 

gerardc

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2017, 01:59:09 AM »
How about you work 1 more year, she works 2-3 more years, and you "wing it" by shooting for a slightly smaller stash and hoping for the best, knowing that full tuition won't be covered if the market turns out worse than 10th percentile performance. Compromise, and hedging your bets.

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2017, 02:09:11 AM »
Quote
No, I don't think you are being unreasonable and I am a female, it takes two in this marriage.  She flat out refuses to live in Europe and seems to be now demanding another child.  It seems as though a lot of husbands just do whatever to keep the peace, but resentment will grow.   Another child is a HUGE deal.  Like another poster above, I do know of a couple that had two children when the husband wasn't ready and the wife went off the pill.  They divorced when the kids were young (I don't know if it was over the kids, as the wife is not a nice person at all), but doing what she did was very deceiving. 

Wife is not suddenly demanding another child, she has been open all along about wanting 3. Doesn't seem to be a lot of flexibility from either partner; 2 vs 3 children, who works for how long and what the other one does in the meantime, she will NOT leave the state, he will NOT consider reducing college savings.. Maybe counselling should be considered, there's some pretty big life decisions here they don't agree on

ahoy

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2017, 03:29:37 AM »
Yes, sorry, OPs wife is not suddenly demanding another child.  I think that though if one of them is having second thoughts about a third child, it is not something to be taken lightly.  Both should be in agreement about this huge decision.

Laura33

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2017, 08:18:17 AM »
Quote
No, I don't think you are being unreasonable and I am a female, it takes two in this marriage.  She flat out refuses to live in Europe and seems to be now demanding another child.  It seems as though a lot of husbands just do whatever to keep the peace, but resentment will grow.   Another child is a HUGE deal.  Like another poster above, I do know of a couple that had two children when the husband wasn't ready and the wife went off the pill.  They divorced when the kids were young (I don't know if it was over the kids, as the wife is not a nice person at all), but doing what she did was very deceiving. 

Wife is not suddenly demanding another child, she has been open all along about wanting 3. Doesn't seem to be a lot of flexibility from either partner; 2 vs 3 children, who works for how long and what the other one does in the meantime, she will NOT leave the state, he will NOT consider reducing college savings.. Maybe counselling should be considered, there's some pretty big life decisions here they don't agree on

This.  The actual decision is less important than how you get there.  A dynamic where both partners have rigid, inflexible requirements, and therefore one person must always "win" and the other must "lose," is not a recipe for a happy marriage or life.  Counseling is an excellent idea to try to change this dynamic.
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Bucksandreds

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2017, 09:04:54 AM »
Quote
No, I don't think you are being unreasonable and I am a female, it takes two in this marriage.  She flat out refuses to live in Europe and seems to be now demanding another child.  It seems as though a lot of husbands just do whatever to keep the peace, but resentment will grow.   Another child is a HUGE deal.  Like another poster above, I do know of a couple that had two children when the husband wasn't ready and the wife went off the pill.  They divorced when the kids were young (I don't know if it was over the kids, as the wife is not a nice person at all), but doing what she did was very deceiving. 

Wife is not suddenly demanding another child, she has been open all along about wanting 3. Doesn't seem to be a lot of flexibility from either partner; 2 vs 3 children, who works for how long and what the other one does in the meantime, she will NOT leave the state, he will NOT consider reducing college savings.. Maybe counselling should be considered, there's some pretty big life decisions here they don't agree on

This.  The actual decision is less important than how you get there.  A dynamic where both partners have rigid, inflexible requirements, and therefore one person must always "win" and the other must "lose," is not a recipe for a happy marriage or life.  Counseling is an excellent idea to try to change this dynamic.

Thanks all for the advice. Counseling would probably be beneficial to nearly 100% of couples but I don't think we're at the point of needing it yet.  The question is really just is it fair for one partner to have to work more hours than the other for that partner to be the one having the exact number of kids that they prefer? I'm not sure what the answer is. Both of us are non negotiable on100% college funding so it's pointless to offer that as advice.  Neither of us resents the other and is unhappy with our marriage. We very much love each other.  If my idea about working isn't fair then please offer a fair alternative. I appreciate the above comment about splitting the extra work up and I think I might be leaning that way.

iris lily

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2017, 09:47:20 AM »
Yes, sorry, OPs wife is not suddenly demanding another child.  I think that though if one of them is having second thoughts about a third child, it is not something to be taken lightly.  Both should be in agreement about this huge decision.
yes.

And someone upthread compared this decisioN to a car buying decision. uh, no.  you can always sell the car, undo the act. Not so with kids.

I never understand middle class people (and I am lookin' at you, sistahs) who deliberately bring children into the world when fathers are not fully on board. There is already enough in the challenges of life that keep fathers from parenting, and  to start out without their support is just plain selfish.

The rule with having kids is:both parents must be on board to exercise the conscious decision to get pregnant.

And the third kid could be born with physical or mental challenges, tossing out any plan. The OP ht the jackpot with two healthy kids, and even though odds are a third would be healthy, any deviation wrecks scenarios above.

I am not necessarily taking the OP's side even. He is looking at the situation as "what is fair for me, for her" and he is missing what is, to me, the critical point: What is fair for that third human, the child.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 09:49:29 AM by iris lily »

Dee18

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2017, 11:09:06 AM »
+1 to Lhamo's idea of seeing if the grandparents will help fund college.  When my daughter was young, my father kept mentioning he was going to fund a 529 account for her.  At that time my father was >70.  I finally said, "Dad, it is really generous of you to fund X's college, but until there is actually money in the account, we can't plan on that."  My dad, bless his heart, funded the account that year. Now every semester I remind DD how lucky she is to not have to take out loans because of her (now deceased) granddad. I would not have felt comfortable unless my dad had mentioned college funding several times himself, but I think it would be reasonable to tell your wife that would ease your concerns....if it in fact would, and see if she is comfortable talking with her parents.

On the other hand, it is hard for me to imagine making a decision about having a child turning solely on money.  Are there other issues for you?  More baby care? Having kids spread over a wider age group so they are in different schools, activities, etc?  Or you just don't want three kids?  Those all seem perfectly valid to me and I agree with all the posters who suggest that if both parents don't want another child, they shouldn't have it. 

Ann

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2017, 11:39:22 AM »
we do have 2 boys and she thinks she'll have a girl even though statistics say it will be a boy.

I'm curious as to why you think it would be a boy.  Are the statistics you are quoting the 51% birth rate of boys?  (which is interesting, but close enough to 50/50 for practical purposes).  Sorry to sidetrack the conversation, but that really struck me.

Bateaux

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2017, 01:08:43 PM »
Personally I'd get cut, burnt and tied.
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iris lily

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2017, 01:19:56 PM »
we do have 2 boys and she thinks she'll have a girl even though statistics say it will be a boy.

I'm curious as to why you think it would be a boy.  Are the statistics you are quoting the 51% birth rate of boys?  (which is interesting, but close enough to 50/50 for practical purposes).  Sorry to sidetrack the conversation, but that really struck me.
There are studies (a study?) that suggest couples  throwing one gender will continue to throw that same  gender in subsequent pregnancies. It has to do with chemical conditions in the woman's reproductive tract being "friendlier" to sperm of one gender over another. This os a complete layman explanation. :)

neverrun

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2017, 03:28:08 PM »
One thing you should probably think about is how you would truly feel about a 3rd child even if that child was unplanned.  I have 2 co-workers who had oops, babies, both were loved.  One the vasectomy did not take, one was when one of the major BC companies fucked up big time about 5 years and the DW's BC pills were not effective.

Figure out how you truly feel about more kids because it could happen without either of you choosing it.

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Re: Am I being Reasonable?
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2017, 06:44:30 PM »

I'm another fan of/plan to pay for my kids' college parent, but in your shoes I might be tempted to consider whether planning to pay for 2/3 of each of 3 kids' college is a better compromise than what you are proposing, bearing in mind that -- at least in theory -- an additional sibling is of value also to your existing kids.

I vote for this!
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