Author Topic: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?  (Read 13917 times)

Jrobin276

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« on: July 25, 2013, 01:48:20 PM »
My husband and I are nearly debt free (a month away - yay!) and hopefully will be able to start saving pretty easily soon. We get by pretty well on about 60% or so of our income, but don't have significant savings just yet (we do have retirement accounts). We make just over $100k/yr combined, and we're naturally frugal, so saving should come easily. (We've been paying back my dad who helped us relocate from our crap jobs in California, to great jobs in Sydney.)

Just after my 30th birthday (about a year ago, not long after we moved), we found out I have some health problems that may impact (or be impacting?) my fertility. Without health issues, I think we would have waited until our mid-late thirties in order to make sure our finances were REALLY in order... but that's not really an option at this point. We should start trying soon (esp as it may take a while, or not at all!), but I also can't seem to pinpoint my comfort level around how much of a cushion I'd want to have saved before we start trying. We both grew up pretty poor, and don't have a great frame of reference for when one is no longer screwing oneself... we're paranoid. I know the joke/saying that no one's ever really ready, and at some point you just have to take the plunge anyway. I'd love to hear how you decided they were financially ready for a kid, especially in circumstances that aren't perfect.

How would you wise mustachians balance saving vs. not waiting to start trying?

A few more details: We live in Australia, so we have access to great National Healthcare (no additional cost, out of our taxes), great benefits (paid maternity leave, paid vacation time, etc.), have 5 nephews (hand-me-downs!).... and otherwise are in a good situation for it. Daycare is subsidized on a sliding scale based on income, and we may get additional help from family (though we're not relying on this).

I think what I'd like to do is have enough savings to cover all our major annual/quarterly/monthly expenses covered plus some extra to cover any other maternity/baby expenses that crop up ($2k?) before we start trying, and then just... keep saving throughout the trying/pregnancy/whatever happens.

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 02:09:27 PM »
We had our son while still deeply in debt, but at the time, we had 6 months of E Fund in the bank and could comfortably make our payments plus afford daycare and a few hundred $$s more. My job was not stable, but we could live off of my spouse's salary if I couldn't find a new job. Then we took the plunge!

Given your health issues, if you can answer all of these in the positive, then I think you should go for it:
(1) Can you afford daycare?
(2) If one of you lost a job, could you make ends meet for 6 months? (either a hefty E Fun or access to E $$, or spouse earns enough)

6 months was my litmus. It's up to you what # of months makes you feel comfortable. Now that our son is 3 years old, I'm comfortable with almost no E Fund, but $$ in our Roth IRAs instead (our jobs are much more stable now).

fiveoclockshadow

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
  • Location: Baltimore
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 02:31:15 PM »
I think if you plan on having kids and medical issues indicate you need to start soon then you should start very soon. "Worst" case you get pregnant immediately - which would probably be a pretty joyous occasion even if finances aren't perfect.  If it takes awhile then you'll have more savings by the time it happens. I don't know how good Aussie medical care is but unless they pay for IVF you really want to get pregnant the old fashioned and fun way. The alternatives get very expensive very fast with only marginal success rates. If starting now means a better chance at avoiding big bills for miracles of modern medicine down the road  then breaking out some candles, mood music and a smile might have the biggest ROI of any other financial planning.

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2013, 02:35:00 PM »
I vividly remember my childless neighbors, who were in their very late 30's at the time, telling my wife and with a heavy dose of regret in their voices, that they learned the hard way there is never a right time to have kids. They waited and waited until it was the right time, when everything would be in place -- finances, careers, house, family commitments, and so on. You already know the end of the story. The right time never came, and now it was too late.

My wife and I decided then and there to stop delaying having kids for all those same reasons, and that decision was perhaps the best one I ever made in my entire life.

If you want kids, ever, I say the time to start is now.

Added Bonus: You now also have a great answer to the question, "Honey what should we do tonight?"

Lans Holman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: North by Northwest
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 02:41:28 PM »
You sound like you're in a great situation to go for it.  My only question would be if you're making 100k and don't have to pay for health insurance, what's stopping you from living on way less than that 60%?

MichaelR

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2013, 02:42:06 PM »
I also think you need to be very mindful of biological as well as financial issues.

If having kids is in fact important to you (and it isnt to a lot of people these days) then delaying delaying having a child till the female partner is in her late thirties dramatically increases the risk of infertility and birth defects. Yes the majority of women can deliver normal children in their late thirties - but very significant percentages will not.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 02:48:39 PM »
 
Quote
unless they pay for IVF you really want to get pregnant the old fashioned and fun way.

The cost of treatment (and the stress of worrying if you can afford another cycle if this one doesn't work) is one thing that makes infertility treatment no fun, but it's far from the only, or even the major, reason.  Count me among those saying that if having a child or children is important to you, and given the circumstances you describe, I'd recommend against waiting.

Here's to your achieving a healthy and trouble-free pregnancy as soon as you feel ready to start trying and having the child(ren) of your dreams.

ThatGuyFromCanada

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Location: Calgary Alberta - Canada
    • www.jonathanneufeld.com
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 03:19:53 PM »

My wife and I decided then and there to stop delaying having kids for all those same reasons, and that decision was perhaps the best one I ever made in my entire life.

If you want kids, ever, I say the time to start is now.

Added Bonus: You now also have a great answer to the question, "Honey what should we do tonight?"

My wife and I made the same decision and it was the best decision we've ever made

Tony_SS

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
  • Location: MO
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 03:33:15 PM »
This reminds me of the opening scene in Idiocracy. lol.

It will never be a good time to have them...Our second was an "opps"... you just do what it takes to get by and enjoy the ride.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 03:42:32 PM »
If you want kids, start now. The 5 years between 30 and 35 can make a big difference in ease of conception even for women who have no known concerns. And whatever age you have the baby, add 20 years to that and think about how tired you'll be as a parent. :) I had my daughter at 24 and my son at 31 and don't regret the "earlier" age for my daughter for a minute. Even though I am in better shape now than I was at 24, I can tell an energy level difference just from being a few years older. I think about women who wait until 45 to have their first baby and I honestly think they must be very, very tired. Or financially successful enough to pay for a lot of help.

Jrobin276

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 05:52:38 PM »
My only question would be if you're making 100k and don't have to pay for health insurance, what's stopping you from living on way less than that 60%?
Given your health issues, if you can answer all of these in the positive, then I think you should go for it:
(1) Can you afford daycare?
(2) If one of you lost a job, could you make ends meet for 6 months? (either a hefty E Fun or access to E $$, or spouse earns enough)

Thanks everyone.

To answer a few questions....
Re 60%: The cost of living in Australia is quite a bit higher than in the US, as is the cost of living in (any) large urban city (Sydney is 4 million) - though it's also where we got decent paying jobs. Our numbers are similar to one of the case studies done on the blog recently and we were already doing everything MMM recommended.... with a few exceptions that are just beyond our control. I've driven myself crazy trying to reduce our grocery bill to MMM levels and I just can't - the same items on sale still cost way more!

Also, National/Single-payer healthcare isn't 'free' - it's paid for through taxes. Don't get me wrong... it's a GREAT deal, and I like that it's there for everyone - but it's not free. 

Yes, we can afford daycare.
Yes, we can live on one salary if we have to.

Crazy. Guess I have my answer then!

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 10:24:06 AM »
Have fun! ;)

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 10:48:48 AM »
If you want kids, start now. The 5 years between 30 and 35 can make a big difference in ease of conception even for women who have no known concerns. And whatever age you have the baby, add 20 years to that and think about how tired you'll be as a parent. :) I had my daughter at 24 and my son at 31 and don't regret the "earlier" age for my daughter for a minute. Even though I am in better shape now than I was at 24, I can tell an energy level difference just from being a few years older. I think about women who wait until 45 to have their first baby and I honestly think they must be very, very tired. Or financially successful enough to pay for a lot of help.

OMG this is so true!!!

We had our daughter when I was 35.  I was fine.  Had no issues at all.  We were up in the middle of the night for what felt like the first 8-12 months every night.  She hardly slept through.  I was fine. 

We just had our son 5 months ago, and I am now 38. I couldn't go a month straight with being woken up in the middle of the night.  I have significantly less energy.  Now that could be attributed to the fact that we have a toddler as well.

There's also the fact that when they are in their teens and early 20s, you need to factor what you'll be able to do with them.  I wish we had had kids sooner after we got married given our ages.  Of course, my wife is 3 years younger than I am.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27958
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 07:50:56 PM »
We've been pushing back having kids, but have set a hard date.  We should hit full FI right around then (or maybe a year later).  Everything's about trade offs and depends on the situation, but in your situation, given your financial levels and potential medical issues, sounds like the time to start trying is now.

Good luck!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ritchie70

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 268
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 11:28:07 PM »
I'm all for planning and making sound decisions, but millions of people have children every year without giving finances a thought. If you want a child or children, and it's going to get harder over the next few years, go for it. Based on our experience, even without other issues you're coming up on an age where you'll start being considered a "higher risk pregnancy" so if you're gonna do it, do it.

For what it's worth, we used to live on two big incomes, and since our little one showed up 15 months ago, we're living on one. Sure the budget's a little tight, but it's more than doable.

The reduction in expenses like eating out and my wife not commuting more than offset the cost of diapers and so forth. I don't know why everyone says babies are expensive. If you can avoid day care costs, and don't buy a bunch of stuff you just don't need, I just don't see it.

Beckyemerson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2013, 11:51:49 PM »
It looks like you are pretty set. I think life is a million times more fun with children than without them. I have three and can't wait to have more. They haven't hurt our ER plans at all. In fact I think they further motivate us to save save save so my husband can stay home too. Just be sure to read Mrs. MM's article on what children need. They really need very little and make sure you ask friends to pass stuff along or buy it used. I hate storing things like a baby swing so I will buy one on craigslist use it until baby out grows it and then sell it for the same price or less $5. Then do it all over again with the next one. 

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2380
  • Location: NZ
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2013, 01:47:39 AM »
I echo the belief there is never a right time to have kids. From a financial perspective I would have liked to wait 2 more years the we did. 2.7 years on, and looking back I have no regrets.

I must say being financially stable, and raising a family is fucking awesome. It's just one less thing to worry about, so you can concentrate on being great parents.

Expect the additionaly weekly cost for the baby to be $50 or less. Assuming you are a half decent mustician.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 01:53:58 AM by gooki »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27958
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 02:10:49 AM »
I echo the belief there is never a right time to have kids. From a financial perspective I would have liked to wait 2 more years the we did. 2.7 years on, and looking back I have no regrets.

I must say being financially stable, and raising a family is fucking awesome. It's just one less thing to worry about, so you can concentrate on being great parents.

Expect the additionaly weekly cost for the baby to be $50 or less. Assuming you are a half decent mustician.

You seem to assume no childcare.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

lizzigee

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
  • Location: NZ
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2013, 04:09:41 AM »
We had 2 children when I was in my late twenties. My sister waited until they were 'established'. We are nowhere near as rich as her and her husband, despite starting from a  similar place, but they waited too long and then were unable to have children. If you have any fertility issues at all, then I would say start trying NOW. The grief it has caused her is immeasurable.

JellyBean

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2013, 05:20:28 AM »
As my father told me, you will never have enough money but you make the sacrifices as required. We started late as well and even went to a fertility clinic for testing/consultation. Luckily, we were able to get pregnant the old fashioned way. I would say don't wait. When you are trying to get pregnant and nothing happens it becomes a little more stressful as it becomes more of a calendar watching exercise. My wife was 32 and 34 when we had our two boys.

steveo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1944
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2013, 07:27:17 AM »
I was never prepared and it has worked out great. I have 3 kids and money was never a consideration. My advice it to forget about money in this situation.

ChiStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 10:01:20 AM »
Thank you for starting this thread. Really interesting to hear everyone's perspective.

I'm a thirty-year-old woman, so the fertility concern looms in my mind sometimes. Ultimately, my husband and I decided that it would be really hard to afford student loan repayment and daycare at the same time, so we hope to pay off our student loan debt before having a baby.  I feel like this was the right balance for us, bet there's no way to know for sure right now.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)

kkbmustang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2013, 09:08:08 PM »
The Hubs and I got married very young (right out of college) and we were going to wait until I made partner in a law firm before having kids. It may sound cliche, but 9/11 happened and I started really thinking about what I wanted most out of life. I got really scared about the possibility of delaying having kids until I made partner and what would happen if I was unable to have kids by then. We decided not to wait. And it was the best decision I ever made. I chose kids over career. My career still skyrocketed, but the trajectory ended up being different (and better) than I had originally expected.

I don't ever look at my kids and regret making the decision I did. Ever.

Also, on the financial side, you'll make it work regardless. I had sticker shock at childcare prices, but we adapted and made it work. Plus, your entertainment budget will go way down because the babies become the entertainment. They're hilarious. Especially when they're yours.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3148
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2013, 09:38:03 PM »
I am not a doctor. However, I suggest aiming to give birth before age 35 if at all possible. After 35, you'll be considered of "advanced maternal age" and--based on the experiences of my friends--this can increase the interventions that can lead to not having the kind of birth you want.

Also, fertility drastically reduces starting around 35.


MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2013, 10:11:48 PM »
We wanted to have a house, secure jobs, and some savings before having children.  We were late 20s, which was perfect. 

mahina

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2013, 03:25:07 AM »
my bottom line was i needed to have a washing machine. that was 40 years ago, and i now know i'd rather wash diapers in a cold stream than miss out on my wonderful children.


Michelle119

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Raleigh NC
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2013, 07:17:04 AM »
There is no perfect time to have kids. I want to have them young, hopefully the 1st in the next two years. We will have all our student loans/car loans paid off by then and have a good chunk of savings. Also we will be almost able to live off DH's salary at that time (based on consistent 3% raises) so I will be able to cut back to part-time work and not have to pay for daycare and my work will be all towards savings. If you have medical issues, go start working on having kids. I know my mom had a lot of issues trying to get pregnant, which is the motivating factor for me to have kids before 30.

clutchy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2013, 12:32:56 PM »
It's weird... we were my parents age.  I was 31 and my wife was 30.

Generally we also made over 100k a year and had a house.  We had also been married for over 7 years.


so I guess stable would be the key word.

pka222

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 105
  • Age: 41
  • Location: south pacific
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2013, 05:12:27 PM »
Our thinking on adding the baby to the mix was that there would be very little cost increase at all, thus no reason to put it off.  In effect the baby has added 1/6 of our budget again to expenditures - mostly in child care cost - which dropped our savings rate from 69% to 62%.  Still- it was the best decision we've ever made.  Waiting for FI wouldn't change the cost increase very much- even if neither of us worked, we'd still have some child care costs to allow us to continue grownup activities like sport, dinner parties, civic duties etc. Once the baby is a kid- she'll just come along.

moostachio

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2013, 07:14:34 PM »
I would encourage you to go ahead and have kids.  My wife and I did not have kids until later; first at 33 and the second at 36.  Now they are 20 and 17 and we are 53.

Our plan was to have them at 30 when we were financially ready, but things did not go as planned, and thus they did not come about until much later.  The point about having energy key is not when the kids are young, as you will have plenty of energy at 35 but will you at 45 when they are in middle school?  I think the best time to have kids is at 25-27, and plan perhaps on a lot of variation as to when they actually arrive, you will also be young grandparents, not in your mid 60's when grandkids show up. 

Best of luck.

Peter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2013, 09:49:49 AM »
I think the obvious solution is to pair up with someone of the appropriate age (i.e. not the same age).

Who is more "ready"? : a couple, both 32, neither financially prepared - the man supremely worried about not having the resources to support a wife and children, the woman deathly worried about being able to have healthy babies and hurrying up with it!

Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4329
  • Location: CT
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2013, 09:54:18 AM »
I think the obvious solution is to pair up with someone of the appropriate age (i.e. not the same age).

Who is more "ready"? : a couple, both 32, neither financially prepared - the man supremely worried about not having the resources to support a wife and children, the woman deathly worried about being able to have healthy babies and hurrying up with it!

Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

...
I hope most of that post is a joke. I personally find no problem with an age gap between a couple but to paint that as one group being more or less ready than the other is just asinine.

Your example falls apart in such an easy way if you just phrase it differently.

For example: Who's more ready. The couple who are both 32, two years from FI, responsible and employable if things don't work out with eight years to try.

Or

Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and immature. Doesn't know if she really wants a family and then leaves the family once the child is born so she can pursue all her missed opportunities.

See when you boil it down to a binary decision you get to make up all sorts of stupid things.

nawhite

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1060
  • Location: An RV somewhere in the West
    • The Reckless Choice
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2013, 11:39:07 AM »
Just wanted to point out this article about how long you can wait to have a baby:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

The gist is that all of the gloom and doom in the media from 10 years ago citing infertility and birth defects in older pregnant women have been either disproven or were based on data from the 1600's and 1700's.

The new studies show that it isn't really significantly more difficult or more risky to wait until a woman is in her late 30's

"[a study published in 2004] found that with sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds. (The fertility of women in their late 20s and early 30s was almost identical—news in and of itself.)"

I'm not discounting the advice of the people who warn of not having the energy to be parents at 60 but biologically, women have much more time to wait than most people believe.

TLV

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 492
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Bellevue, WA
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2013, 12:33:12 PM »
The only financial delay for us was having insurance. We got married with 8 months left of college for each of us. Since we had no idea where we'd go after graduating, and the student health insurance we had would skyrocket in price after graduation (it was something like $3k per month for maternity coverage after graduation, compared with $500 per month before), we decided to wait until we had post-graduation insurance figured out.

That turned out to be a very good decision in retrospect, because a few months later my wife spent a week in the hospital with intestinal ulcers and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. If she'd been pregnant, she almost certainly would have lost the baby, and would have had much higher personal risk from the Crohn's flare-up.

After graduation and getting a job with excellent healthcare benefits, it still took about 8 months to get approval from her GI doctor and to get switched over/stabilized on a maintenance medication that was safe for pregnancy.

While insurance was the only financial factor that delayed us having children, we also had no student loans (scholarships + work), made well above minimum wage ($10-14/hour, when minimum was $5.15) while working all through college (full time in summer, 20 hours for me/30-35 for my wife during school), and had family we could rely on in if needed (particularly for childcare during classes). If we had been up to our necks in student loans, minimum-wage or unemployed, or without a support network, those factors probably would also have caused us to hold off.

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2013, 12:55:03 PM »
Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

Hahaha!  Good luck finding that 26-year-old when you're 40.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4329
  • Location: CT
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2013, 01:35:17 PM »
Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

Hahaha!  Good luck finding that 26-year-old when you're 40.

It won't seem weird at all to be that 40 year old at the clubs. Or hanging around the graduate level courses. Or to have your online profile show your age interest as being 24-28 (fertile).

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2013, 02:39:07 PM »
Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

Hahaha!  Good luck finding that 26-year-old when you're 40.

It won't seem weird at all to be that 40 year old at the clubs. Or hanging around the graduate level courses. Or to have your online profile show your age interest as being 24-28 (fertile).

Especially if he lets her know that as a bonus, she gets to take care of not only the kids, but also of him in his old age.  Sounds like a win-win!

We had fewer options prior to the 20th century.  See any of Jane Austen's novels.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 02:44:13 PM by jrhampt »

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4329
  • Location: CT
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #37 on: July 29, 2013, 02:45:16 PM »
Couple 2: Man is 39 and has a solid career and stache, woman is 26 and has lots of time and youth to pump out a few kids and still energy to care for them while she's young. Sounds a lot less stressful to me.

This, of course, has been an acceptable and desireable arrangement for all of human history. It's only in the 20th century that it's become faux pas and abnormal for there to be a large age gap between couples.

It's certainly the way I intend to have kids if I choose to in my late 30s - early 40s...

Hahaha!  Good luck finding that 26-year-old when you're 40.

It won't seem weird at all to be that 40 year old at the clubs. Or hanging around the graduate level courses. Or to have your online profile show your age interest as being 24-28 (fertile).

Especially if he lets her know that as a bonus, she gets to take care of not only the kids, but also of him in his old age.  Sounds like a win-win!

We had fewer options prior to the 20th century.  See any of Jane Austen's novels.

I prefer the term professional baby maker tyvm.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27958
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #38 on: July 29, 2013, 04:28:01 PM »
Just wanted to point out this article about how long you can wait to have a baby:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

The gist is that all of the gloom and doom in the media from 10 years ago citing infertility and birth defects in older pregnant women have been either disproven or were based on data from the 1600's and 1700's.

The new studies show that it isn't really significantly more difficult or more risky to wait until a woman is in her late 30's

"[a study published in 2004] found that with sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds. (The fertility of women in their late 20s and early 30s was almost identical—news in and of itself.)"

I'm not discounting the advice of the people who warn of not having the energy to be parents at 60 but biologically, women have much more time to wait than most people believe.

This was very interesting to me given the fear-mongering I had heard around it.  I even plagiarized most of your summary when I sent it along to others.

Thank you for sharing.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

sassy1234

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2013, 07:32:39 AM »
I am in a similar situation.  I am going on 31, just about to finish off all my debt, save around 60% of our $160,000 income.   

I finally realized that until I see a little baby pop out of me, I will never feel ready to have kids.  I worry too much about money, time, and planning.  We started to try 7 months ago and I am shocked how much time it can take to get pregnant.  It is normal for it to take up to a year.  We want 2 or 3 kids so I am glad that we decided to start trying. 

As long as you have a good plan in place for child care, kids really don't cost that much either.  That's what I keep telling myself anyways!

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2013, 10:24:05 AM »
"[a study published in 2004] found that with sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds."

This is good information, and of course any kind of fear mongering is unwarranted. However, I would note that conceiving [my emphasis in quote above] is far different from successfully delivering, not to mention pregnancy or delivery complications, risk of congenital defects, miscarriage, etc. Even discounting all those other factors, I don't see a 4% drop in conception rates as insignificant, at least not for such an important decision. I wouldn't discount as trivial a 4% higher failure rate in a firecalc simulation, and I would argue that having children is a far more important and life changing event than whether your portfolio will survive for 30+ years.

I'd be interested in knowing if there are statistics demonstrating the differences in successfully carrying to term and healthy delivery based on age (I skimmed the article and didn't see that specifically articulated). I suspect the statistics would be quite a bit more grim than 4%.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4329
  • Location: CT
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2013, 10:39:48 AM »
"[a study published in 2004] found that with sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds."

This is good information, and of course any kind of fear mongering is unwarranted. However, I would note that conceiving [my emphasis in quote above] is far different from successfully delivering, not to mention pregnancy or delivery complications, risk of congenital defects, miscarriage, etc. Even discounting all those other factors, I don't see a 4% drop in conception rates as insignificant, at least not for such an important decision. I wouldn't discount as trivial a 4% higher failure rate in a firecalc simulation, and I would argue that having children is a far more important and life changing event than whether your portfolio will survive for 30+ years.

I'd be interested in knowing if there are statistics demonstrating the differences in successfully carrying to term and healthy delivery based on age (I skimmed the article and didn't see that specifically articulated). I suspect the statistics would be quite a bit more grim than 4%.

I'd give the article a bit better than a skim. The author doesn't have exactly what you're looking for but does state how difficult that is to determine as most pregnancy data is based off of IVF procedures. Also this quote from the article may better inform you on the grimness of the statistics.

Quote
What about birth defects? The risk of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome does rise with a woman’s age—such abnormalities are the source of many of those very early, undetected miscarriages. However, the probability of having a child with a chromosomal abnormality remains extremely low. Even at early fetal testing (known as chorionic villus sampling), 99 percent of fetuses are chromosomally normal among 35-year-old pregnant women, and 97 percent among 40-year-olds. At 45, when most women can no longer get pregnant, 87 percent of fetuses are still normal. (Many of those that are not will later be miscarried.) In the near future, fetal genetic testing will be done with a simple blood test, making it even easier than it is today for women to get early information about possible genetic issues.

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2013, 02:22:49 PM »
I did read those parts of the article, and I guess it depends on one's definition of grim. I considered 3 - 13% rates for fetal abnormalities in later pregnancies to be unacceptably high, but I can see that not everyone would share my level of acceptance on the risks. I can understand how it would be difficult to determine the overall rates of uncomplicated, "successful" births based on age, but it seems all signs point to increased risks with age in all areas (risk of miscarriage, risk of getting pregnant at all, risk of premature or complicated delivery, risk of congenital defects, etc.). And of course, the energy factor in raising kids when you're older. Anyway, it's all a good discussion and food for thought.

I feel here in the U.S. we've generally swung too far towards delaying birth, and too few births. We were the same way, we didn't have kids until my wife was 32 and then 34, and one miscarriage in between. At least at the macro level, the Hispanic population in the U.S. counteracts that trend. Otherwise we'll likely end up like aging Japan, with few young people to keep the country humming and support the old folks.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4329
  • Location: CT
Re: How did you decide you were financially ready for kids?
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2013, 03:41:25 PM »
I did read those parts of the article, and I guess it depends on one's definition of grim. I considered 3 - 13% rates for fetal abnormalities in later pregnancies to be unacceptably high, but I can see that not everyone would share my level of acceptance on the risks. I can understand how it would be difficult to determine the overall rates of uncomplicated, "successful" births based on age, but it seems all signs point to increased risks with age in all areas (risk of miscarriage, risk of getting pregnant at all, risk of premature or complicated delivery, risk of congenital defects, etc.). And of course, the energy factor in raising kids when you're older. Anyway, it's all a good discussion and food for thought.

I feel here in the U.S. we've generally swung too far towards delaying birth, and too few births. We were the same way, we didn't have kids until my wife was 32 and then 34, and one miscarriage in between. At least at the macro level, the Hispanic population in the U.S. counteracts that trend. Otherwise we'll likely end up like aging Japan, with few young people to keep the country humming and support the old folks.

I'd personally say the takeaway from the article is that you can successfully have kids up to 40 and even beyond with minimal risk. We may quibble over what is grim and what is not but if we trying to derive actions from statistics 97% of chromosomal(y) defect free is still really good odds.