Author Topic: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?  (Read 4672 times)

Riptoast

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« on: May 09, 2017, 12:44:38 PM »
I'm hoping to get words of wisdom from those who have already made this type of decision and hear what they are happy with or wish they had done differently. I have an inclination to devote everything to reach FIRE and delay gratification until then, but I'm wary of losing sight of the fun to be had now.

I am 28 and my wife is 26. Ideally we'd like to have kids while still in our early 30's. At our current trajectory we could be FIRE (500k) when I am 34 and she is 32. We both love travelling and want to have a year to slow travel and visit friends and family around the world post FIRE (we are both returned Peace Corps volunteers and great at travelling and living frugally). I imagine our annual travel budget will be about the same as our US budget (20k), maybe a bit higher. If we love the lifestyle this could turn into multiple years. When we tire of travelling we would love to put some roots down for a while near family in the US and raise kids, have a garden, pursue hobbies/volunteer/fun work etc. If we want to do this travel phase pre-kids, (which I'm assuming will be much easier, and probably more enjoyable) then we wouldn't get to the kid phase until we are 35/33 or later which is a bit late for us (I'm open to arguments for why having kids later is fine too though).

So we are considering an alternative which would be to quite our jobs and travel when I am 31 she is 29 and we are at only half our FIRE number (250k). We could then be more open to extending our travel or even working/volunteering internationally before eventually coming back to the US to be near family and have kids. At that point we would (maybe only one of us) get jobs again and resume the track to FIRE, this time in our late 30's. I'm also interested in finding creative ways to get location-independent income started before travelling to lessen the burden on our investments and keep us on track for a faster FIRE once back (essentially any work that can be done online).

So I guess I'd like advice from those who have made/are making these decisions as to what would be the benefits and drawbacks for each scenario? What are you pleased with or unhappy with regarding your own path to FIRE? Anything you would do differently? The more conservative first scenario is more appealing for its relative security, but the delayed FIRE plan sounds like it might be more fun. I also tend to hear that once you make a move like quitting jobs to pursue travel and alternative work, opportunities tend to materialize. Neither of us are opposed to working again, in fact I've heard that FIRE folks can sometimes struggle with what to do with all the time so I anticipate no shortage of potential money-earning pursuits in our future.

What are your opinions?

JoJo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 807
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 04:19:36 PM »
Yes.  do it! I'm still working (part time anyways) at age 44, mostly due to trips at 31-32 and 40.  No regrets.

Also, I don't know how 2 people can FIRE in early 30's with 500K. 

ysette9

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 04:44:14 PM »
Sure! Take a year now to slow travel, then get back on the wagon to pound out the remaining years of work you need to reach FIRE, having some babies along the way. By the time you reach FIRE hopefully your kids will be old enough to join you on the slow travel.

I loved all of the trips we took and can't wait to get back into it. I also had an unexpectedly hard and long time getting and staying pregnant, so if you want kids, I do not recommend waiting. Consider what you would regret most later in life if things did not go your way. That is the framework we used when discussing our financial and family-naming plans and it has been a good guideline for us.
"It'll be great!"

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1510
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »
Also, I don't know how 2 people can FIRE in early 30's with 500K.

THIS !
Anyone that has a passion for traveling the world and $20K per year travel budget isn't going to be happy retired in their 30's with only $500K.
You better plan on at least tripling that number for any kind of a decent retirement.  It needs to last 50 years when you retire that young!

Riptoast

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 08:23:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I agree that looking at our current decisions through the lens of what we may regret later is a valuable way to prioritize.

And I appreciate your concern over my FIRE number but like I said, my wife and I love being busy with projects and I find it very difficult to believe that with all the things we get into post FIRE none of it will earn us any money. So I've chosen a low FIRE number more as a safety net, i.e. we'll always have at least about 20k to count on. Odds are this will continue to grow into the millions. And if we have to one or both of us could get a job if things aren't working out as well. But in general this debate is similar to my initial question, it's a choice about doing what we enjoy with an attitude of optimism and flexibility now rather than waiting until conditions are ultra-secure but we've missed out on some fun times.

I've read of a number of FIRE individuals that say they were overly-conservative and could have pulled it off years earlier, but few if any regret putting off FIRE to pursue something they love doing. This is purely anecdotal though, which is why I'm always open to other points of view. If someone who is worried about my FIRE number were to tell about how they tried to FIRE early with too little and have since regretted it I'd be all ears. But I haven't heard that yet. Most seem to say they end up with far more than they need and if they ever did need more money they have way more interesting options to pursue than going back to an office job.

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 12:37:05 PM »
It's your life. There are no wrong decisions.

If you choose to travel now, you may end up putting off either FIRE and/or kids indefinitely.   

Know this -- if you are not FIRED when you have kids, it is very hard to give up the income entirely, or keep the intense work / money making for FIRE a focus, so most people put off FIRE to have a little bit more family life now.   e.g.  being home for dinner or breakfast with your kids and seeing them before they go to bed at 7pm is a big deal for most people, so they slow down the work a bit, and maybe spend more to make up for the time away from kids (take out dinners or vacations or activities).   My guess is that you put off FIRE by 10 years if you are not ready to FIRE before kids.  Others maybe move to another country and FIRE with kids and lower costs.

It's not a bad decision.  Just a different one.  Your life.  Your choice.


CargoBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
    • Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 03:58:37 AM »
I find it very difficult to believe that with all the things we get into post FIRE none of it will earn us any money.

Develop a location-independent / time-independent income source.

I have one, and my family did 2 months of travel last year, with budget only being slightly more than our at-home expenses. I didn't have to stop work to make it happen. 

And, depending on where you travel, earning in U.S. dollars while living in an incredibly low Cost of Living country will really stretch your lifestyle.


About kids:  The worst part of travelling with kids is the actual transportation part.  Planes/trains/cars.  Just plan on staying in one location for a significant amount of time. Think "temporarily living in another country" vs. "traveling.".     I highly recommend Airbnb apartments that have a kid's room with toys.  We thoroughly enjoyed traveling with our toddler, but depending on what sorts of things you want to do, you may want to get some of this travel out of the way before the kids are here.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 04:00:47 AM by CargoBiker »
Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

🚲 The Bike for Urban Families 🚲

Kids in Front | Wooden Cargo Box with 2 Benches | Electric Assist Motor | 3 Wheels

Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

mandy_2002

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 08:18:45 AM »
Hey!! I'm currently a PCV in FIRE.  I retired at 32 (or as my coworkers put it, I "retired") and I'm working as and EE volunteer with a secondary project of launching a national STEM camp.  I don't have much to add since the other half of what it would take to make a tiny person has not yet materialized near me, but it's always fun to see others who've been where I am :). 
Retired:  April 2016
Currently:  Serving in the Peace Corps
Sure this is technically a job (the toughest you'll ever love, I hear), but I went from 60-90 hrs a week to living in a foreign country on Uncle Sam's dime teaching English ~20 hrs/week when schools in session, so I'll take it.
What's next?  Spain!  Vietnam!  Several countries in South America!  I may have a problem.

Riptoast

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 10:41:20 AM »
Way to go on FIRE and Peace Corps! I've thought that would be an excellent early retirement strategy. Must be fun watching your investments continue to grow in the US while you are living off of half your $200/month or so stipend as a volunteer. I was in Senegal for 3 years and loved it. Definitely learned some great lessons on what is necessary for a good life, and what is just Americans being ridiculous. Good luck with all your projects!

mozar

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2441
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2017, 09:30:34 PM »
I'm not FIRED but you can both test your fertility and your wife can have her eggs frozen or have your embryos frozen. A doctor told my cousin in law to have kids in her mid twenties and if she waited she might become infertile. My doctor told me I would have until my late 30's at least if I wanted to freeze eggs/ have a baby. Fertility is knowable and you can plan accordingly.
Embracing the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2017, 12:34:51 AM »
The worst part about travelling with kids is buying more tickets, and then, when they are teenagers, having to buy a second hotel room outside of North America.    Car rides with 18month olds aren't great, but it was the cost that stopped us from travelling with kids.

CargoBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
    • Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 04:16:56 AM »
The worst part about travelling with kids is buying more tickets, and then, when they are teenagers, having to buy a second hotel room outside of North America.    Car rides with 18month olds aren't great, but it was the cost that stopped us from travelling with kids.

I buy all our international airfare from Credit Card points.  Gotta hustle the churn system a bit, but it works!
Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

🚲 The Bike for Urban Families 🚲

Kids in Front | Wooden Cargo Box with 2 Benches | Electric Assist Motor | 3 Wheels

Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 11:48:13 PM »
The worst part about travelling with kids is buying more tickets, and then, when they are teenagers, having to buy a second hotel room outside of North America.    Car rides with 18month olds aren't great, but it was the cost that stopped us from travelling with kids.

I buy all our international airfare from Credit Card points.  Gotta hustle the churn system a bit, but it works!
yeah, not quite so do-able in Canada, especially to get 4 tickets, together, during kids vacation times.  Then the fuel surcharges don't make it a great deal, compared to a card with cash rewards.

CargoBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
    • Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 04:33:23 AM »
Why doesnt it work in canada?

Not as many card offers or what?

Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

🚲 The Bike for Urban Families 🚲

Kids in Front | Wooden Cargo Box with 2 Benches | Electric Assist Motor | 3 Wheels

Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

oneyear

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 04:51:18 AM »
I'm hoping to get words of wisdom from those who have already made this type of decision and hear what they are happy with or wish they had done differently. I have an inclination to devote everything to reach FIRE and delay gratification until then, but I'm wary of losing sight of the fun to be had now.

We've literally just started our travels pre-fire with our daughter who is 2 years old. We began travelling last year with a 1 month trip and the same this year (currently in Spain). Next year we're planning 3 months round the world. It's no less fun, just different.... We've just started our instagram page so we can document everything we do. Tbf, we're fire already but knowing then what I know now, I'd have done it way earlier.

CloserToFree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
  • Location: Major U.S. City
  • 30-sth lawyer (for now), traveler, lover of nature
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 07:17:29 AM »
I vote for doing the slow travel pre-kids -- it's just a different experience with more opportunity for self-growth and adventure.  We have a 2yo and travel often with him, which is generally awesome (if more tiring than travel was before), but I'm glad we also got in a lot of travel just the two of us in our 20s and early 30s. 

I also second the rec for fertility testing now, just to know what you're dealing with.  We had DS when I was 34 and now, at 36, we are trying for another but struggling with fertility issues that I never would have expected (36 sounds old for many parts of the country, I know, but where I live, it's a pretty standard age for women to be having even their first kid - so I wasn't prepared to have to work this hard for a second kid).  If I had a do-over, I'd definitely start having kids a little earlier - maybe at 32 instead of 34. 

It sounds like you guys are super frugal, so I'm not as worried about your FIRE numbers as some are (although I do kind of wonder - are your jobs amenable to getting re-hired after an extended travel break?).  One good back up plan may be geographic arbitrage/ moving to a low-cost country -- especially given your background as Peace Corps volunteers.  I wouldn't be shocked if you took the time off to travel and then decided it was too good of a gig to give up -- so do some legwork on remote work possibilities and maybe research potential countries you'd be open to moving to.  Assume you know about Go Curry Cracker?  Great blog to give you ideas for how to keep up the traveling lifestyle even post-kids.  Good luck!

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 02:11:01 PM »
Why doesnt it work in Canada?
Not as many card offers or what?

NOTE -- below is my experience with AEROPLAN, because of my business travel, I already had over 60,000 points that I wanted to use, if I topped up with more points.  I am now at nearly 120,000 points and still having trouble -- exchanges to united and others are often at a 4:1 rate, which sucks.  Other have had some success with AVION points, and the Westjet companion ticket looks pretty good if you know in advance what you will use it on (similar to AlaskaAir).

AMEX card with many points -- has the option to redeem for travel or for cash, and for reasons below, I will take that bonus as Cash, thanks.
----------------------------------

I have been trying to book travel for a couple of years now, with all my points, and it just never makes sense.  When I can get a flight, the fuel surcharges add up, so it is only a 20% discount off the best price available that day.  Which means, that the total vacation is still too much money, so we take a car trip instead.  Travel with just one other person, on non-holiday weeks (e.g., a Vegas trip) would be much easier (except i don't want to go to Vegas).

EXAMPLE -- I want to fly from  Vancouver to Toronto with my family of 4.  This is the domestic route with the greatest number of flights each day from my home airport. Wanted to fly anytime from end of June through August, or Spring Break 2018.  I looked it up today:

-- ZERO flights at the standard points level are available in the summer, from today until October 2017.  The inflated points levels are not really worth looking at except to burn up points.
-- March 2018 is available for spring break to book 4 seats.
-- Cost fuel charges is $200 per person.
-- Best cost flight on Kayak.com for same dates is $202 per person "SAME CARRIER; SAME DATES".   Lowest cost competitor is actually cheaper by $2 per person.  Note, usually there is a $200-$300 per person savings, but having to book so far out means that the seat sales are easy to find right now.

Cost comparison to a Cash back card
BASIS:  Travel Card with annual fee waived and 15,000 to 25,000 bonus points (hard to find cards with more, but they exist, usually AMEX with its built in limits for hacking), plus earning another 10,000 points through card use or light-weight churning x 4 cards...   $40,000 in spending (hacking).   

Cash back cards would generate $800 for this amount of spending.  A bit more if the 4% grocery cards are also used in the month.   

So -- Save $0 to $800 on flights...using travel hacking.... versus get $800+ cash back

For me, the chance to save that extra $0-$800 that I can MAYBE use, one day, if I jump through the right hoops, versus similar CASH that I can definitely use now makes a difference to me. 
---------------------

Here is the kicker -- that family trip to Toronto that starts at ($800) in fuel surcharges plus transportation costs at location ($100 for buses / transfers), plus basic accommodation ($750 min), plus basic meals and passes ($1000),Total is ($2650)  looks very expensive compared to a 1 week hotel/camping trip ($1200 total), in terms of total cash out of pocket for vacation.

--------------------
i do get incidental free hotels and cars now and then, but only up to 2 nights per year, solely because of business travel (not related to credit card points) that I use, with their preferred customer clubs, as I don't travel hack for them specifically.   These are great, although places to use them are limited.
 

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 02:17:47 PM »
Okay,  just for fun, I checked what Hawaii in March 2018 on points looks like for a family of 4:

It's 180,000 points (That's a lot of points! especially as bonus cards are hard to find over 25,000) and $806 in surcharges.  Cheapest flight on the same days is $756.

Why wouldn't I just book the $756 flight, then?

gardenarian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
  • Location: Ashlandia
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 02:53:26 PM »
Thank you for serving in the Peace Corps! What an awesome gift to the world.

I know many people who delayed having kids and had difficulty or were unable to when they were in their late 30s/early 40s. Just something to think about.
Also, travelling with kids is a lot of fun.

I agree with others who say that 500k is maybe a little low, unless you have expectations of inheritance or something - of course, that depends on where you live and whatnot.
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -- Gandalf

ysette9

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 04:46:19 PM »
Quote
I also second the rec for fertility testing now, just to know what you're dealing with.  We had DS when I was 34 and now, at 36, we are trying for another but struggling with fertility issues that I never would have expected (36 sounds old for many parts of the country, I know, but where I live, it's a pretty standard age for women to be having even their first kid - so I wasn't prepared to have to work this hard for a second kid).  If I had a do-over, I'd definitely start having kids a little earlier - maybe at 32 instead of 34. 

I'd say even if you do testing, take the results with a grain of salt. Numbers that reflect your egg reserve or quality or whatever change all the time (up and down) and certainly change for the worse as you age. I saw that over the space of just 9 months while working with a fertility clinic. Not to get all gloom-and-doom on you, but getting pregnant is only step 1 of fertility. I got pregnant on the 2nd cycle twice for my first two pregnancies and lost both at week 17. It turns out my situation is incredibly rare and not something that you could guess in advance or even see on an ultrasound or in a blood test.

I am also in a part of the country where people don't start thinking of kids until they reach 30 at the least. We started just as I turned 30, had two losses previously mentioned, then took 7 months to get pregnant a third time, had a lovely preemie baby, and then took 1.5 years to get pregnant a fourth time, most of it with fertility clinic assistance. The difference in me at least of getting pregnant at 30 versus 35 is rather significant.
"It'll be great!"

CargoBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
    • Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2017, 08:16:45 PM »
I have been trying to book travel for a couple of years now, with all my points, and it just never makes sense.

Ok, gotcha.  Yeah, that sounds tough.
Owner - Urban Tribe Cargo Bicycles

🚲 The Bike for Urban Families 🚲

Kids in Front | Wooden Cargo Box with 2 Benches | Electric Assist Motor | 3 Wheels

Rediscover Your City • Join the Tribe

www.urbantribecargobicycles.com

MsRichLife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 540
  • Age: 40
    • Living My Rich Life
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 04:11:41 AM »
I FIREd six months ago at 39. One thing I really wish I'd done pre-kids was a year of slow travel. Of course we could do it with kids, or later once they move out, however my appetite for roughing it has reduced markedly with age/kids.

NorthernDreamer

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Canada
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 10:56:12 AM »
My advice - go now! My husband and I did two years of slow travel (separate trips) in our 20s. We returned each time with no debt but also no money. At the time it was a bit unnerving to come home to friends with houses/fancy jobs/fancy cars etc. But we've always been frugal and those friends were terribly jealous of our mini-retirements.

We now have a few kids and I am SO GLAD we did those trips before we had the kids. We spent some time in India and I was up for more "roughing it" 10 years ago then I might even be now. I know some people travel lots with kids, but with our kids' personalities and quirks and needs, it wouldn't go well and definitely wouldn't be the same.

I know others who have children with major behavioural/medical/etc issues who will never be able to do big trips abroad with their kids. You can put it off, but you don't know what challenges may be thrown your way.

Yes, we are aiming to FIRE a bit later than some others in the forum - we are hoping for 48 and 51 - but the slower path to FIRE is worth the years we spent on the road.

Just do it! At least for 6 months. Then reevaluate.

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 821
  • Age: 41
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2017, 05:20:19 AM »
I'm another vote for travel pre-kids.  I spent much of my twenties working / traveling overseas (living in London, Taiwan and China, visiting much of Asia) and I never regret it.  I was always frugal, but I didn't save so much during that time.  However, I've found that in my 30s my life naturally shifted to things that are conducive to having kids / earning more money - namely staying in one place and putting down roots.  I feel like ones 20s are a great time to explore (whether geographically or otherwise).  I didn't work my first full-time job until I was 33 or so, and we hope to be FIRE in about 5 years (I'm 40).  It wasn't my plan, but that's how it's working out and I have no regrets.

That said you can certainly travel post-kids, but as other folks have said it's different.  While in China, I spent a month biking / camping on the Tibetan Plateau.  It will be a while before I can travel like that with my daughter.

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1453
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2017, 06:50:25 AM »
GO NOW.
I traveled (backpacked) a lot in college. I have never regretted that time.
DH and I haven't done much travel together because we chose to work on our careers and then have kids. We plan to do some traveling with the kids now that they are a bit older and then really hit the road to slow travel when they are away at college.

Some things to think about-
-little kids won't impact your $20k budget much, but once they get to be school age they do really start to impact your budget number.
-healthcare for a family is super expensive in the US
Between the above two things you may find that you need more than $500k.
-Traveling with kids is expensive
-kids are not great travel companions for much of their <18 years, you may be able to work with this and just flow, or you may find it super annoying that you can't just go do. For example- kids under 4 sleep about 14 hours per day between bedtime and naps. That's a lot of hotel time. And if they don't sleep they are not easy to be with.

I would go now, put off travel and plan to work longer in some capacity. You may find that once you have your children you are happier to work and have a little more money for the family.


Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2017, 02:48:42 PM »
I'm another vote for travel pre-kids.  I spent much of my twenties working / traveling overseas (living in London, Taiwan and China, visiting much of Asia) and I never regret it.  I was always frugal, but I didn't save so much during that time.  However, I've found that in my 30s my life naturally shifted to things that are conducive to having kids / earning more money - namely staying in one place and putting down roots.  I feel like ones 20s are a great time to explore (whether geographically or otherwise).  I didn't work my first full-time job until I was 33 or so, and we hope to be FIRE in about 5 years (I'm 40).  It wasn't my plan, but that's how it's working out and I have no regrets.

That said you can certainly travel post-kids, but as other folks have said it's different.  While in China, I spent a month biking / camping on the Tibetan Plateau.  It will be a while before I can travel like that with my daughter.
How old are your kids now?

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 821
  • Age: 41
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2017, 12:42:29 PM »
I'm another vote for travel pre-kids.  I spent much of my twenties working / traveling overseas (living in London, Taiwan and China, visiting much of Asia) and I never regret it.  I was always frugal, but I didn't save so much during that time.  However, I've found that in my 30s my life naturally shifted to things that are conducive to having kids / earning more money - namely staying in one place and putting down roots.  I feel like ones 20s are a great time to explore (whether geographically or otherwise).  I didn't work my first full-time job until I was 33 or so, and we hope to be FIRE in about 5 years (I'm 40).  It wasn't my plan, but that's how it's working out and I have no regrets.

That said you can certainly travel post-kids, but as other folks have said it's different.  While in China, I spent a month biking / camping on the Tibetan Plateau.  It will be a while before I can travel like that with my daughter.
How old are your kids now?

Our daughter is 2.

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4805
  • Location: BC
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2017, 03:55:58 PM »
Cool,  retiring when your daughter is 7.   Do you see any challenges (as well as the advantages of being there) in retiring while she is still young as compared to after high school? 
Are there challenges now with saving while paying for child care that most people would find it especially hard to do?

 (I am 45, and newly retired with a daughter graduating this year...   I would appreciate your perspective.)

capoevename

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34

vine

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • Noodles & Fish
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2017, 08:46:58 PM »
Go for it now. There are always ways to make up the money part of the equation later if need be. Considering your positive attitude and apparent flexibility I don't think that will be a problem for you.

The overall trend is worth paying attention to – people get less willing to sacrifice comfort as they get older - travel expenses increase as you age. I can happily travel live cheaply now when I am young, but I don’t assume I’ll be OK with it forever. Having kids only compounds this.

I'm happy to see that 500k fire number. As many others are saying it is probably a bit low. But it also shows that you two are willing to be creative and flexible and optimize. It takes a badass to retire with that little!

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1233
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 08:55:17 PM »
Just to bracket the other end of the 500k FIRE, it's high compared to ERE (Early Retirement Extreme)
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/


vine

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • Noodles & Fish
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2017, 06:50:33 AM »
Just to bracket the other end of the 500k FIRE, it's high compared to ERE (Early Retirement Extreme)
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/

True, but than again Jacob from ERE didn't really stay "retired" for very long. He has a much larger nest egg saved now (and some lifestyle inflation to go with it)

The point I was trying to make is that most of the people who hang out here talk about much higher numbers. 500k for two people, or 250k for one is much lower than what I usually see here, and it's awesome that Riptoast is comfortable making it work for that little. This forum generally attracts more of the high earner / higher spender crowd.

Cossack

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia
    • finance liberation
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2017, 07:01:44 AM »
I kinda wish I started having kids earlier so that I have enough energy to keep up with them. Had my first at 33 and now have 5. We have traveled and lived in different countries with our kids. But a couple of them are not adventurous, so we don't tend to do a lot of sightseeing with them.

Sometimes opportunities come up that are not necessarily the best decision financially, but it changes your life for the better. We took our oldest 2 to China for a few months (Pre FIRE) to help our friends who were starting a church. It was a terrible financial decision, but we loved that time and it really did change my life. Some opportunities presented to you now might not be available again in the future.
FIRE'd at few years ago. I am 43, DW 39. 5 young kids 10,8,7,4 and a newborn. We have lived in Auckland, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Suva and currently living in Brisbane.

My new blog lives here: financeliberation.com

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 26947
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2017, 06:23:34 PM »
We delayed having kids, which allowed us to travel quite a bit in our 20s and FIRE at the end of that decade, and then have a kid immediately after FIRE (and then start the full time traveling).

Based on these numbers:
Quote
I am 28 and my wife is 26. Ideally we'd like to have kids while still in our early 30's. At our current trajectory we could be FIRE (500k) when I am 34 and she is 32
...
So we are considering an alternative which would be to quite our jobs and travel when I am 31 she is 29 and we are at only half our FIRE number (250k)

It seems reasonable to me if you've saved up 250k by your early 30s, to take a year sabbatical, then have kids and FIRE upon coming back.

Just a warning not to delay too long if you want multiples... sometimes they take awhile. We want more, but haven't had luck getting pregnant with the second (breastfeeding delaying being able to have the second), and now think maybe we should have started a bit earlier. If you're just thinking one, or maybe two, you should be fine!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

espyfamoffour

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Delay FIRE to travel pre-kids?
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2017, 02:56:35 PM »
Honestly the thread link below is fairly similar to what you're talking about, with pros and cons weighed between traveling now/fireing later vs. working now/traveling less and fireing earlier.  To me it boils down to alot of different factors, which everyone weighs differently, which makes the decision unique to a person/couple. 

My wife and I took a plunge and moved to Mexico City from age 28-31 for me, and it was a life changing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. We did it pre kids and have since moved back to US and started our own family. I value that experience highly without taking the time to analyze whether those 3 years added or detracted from my net worth or FIRE plans...

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/early-retirement-vs-serial-mini-retirements/