Author Topic: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?  (Read 8299 times)

MrThatsDifferent

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$100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« on: December 30, 2018, 07:27:49 PM »
Iím struggling with this and trying to work through it. Iím single now and fine with it but thereís a part of me that still would like to raise a child, but Iíll be 50 in a couple of years. If that doesnít happen, then the plan will be, live my best life traveling the world. Honestly not sure what path to go down as the former is fraught with many concerns. But Iíd be such a great dad!

So, Option A, the kid: Iíd have to the surrogacy route (please donít suggest other ways, theyíve all been thought through and wonít work for various reasons). Most places that were more affordable have closed to single men so that basically leaves the US, where it will cost over $100k.  If I go that direction, it would mean putting my FIRE plans on hold for probably 3-5 extra years as all my plans now are focused me as a single guy, not a single parent. Thatís not horrible, but to be honest, Iíd love to be a SAHP for my kid as much as possible and not work, especially the first 5-7 years, so FIRE would be ideal during that time. It also just feels like so much money, when most people have them for free.  Depressing.

Option B: accept that Iíll always be childless, focus on being child free and a great and generous uncle and FIRE in 4 years, spending my life traveling the globe. Sounds great and I love it, except nothing obsesses me more than watching parents with kids and imagining what my life would be like if I had that? Iím so envious. I think I would trade anything, but then, push come to shove, I wonder because I worry that the cost is too great.

Anyways, love your thoughts, but please be gentle as this is quite personal and sensitive and Iím not looking at getting into an argument with anyone. If you canít have kids and you want them, it sucks so much you wouldnít believe it.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 07:38:29 PM »
Iím struggling with this and trying to work through it. Iím single now and fine with it but thereís a part of me that still would like to raise a child, but Iíll be 50 in a couple of years. If that doesnít happen, then the plan will be, live my best life traveling the world. Honestly not sure what path to go down as the former is fraught with many concerns. But Iíd be such a great dad!

So, Option A, the kid: Iíd have to the surrogacy route (please donít suggest other ways, theyíve all been thought through and wonít work for various reasons). Most places that were more affordable have closed to single men so that basically leaves the US, where it will cost over $100k.  If I go that direction, it would mean putting my FIRE plans on hold for probably 3-5 extra years as all my plans now are focused me as a single guy, not a single parent. Thatís not horrible, but to be honest, Iíd love to be a SAHP for my kid as much as possible and not work, especially the first 5-7 years, so FIRE would be ideal during that time. It also just feels like so much money, when most people have them for free.  Depressing.

Option B: accept that Iíll always be childless, focus on being child free and a great and generous uncle and FIRE in 4 years, spending my life traveling the globe. Sounds great and I love it, except nothing obsesses me more than watching parents with kids and imagining what my life would be like if I had that? Iím so envious. I think I would trade anything, but then, push come to shove, I wonder because I worry that the cost is too great.

Anyways, love your thoughts, but please be gentle as this is quite personal and sensitive and Iím not looking at getting into an argument with anyone. If you canít have kids and you want them, it sucks so much you wouldnít believe it.

As someone married with a kid, I cannot fathom raising a kid alone while needing to work.  Itís just meant to be a 2+ person task. Even with help from grandparents, Mrs Up and I find ourselves exhausted and beat.  If you can do it, god bless you.  Iím not a lesser man for saying I couldnít do it without all the help we have.  If I were in your shoes, Iíd embrace being the doting  uncle, no shame in that game.  I love my nieces and nephews and dote on them as well. 

Thatís one fatherís opinion. Itís probably not worth a grain of salt.

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 07:47:26 PM »
If I were in your shoes I'd go the uncle route.

You could also consider fostering children.  There are a lot of foster kids out there that you could help.  We considered it but rejected it after realizing that in our state reunification with the biological parents was always the top priority even when it shouldn't have been.

Mustache ride

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 07:56:23 PM »
Iím struggling with this and trying to work through it. Iím single now and fine with it but thereís a part of me that still would like to raise a child, but Iíll be 50 in a couple of years. If that doesnít happen, then the plan will be, live my best life traveling the world. Honestly not sure what path to go down as the former is fraught with many concerns. But Iíd be such a great dad!

So, Option A, the kid: Iíd have to the surrogacy route (please donít suggest other ways, theyíve all been thought through and wonít work for various reasons). Most places that were more affordable have closed to single men so that basically leaves the US, where it will cost over $100k.  If I go that direction, it would mean putting my FIRE plans on hold for probably 3-5 extra years as all my plans now are focused me as a single guy, not a single parent. Thatís not horrible, but to be honest, Iíd love to be a SAHP for my kid as much as possible and not work, especially the first 5-7 years, so FIRE would be ideal during that time. It also just feels like so much money, when most people have them for free.  Depressing.

Option B: accept that Iíll always be childless, focus on being child free and a great and generous uncle and FIRE in 4 years, spending my life traveling the globe. Sounds great and I love it, except nothing obsesses me more than watching parents with kids and imagining what my life would be like if I had that? Iím so envious. I think I would trade anything, but then, push come to shove, I wonder because I worry that the cost is too great.

Anyways, love your thoughts, but please be gentle as this is quite personal and sensitive and Iím not looking at getting into an argument with anyone. If you canít have kids and you want them, it sucks so much you wouldnít believe it.

As someone married with a kid, I cannot fathom raising a kid alone while needing to work.  Itís just meant to be a 2+ person task. Even with help from grandparents, Mrs Up and I find ourselves exhausted and beat.  If you can do it, god bless you.  Iím not a lesser man for saying I couldnít do it without all the help we have.  If I were in your shoes, Iíd embrace being the doting  uncle, no shame in that game.  I love my nieces and nephews and dote on them as well. 

Thatís one fatherís opinion. Itís probably not worth a grain of salt.

100% spot on from my experience as well.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 08:03:42 PM »
Single mothers raise children all the time. All. The. Time. Mine raised two.

As for fostering, as mentioned, Iíve considered all options and surrogacy is the only remaining to be discussed.

cats

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 08:12:39 PM »
Single mothers raise children all the time. All. The. Time. Mine raised two.

As for fostering, as mentioned, Iíve considered all options and surrogacy is the only remaining to be discussed.

I think most single mothers are not doing it that way by choice.  The points above that childrearing is a LOT of work are quite valid.  I'm sure if my husband died I would figure out how to raise our son without him, but it would be much harder.  No way am I planning to speed my time to FIRE by knocking him off and getting the insurance money ;)

The fact that you are almost 50 is *somewhat* concerning.  I know it's quite possible you'll live to 80+, but there's also a reasonable chance you will be dead before a potential child turns 18 (yes, this is true for a 25-year-old also, but nowhere near as likely).  What's your extended family network like?  Do you have younger siblings or cousins that you have a strong relationship with?

joljolyon

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 08:13:50 PM »
Quite a courageous challenge I would say.
I don't think the point about 'most people having a child for free' so to speak is actually that important, as the initial fiscal cost mentioned is far less than the effort required for a lifetime. To single handedly bring up a child is not only so time consuming as a single parent, yes it is also fairly expensive over time, but in my experience, it has been the inability to run a business propertly as a self employed person because of time constraints whilst bringing up a child. It's also not so easy to focus on a business whilst thinking and sometimes worrying about one's child.
Financial reserves can help immensely of course, but if one is self employed and still need an income for the first 18 years of the child's life, I would suggest thinking long and hard about whether to take on this selfless challenge single handedly.
 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 08:23:39 PM »
Single mothers raise children all the time. All. The. Time. Mine raised two.

As for fostering, as mentioned, Iíve considered all options and surrogacy is the only remaining to be discussed.

I think most single mothers are not doing it that way by choice.  The points above that childrearing is a LOT of work are quite valid.  I'm sure if my husband died I would figure out how to raise our son without him, but it would be much harder.  No way am I planning to speed my time to FIRE by knocking him off and getting the insurance money ;)

The fact that you are almost 50 is *somewhat* concerning.  I know it's quite possible you'll live to 80+, but there's also a reasonable chance you will be dead before a potential child turns 18 (yes, this is true for a 25-year-old also, but nowhere near as likely).  What's your extended family network like?  Do you have younger siblings or cousins that you have a strong relationship with?

Whether they do by choice or not isnít really the point is it? The fact is, single mothers and fathers raise children on their own all the time for a variety of reasons. They make it work.

I currently have a good a job with good pay, worst case scenario I could get a nanny or au pair to assist.

As for the age, yes, thatís definitely a concern about being an older dad. I do have a great family network of people I would trust that could take care of my child if anything happened to me.

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 08:26:43 PM »
My heart goes out to you, MrThatsDifferent.  I remembered this post from earlier in the year:

Weíre mid40s, no kids and I hate it. Never thought I wouldnít be a dad. It tears at me and breaks my heart, daily. Iím jealous of every father and child. Every one. I irrationally hate absent or neglectful or cruel fathers. Yes, there is the singular consolation that are lives are easier and wealthier because of no kids. But Iíd happy change everything to be a dad. So I regret, not falling in love younger and not trying for a family before it became too late.

You have a very strong and persistent desire to parent, and have been ready to do so for a while, so I would lean toward taking that path.  It sounds like $100k is not a life-destroying amount of money for you.  If any kind of part-time work arrangement is possible you may find that's the sweet spot for parent-child togetherness plus social stimulation for kid and professional gratification for you.  Unless you live in a dramatically family-supportive environment, you may find being a SAHP to be very isolating.

The work of raising a child and the concern of being an older parent: very valid concerns.  Being near involved family would help.  Finding other (single or partnered) parent friends to collaborate with would help.  I do think a child who is very wanted and has an involved parent with financial and familial resources is pretty fortunate.  Ensuring there's a back-up guardian who loves, is known to, and is committed to the child would be very important in case anything befell you.

I don't know your capacity to caregive but as an average person with a partner/co-parent, I can say that a child is a lot of work and sacrifice.  I would plan to have other caregivers in the child's life (family, friends, paid childcare) because even if you are ER, doing it all 24/7 is a huge load to carry.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 08:28:37 PM »
Quite a courageous challenge I would say.
I don't think the point about 'most people having a child for free' so to speak is actually that important, as the initial fiscal cost mentioned is far less than the effort required for a lifetime. To single handedly bring up a child is not only so time consuming as a single parent, yes it is also fairly expensive over time, but in my experience, it has been the inability to run a business propertly as a self employed person because of time constraints whilst bringing up a child. It's also not so easy to focus on a business whilst thinking and sometimes worrying about one's child.
Financial reserves can help immensely of course, but if one is self employed and still need an income for the first 18 years of the child's life, I would suggest thinking long and hard about whether to take on this selfless challenge single handedly.

Oddly, being a single parent is the least difficult part for me. Iím incredible with kids, I get them. And as I said, having grown up in a single parent household I know I can pull off everything my mother did, plus be more nurturing and better off financially. My concerns are generally the age and committing the extreme financial resources to make it happen. But if I never get to be a dad, is all the money in the world worth it?

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 08:30:14 PM »
I'm raising 2 kids almost alone, and their dad has only seen them for a few days a year since I got pregnant with the second. I'm not quite a solo parent, but I honestly think it would be easier if I were. I think you can do it and work (I do) but it's going to be damn difficult at least until the child is in kindergarten. I don't think it would be fair to you or the child if you are regularly working long hours.  Would it be possible to work fewer hours but for more years?

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 08:37:29 PM »
My heart goes out to you, MrThatsDifferent.  I remembered this post from earlier in the year:

Weíre mid40s, no kids and I hate it. Never thought I wouldnít be a dad. It tears at me and breaks my heart, daily. Iím jealous of every father and child. Every one. I irrationally hate absent or neglectful or cruel fathers. Yes, there is the singular consolation that are lives are easier and wealthier because of no kids. But Iíd happy change everything to be a dad. So I regret, not falling in love younger and not trying for a family before it became too late.

You have a very strong and persistent desire to parent, and have been ready to do so for a while, so I would lean toward taking that path.  It sounds like $100k is not a life-destroying amount of money for you.  If any kind of part-time work arrangement is possible you may find that's the sweet spot for parent-child togetherness plus social stimulation for kid and professional gratification for you.  Unless you live in a dramatically family-supportive environment, you may find being a SAHP to be very isolating.

The work of raising a child and the concern of being an older parent: very valid concerns.  Being near involved family would help.  Finding other (single or partnered) parent friends to collaborate with would help.  I do think a child who is very wanted and has an involved parent with financial and familial resources is pretty fortunate.  Ensuring there's a back-up guardian who loves, is known to, and is committed to the child would be very important in case anything befell you.

I don't know your capacity to caregive but as an average person with a partner/co-parent, I can say that a child is a lot of work and sacrifice.  I would plan to have other caregivers in the child's life (family, friends, paid childcare) because even if you are ER, doing it all 24/7 is a huge load to carry.

Thank you for your kind words and support. Yes, this has been the persistent theme of my life ever since my now ex partner and I started to have a family. That stress contributed to the marriage ending and those sentiments Iíve shared before havenít changed at all. I find myself at the crucible of having to make a decision, go it alone or give up forever. My heart isnít ready to give up but my head thinks it might be too late and Iím just being stubborn and foolish. But what do I do about my heart? How do I manage the next 30-40 years with this ache and want? Will traveling and having great experiences fill it? Or will I always mourn? I have no idea and no clue what to do? MMM showed me how I can be financially free but itís also shown me that I can have the means to make this a reality, so do I dare and is that fair to any kid I have?

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 08:40:19 PM »
I'm raising 2 kids almost alone, and their dad has only seen them for a few days a year since I got pregnant with the second. I'm not quite a solo parent, but I honestly think it would be easier if I were. I think you can do it and work (I do) but it's going to be damn difficult at least until the child is in kindergarten. I don't think it would be fair to you or the child if you are regularly working long hours.  Would it be possible to work fewer hours but for more years?

I would definitely work less and have support. Kudos for you for doing the tough work by yourself. Itís a bit odd to me that men give so little thought to women raising children by themselves, but mention a guy doing it and all of sudden itís virtually impossible to fathom.

ducky19

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 08:55:50 PM »
I have to say, I'm truly torn on this one. As a dad of three, I can't imagine my life without my kids. That said, I just turned 44 today and I can't imagine becoming a parent at this age for the first time (unless it were through adoption of an older child). I just can't fathom the thought of being in my 60's when my kid graduates from high school! I can see it from both sides - I feel like a part of me would resent the child for putting my plans to travel the world on hold, but I know if I didn't have the child I would be travelling the world just looking at parents in places I visit wondering what I missed out on. I can't begin to give you advice on this, but I do wish you all the best in making your decision! Whatever you decide, I hope it is the right decision for you.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 08:59:26 PM »
I have to say, I'm truly torn on this one. As a dad of three, I can't imagine my life without my kids. That said, I just turned 44 today and I can't imagine becoming a parent at this age for the first time (unless it were through adoption of an older child). I just can't fathom the thought of being in my 60's when my kid graduates from high school! I can see it from both sides - I feel like a part of me would resent the child for putting my plans to travel the world on hold, but I know if I didn't have the child I would be travelling the world just looking at parents in places I visit wondering what I missed out on. I can't begin to give you advice on this, but I do wish you all the best in making your decision! Whatever you decide, I hope it is the right decision for you.

Thanks for your support. I guess the thing is, I have travelled quite a bit, more than most because I havenít been raising kids. But I also know that I would travel with a kid, because Iím very comfortable traveling, not intimidated by it. That makes a difference. I do think of it as living my life in reverse, all my friends sending their kids off and me just starting. Daunting definitely. And I donít want 3, one is plenty ;-)

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2018, 12:28:52 AM »
As a parent of one ( accidentally got pregnant in late teens ) I didn't really want more .. I'm in my mid forties now and to be honest if I waited until more normal 30s I would probably remain childless .
I'm the opposite of you , I desperately want to travel (more), to move , etc.

So even with this position , I'm saying , GO FOR IT.
I know the ache from people close to me, and their sacrifice and their absolute happiness after having a child .
If you have money , like you said , hire a nanny to help you . If you have family that can support you , it's great , you can still travel with a child .
Have you explored surrogacy in cheaper countries ??

CoffeeAndDonuts

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2018, 01:11:42 AM »
I have to say, I'm truly torn on this one. As a dad of three, I can't imagine my life without my kids. That said, I just turned 44 today and I can't imagine becoming a parent at this age for the first time (unless it were through adoption of an older child). I just can't fathom the thought of being in my 60's when my kid graduates from high school! I can see it from both sides - I feel like a part of me would resent the child for putting my plans to travel the world on hold, but I know if I didn't have the child I would be travelling the world just looking at parents in places I visit wondering what I missed out on. I can't begin to give you advice on this, but I do wish you all the best in making your decision! Whatever you decide, I hope it is the right decision for you.

Thanks for your support. I guess the thing is, I have travelled quite a bit, more than most because I havenít been raising kids. But I also know that I would travel with a kid, because Iím very comfortable traveling, not intimidated by it. That makes a difference. I do think of it as living my life in reverse, all my friends sending their kids off and me just starting. Daunting definitely. And I donít want 3, one is plenty ;-)

I see several analogues in the lives around me... None quite the same but all successful.

* A father in law whose last kid left for college in his late 60s. He's very active and, I swear, has been kept younger by kids. That said, my MIL is a great parent so he's not doing it alone but he's hardly disengaged.
* A cousin who unexpectedly had her first child in her mid/late 40s. She's very career oriented and her foreign born husband does a lot of the caretaking and must have been near 50 when their daughter was born. He's a natural fit for it. It's working for them.
* I'm about 10y younger than your situation but enjoying travel as a family with my now 5y son sleeping next to me and wife while 4000 miles from home. Merged my company into another in q4 largely so that I can spend more time with him. To your point travel doesn't have to stop... Though it does change. I'm not a natural at parenting but I love it.

Several family members are moms going it alone at younger ages, but no dad's going it alone.

I don't think that's the differentiating or defining point. All 3 of the examples above suggest to me it's possible to be a successful older father as primary caregiver and still travel.

I'm certain sole parent is possible for the right person in this situation. Under the condition that youve given it as much thought and time as your posts here suggest, that you're even more committed to parenting than you were to the sacrifices necessary (for most) to contemplate fire at 52, that you're willing to compromise just about any other want you may have to do this, I say go for it.

And if you do, I'd look forward to seeing some updates here now and again though not surprised if this got tossed into the "if I had more time" pile. :)



MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2018, 01:26:53 AM »
As a parent of one ( accidentally got pregnant in late teens ) I didn't really want more .. I'm in my mid forties now and to be honest if I waited until more normal 30s I would probably remain childless .
I'm the opposite of you , I desperately want to travel (more), to move , etc.

So even with this position , I'm saying , GO FOR IT.
I know the ache from people close to me, and their sacrifice and their absolute happiness after having a child .
If you have money , like you said , hire a nanny to help you . If you have family that can support you , it's great , you can still travel with a child .
Have you explored surrogacy in cheaper countries ??

Thank you for sharing. Virtually all of the options for a single man to have a child through surrogacy in a cheaper country have now been closed now. I missed that window while we were trying to have a baby together. A mate of mine had twins from a surrogate in India right before the ban went into place. The US is really the only viable option, but the costs are insane. Iíve read that Panama might be but theyíre early in this and there could be legal issues with who is the actual parent.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2018, 01:46:47 AM »
Thank you coffeeanddonuts for sharing those stories. Iím not quite sure where this path will take me, but I was working on a list of life goals and there were two over-arching themes, be a parent and see the world. Since Iíve written this and have been reading the responses and writing back Iíve been thinking about this quite a bit. One thing, Iím not scared about having a child, itís really, how do I have one?  But I do have some advantages:

1. As mentioned, Iím naturally great with kids and helped raise my siblings.
2. Iím in near perfect health
3. I have a great job that pays well and I can save the money in 1.5 years if I focus
4. I would get almost a year of paid family leave, so I would definitely take that time off to be with the kid for at least the first year
5. I could easily work 4 days a week and make my schedule whatever I want
6. Without a kid, I could FIRE in 4 years, with one, Iíd probably stretch to 6-7.  Thatís not that bad.
7. Once I FIRE, the kid and I would most likely live in South America, SE Asia or PortugalóLCOL countries.

The funny thing to think about is if I had a kid at 50, the kid goes off to college when Iím 68, which is around the time lots of people my age would be retiring, so in theory, Iíd be ďretiringĒ with everyone else.

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2018, 02:01:58 AM »
It seems to me that having a child is VERY important to you. GO FOR IT. For me the hardest part of having children was pregnancy, delivery and the first 3 years, then it becomes easier. Being a parent it is hard work but it is regarding, you wonít feel bored or feel alone ever (at least while they are small), they wonít leave you alone ;) . Also, you donít need to give up traveling, in fact the kid would give you company and will make the trip more interesting and rewarding, especially once they are about 6 years old when they want you to explain everything to them and you end up learning throughout the process.

I wish the best luck with your decision.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2018, 02:23:41 AM »
It seems to me that having a child is VERY important to you. GO FOR IT. For me the hardest part of having children was pregnancy, delivery and the first 3 years, then it becomes easier. Being a parent it is hard work but it is regarding, you wonít feel bored or feel alone ever (at least while they are small), they wonít leave you alone ;) . Also, you donít need to give up traveling, in fact the kid would give you company and will make the trip more interesting and rewarding, especially once they are about 6 years old when they want you to explain everything to them and you end up learning throughout the process.

I wish the best luck with your decision.

I love this! Iím on holidays at the moment watching parents with kids from 1 and up, and they are all having a good time. I love the idea of showing the kid the world.

Neustache

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2018, 06:37:17 AM »
Seriously, go for it. 

Also, +1 to travelling with kiddos.  We've taken our kids on many road trips (10 and 6) and while it's not always a blast in the moment, the memories we make are always worth it.  My kiddos have taken yearly 3000+ mile road trips since the youngest was 1.   We have seen and done a lot and it's the one area where we are quite spendy. 

big_slacker

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2018, 06:51:02 AM »
As someone who had kids relatively late I think the upside of doing this late in life is maturity. You probably have your shit together way more than someone in their mid 20's, emotionally, financially, etc. and will be able to provide great stability, love and life advice.

That said I can't imagine wanting to be a single parent in your 50's. It's an insane amount of work and is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. It puts MASSIVE constraints on your free time, lifestyle flexibility and finances. I'd also be a bit worried about later life health and how that might affect a kid or teen.

I'd weigh very carefully whether this is a grass is always greener type of thing or truly something you want to commit to. Cause it's a hell of a commitment, especially in the way you're talking about doing it. Looking at it from my perspective as a 44 year old dad of two young ones, no way in hell I'd do it at 50. But of course you're not me. ;)

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2018, 06:59:21 AM »
As someone who had kids relatively late I think the upside of doing this late in life is maturity. You probably have your shit together way more than someone in their mid 20's, emotionally, financially, etc. and will be able to provide great stability, love and life advice.

That said I can't imagine wanting to be a single parent in your 50's. It's an insane amount of work and is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. It puts MASSIVE constraints on your free time, lifestyle flexibility and finances. I'd also be a bit worried about later life health and how that might affect a kid or teen.

I'd weigh very carefully whether this is a grass is always greener type of thing or truly something you want to commit to. Cause it's a hell of a commitment, especially in the way you're talking about doing it. Looking at it from my perspective as a 44 year old dad of two young ones, no way in hell I'd do it at 50. But of course you're not me. ;)

Thanks buddy for the caution. The problem is Iíll never know if I can handle it or not until I do it. And come on, there are a shit ton of parents who are young and active and really bad at parenting. People adapt, Iíll just have to be conscious and smart about everything, but thatís what parents should be doing anyways.

mxt0133

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2018, 07:13:24 AM »
Go for it, you can make peace with yourself knowing you tried everything you could to become a parent.  However, also keep in mind that you don't have to be the biological father to be a parent.

If adoption or surrogacy is to difficult.  I know plenty of people that move to developing countries that marry and have kids at ages older than you, think military retirees.  Even though the age disparity between the couples can be 20+ years they have raised kids and stayed together for the remainder of their lives.  If you say you are 5 ish years from fire that means that you can probably be FIRE in a developing country even with a new family.

Just giving you additional ideas, it just depends on how much you want to be a parent.

driftwood

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2018, 07:45:33 AM »
That said I can't imagine wanting to be a single parent in your 50's. It's an insane amount of work and is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. It puts MASSIVE constraints on your free time, lifestyle flexibility and finances. I'd also be a bit worried about later life health and how that might affect a kid or teen.

I won't argue about how hard it is, but your family network, FU money, and your flexible work schedule will mitigate some of that stress.

We had none of those options and so we definitely felt the MASSIVE constraints on our time, flexibility and finances.

But after being raised in a poor family with six kids, I'm excited for a kid with a mature parent who can show them the world and give them a different upbringing than what is typical these days. Even if your child loses you in their late 20s/early 30s, they will still have had  an incredible life and relationship with you.
 

Brother Esau

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2018, 08:37:12 AM »
DW and I are around the same age as you and we chose the no kids route. We both couldn't be happier. We have a handful of nieces and nephews in our life so we get our kid fix that way. It sounds like you are really jonesing to have a kid. We never had such strong desires to have kids. If I was you, I'd go for it.

Kay-Ell

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2018, 08:45:54 AM »
I think you should go for it and become a father. Iím a single mother by choice through adoption. I utilize professional childcare, and have a lot of flexibility in my schedule due to being semi-FIREd. I donít live near family and donít have a huge support network but I do have a small quality support network. Most noteworthy is my boyfriend. He doesnít live with me but does come over daily. I bring him up for two reasons. First, he is much older than I am (and older than you will be) but is extraordinarily fit and healthy. He has no issue keeping up with a toddler and loves her dearly. If anything were to happen to me, he would take over as her full time parent. The second reason I bring him up is, while we donít live together and he doesnít carry any of the day to day responsibility for her care, he gives me immense emotional support and the feeling of sharing her and this journey with someone who is ďall in.Ē Thatís the only thing Iíd suggest you think about and consider cultivating even if not in a romantic partner. 

The truth is that the logistics of taking care of kids isnít as hard as people make it out to be, as long as you have money.  Itís really not that hard to house, feed, cloth and transport a child. The part that is hard (and itís really hard) is the emotional expenditure of being a parent. They take up all of your mental and emotional energy - they will never not be on your mind or tugging at your heart. Every decision you make will trace back to your child. And while this brings immense joy, it does take everything you have, all the time, for the foreseeable future. Having someone to share that with, at least for me, has made all of the difference.

So donít be afraid of being a single, older parent. Do build your tribe of people who will adore your child and share in the emotional teamwork. Utilize professional childcare as needed with no guilt. Embrace the new dynamic of never having leftover mental and emotional resources that arenít taken up by your child. And donít worry about spending your money on family. I adopted my daughter for free through foster care, but if I had to do it again Iíd spend $100k to become her mom without even blinking.

mm1970

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2018, 08:51:45 AM »
I’m struggling with this and trying to work through it. I’m single now and fine with it but there’s a part of me that still would like to raise a child, but I’ll be 50 in a couple of years. If that doesn’t happen, then the plan will be, live my best life traveling the world. Honestly not sure what path to go down as the former is fraught with many concerns. But I’d be such a great dad!

So, Option A, the kid: I’d have to the surrogacy route (please don’t suggest other ways, they’ve all been thought through and won’t work for various reasons). Most places that were more affordable have closed to single men so that basically leaves the US, where it will cost over $100k.  If I go that direction, it would mean putting my FIRE plans on hold for probably 3-5 extra years as all my plans now are focused me as a single guy, not a single parent. That’s not horrible, but to be honest, I’d love to be a SAHP for my kid as much as possible and not work, especially the first 5-7 years, so FIRE would be ideal during that time. It also just feels like so much money, when most people have them for free.  Depressing.

Option B: accept that I’ll always be childless, focus on being child free and a great and generous uncle and FIRE in 4 years, spending my life traveling the globe. Sounds great and I love it, except nothing obsesses me more than watching parents with kids and imagining what my life would be like if I had that? I’m so envious. I think I would trade anything, but then, push come to shove, I wonder because I worry that the cost is too great.

Anyways, love your thoughts, but please be gentle as this is quite personal and sensitive and I’m not looking at getting into an argument with anyone. If you can’t have kids and you want them, it sucks so much you wouldn’t believe it.

As someone married with a kid, I cannot fathom raising a kid alone while needing to work.  It’s just meant to be a 2+ person task. Even with help from grandparents, Mrs Up and I find ourselves exhausted and beat.  If you can do it, god bless you.  I’m not a lesser man for saying I couldn’t do it without all the help we have.  If I were in your shoes, I’d embrace being the doting  uncle, no shame in that game.  I love my nieces and nephews and dote on them as well. 

That’s one father’s opinion. It’s probably not worth a grain of salt.
I'm gonna +1 this, with some caveats.

I have a friend who is a single mom, went to the sperm bank route. When I was younger and before kids, I thought nothing of it.  But my older kid was a toddler when she had her first and all I could think was DON'T DO IT.  I mean, parenting is meant to be a 2 person thing.  A lot of people have a "village", but it ain't the same.  You can't really imagine how hard it is until you are there.  And then you find out how much of a village you really have.  If you can afford to pay for a village (say, for week long overnight childcare if you have to travel), fine.  (Did I mention  my friend has no family in town?)  We don't live near each other but her facebook feed is FULL of all these kinds of challenges.  There are so many challenges.  She has to take ALL the sick days and school holidays and snow days.

That said, there are millions of single parents.  I have many family members and friends who were widowed and raised their kids alone.  Or divorced and raised their kids alone.  Some had friends and family to help.  Many did not. 

I also have a local friend who was a surrogate to a gay couple and a separate gay couple on the street who used a surrogate. (Both twins!)

Your life will be easier without the kids, and you can always be around kids by volunteering and such.  But man, they are such a joy.  We had our second in our 40s.  I have friends who adopted from foster care - they were in their 50s and adopted toddlers, and they were just fine (don't worry about age!)  I cannot complain to them about being almost 60 when my 2nd finishes high school - they are already 60 with kids in elementary.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 08:54:17 AM by mm1970 »

EricEng

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2018, 09:08:00 AM »
Really unfair to the child, unless you are the pinnacle of health and fitness. You will be nearing or at 70 by the time they are 18.  Lot of people can go down hill fast and unexpectedly in their 60s and there is no backup if something happens to you.  You also won't be fit and have the endurance a child deserves in their 7-15 stage when you should be getting them out and active.

There is also a real risk you will leave that child alone in the world in their early 20s as you reach mid 70s.  One parent being much older is fine, but intentionally having only one older parent is selfish.

FallenTimber

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2018, 09:34:35 AM »
I vote absolutely. It sounds like you were meant to be a father. Your child will be extremely blessed to have a dad who cares about him or her so much. The same cannot be said for thousands of children born each year.

My wife and I have a one year old, and while I personally can't fathom doing it alone, it's not impossible. Especially for someone as dedicated as you. You can certainly do it.

As for the comments about it being unfair to the child: I'd say most people would prefer a dad who was present and focused 100% for 20 years, as opposed to a dad who was rarely present and distracted for 60 years. When your son or daughter is 30 years old and they realize the magnitude of your decision, your courage, and your desire to be a great father, it will fill them with pride and the desire to be as great of a parent themselves as you were to them.

I wish you all the best in your decision. Don't let the opinions of some forum members (myself included) sway you from doing what you feel is right.

Edited to add: there's also a very high likelihood that you'll meet a woman who will embrace your son or daughter, admire your decision and your courage, and serve as a wonderful mother. That woman may have children of her own, who will also become a part of your family. So to assume that your son or daughter would be left all alone in the world if you died isn't entirely fair or accurate.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 09:38:17 AM by FallenTimber »

ysette9

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2018, 09:57:29 AM »
As someone who has struggled with losses and difficulty getting pregnant I can completely relate to the powerful pull of the beast to have a kid. I don’t think it is a license to go to the ends of the earth to have a kid at all costs, but for us it meant doing everything reasonable to try to have kids. My goal was to look back on my life 20 years from now and not feel regret over “if only I had tried x...”. All the money in the world can’t buy you time to re-do how you want your life to go.

We are friends with a single mother by choice from our new parent support group. She was very conscientious about building her community of support around her as her family is on the other side of the country. She did have a cousin live with her as a nanny for the first year or two of her kid’s life which is obviously very helpful. I saw her be deliberate about meeting families in groups and neighbors and coworkers to be part of a village. There were times I felt like she had her shit together much better than me with my husband 2-on-1 with that tiny little tyrant. :)

My vote would be that if you are financially stable and really want this then you should give it a try. But I don’t get a vote, nor do any vote, nor does anyone else here.

honeybbq

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2018, 10:01:14 AM »
My spouse is an older father (older than you will be). He is "young at heart" and healthy* (see below). He does get tired a lot more easily than I do being younger. Once you hit 50, even healthy fit guys slow down a bit. We hummed and hawed at the "have a child when you're so old" issue. He had kids from a previous relationship and loves them dearly, but ours is my only. One thing that we did acknowledge was that with 2 of us, if something happened to him (or to me) at least there would be another to fall back on. And if something should happen to both of us, we have a family member who'd take our child. The other thing is we basically have plenty of money. And as mentioned before, money can buy a lot of things.

That said, here's some things to think about:

- while my spouse was fit, took no meds, exercised regularly and never smoked, he was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and had to have surgery and radiation which was debilitating for a 6 month period. I had to do pretty much everything during that period. He is healthy and cancer free now, but we are lucky. Cancer or illness can strike at any time. Have a back up plan. If you were to have a sudden fatal illness, do you have people in place who can take over?

- Retirement/FIRE: I'd like to FIRE and travel in a few years. But my kid is in school. She has friends, hobbies, sports teams, etc. Dragging her off to live in South America would be awesome for me, but might not be so great for her. We do travel a lot and take her to different countries, but I'm not sure how she would do with a nomadic like lifestyle. I know there are several blogs that discuss family/homeschooling abroad when FIRE'd so ... think about it. I think the best might be to be in a stable place in your home country during the year and travel during the summer. At least that would work best for us.

- I think no matter what you decide, you will be looking over the fence wondering "what if". As I said, I'd love to travel, but kids like routine and roots, stability, etc. I love my kiddo more than anything, but sometimes I daydream about being in a tent in Tibet and not worrying about homework or practice or whatever the kid issue of the day is. It definitely wears on you and tires you out. You'll never come first again. And that's ok, but be prepared. When you're sick, you'll still have to take care of the kid first. Nobody to help you. My Mom was a single parent, and quite frankly she hated it and resented me. Being a single parent is one of my worst fears, but as you can see I had a child anyways, knowing inherently it was a possibility. She's definitely worth the risk. Good luck whatever you decide.


mlipps

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2018, 10:01:31 AM »
Really unfair to the child, unless you are the pinnacle of health and fitness. You will be nearing or at 70 by the time they are 18.  Lot of people can go down hill fast and unexpectedly in their 60s and there is no backup if something happens to you.  You also won't be fit and have the endurance a child deserves in their 7-15 stage when you should be getting them out and active.

There is also a real risk you will leave that child alone in the world in their early 20s as you reach mid 70s.  One parent being much older is fine, but intentionally having only one older parent is selfish.

Agree. I understand you're healthy now and have no reason to think you won't remain that way, but as a 20-something supporting an older parent through health issues while my friends travel the world with their parents and have 20 years left with them...I think it's just too late. I think my dad was too old when my parents had me (he was only 37 but he had known health issues even then) and it was a selfish decision. I'm sure you would be an amazing dad in the years you have with your kid, but I think you're really going to shortchange them by having a kid at your age.

cchrissyy

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2018, 10:11:16 AM »
My neighbor did this!   (his situation sounds incredibly similar to yours. there is a live-in nanny at this point)

It sounds like you are crystal clear that this is important to you and you'd have true regret if you don't do it and therefore I lean towards "do it!"

But surrogacy takes a long time. In your shoes I would investigate foster adoption. I have friends who have done that, both single and married folks, and the time from decision-to-kid was whirlwind short. Of course the time from kid-to-legally-finalized took longer. It was still far less than finding the egg donor and gestational surrogate then the cycles trying to conceive and then the pregnancy itself (plus maybe losses and try agains). 

good luck in whatever you do!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 10:13:04 AM by cchrissyy »

ROF Expat

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2018, 10:59:31 AM »
Only you can make the decision, but I wouldn't let age be a determining factor if you're in good health and can honestly expect to remain that way.  Age can be an advantage. 

I got married at 42 and my child arrived just about the time I turned 47.  Yes, I am a 55-year-old with an eight-year-old daughter.  Yes, I will be 65 when I drive her off to attend college.  So what.  Age aside, I'm more fit than many men far younger than I am.  More importantly, having a child later in life meant I was far more mature and financially stable than I would have been if I had a child in my 20s or 30s.  I traveled the world and had the adventures I wanted to have earlier in my life, so having a child meant a new adventure, not giving up other things I wanted to do.  I FIREd and left my job behind to be a full-time dad when I was 52 and my daughter was 5.  Is having children late in life "selfish?"  Maybe it is, but I think my daughter is happier with her "old" dad who rides bikes with her home from school and shows up at every school event than she would be with a twenty-years younger and less mature version who goes to work every day. 

Being a single working dad is a lot of hard work.  I did it for six months when my daughter was five.  She was not an infant, I had no financial concerns, and I had both household help and an understanding employer.  And it was still really tough.  The experience gave me new respect for single parents who have to raise kids without the advantages I had. 

Are you in the US?  Your ability to take a year of family leave makes it sound like you live in Europe or perhaps the Antipodes.  If you can get a year of paid leave and you live in a country with reasonable day care options, raising a child and keeping on track for FIRE might be a lot easier than it would be in the US.  If you are close to FIRE, you might think about FIREing first and dedicating yourself to being a full-time dad. 

FWIW, I would urge you to think very hard about your thought about moving to a LCOL country with a young child.  That lifestyle might be your dream, but it might not be your child's.  There are a lot of great reasons to live abroad and travel (my family is doing that), but there's also a lot to be said for letting children have strong connections to family and community.  Living all their formative years and being educated in a foreign country can make kids aliens in their "home" country.  It can also cause problems with getting jobs.  And if you come from a country with strong medical/daycare/social/educational systems, you will want to think about what's going to replace them elsewhere. 

As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason not to travel with children.  My daughter has been flying on international flights since she was six weeks old.  Traveling with her is a real pleasure, and I am happy to travel with her alone when my wife can't be with us.  She handles 24-hour multi-leg flight itineraries like a pro.   


Whatever you do, I wish you good luck and happiness. 






EricEng

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2018, 11:05:51 AM »
Agree. I understand you're healthy now and have no reason to think you won't remain that way, but as a 20-something supporting an older parent through health issues while my friends travel the world with their parents and have 20 years left with them...I think it's just too late. I think my dad was too old when my parents had me (he was only 37 but he had known health issues even then) and it was a selfish decision. I'm sure you would be an amazing dad in the years you have with your kid, but I think you're really going to shortchange them by having a kid at your age.
This is an important side I forgot.  Your child would just be spreading there wings and looking for job opportunities as you reading early 70s and decent chance start needing some help (physical and/or mental).  These days the young adult will likely have to move a lot for career advancement, but if they need to assist caring for you that will complicate things.  My parents are mid 70s and they are just realizing they will need help soon which means they are moving near me and I need to stay put. 

You are putting an immense burden on your child for selfish reasons.  They should be focused on job or finding and starting a family in their 20s, not caring for a parent 50 years their senior.

ducky19

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2018, 11:18:39 AM »
Weighing in again here... I mean, you need a license to fish but anyone with the right anatomy can "father" a child. Here we have someone who is fully aware of the amount of sacrifice a child takes and wants to anyways, I say go for it as well. The only concern I have is with what if something were to happen to you? Do you have a plan or support that could take care of the child if you were to die suddenly or become incapacitated? No one ever thinks it will happen to them, but it happens every day (sometimes to great people). You may have mentioned this up thread - if so, I apologize. Definitely something I would want to consider since you don't want your child that you love so much to become a ward of the state. I'm assuming you've thought of this, so I again say go for it! Best of luck!

partgypsy

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2018, 11:25:35 AM »
It sounds like this is something extremely important to you, and if you are not batting an eye spending 100K to have a child, and putting off Fire, you should do it.

A couple caveats. I agree with honey bbq and another poster  While it might be ideal for you to think about traveling alot with child, or relocating to a lcol country, kids like routine and predictabilty and be able to develop friendships at school, etc.  I like her advice: "be in a stable place in your home country during the year and travel during the summer. At least that would work best for us."
Children, while compared to adults are flexible and resilient, they vary. My oldest loves traveling and is at home everywhere (I predict she will do alot of traveling when she is older). My youngest otoh thrives on routine and has a hard time sleeping without her routine and does not sleep well the first night anywhere traveling. You don't know what kind of kid you will have.
I just don't want you to have rose colored glasses and assume the best case scenario with child raising, and that having a child is not going to affect your early retirement/travel/ living location plans. You need to be OK that any of those things are subject to change, based on what is best for the child, family situation.   
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 01:11:22 PM by partgypsy »

driftwood

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2018, 11:33:39 AM »
Agree. I understand you're healthy now and have no reason to think you won't remain that way, but as a 20-something supporting an older parent through health issues while my friends travel the world with their parents and have 20 years left with them...I think it's just too late. I think my dad was too old when my parents had me (he was only 37 but he had known health issues even then) and it was a selfish decision. I'm sure you would be an amazing dad in the years you have with your kid, but I think you're really going to shortchange them by having a kid at your age.
This is an important side I forgot.  Your child would just be spreading there wings and looking for job opportunities as you reading early 70s and decent chance start needing some help (physical and/or mental).  These days the young adult will likely have to move a lot for career advancement, but if they need to assist caring for you that will complicate things.  My parents are mid 70s and they are just realizing they will need help soon which means they are moving near me and I need to stay put. 

You are putting an immense burden on your child for selfish reasons.  They should be focused on job or finding and starting a family in their 20s, not caring for a parent 50 years their senior.

We'll, if he's FIREing when he says he will his assets should cover health care, and any other type of care he'll need. The kid won't be on the hook for any type of parental support. So the only selfish part may be "congrats on graduating from college,now I'm going to die and leave you alone"

accolay

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2018, 11:52:57 AM »
I read the OP... So, adoption, fostering and finding a partner who already has a kid are all out as options?

You have to have a kid that comes from your own balls to make you feel complete? Just curious.

mozar

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2018, 12:01:44 PM »
I was so mad when my dad got his girlfriend pregnant. I was mad because he's not the most together person. Now he's 62 and has an 8 year old and loves her to pieces. I love her to pieces too. If you pass away while she is a minor she will get your social security check until she turns 18.

On the traveling front, my mother took me to live in Puerto Rico when I was 10. We are not Hispanic. We lived there for 6 years and came back to the mainland USA for my junior year of high school. It was hard to hustle to make sure I had all the right classes and community hours. On top of applying to colleges and taking AP exams. And I did this all by myself because my parents were emotionally absent. It worked out fine. I got into the college I wanted.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2018, 12:05:03 PM »
I read the OP... So, adoption, fostering and finding a partner who already has a kid are all out as options?

You have to have a kid that comes from your own balls to make you feel complete? Just curious.

Youíre not being curious, youíre being mean and as mentioned, I wonít spend time addressing things Iíve considered but wonít work for various reasons, especially not to satisfy your ďcuriosityĒ.

partgypsy

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2018, 01:18:36 PM »
I read the OP... So, adoption, fostering and finding a partner who already has a kid are all out as options?

You have to have a kid that comes from your own balls to make you feel complete? Just curious.

I'll answer for him. I don't know if this is his reasoning, but when I wanted to have a kid, I wanted a kid who was my and my partner's kid, genetically our offspring. I wanted to see me and my parents and grandparents in my kid. It's not rational, it just is. I had no problems in the fertility etc department and I got what I wanted. I don't know what my plan b would have been if I couldn't conceive, since I didn't have to worry about it, but I wouldn't have automatically gone straight to adopting or foster a child. They are equally valid but different life choices in my mind.

EricEng

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2018, 01:32:32 PM »
We'll, if he's FIREing when he says he will his assets should cover health care, and any other type of care he'll need. The kid won't be on the hook for any type of parental support. So the only selfish part may be "congrats on graduating from college,now I'm going to die and leave you alone"
Normal FIRE covers medical expenses, doctor visits, procedures etc, but most need very considerable assets to provide 100% support (ie, live in assistance etc).  He mentions a $100k expense delaying FIRE by 3-5 years, that doesn't sound like he has massive reserves or income.

There are loads of little things seniors need help with.  It could be as simple as driving them to the doctor or for groceries.  Sometimes they can't clean anymore.  It can be helping them sort through and read their medicine.  It can be helping them keep their financials and accounts in order as technology changes.  Very few people go from 100% healthy to natural, peaceful death of old age without help from lots around them.  Hiring people to do all of that will require a Suze Orman sized fat FIRE.

mlipps

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2018, 01:33:16 PM »
Agree. I understand you're healthy now and have no reason to think you won't remain that way, but as a 20-something supporting an older parent through health issues while my friends travel the world with their parents and have 20 years left with them...I think it's just too late. I think my dad was too old when my parents had me (he was only 37 but he had known health issues even then) and it was a selfish decision. I'm sure you would be an amazing dad in the years you have with your kid, but I think you're really going to shortchange them by having a kid at your age.
This is an important side I forgot.  Your child would just be spreading there wings and looking for job opportunities as you reading early 70s and decent chance start needing some help (physical and/or mental).  These days the young adult will likely have to move a lot for career advancement, but if they need to assist caring for you that will complicate things.  My parents are mid 70s and they are just realizing they will need help soon which means they are moving near me and I need to stay put. 

You are putting an immense burden on your child for selfish reasons.  They should be focused on job or finding and starting a family in their 20s, not caring for a parent 50 years their senior.

We'll, if he's FIREing when he says he will his assets should cover health care, and any other type of care he'll need. The kid won't be on the hook for any type of parental support. So the only selfish part may be "congrats on graduating from college,now I'm going to die and leave you alone"

Only?? I don't give two shits about the money, and my parents so far have refused all financial help I've offered them. Furthermore, they live 8 hours away, so I do what I can when I visit but I'm not involved in daily life help. It's the emotional stuff I'm thinking about. What's hard is spending my days worried about my dad's health while my friends continue to experience life with their parents as equals, rather than someone they're caring for.

In a healthy parental/child relationship, this is the stage where it really bears fruit. My friends travel with their parents, go to shows and dinner with them, and just have daily life experiences with them. My dad's cognitive function is slipping, my mom is exhausted from caring for him. (She's 8 years younger and so far pretty healthy.) I just am incredibly jealous of losing this time with both of them to my dad being old.

It's also a unique kind of loneliness to be experiencing this while my friends' parents are still healthy. My friends care a lot & ask after my dad constantly, but no one else really understand what it's like to wonder a little more every time you see your dad if it's the last time, or to constantly have a running script in my brain thinking of how he's doing and what he needs. I imagine by the time you hit 40 or so you at least have a little more community when you find yourself in that situation.

Sorry, I'm in the thick of all this having returned from Christmas with the family a couple days ago, and perhaps that's coloring my perceptions a bit more than it should. But I just don't think many other people commenting here are doing a good job putting themselves in the child's shoes. My childhood was wonderful--I didn't know any different than having a dad in his 40's and 50's, and that seems to be the life stage of most of the parents commenting. But being a 20 something with an almost 70 year old parent is hard and I wouldn't deliberately choose that path for anyone.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 01:35:57 PM by mlipps »

marion10

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2018, 01:36:03 PM »
Parenting does not stop when they are 18. They need support through college and even young adulthood.i think 50 is just too old- particularly when you are a single parent.

GoCubsGo

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2018, 01:46:59 PM »
It sounds like your minds made up as you seem to shoot down most opposite viewpoints.  Times ticking. If your going to do it, do it.  Your already going to be the "old dad" at every school/sporting event but as long as your not bothered by that you're good.   I would say stay in tip top shape (you control a lot of that).  There's already a bit of selfishness involved in waiting so long so don't compound by making your 20 something kid take care of sick parent if possible.  I know as a 45 year father of two teenagers it'd be tough to do on my own but definitely not impossible given the right support from others.

As far as money goes, that's why you have it. To spend on things that enrich your life.


partgypsy

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2018, 01:58:17 PM »
And this is a totally personal question, but when a woman hears the clock ticking, it is in her early mid 30's and once that happens really a 5-7 year window to make it happen, or decide against having kids. Basically for most women, we hit an age, where we either "make it happen" or realize a different life plan.

While men do not "bear" the risks etc of advanced maternal pregnancy and birth, advanced paternal age is associated with increased birth defects and complications https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181101133759.htm. And again being male does not escape the associated issues of being an old parent (and in this case an older single parent). I am curious why the do or die moment comes so much later for men? Are men not as aware of the association with being an older and various risk factors, or they are OK taking that risk? 
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 02:02:25 PM by partgypsy »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: $100k to be a single dad or travel the world?
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2018, 02:06:55 PM »
We'll, if he's FIREing when he says he will his assets should cover health care, and any other type of care he'll need. The kid won't be on the hook for any type of parental support. So the only selfish part may be "congrats on graduating from college,now I'm going to die and leave you alone"
Normal FIRE covers medical expenses, doctor visits, procedures etc, but most need very considerable assets to provide 100% support (ie, live in assistance etc).  He mentions a $100k expense delaying FIRE by 3-5 years, that doesn't sound like he has massive reserves or income.

There are loads of little things seniors need help with.  It could be as simple as driving them to the doctor or for groceries.  Sometimes they can't clean anymore.  It can be helping them sort through and read their medicine.  It can be helping them keep their financials and accounts in order as technology changes.  Very few people go from 100% healthy to natural, peaceful death of old age without help from lots around them.  Hiring people to do all of that will require a Suze Orman sized fat FIRE.

No, itís not the $100k that would delay fire by 3-5 years, itís padding my fire for the kid to cover college and other expenses. I have a very good income. Iím not sure I get your argument, because wouldnít it apply to everyone? Anyone who will get old in your opinion will need a very fat fire, according to you. Thatís not the prevailing thinking. Youíre exaggerating something to make your point. My kid wonít have to worry about supporting me and my aged care issues will be dealt with, by me.