Author Topic: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?  (Read 3309 times)

ElleFiji

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A friend and I were talking, and I think that we were both having a case of the grass is greener.

Opinions? Based on reality or absolutely nothing are both accepted here
Edit: I'm happy with my dreams... but curious about what other people dream about and think is the coolest and most fun in THEIR OWN heads. Because I like stories
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 09:35:25 PM by ElleFiji »

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 08:39:14 PM »
Depends on whether you prefer being single or coupled :)

TheAnonOne

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 08:54:20 PM »
Fire when single might have a big * on it if you plan on getting married and having kids in the future but you can't support that lifestyle with your single stash.

That's probably the only caveat I can see.

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Dmy0013

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 09:04:50 PM »
Me and my wife had a similar discussion a year ago, obviously the difference being it was the two of us and we were discussing having kids.

Basically we could of travelled the world and retired early, and done what we wanted when we wanted... we still need to work for the foreseeable future but that was a 10 - 15 year goal leaving us in our young 40's...

Basically we figured that our bank accounts were not going to come and visit us when we were old, or feeling down.
What if one of us died or got sick?  who would be there for the other...

We decided to have a family, and realistically I dont even look at my FIRE age anymore... I'm gonna have more kids... Once we are happy with our family size we can sit back down and look at our FIRE goals...  And just to be clear I'm not saying I stopped saving money or planning for the future, of course I do that.  But once and a while I dip into my savings account here and there for a quick visit to go see my family, for my son to see his grand parents...  by no means do I dip into credit by any means but my savings account can take a small hit here and there... and once we are done having kids and we find our new grooves and roles in life, we can look at the FIRE date again...

Thats just my two cents... you will know whats right for u...

ElleFiji

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 09:10:16 PM »
I think both my friend and I are on paths that are right for us... but as a non-parent, I think it would be awesome to retire with a young family, and take them on adventures.

The married-parent friend, thinks how awesome it would be to be financially independent and go off on adventures, without needing to be home in time for talent shows and graduations.

Villanelle

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 09:14:04 PM »
I think this is like asking whether it is better to love a man or a woman.  That's going to depend almost entirely on the the individual.

FOR ME, the ideal fire is as part of a couple.  I don't know if you define that as "with a family" or not.  I do as DH and I are very much a family, but I know many don't.  I've never wanted kids, and thus the idea of a life revolving around them in so many ways is not appealing to me. 

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2017, 09:18:16 PM »
I think both my friend and I are on paths that are right for us... but as a non-parent, I think it would be awesome to retire with a young family, and take them on adventures.

The married-parent friend, thinks how awesome it would be to be financially independent and go off on adventures, without needing to be home in time for talent shows and graduations.

I don't understand yet... It sounds like you're both keen on the same thing... Like, you would both have a family and unschool, no?

ElleFiji

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 09:34:00 PM »
Hmmm. Ill go find the edit button.

I wanted stories and fantasies of what each dear reader thinks would be super awesome for them!

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 09:53:26 PM »
Ah! Looked at your edit :)   Okay!

For me best is "keep kid, be free, have awesome tribe, add super close friend to the mix for relay-parenting, co-playing, road-tripping with, etc." That's my perfection, and I'm moving hundreds of kms to put that final variable in place.

ElleFiji

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 09:54:58 PM »
I think this is like asking whether it is better to love a man or a woman.  That's going to depend almost entirely on the the individual.

FOR ME, the ideal fire is as part of a couple.  I don't know if you define that as "with a family" or not.  I do as DH and I are very much a family, but I know many don't.  I've never wanted kids, and thus the idea of a life revolving around them in so many ways is not appealing to me.
That sounds like an amazing ideal! And you're a family if you say you're a family

MayDay

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 04:28:11 AM »
I think both my friend and I are on paths that are right for us... but as a non-parent, I think it would be awesome to retire with a young family, and take them on adventures.

The married-parent friend, thinks how awesome it would be to be financially independent and go off on adventures, without needing to be home in time for talent shows and graduations.

I have kids and we do travel a fair bit, bit holy crap I'm jealous of people who aren't beholden to the school schedule for travel!

But no jealous enough to homeschool, lol no.

So I can definitely see that side of it. For us, well likely be FI right around when the kids are off to college so it doesn't constrain us that much. Just those occasionally pangs of jealousy about ever being able to travel when it's not absolutely peak price :)

Villanelle

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 05:06:51 AM »
For us, the primary reason "no kids" is the ideal is just because we never felt pulled toward parenthood.  But beyond that, it's not just that we aren't beholden to the school schedule when we travel.  We also only have to get one small hotel room, 2 airline tickets, two museum tickets, etc.

And beyond travel, a night out doesn't cost an extra $40 for a baby sitter, and doesn't get canceled last minute when a sitter cancels.  And we can head in the Tokyo for the day and end up just deciding to stay.  No worries about securing a sitter or who will take Timmy to soccer tomorrow or any of that.  We can plan things spur of the moment, and that spontaneity is wonderful.  Heck, even if our spontaneous decision is just to stay up late reading and then sleep until 11pm on a Sunday, these are things our friends with kids can't do.  I am sure that for all (or at least nearly all) of them, whatever it is they get from having children and growing and shaping tiny humans more than offsets these things.  For us, we don't believe they would. 

Our choices aren't ideal for everyone, but I think that statement is always true no matter who is making it.  But they are pretty darn close to ideal for us.  I love my life!  We aren't FIRE yet, and are planning a lavish-by-MMM standards retirement, which we hope will include lots of travel and other adventures and I'm thrilled at the prospect of sharing those things with my DH, and only my DH (except when we make a conscious decision to include others). 


CindyBS

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 06:32:18 AM »
We didn't discover FIRE until after we had kids, so there really was no decision in it.

My earlier FIRE will be when my kids are older teens and I am in my mid 40's, and when they are both over 18, we will probably do a lot of traveling.  As they age I suspect (hope) grandchildren will be part of the equation at some point and then I will probably be more child focused again. 

You can be a FIRE parent with grown kids and if you have them young enough, still be in your 40's, retired and free of many of the child rearing responsibilities.

Our FIRE plans include downsizing from our larger home to a smaller home, possibly into a duplex.  The other half used as an Air bnb or even one of my sons lives there for reduced rent and takes care of the place while we travel.  Don't know yet.

snacky

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 07:01:47 AM »
I'll consider myself FIRE when the kids are adults. That's the point at which my responsibilities lift and my life gets a lot cheaper. Like a previous poster said, the freedom to spontaneously go wherever and do whatever is what feels like FIRE to me.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 08:15:48 AM »
I feel compelled to campaign for separation of church and state kids and schedule. Those are two entirely different things. One can have one without the other. i.e., Some child-free adults are beholden to a schedule due to internal compulsion, feeling lost otherwise, etc. Many child-having adults are free of schedule, due to deciding not to do that.

zarfus

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 08:46:41 AM »
We love being young parents (of 3 kids, were each under 30) and love the idea of being in our 50s without any kids at home so we can live our semi retired dreams! In the meantime, we plan on taking as many family trips as we can swing. Kids change the vacation big time, but they keep things interesting :)

catccc

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Re: Is it better to be FIRE as a single non-parent, or with a family?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 01:40:24 PM »
While I sometimes miss the simplicity of traveling as a couple, our kids add immeasurable meaning to our daily lives.  We're looking at FI for the family in a few short years here...  But we've always wanted a family, so this is easy to answer for me.  Our kids go to school, but I wouldn't be opposed to taking a year to homeschool or unschool once we are FIRE to facilitate travel beyond what a school calendar would allow us to accomplish.  Although when that time comes, the kids might be so socially involved with peers that they might object.  That's fine.  I like traveling but I also like being home.  Also, we do pull the kids out of school for travel already.  The pace at which they teach combined with our kids' abilities have allowed for that to some extent.  (Like, I'll ask the teacher for work to give to my kid for a week we'll be out of town, and I'm told the kid's progress won't be hindered being away and she should just have fun.)  I've been pleased with how vacations have changed for us- the kids stretch me to experiences I never would have considered before, but ended up loving (Disney), and they do surprising well with vacations that DH and I used to do before kids (just went to London and Paris last month).  I don't see my life revolving around our kids.  They are hugely important to us, but there's no reason we as a family can't meet everyone's needs!