Author Topic: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?  (Read 2893 times)

notmyhand

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Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« on: January 15, 2018, 06:35:03 PM »
We just received news that in order to have kids we will need to go the expensive IVF route (~30k plus time off with no guarantee) which is making me pause on my "have kids this year" plan.  Yes, I've already interviewed clinics and researched prices. 

Without this snaffoo and without kids in the budget, we were gunning to pay our house off two and a half years from today.  However, knowing we now must drop a large amount of money and push back our plans makes me really question our time frame.

I will be 31 if we wait until our mortgage is paid off.  Additionally, I am a star employee in a growing company - the moment we get enough clients to warrant needing an extra manager, I will be promoted, which would double my pay.  I am working hard trying to bring those clients in now and likely will lose this potential with pregnancy/maternity leave.  Our current mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance and extra, is 50% of our take home, non-bonus pay.  It is on a 15 year note and we are a year in.  Ideally my promotion would take place and we could cut our payoff time even more.

Everything in me screams to wait until the mortgage is gone.  But two things are holding me back - 1. We just paid about 2500 in expensive testing that would need to be redone before IVF if we don't have it in six months.  2. I'm getting older - what if I wait and ruin my chances?

Has anyone here waited and regretted it?  Or the other way around?  Feeling guilty and worried about feeling this way but I would be so relieved to go into the next step of our lives completely debt free. 

Edited to add->We are maxing out all available tax-deferred accounts.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 06:38:12 PM by notmyhand »

Engineer_Erik

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 06:44:26 PM »
Not an easy decision.  Have you talked to your doctor about how your chances of pregnancy change if you wait until 31?  If you do IVF now, how many years does that push back FIRE?

ixtap

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 06:56:44 PM »
You have just received some very emotional news and need time to process it.

To answer the part that we can help with: What were your goals when you decided to aggressively pay down the mortgage in ~3 years? Was there something specific or were they vague "let's be debt free" goals? Are they a higher or lower priority for you than having biological children?

ChpBstrd

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 07:26:50 PM »
Do the IVF thing if you want to have kids. It's that simple.

Is the desire to be debt-free so that you can be a stay at home parent without the cash flow pressure? If so, consider refinancing your greatly reduced balance into a 30 year loan. The interest rate will be a few decimal points higher, but you'll obtain some cash flow flexibility.

The risk to your FI plan occurs after the kid is born and you are overwhelmed with hormones telling you to quit your job. My DW and I just barely managed to both keep working through the first year, but it involved some tearful "can I quit?" discussions.

11ducks

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2018, 07:55:00 PM »

If having kids is a priority to you, I'd start the IVF within 6 months. Though it could happen immediately, it may also take several cycles, so if you start in 6 months there's a real possibility you may be close to paying off your mortgage by the time you give birth and go on leave anyway.

blinx7

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2018, 07:58:32 PM »

Don't put off having kids.

If you put it off, maybe you will never be able to do it.

You are making money because you are smart and hardworking.

You will be smart and hardworking after you have kids.

You can always make more money then. 

Lady SA

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2018, 08:00:18 PM »
Honestly, I'd have kids now/sooner. Kids are dependent on a biological clock, whereas you can pay off your mortgage when you are 30, 40, 50, 80, or even 100. There is no time limit to paying off a mortgage like there is to growing a human inside you. Plus, the sooner you begin starting your family, the more time and better chances you'll have (whether you want one child or more).

My DH and I are only 26, and originally we were thinking of starting our family when I was 31 or 32 and within ~$200k of FIREing. However after casually mentioning this plan to my mom, she told me that I have family history on both sides of infertility and unexplained miscarriages. It took my mom 4 years to get pregnant with my brother. After that, knowing that I would probably have problems getting pregnant, DH and I decided to instead start trying for a baby sooner, right when I turn 28 or so (so 4 years sooner than we originally planned), to give us the best chances of having the family we ultimately want. This meant pretty much scrapping our original FI plan -- now we will get to ~50% FI before hopefully getting pregnant and then let our investments slowly grow to our FIRE number. We are entirely happy with this new plan, even if it means a few extra years working.

You can also compromise and get a bit closer to paying off the mortgage before attempting IVF. It isn't either get pregnant now or at 31 -- why not 30?

I second the idea to refinance the mortgage to a longer term. You can always pay extra when you have extra cash, but if you have a high min payment it will be stressful. Also there are many MMMers around in the "dont pay off your mortgage" club who advocate paying the min on your mortgage over as long a time period as you can get as long as you are able to take advantage of the historically low interest rates. I'd look into that, because not all debt is bad.

Also, MMM is about life optimization, not just solely financial optimization. Just imagine the "worst case scenario" for both children and mortgage/finances. Youre looking at potentially being completely unable to have any biological children vs paying off your mortgage what, 5-10 years later than you planned? Working for ~5-10 extra years when your kids are probably in school anyway? Which is worse to you? Then what can you do to mitigate that worst, worst case scenario?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 08:10:22 PM by Lady SA »

ysette9

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 08:54:33 PM »
I think there is zero reason to pay off the mortgage early and even fewer reasons to wait to have kids until the mortgage is paid off. You have the rest of your lives to pay off the mortgage but a very limited window to have kids. If you know you need IVF anyway then you need to get on that train as quickly as possible. If you snapped your fingers today and whipped out the credit card to pay for it you would still be a good four months minimum before you could do an embryo transfer, and that is if everything works out the first time.

I would recommend you look into a different job with better benefits. We were a few days away from putting IVF on the credit card when I finally got my positive pregnancy test. Through my company’s benefits it would have cost us around $10k out of pocket, depending on what options and tests we selected. Through my husband’s benefits we would have gotten one entire cycle for free. As long as you are entertaining that, ask about parental leave policies of prospective new employers. Mine sucks and only gives 6-8 weeks for mothers and 1 week for fathers. My husband’s company gives 16 weeks for mothers and fathers. Hell, move to CA or NY while you are at it to take advantage of partial pay family leave on top of the employer leave.

Okay, the last bit is probably a stretch. I do know someone who is waiting to move out of CA until after they have kids to take advantage of the parental leave policy here.

As someone who spent four pregnancies and six years having two babies, please do not wait. Trying to make babies is emotionally taxing and you know in advance that your experience will be harder, longer, and costlier than average. Do not delay.

firelight

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2018, 09:07:37 PM »
I'd echo the same sentiment. If you are ready to spring for IVF, I'm guessing having biological child(ren) is high on your priority list. Mortgages can be paid off whenever but kids are more tricky. You need to have a lot of luck for everything to work out fine the first time and have enough buffer time in case things don't work out great the first time. And you need to make sure all this time is within your baby making years. When you know you need IVF, you know your path is harder and longer than most. It makes more sense to start on the path sooner than later.

vivian

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2018, 09:14:45 PM »
In terms of the promotion possibility you mention, there is never a “good “ time to have a baby for a professional woman.

If having kids is an important part of your life plan, have them now. Paying off the mortgage just to have it paid off is not reason enough to me to delay having kids. Infertility sucks and it changes your plans. And your ability to plan. Only you and your partner can say how important kids are to your life plan. It is perfectly OK to say kids are less important than other goals, so you pursue IVF and may end up childless. For me, in your shoes, I would have kids now.

You might also consider foster care and adoption as other routes to parenthood. Like I said, infertility changes your plans, so you need to be clear on what those goals are. IVF may not be the only option.


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ysette9

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2018, 09:01:24 AM »
vivian brings up a good point about infertility changing your plans. We on these forums tend to be the type who research and plan and chart and check off things on checklists until we reach our goals. That works well for money and careers and house buying, but it completely falls apart when you try to make babies. Mother Nature has her own plans and your planning and desire only calculate moderately into that. Infertility has been a great humbling experience for us. It amazes me how much time just slipped by while we were trying to get pregnant. You snap your fingers and a Year has gone by.

Car Jack

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2018, 09:45:20 AM »
There are no guarantees.  We did 5 years of IVF and a step beyond (forget what it was called) with nothing to show for it.  Adopted 2 infants after that.  I was 39 with the first one and 43 with the second.  It is VERY difficult when they get to teenage years.  In our state, insurance must cover the IVF costs. 

Also, if you plan to stay at home, consider your career pretty much finished.  My wife did that and went from a manager position to now not even qualifying to interview for entry level positions (medical) because of lack of recent clinical experience.

lizzzi

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2018, 04:11:58 PM »

Don't put off having kids.

If you put it off, maybe you will never be able to do it.

You are making money because you are smart and hardworking.

You will be smart and hardworking after you have kids.

You can always make more money then.

This.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2018, 04:30:54 PM »
In my opinion: If it matters to you to have kids, do it now. Age is, independent of other factors like AMH, FSH, or AFC, an extremely major predictor in IVF success. Egg quality will not improve, only decline.

I'm sorry, for what it's worth. I just got the same news this weekend. I'm feeling pretty gutted. If you need community, or want to talk #s, feel free to PM me, go to the "pregnancy and baby chat" group journal in the journals section, or go to reddit.com/r/infertility or reddit.com/r/stilltrying

Good luck with your choice.

SomethingFishy

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 05:22:50 PM »
Do you really, truly want to be a parent? Most people I know who have struggled with infertility, myself included, were anxious to get started with treatments ASAP. If you're considering a multiple-year delay, is there a reason beyond career and mortgage?

If the answer is yes, you really want to be a parent, I wouldn't wait. At the very least, you could go through IVF and bank embryos. That would allow you to wait until later to transfer (with no guarantee that you'd wind up pregnant), but also allow you to retrieve eggs from younger ovaries. Younger ovaries are a good thing!

To answer your question, though, DH and I waited to try until we were 150% financially ready, and 100% sure our marriage was in a good place. Now we are dealing with infertility, loss, and other problems that are compounded by my age. I regret waiting until we were so financially ready - it wasn't necessary. I don't regret waiting until our marriage was ready. Even if we never bring home a living child, it was worth waiting to ensure my marriage would survive. Good luck to you, and I'm sorry you face this choice.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2018, 06:56:14 PM »
vivian brings up a good point about infertility changing your plans. We on these forums tend to be the type who research and plan and chart and check off things on checklists until we reach our goals. That works well for money and careers and house buying, but it completely falls apart when you try to make babies. Mother Nature has her own plans and your planning and desire only calculate moderately into that. Infertility has been a great humbling experience for us. It amazes me how much time just slipped by while we were trying to get pregnant. You snap your fingers and a Year has gone by.

Not OP but I needed to read this today.  I feel like two years have flown by just waiting and hoping.  Ugh.

boarder42

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2018, 07:12:08 PM »
regardless of your choice to have a kid or not

dont pay down your mortgage aggressively... you're sweating what 30k to have a chance at a kid while you're aggressively paying down a mortgage that could if you invested instead save you over 20x that price in 30 years.  so you're compounding and attaching a poor financial choice - paying off good debt with another (again removing the kid part from this) poor financial choice.  may as well choose the easier larger financial choice of not paying a mortgage down and do your IVF whenever - better yet refi it to a 30 year and lower your payment and leverage it for longer. 

ysette9

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2018, 07:13:40 PM »
It is tough and I feel for you, Blonde Lawyer. BJ: I’m sorry you are dealing with the Dan IVF news. Good luck processing.

I can attest to how great the baby and pregnancy chat journal is. I’m behind and need to catch up there but it is a lovely, supportive community.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 10:54:57 PM »
vivian brings up a good point about infertility changing your plans. We on these forums tend to be the type who research and plan and chart and check off things on checklists until we reach our goals. That works well for money and careers and house buying, but it completely falls apart when you try to make babies. Mother Nature has her own plans and your planning and desire only calculate moderately into that. Infertility has been a great humbling experience for us. It amazes me how much time just slipped by while we were trying to get pregnant. You snap your fingers and a Year has gone by.

Not OP but I needed to read this today.  I feel like two years have flown by just waiting and hoping.  Ugh.

I definitely fell prey to that mentality earlier in life.  I probably do again now if I'm not careful.  If I had it to do over again, I would be a little less committed to plans and a little more OK with interruptions.  Because life can't be that easily planned.  Some things - especially things like this - may or may not work out according to any plan.  In fact, the older I get, the more unplanned life seems to be and the more curves come.  (Even though financially it's fine.) 

I can't even recall how many friends experienced infertility.  I wouldn't be surprised if the rates - especially if you marry later (i.e. late 20s & up), as many of them did - are over 50%.  It just can't be planned that well.  Took my own parents over a decade before I arrived. 

Knowing all that, my wife and I waited a bit but decided to begin trying as soon as it made any sense, and much sooner than we would have had we planned it all out or done it according to our best timeline.  And we got pregnant immediately.  So we'll be handling another curveball - but it is a blessing. 

As others said, you can make more money.  But babies - and years of life to spend with those kids, or your wife afterwards - are all iffy. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2018, 05:01:51 AM »
Sorry to hear. Can relate, not easy. Some thoughts: freeze some eggs as soon as possible, the younger the eggs, the greater chance of conception. You donít have to use the eggs right now, frozen are just as good as live with todayís technology.

As for the mortgage. Remember that the timeline of paying it off as quickly as possible is your own. Most of the advice here has been to not do that. There isnít a rush except emotionally and TBH, the fertility stuff is enough of an emotional roller coaster. Take the pressure off yourself.

Good luck!

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 09:35:43 AM »
vivian brings up a good point about infertility changing your plans. We on these forums tend to be the type who research and plan and chart and check off things on checklists until we reach our goals. That works well for money and careers and house buying, but it completely falls apart when you try to make babies. Mother Nature has her own plans and your planning and desire only calculate moderately into that. Infertility has been a great humbling experience for us. It amazes me how much time just slipped by while we were trying to get pregnant. You snap your fingers and a Year has gone by.

Not OP but I needed to read this today.  I feel like two years have flown by just waiting and hoping.  Ugh.

I definitely fell prey to that mentality earlier in life.  I probably do again now if I'm not careful.  If I had it to do over again, I would be a little less committed to plans and a little more OK with interruptions.  Because life can't be that easily planned.  Some things - especially things like this - may or may not work out according to any plan.  In fact, the older I get, the more unplanned life seems to be and the more curves come.  (Even though financially it's fine.) 

I can't even recall how many friends experienced infertility.  I wouldn't be surprised if the rates - especially if you marry later (i.e. late 20s & up), as many of them did - are over 50%.  It just can't be planned that well.  Took my own parents over a decade before I arrived. 

Knowing all that, my wife and I waited a bit but decided to begin trying as soon as it made any sense, and much sooner than we would have had we planned it all out or done it according to our best timeline.  And we got pregnant immediately.  So we'll be handling another curveball - but it is a blessing. 

As others said, you can make more money.  But babies - and years of life to spend with those kids, or your wife afterwards - are all iffy.

We met very young and married very young but didn't want kids for a really long time.  I don't mean we put them off, I mean we wanted to be child free by choice but changed our mind.  I wouldn't change anything because having kids when you don't yet want them isn't good for anyone either.  It would have been nice if my brain had matched my biological clock but what are you going to do? Plenty of people remain child free by choice and I wasn't going to gamble that I'd change my mind.

ysette9

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 09:38:17 AM »
You could just have easily have decided earlier that you wanted kids and then run into difficulties conceiving and/or carrying a pregnancy to term. I don’t think we waited too long to start trying; I had just turned 30 when I went off birth control. I would have never guessed that we would have all the trouble we did have.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 09:42:31 AM »
You could just have easily have decided earlier that you wanted kids and then run into difficulties conceiving and/or carrying a pregnancy to term. I donít think we waited too long to start trying; I had just turned 30 when I went off birth control. I would have never guessed that we would have all the trouble we did have.

Yep. Husband and I started trying when we were 27. We're very healthy, too (good bodyfat%, good diets, never smoked, good exercise habits, great sleep hygiene, so on). You don't always see fertility struggles coming your way.

So like ysette said- starting younger if you know younger can be great, but it's still absolutely in no way a guarantee.

GizmoTX

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 10:33:32 AM »
At the very least, harvest some embryos NOW & freeze them. Egg quality & quantity decrease with age & time. Chances are you'll have to wait some time between harvesting & implantation anyway. IVF is a LONG process. Then you have to get through a pregnancy.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2018, 01:03:37 PM »
Wholly agree with that, @Blonde Lawyer (not having kids unless you are really ready for it). 

HawkeyeNFO

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 03:18:41 PM »
Kids are never convenient.  Nor do they make any sense financially.  So forget about it, and have them early - don't wait until you are 40.  If you're smart you'll figure out a way to take care of 'em.  It's the most rewarding thing in the world. 

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Put off having kids until mortgage is paid off?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2018, 07:28:47 PM »
You could just have easily have decided earlier that you wanted kids and then run into difficulties conceiving and/or carrying a pregnancy to term. I donít think we waited too long to start trying; I had just turned 30 when I went off birth control. I would have never guessed that we would have all the trouble we did have.

I appreciate this.  Thanks - as well as to the other posters that replied to it.