Author Topic: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?  (Read 2757 times)

TheAnonOne

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Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« on: February 21, 2022, 09:47:45 AM »
This thread is inspired by this....
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/time-w-kids-now-vs-fire/

This is a timely thread for me, we were just having this discussion as we're both crossing the big "3" "0" mark. We're stable, have a large house, and are relatively rich (1MM+), but we're NOT FIRE'd

We had almost this exact chat(from the linked thread), but pre-child vs OP's post-birth situation.

If you could choose, or have chosen, would you wait to have kids until post-FIRE?

Little more info on us specifically, though I don't necessarily want the answers to be about us exclusively. . .
  • Neither of us are in a rush, neither of us are sad we don't have kids today.
  • FIRE is anywhere from 3-6 years away, that would put us in our mid-30s
  • We both want to finish a few major trips, we had planned pre-30 but.... COVID
  • Our current Stache is 1MM, and I think we probably want 2->2.5MM, or at least 1.5+ for one of us to quit

Zikoris

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2022, 11:37:35 AM »
I think you should keep in mind biological realities, and try to picture how you would feel down the line if it turned out you'd waited too long and couldn't anymore - which would be the case for a lot of people who didn't start trying until they were nearing 40. If you'd be okay with either not having kids or having kids another way, no problem. It it would be devastating, then you should factor that into your decision.

I'm generally a fan of this sort of plan, but I think you need to be looking at a very tight FIRE timeline (like around 30 or younger) for it to work out, especially if you want multiple kids.

AMandM

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2022, 11:42:46 AM »
You can see my response in the other thread, but we chose kids over FIRE to the extent that we are not expecting to RE at all, and we're very glad we did.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2022, 12:05:38 PM »
Being an old parent is worth consideration too. There are good things and bad things about it. You may be more mature and able to give your time to the kid. But you are also likely to die while the kid is younger, and caring for a young child or playing with a kid doesn't get any easier as you age.
You're essentially trading quality time while everybody is young, for more overall time in the child's life. If you expect to live to 80, and have a child at age 30, you'd have 50 years with that child. If you wait to have kids until you're FIRED, and have a kid at age 35, then you'd be able to spend more quality time with the kid when they were young, but you'd be older for that quality time, and you'd die when the kid was 45 instead of 50 (fewer total years together).

Were I in your shoes, with a healthy net worth and strong incomes, I might consider a hybrid approach. Either downshifting and working reduced hours, or one partner staying home with kiddo while the other worked a bit longer.

I'm not saying that there is a right or wrong approach. I do think there's some merit to the idea that nobody is ever truly prepared for kids and the impact that they have on your life. If kids are what you want at some point, sometimes you have to just trust your Mustachian abilities and dive in. You're young, intelligent millionaires with good jobs. That's a great foundation for parenthood. Be flexible. Make good choices. Teach your kid what you know. It usually works out for everybody involved.

trc4897

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2022, 01:24:23 PM »
Posting to follow.

This is something my wife and I have started talking about. I'm 31 and she is 27 (almost 28). We are planning to have 2 kids, starting in ~2 years. By then we should be ~60% FI. One of us would plan to downshift slightly (probably me) to 20-30 hours per week. It would change our FIRE date from 2027-2028 to 2029-2030. Not a big change at all.

stabingtonley

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2022, 06:56:56 PM »
Was glad to see my post prompted further discussion.

Throwing in another variable that was a major factor for us to start having kids when we did: not our kids' years with us, but their years with their grandparents. Not sure if this is relevant to your situation, but our parents were all on the older side when they had us. Pushing our own biological limits to the max would have therefore also increased the likelihood of minimal years with all three generations. Not to be morbid, but I guess I figure each extra year is proportionally more valuable for the generation with fewer years left.

It's a cliché, but in our family I can only describe that grandparent/grandchild time as priceless. Especially while everybody's hips and knees are still working and can carry a kid up and down stairs.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2022, 08:10:45 PM »
Heh, our first was born in the middle of our senior year in college.  Our sixth was born when DW was 31.  So no, we didn't wait for FIRE to have kids, and I don't regret it.  That said, even with one income and DW home with the kids, I still had plans for ER.

One thing to keep in mind: because we chose to have kids at a young age, we will also be empty nesters at a relatively young age (51 and 49).  We love our kids lots, but also are grateful that we will have lots of years of retirement together.  I look at some of my friends from high school who are just now having kids at the age of 40, and the idea of getting nearly to "normal" retirement age before they leave the house isn't what I'd choose for myself.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2022, 08:43:12 PM »
We also started having kids fairly young, just after college. FIRE is not very realistic on a single income with 6 kids but that's the life we choose. We knew that we wouldn't have new cars, do much travelling, or buy a house anytime soon. Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.



To the OP, you've already made it. One of you could stop working tomorrow and you'd still be better off than 90% of the country and be able to raise your family with no real worries about money. Take advantage of that before age makes things harder.

goat_music_generator

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2022, 09:07:00 PM »
This is a tough one. We decided to wait for almost-FIRE because we were able to make it work on a tight timeline; I really want to start having kids before 30 for biological reasons. We ended up being able to push my FIRE date and start on kids a couple years earlier, and I felt a huge sigh of relief about it. Just knowing that my body is in the best shape possible for this was a big weight off my shoulders.

If our FIRE date had been further out -- like 35 -- I think I would've wanted to start much sooner, like around 25 or as soon as we felt ready, and figure out childcare/downshift solutions. Yes, it would push back the FIRE date even more, but to me the costs of having kids that late are pretty high. For all the reasons mentioned by other folks -- 1) less strain on my body, 2) more energy to deal with younger kids at a younger age, 3) more time for our kids to have with grandparents/older relatives, 4) more time to have more kids, 5) the risk of (in the worst case) not being able to conceive at an older age, or having to go through expensive and unpleasant fertility treatments.

I really get why people wait -- wanting to have more time established in your career first, having more money, being more prepared in general -- and I would never judge someone for choosing differently. But for me, the "have kids younger" option is just way more appealing.

AMandM

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2022, 08:11:46 AM »
It's a cliché, but in our family I can only describe that grandparent/grandchild time as priceless. Especially while everybody's hips and knees are still working and can carry a kid up and down stairs.
Oh, yes, this! I'm a grandparent now, and my father lives with us. My grandchildren all live nearby and they get to see not only two grandparents but also a great-grandfather frequently. How many kids nowadays have that opportunity?

TheAnonOne

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2022, 08:25:37 AM »
OP here-

Great responses here! To be a bit more specific with us, my wife is 29, we were debating waiting 3 years possibly up to 5.

That makes us between 33-35 instead of 30.

-Grandparents
My parents are 61 NOW, if we had kids tomorrow they would still be young(ish), if we waited the max of 5 years, my parents would be 66 (and pushing mid 70s by the time the kids get semi-independent at 12+ yo.

^Honestly of all the things mentioned here, the grandparent situation is the one I feel most 'bad' about. I want my parents involved but, I don't want to dictate my life directions on it either....

BeanCounter

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2022, 08:34:54 AM »
Do it now.
Seriously.

We didn't wait until FIRE but we did wait until we were pretty financially stable  (I believe we were debt free except a very modest $100k house and $500k invested). I was 31 with DS1 and 35 with DS2 and one of my biggest life regrets is that we didn't have kids younger. Especially knowing now how much money we would end up with.

You are well off. I bet you could make changes if you really wanted to FIRE. Smaller house, cheaper area etc. Then you could work part time or only one parent could work. Try looking at how you could change your FIRE number, and how much income you would really need to supplement.
If you know you want a family please, please don't put it off any longer.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2022, 08:45:03 AM »
Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.

In fairness, that's a pretty rude thing to say (as it's both suggesting you, a random stranger, should have had fewer kids while volunteering publicly to a random stranger they wish they didn't have all of their kids) so I don't imagine people would be likely to volunteer it to you.  I'd be more shocked if you said even one person had said that.

OP, I had kids late (37/40) but it wasn't entirely by choice.  I didn't meet my husband until later in life and he wasn't comfortable having kids sooner.  We also had a miscarriage in between.  Factors to consider:
- Finances
- Energy
- Being "ready"/wanting them then (including things such as travel plans)
- Biological concerns (e.g. 25 v. 40 are very different fertility ages.  any history of fertility issues in your families?)
- Number of kids you hope to have (need to start MUCH earlier if you want 4-6 rather than 1-2)
- Grandparent ages (minor weight...and one we didn't factor in.  At birth of our oldest, our parents were 67, 68, 71 and 73, and a step at 68.  Note that the 71 yo while not necessarily the healthiest, has been the most active with the kids)
- Cousin ages (minor weight...and one we didn't factor in, but my kids have a nearby cousin 11/14 years older and far away ones their age - they will have a very different relationship with the older one)
- Friends kids ages (minor weight...but I've heard some people express emotions at being first or last of friends to have kids)

Honestly 33-35 seems normal to me.  I only know one family that had kids age 25 or earlier (and that wasn't planned).  Many of my friends have advanced degrees, and statistically those people tend to delay childbearing from the average age of the population.

Another thing is that some people find out they don't like parenting the early years and wish they were working instead of stay at home parents.  Know thyself (and it's ok to realize this afterwards and adjust plans).

engineerjourney

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2022, 08:49:07 AM »
Another data point.  I (Mother) was 28 for our first, 30 for our second and 34 for our third.  Holy shit has the 3rd been way harder on my body for pregnancy and infant stage.  I just can't handle the sleep interruptions as well as I did for the first two.  I'm soooooo tired.  And its not like he is sleeping way worse than his sisters or anything.  I'm just older and less able to handle things.  Just like drinking one glass of wine can now give me a dehydration hangover the next day when I used to be able to bounce back from a whole bottle with no issues.  I freaking tweaked my knee putting him into his crib the other night.. I literally was doing nothing but standing there! Geriatric millennial is feeling accurate.

I am not a huge fan of the infant stage so I am glad I didn't wait til FIRE to have kids... we waited till we were financially stable with decent jobs and could afford daycare without crying (too much).  I see pros and cons related to FIRE timing but really only see cons (at least for myself) in waiting longer age-wise.  Good luck!

ixtap

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2022, 08:54:12 AM »
If you know you want kids, don't wait for some magical number. It sounds like your family is well situated if any of the less than ideal outcomes happens or even if one of you decides to be a stay at home parent.

If you both choose to stay on the career path, you will be FIRE by the time you are really building family memories, anyway!

Omy

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2022, 09:10:12 AM »
If you definitely want kids, sooner is better than later (biologically speaking.) Younger eggs and sperm are generally healthier. And younger parents are generally healthier and more energetic.

We chose not to have kids. We met in our late 30s and didn't want to be old parents. I never had a strong desire to have kids - and have never regretted that decision. DH thought he would like to have kids when he was in his 20s, but definitely did not want them in his late 30s.

If you wait, be prepared that your interest in having children (and the ability to have children) may change.

CNM

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2022, 09:22:37 AM »
If I would do it over again, I would have had my kids at a younger age.  As you age (I'm the mom), both the pregnancy and the child care is harder on you physically. My spouse and I were perhaps overly cautious with our financial situation and waited.

ETA: I had my first kiddo at 33 and 2nd at 39!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2022, 12:45:49 PM by CNM »

SomedayStache

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2022, 12:26:21 PM »
I have 3 children and heartily agree with the numerous posters that said the pregnancy and physical childcare get so.much.harder as you age. The difference between a baby at 25 and a baby at 30 was very significant - and I was a healthy/active 30 year-old with no medical issues (we even had a home-birth for that baby). Human bodies really were designed to be birthing babies in our teens and doing it in your 30s is rough. I can't even imagine pregnancy now that I'm pushing 40! (Actually I can imagine it and it makes me glad I'm long done with that time!)

I also want to endorse the posters who mention time with grandparents. My father has significantly declined in the years between 65-69. My 13-year-old got a lot of experiences with his grandfather that my 8-year-old never will. I didn't expect his decline to happen so precipitously. This makes me sad.
On the other hand, the grandparents were all still working when we had newborns-they both retired the year our youngest started kindergarten. Since then they've been able to help with school pickup and evening activities now that they are retired, but it sure would have been nice to have retired parents during the newborn/toddler years! (So I guess that's one potential benefit for waiting till the grandparents are retired assuming they are local and able/willing to assist).

As a person pushing 40 myself I've had a front row seat to close friends and family battling fertility issues. Sure - we have lots of late 30s/40ish age friends posting their newborn photo shoots on social media, but very rarely are they upfront about the journey they took to get there. Anecdotally I would guess that > 80% of the over age 35 mothers I am close enough to to get the pregnancy deets from needed some form of fertility assistance. Of course, nobody needs to share their fertility battles unless they choose to do so. However, I think we are giving the younger folks seeing all these 'geriatric' pregnancy announcements without also hearing the backstory a false and rosy impression of how attainable pregnancy is at 35+.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the social support of having friends around your own age who also have babies. This probably varies a lot depending on your social circle, geographic location, and what age your peers are having babies.
When I had my first child at 25 I felt so alone - I didn't know anyone else who had a baby and all my friends were still partying late and living the young/single life. When I had a child at 30 it was as if a switch flipped and suddenly everyone I knew had a baby around the same age - it was great because we did things like play-dates and child-care swaps and all the kiddos had a built-in friend group that they are still close to a decade later. Now my sister-in-law who is 40 just had her first child (a donor embryo baby) and she feels like an outsider at all the mom group activities she's tried because she's so much older than the other moms.

---edited to fix typos

TheAnonOne

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2022, 01:07:28 PM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the social support of having friends around your own age who also have babies.


I love my friends but, none of them love kids. I do foresee some alienation, and I can't say that this hasn't been at least in the back of our minds when debating children, or rather, waiting to have kids.

legalstache

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2022, 01:21:57 PM »
Short answer: No.  Money can always come later, kids may not. 

That said, we had our first kid when we were 33 and our second at age 35.  Being about 60% of our way to FIRE when we had the second kid definitely emboldened me to take more time off at work, push for a flexible schedule, etc. which I likely wouldn't have done if I was more junior at my job.

Also, kids are obviously expensive and our savings rate is much lower now, so for us, FIRE wouldn't be realistic unless we were already well on our way by the time we had kids.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2022, 01:47:53 PM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the social support of having friends around your own age who also have babies. This probably varies a lot depending on your social circle, geographic location, and what age your peers are having babies.
When I had my first child at 25 I felt so alone - I didn't know anyone else who had a baby and all my friends were still partying late and living the young/single life. When I had a child at 30 it was as if a switch flipped and suddenly everyone I knew had a baby around the same age - it was great because we did things like play-dates and child-care swaps and all the kiddos had a built-in friend group that they are still close to a decade later. Now my sister-in-law who is 40 just had her first child (a donor embryo baby) and she feels like an outsider at all the mom group activities she's tried because she's so much older than the other moms.
---edited to fix typos

Hey I did!

Factors to consider:
[Snip]
- Friends kids ages (minor weight...but I've heard some people express emotions at being first or last of friends to have kids)

joe189man

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2022, 01:52:29 PM »
We were 34 and 36 when we had kids. We were not good with money until about 35, not bad but not mustashian, we still arent mustachian but are way better. in hindsight it woudl have been smart to have kids earlier, we didnt have any issues but know many who have and either have 1 or large gaps in ages between kids. Also now at 40 we are tired and the kids have energy, being young lets you recover/manage better

with $1 million at ~30 you could make no more contributions and still have your number at 43-44 y/o assuming 7% returns.

If i were you, i would do your trips and then start "trying"

SomedayStache

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2022, 02:01:59 PM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned

Hey I did!

Factors to consider:
[Snip]
- Friends kids ages (minor weight...but I've heard some people express emotions at being first or last of friends to have kids)

Duly noted!

AMandM

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2022, 02:04:56 PM »
Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.

In fairness, that's a pretty rude thing to say (as it's both suggesting you, a random stranger, should have had fewer kids while volunteering publicly to a random stranger they wish they didn't have all of their kids) so I don't imagine people would be likely to volunteer it to you.  I'd be more shocked if you said even one person had said that.

Prepare to be shocked ;-)

One person said to me, "I would slit my wrists." Another said, in front of her own daughter, "You must be a glutton for punishment!"
And that's not even counting the incessant, "Don't you have a TV?"

englishteacheralex

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2022, 02:54:50 PM »
Cosign on the fact that pregnancy + the first three years of the baby is exhausting and it would have been better/easier to have dealt with all that earlier in my life. I had my first at 34 and my second at 37 and I'd have liked a third but by the time I could think about it I felt too old. If I had gotten started in my twenties I think I would have had three. It wasn't an option for me, though--I didn't meet my husband and get married until I was 33.

Yeah, don't put it off. If you want 'em, just start working on it. My kids are now 5 and 7 and it's now soooo much easier than the pregnancy/baby/toddler phase. Rip that band-aid off.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2022, 03:43:35 PM »
Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.

In fairness, that's a pretty rude thing to say (as it's both suggesting you, a random stranger, should have had fewer kids while volunteering publicly to a random stranger they wish they didn't have all of their kids) so I don't imagine people would be likely to volunteer it to you.  I'd be more shocked if you said even one person had said that.

Prepare to be shocked ;-)

One person said to me, "I would slit my wrists." Another said, in front of her own daughter, "You must be a glutton for punishment!"
And that's not even counting the incessant, "Don't you have a TV?"
Heh, I remember when my wife once took our (then) four kids to the grocery store, and this older lady commented "Bless your uterus!"

Captain FIRE

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2022, 06:55:33 AM »
Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.

In fairness, that's a pretty rude thing to say (as it's both suggesting you, a random stranger, should have had fewer kids while volunteering publicly to a random stranger they wish they didn't have all of their kids) so I don't imagine people would be likely to volunteer it to you.  I'd be more shocked if you said even one person had said that.

Prepare to be shocked ;-)

One person said to me, "I would slit my wrists." Another said, in front of her own daughter, "You must be a glutton for punishment!"
And that's not even counting the incessant, "Don't you have a TV?"

Holy crap.  I'm sorry. 

I'm just dumbfounded. 

I get that people are amazed by things that are different from their experiences and project what works/doesn't work for them on others.  That doesn't surprise me.  But to go from thinking it (understandable) to actually say something to you - and quite rudely at that?

economista

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2022, 07:57:00 AM »
Out of the dozens of random strangers that have come up to comment about our large family, no one has said they wished they had fewer kids. It's usually telling us they had a similar or larger family - or wish they had.

In fairness, that's a pretty rude thing to say (as it's both suggesting you, a random stranger, should have had fewer kids while volunteering publicly to a random stranger they wish they didn't have all of their kids) so I don't imagine people would be likely to volunteer it to you.  I'd be more shocked if you said even one person had said that.

Prepare to be shocked ;-)

One person said to me, "I would slit my wrists." Another said, in front of her own daughter, "You must be a glutton for punishment!"
And that's not even counting the incessant, "Don't you have a TV?"

Holy crap.  I'm sorry. 

I'm just dumbfounded. 

I get that people are amazed by things that are different from their experiences and project what works/doesn't work for them on others.  That doesn't surprise me.  But to go from thinking it (understandable) to actually say something to you - and quite rudely at that?

We just told our family members that I’m pregnant with #3 and my MIL said “you guys must be gluttons for punishment.” My brother said that we are crazy and getting too old. We didn’t get married until I was 28 and my husband was 36. We had baby 1 when I was 30 and he was 38, baby #2 15 months later, and baby #3 will be 21 months later. Yes, we had them fast but we want to get the baby phase out of the way all at once and he really wanted 3 kids but he is on the older side for having enough energy to take care of babies. I just can’t believe how outspoken and rude some people can be! In my family I’m the first person to ever go to college and the first woman to make it past 20 without having a baby. When I got pregnant for the first time at 29 my grandparents (both sets) said they thought I was too old to have a baby! They had never met someone as “old” as me who was having her first baby - maybe an oopsie “caboose”, but not a chosen first baby.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2022, 08:26:30 AM »
I had my first child at 30, and second at 31 (breast feeding + mini pill isn't completely effective, as it turns out). I would not have waited longer. My husband is 9 years older than me, and as our kids are teens (now 15 & 16), his energy is quite different than mine, and we are both healthy, work out, eat well, get plenty of sleep & do all that we can do to drive our own health. My parents are both 70, and the last ten years with the kids have been priceless. (The previous years were also good, but it's different when the kids are independent & just enjoy spending time with their grandparents). My dad, in particular, is really active & takes them mountain biking a lot, we went to Hawaii & kayaked/surfed/SUPd with my parents & the teens. It's been fantastic.

We are skiing this week, and my husband is finally at the point where the kids have surpassed his energy level, and he's not up for skiing the double blacks with them all day. ;-)

I feel like we hit the right balance of having kids when I was reasonably far along in my career, we were financially stable, etc. We could be FIREd, but are working now both because my husband prefers to, and because I'm enjoying making extra money for the next few years to splurge on the last few family trips while the kids live at home, spoiling our parents with trips while they are still active, etc.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2022, 08:39:07 AM »
I am an only child and don’t have children but wanted to pipe in on the grandparents comments. My family historically had babies very young and at age 51 I still have one living grandparent who is in amazing shape. I had all my great grandparents and grandparents until I was 20 and they’ve slowly died from there. There were two grandmothers (one was a great) in particular who I was incredibly close to. I lost one great grandmother when I was 35 and another when I was 41 - both were in good health mentally and physically until the very end of their lives. I lost my last grandmother when I was 45 and, although she was beginning to have some memory issues, her death happened very quickly.

Again, my family was very young and babies usually started coming when the mom was 15-18 years old (not something I’d recommend), but a real benefit was knowing my grandparents and great grandparents quite well and having amazing bonds with them. I would not change that part for the world.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2022, 08:54:27 AM »
They had never met someone as “old” as me who was having her first baby - maybe an oopsie “caboose”, but not a chosen first baby.

Dibs on "oopsie caboose" as a band name!

DadJokes

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2022, 08:57:05 AM »
No. I'm not set to be FI until 45, which is way too old to start having kids to me.

Sometimes I wish that I had a child back in my 20s, simply because I had much more energy back then. However, I am glad that I was more established in my life when we did have our child.

I think there is a balance, and that balance can vary by the individual, but I'd imagine that the ideal window is 25-35, depending on life circumstances.

jeromedawg

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2022, 03:31:39 PM »
Slightly off-topic - I'm currently 41 and my wife is going to be 36 in August. We have two kids (6 and soon to be 5 end of the month) and I've always wanted a third. But multiple things have kept us back from trying and/or caused us to hesitate, including COVID as of most recently. My wife was never fully onboard though, and even more so that's the case now at our ages. She keeps saying that 1) I'm old 2) she's at point where she'll be prone to higher risk pregnancy soon and 3) there will be such an age gap between our two right now and the third if we had a third. The third would be a "loner" in her eyes. Also, my wife wasn't happy about my lack of contributing to the earlier year parenting efforts... it was definitely a challenge and she picked up a lot of slack. I could use the excuse that I was the sole breadwinner, etc but ultimately I did let her down and fail more often than not in that area (things like waking up in the middle of the night to tend to the kids, etc). So she's completely justified to not want a third.

That said, assuming we're done, I think I'm going to be living with the regret of not having the third and mostly because of my failures. However, I am very much thankful for our kids. I guess the bottom line is to treasure what you have and don't think too hard about the what-ifs. If the both of you are inclined towards kids, I'd just go for it and do it sooner than later because it doesn't get easier.

As far as FIRE, I don't know if I could personally put that ahead of kids if both my spouse and I were wanting kids and were at our 'prime'

In terms of FIRE now, I'd say it's possible but I'm sure it's delayed. Honestly, I haven't kept track or really set a goal/FIRE date. I'll just come up with something really general like "eh, maybe in 5-10 years" lol. Realistically, I'll probably keep working at least into my 50s or as long as I can hold a job, especially one that's WFH. Once I started WFH, the whole urgency and desirability of FIRE (well actually more so the RE part) became less. RE will probably become desirable if my desire to go fishing all the time somehow balloons in the near future though, and I don't see that likely happening when I was just diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left hand hahahaha
« Last Edit: February 23, 2022, 03:44:32 PM by jeromedawg »

trollwithamustache

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2022, 05:58:57 PM »
OP you are really at the perfect time. You are financially very stable and you aren't old. In total agreement with all the posters on kids being a lot of work. multiple toddlers/babies is a young persons game.

use2betrix

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2022, 07:16:38 PM »
Great topic that I can relate to recently. I am 33 and my wife is 28, we had our first child last summer. We did spend 2.5 years ‘trying’ but not really stressing until the last 6-12 months or so.. It was more, actively not preventing it. Took a bit of research and some tweaks in some supplements and timing and everything like that and it all clicked. We were a couple months out from going to see a specialist.

I’m just pointing that out that there is a very real chance for many people that it doesn’t happen ‘right’ when you want it. If you really do plan to wait, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for both partners to get checked out to make sure everything seems to be ‘working’ well so that hopefully it will go smooth with you are prepared.

All that aside, My wife and I have been together nearly 10 years and she’s been a stay at home spouse most the time. It’s made our life much easier and allowed me to excel in my career that much more to support us. Our liquid net worth is around $1MM and net worth around $1.2MM. The good news with her being a stay at home spouse is it made the transition to parenting much better as now she’s just a stay at home mom.

That being said - I feel like our situation is a very happy median. I couldn’t imagine putting our daughter in daycare, yet it still allows me to keep working. I know we are very fortunate for our situation, but I really couldn’t imagine having a kid with both of us working and putting our infant in daycare. While we aren’t FIRE’d yet, knowing my wife is at home with our daughter all day and sending me pictures all day does take the load off.

I will add that it does make it really hard to keep working with a child. I hate being away from them so much. Based on our spending, we’re a ways off from FIRE, but I could easily take a long sabbatical and likely will in the next year or two.

Everyone is different and again, not everyone is fortunate to be in these types of situations or even remotely consider them. You seem to be in a similar situation, so just throwing in my two cents.

waltworks

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #35 on: February 23, 2022, 09:45:03 PM »
I'd do it now. Fertility starts dropping at age 32 and not everyone has an easy time getting pregnant even if young/healthy.

Money is easy. So long as you feel you can support the kid(s), I would forget the FIRE calculations for now.

-W

Cassie

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2022, 07:48:12 PM »
Women that wait to long often have trouble conceiving and then need to have their kids close together which is really difficult. I married young to someone 9 years older. I had my kids at 19, 23 and 26. That spacing in age made my life much easier. I stayed home until the last one went to school and then I went to college and then started my career. I still was able to fire at 58 despite obtaining a BA and 2 master’s degrees.

jac941

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2022, 06:40:15 AM »
I am not a huge fan of the infant stage so I am glad I didn't wait til FIRE to have kids... we waited till we were financially stable with decent jobs and could afford daycare without crying (too much).  I see pros and cons related to FIRE timing but really only see cons (at least for myself) in waiting longer age-wise.  Good luck!

This. I would not have made it through the infant & toddler stage with my sanity intact without daycare. No way I could’ve been a SAHP those years, so from my perspective there was no reason to FIRE before that.

Now that my kids are older and more independent, staying home is more appealing. I think the sweet spot for me will be to be home a lot when my older kid starts middle school in a year and a half. There are plenty of high quality childcare for kids 10 and under, but once they’re 11, they’re too old for childcare, but really too young to spend the entire summer unsupervised and left to their own devices. Staying home those years will mean I can still have a life outside of kids since they don’t need to be supervised all the time and will spend a lot of time off doing their own thing. But then I will be around enough to be aware of what’s going on in their lives and available when they need my time and input and when the homework starts getting tough.

So I don’t think it makes sense to fire before having kids, but I think it’s useful to have enough to be able to step back and be more available for your kids when they need it.

ryan_themoneyguy

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2022, 06:17:57 AM »
It's a good idea to plan your trips and check off certain goals pre-kids, but FIRE shouldn't necessarily be one of them, especially if taking those trips and the cost of children would set you back more than 3-6 years. At that point, it will be harder to have kids biologically speaking, which could come with more large expenses. If you want kids, it should be at a time when it feels right for you and your spouse and your financial situation, but in your shoes, you shouldn't put it off simply to reach FIRE.

PoutineLover

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2022, 09:01:15 AM »
I wouldn't wait. You never know how long it will take to conceive and if you will be successful on any given try. You can earn money anytime, but making babies is a lot more uncertain. You already have a great start for FIRE and can easily adjust spending if you want to do it earlier or downshift a bit at work.

Scio5

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2022, 11:11:20 AM »
I'm personally childfree, but I second a lot of the other replies talking about fertility issues. Many of my friends and cousins have struggled to conceive, so especially if you have blood relatives that needed fertility help it might be a good idea to check in with your healthcare providers. I only have second-hand anecdotes, but I've heard that IVF can be $20,000 a pop (often not covered under insurance) and I had one friend do rounds of IVF until their family ran out of money before deciding to become foster parents.

It's worth having the conversation about what you're both willing to do if you have trouble conceiving. Would you consider IVF? Fostering or adopting? Being childfree? It's an intensely personal decision with no wrong answer!

c-kat

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2022, 11:20:21 AM »
I wouldn't wait.  We started trying for a family when I was 32, DH was 35.  We had fertility issues and ended up having to eventually do IVF.  Had my kids at 39 and 41, and consider myself so fortunate, as I met lots of people on the journey who did not end up conceiving. 

You can always work a few extra years later or even part time for a few year after kids, but you can't get those key fertility years back.


Malossi792

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2022, 02:00:49 AM »
I also wouldn't wait.
Didn't read all the replies, but I don't think many would mention this:
Daycare is an absolute sanity-saver.
You get to miss each other during working hours and then get together in the evening.
Without daycare, after the constant fury-ball of screaming which is a baby, you get to experience 24 hours a day of the existing-against-physical-force which a toddler means. I mean sometimes you can't even sit for a couple minutes on your behind sipping your morning coffee so your brain would have a chance to boot (not without spills).
Don't get me wrong, I love my toddler, but also enough is enough. And enough is way less than 24 hours a day, each and every day.

ROF Expat

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2022, 06:38:01 AM »
Somebody has to be the outlier...

I got married at 42 (spouse is 7 years younger than I am).  Kid came when I was 47, and I retired at 52.  My spouse continues to work (her choice).  For us, waiting to have a kid meant being able to enjoy our married life together before adding kids to the mix, being able to focus on our careers in ways that you can't when you have the responsibility of children, and having zero financial pressure in our lives when we did decide to have children. 

Yes, I'm an older dad, but I stay fit and I have plenty of energy to do things with my kid.  More importantly, I have the time to do things with my kid that parents who are still working don't have. 

If you're excited about having kids right now, go ahead and have them.  On the other hand, if there are things you want to do in your life before having kids, I would think hard about giving them up so you can have kids while you're younger.  YMMV, of course, but I feel like later marriage and kids worked out better for me than earlier would have. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Would you wait to have kids to FIRE first?
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2022, 06:58:51 AM »
Being an old parent is worth consideration too. There are good things and bad things about it. You may be more mature and able to give your time to the kid. But you are also likely to die while the kid is younger, and caring for a young child or playing with a kid doesn't get any easier as you age.
You're essentially trading quality time while everybody is young, for more overall time in the child's life. If you expect to live to 80, and have a child at age 30, you'd have 50 years with that child. If you wait to have kids until you're FIRED, and have a kid at age 35, then you'd be able to spend more quality time with the kid when they were young, but you'd be older for that quality time, and you'd die when the kid was 45 instead of 50 (fewer total years together).

Were I in your shoes, with a healthy net worth and strong incomes, I might consider a hybrid approach. Either downshifting and working reduced hours, or one partner staying home with kiddo while the other worked a bit longer.

I'm not saying that there is a right or wrong approach. I do think there's some merit to the idea that nobody is ever truly prepared for kids and the impact that they have on your life. If kids are what you want at some point, sometimes you have to just trust your Mustachian abilities and dive in. You're young, intelligent millionaires with good jobs. That's a great foundation for parenthood. Be flexible. Make good choices. Teach your kid what you know. It usually works out for everybody involved.

I pretty much have the same approach as paper chaser.

In my personal opinion, your ability to downshift in your careers before you have a kid is a big deal, especially 0-5, before they start full-time school. However, you don't really have to walk away from your careers. That would be more of an extreme position and not completely necessary. 

My wife and I have a 4-year old and our combined hours of work is about 35 hours/week, averaged over a 52-week/year. Our son is currently in pre-school, 7:45 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., 4 days/week. Starting August 2022, he will be on full-days, 7:45 to 3:00 p.m., 4 days/week.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!