Author Topic: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?  (Read 5674 times)

srob

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anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« on: May 13, 2016, 01:23:57 PM »
How did you do it? We have 7 kids--all minors living at home. I'm 39 and have a decent passive income from rentals and would like to at least partially retire from my day job before I get much older, but I worry about all of the future expenses: weddings, college, etc. There are some good local universities that are inexpensive, but still!

btw we have told our kids that we would match any scholarships they get (within reason) and match any paychecks they make while enrolled in college, and they would have to foot the rest. I'm not sure if we will stick to that entirely, but that is the plan.

forummm

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2016, 02:00:38 PM »
It sounds like you made some potentially expensive (and without an upper bound!) promises. You can run some cFIREsim scenarios with different levels of college, wedding, and paycheck matching and see how you end up. I think you'll find quite a bit of variation in success rates depending on how much you are spending on/giving to your kids.

Cassie

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 02:50:54 PM »
Providing 7 kids with help with college and weddings does not appear to be realistic. I think you really need to set a mount that you are willing to provide for each kid and for each thing.   I would consider college the priority over weddings. Many people marry later now and can pay for their own weddings.

Cyaphas

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 03:33:17 PM »
This early on, I'd set specific amounts you're willing to kick in for college. I personally don't feel like a parent has any obligation besides that after a child becomes an 'adult.' Big Weddings, studying abroad? No... Just no. If they want to do those things they can earn them. You have 7 kids to take care of. If any of them grow up and expect more than your love and care they need a reality check.

srob

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2016, 05:03:52 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

Ha ha I thought I was being stingy with our plan since my parents offered to foot the entire undergraduate college expense for myself and my siblings. Incidentally, they did pay for over half of my undergrad education at a reasonably priced institution (3k/yr tuition back then) but I would not let them pay all and did what I could to pay for some myself. I have tried to pay them back for it as much as they have let me, but I'm sure this contributed to my father not retiring until this year at 72.

The terms we have offered were an effort to encourage them to strive and still giving them incentive to go to college.

I feel somewhat obligated to help too bc my higher income will preclude them from getting need based federal grants, which are pretty generous these days. If I FIRE before they enter college, they might qualify more easily. Does anyone know if they look at parental assets on the fafsa to determine need or just parental income?


Erinbynight

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 05:53:33 AM »
I'm not sure if you have considered it, but they could become independent before college, and that way your income isn't a consideration. My best friend did this with her parents knowledge and encouragement. She then lived in a house with a few other collegiates...that her parents owned close to the local university. And they indirectly paid her in state tuition. And she got scholarships, both need and merit based. I would offer to assist your kids at the local university, whatever that means to you. That way they can stay at home and commute, or have a job to help pay. BUT if they want to go study at xyz private or out of state school..that would send them down to student loanville. I have heard that those that attend Princeton and the like have very little in the way of expenses, as the alumni endowments provide generous scholarships. And weddings?? When that time comes, offer a set contribution amount your financial situation allows. NEVER make promises without specific limits, especially without a source of endless income.

MDM

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2016, 01:38:05 PM »
Seven is on the high side of the distribution, but see http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/larger-family-forum-how-are-you-doing-it-3-kids/ for some related discussion.  Good luck!

rachael talcott

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2016, 07:21:26 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

Ha ha I thought I was being stingy with our plan since my parents offered to foot the entire undergraduate college expense for myself and my siblings. Incidentally, they did pay for over half of my undergrad education at a reasonably priced institution (3k/yr tuition back then) but I would not let them pay all and did what I could to pay for some myself. I have tried to pay them back for it as much as they have let me, but I'm sure this contributed to my father not retiring until this year at 72.

The terms we have offered were an effort to encourage them to strive and still giving them incentive to go to college.

I feel somewhat obligated to help too bc my higher income will preclude them from getting need based federal grants, which are pretty generous these days. If I FIRE before they enter college, they might qualify more easily. Does anyone know if they look at parental assets on the fafsa to determine need or just parental income?

Assets like rental properties can reduce college financial aid. Different schools calculate it differently, but one strategy for increasing aid is to use cash to pay down the mortgage on a primary residence.  The primary residence is sheltered, but the cash counts as an asset. 

After 15 years in higher education, I'm convinced that far too many people go to college.  There are so many students racking up debt when they are not suited to academic pursuits.  Obviously I don't know your kids, but I encourage you to think about each kid and whether or not he or she would be happier in a vocation that does not require a college degree. 

RT

serpentstooth

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2016, 07:46:37 PM »
You might PM acroy; he has 6.

acroy

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 07:39:13 AM »
6 minions here but not FIREd... staying the SWAMI course.

I refuse to deny them the valuable experience of paying for their own education ;)

We do not plan to put the kids through college other than supporting them with room & board at the local university. We are actively pushing them to excel (homeschool) and will push them to chase scholarships, side jobs, etc. They receive reasonably generous allowance starting at grade 1 and are required to save 50% of all allowance and earnings. The 10yr old recently passed $1k and now has a Vanguard account.

Gin1984

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2016, 07:45:59 AM »
I'm not sure if you have considered it, but they could become independent before college, and that way your income isn't a consideration. My best friend did this with her parents knowledge and encouragement. She then lived in a house with a few other collegiates...that her parents owned close to the local university. And they indirectly paid her in state tuition. And she got scholarships, both need and merit based. I would offer to assist your kids at the local university, whatever that means to you. That way they can stay at home and commute, or have a job to help pay. BUT if they want to go study at xyz private or out of state school..that would send them down to student loanville. I have heard that those that attend Princeton and the like have very little in the way of expenses, as the alumni endowments provide generous scholarships. And weddings?? When that time comes, offer a set contribution amount your financial situation allows. NEVER make promises without specific limits, especially without a source of endless income.
That loop hole has mostly been closed unless you want your child to marry, have a child or go into the military.  Even if you can prove independence, they will rarely if ever declare you independent.

serpentstooth

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2016, 07:53:20 AM »
I'm not sure if you have considered it, but they could become independent before college, and that way your income isn't a consideration. My best friend did this with her parents knowledge and encouragement. She then lived in a house with a few other collegiates...that her parents owned close to the local university. And they indirectly paid her in state tuition. And she got scholarships, both need and merit based. I would offer to assist your kids at the local university, whatever that means to you. That way they can stay at home and commute, or have a job to help pay. BUT if they want to go study at xyz private or out of state school..that would send them down to student loanville. I have heard that those that attend Princeton and the like have very little in the way of expenses, as the alumni endowments provide generous scholarships. And weddings?? When that time comes, offer a set contribution amount your financial situation allows. NEVER make promises without specific limits, especially without a source of endless income.
That loop hole has mostly been closed unless you want your child to marry, have a child or go into the military.  Even if you can prove independence, they will rarely if ever declare you independent.

I regret being unaware that I could have married my husband 10 months earlier, before the financial aid deadline for what would have been my fourth year, become independent automatically, and then been able to attend college for a fourth year relatively inexpensively. I ended up graduating by the skin of my teeth in 3 years to cut costs, though it all worked out in the end.

srob

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2016, 09:06:28 AM »
Thanks for the replies! I'll check out that link. That is a good idea to define with the kids exactly what we will do for them. Acroy, what is swami? I googled it and it means "male hindu religious teacher?" Room and board seems like a pretty good way to help out the kiddos btw. 6 kids! you are almost as crazy as me! ;)

I need to look into how rental property assets might influence aid. Does anyone know if they look at 401k assets too?

I think that college students with high parental incomes and low parental aid get the shaft a little bit and should be considered disadvantaged. ;)

serpentstooth

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2016, 09:21:00 AM »
I've often wondered how long before someone hits on the idea of arranged marriages to game the financial aid formula. Marry your kid off to a friend's teenaged son or daughter when they hit 18, have both apple to college as independent students, and file for divorce upon submission of the financial aid forms senior year. For a divorce with no children and no real assets to split, you'd be looking at, what, a few hundred dollars in filing fees? It's a bargain compared to the cost of college. If the match is unconsummated, which one assumes it probably would be, you might even be able to get an annulment. Up the odds of being able to get the annulment by gay marrying off your straight kids and straight marrying off your gay kids!

srob

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 11:17:16 AM »
ha yeah that is a fantastic idea! :)

Metric Mouse

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2016, 12:27:24 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I'll check out that link. That is a good idea to define with the kids exactly what we will do for them. Acroy, what is swami? I googled it and it means "male hindu religious teacher?" Room and board seems like a pretty good way to help out the kiddos btw. 6 kids! you are almost as crazy as me! ;)

Still working advanced mustachian individual.

serpentstooth

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2016, 02:30:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies! I'll check out that link. That is a good idea to define with the kids exactly what we will do for them. Acroy, what is swami? I googled it and it means "male hindu religious teacher?" Room and board seems like a pretty good way to help out the kiddos btw. 6 kids! you are almost as crazy as me! ;)

Still working advanced mustachian individual.

I'm waiting for the first SWAMI Swami, personally.

Cassie

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2016, 05:56:45 PM »
My youngest graduated HS at 16 with a full ride scholarship. He dropped out after a year and worked until he was 21. Then he applied for financial aid based on his income and moved in with me for free room and board. I think in the past rich people were buying houses for their kids to live in for 1 year and then got financial aid.  I don't know if it was the length of time he was independent or what that got him the aid.  Him and I had been living in different states before he went to college.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 10:06:39 AM »
6 minions here but not FIREd... staying the SWAMI course.

I refuse to deny them the valuable experience of paying for their own education ;)

We do not plan to put the kids through college other than supporting them with room & board at the local university. We are actively pushing them to excel (homeschool) and will push them to chase scholarships, side jobs, etc. They receive reasonably generous allowance starting at grade 1 and are required to save 50% of all allowance and earnings. The 10yr old recently passed $1k and now has a Vanguard account.
With the exception of the room & board and Vanguard account, you could be my twin!  6 kids, homeschooling, SWAMI, kids will pay their own way...

No, I do not plan to retire while kids are still at home.  My current plans project me to retire right around the same time the last kid flies the coop.

goatmom

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2016, 04:47:19 PM »
Very hard to get declared independent.  Now, most of the time cannot do it until you are 24 unless you meet the circumstances above - get married, have a baby, join the military. Even the 24 year old rule is only for federal financial aid - private colleges can still look at parents finances after that age before handing out any financial aid.  It is a bit ridiculous.  My son did think about marrying his best friend so that he could be declared independent.

steveo

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2016, 05:06:26 PM »
I have 3 kids. I expect them to pay for themselves post leaving high school but they can live with us. I may end up charging a small amount depending on how much money they earn.

My youngest is 5 and I would like to be retired when he is 10 at the latest. The oldest 2 are 14 and 12. So I may have 3 kids to support when I retire but hopefully minimal expenses for the oldest two.

soccerluvof4

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Re: anyone FIRE'd with a bunch of kids still at home?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2016, 05:33:16 AM »
I'm Fire'd and the whole college thing was/is alot of stress for me mainly because where I live seemingly everyone is paying for their kids (HCOL) and not having gone just something I wanted to do. Over time I cam to the conclusion wit 4 kids it just wasnt going to happen so we told them 50k each. The Oldest received a partial scholarship (athletic) and the Second oldest received a 100% athletic scholarship so there 529s are going to be rolled down to the younger two and that should take care of all that. Actually they might have a bit more now thanks to the older two or we will help them more. End of day we just told them we will help them as long as they help themselves and it doesnt make us have to go back to work. Took me a year or so after becoming Fire'd to come to peace with this decision but as the two older ones leave ( both going out of State) It will be easier for me to hold to it despite what others might say.