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Want to Retire Early? Don't Have Kids!

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"Want to retire early? Don't have kids."

couple at the beach
This not-so-helpful advice comes from Sydney Lagier, a former CPA and author of the blog "Retirement: A Full-Time Job." Lagier's article, which was written for theU.S. News and World Report, iscausing quite a stir.

Lagier believes that there are factors besides raising and educating children that put a damper on a family's bottom line. She talks about the "motherhood premium," which is "the plateau and subsequent drop in salary experienced by university-educated women after having a child." She also describes the hit a family takes when one parent goes back to work and the other stays home to raise the kids. But most depressing of all is her reference to a Philadelphia Magazine article which states that, in 70 percent of couples, marital satisfaction drops after the first baby is born.

If we all thought about raising kids in these bleak terms, we wouldn't be able to sleep at night, let alone plan for a future retirement. But could Lagier be on to something? According to a 2006 Census Bureau report, 20 percent of women in the U.S. between the ages of 40 and 44 don't have kids ....

Moms, what do you think of this financial advice? Should people think about their financial future and overall personal well-being before having kids?

next: My Daughter Ran Away from Home!
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 13, 2010, 7:27 AM

She’s probably right. So what? My kids have made my life happier and more meaningful.

Kristen October 13, 2010, 8:26 AM

Of course she is right, this is common sense, you have 2 people who work you make more money……you have 3 or 4 people to feed and only 1 worker you have less money. Who cares if she is right and good for her if she doesn’t want kids and prevents it from happening. I see no point in this article…….it’s a personal choice for each and every person.

anon October 13, 2010, 9:25 AM

A stupid, pointless and OBVIOUS article… I just lost a few brain cells…

Christine October 13, 2010, 9:49 AM

She is most definitely right. And I don’t think it is pointless. It is something everyone considering parenthood should think through. This will affect the rest of your life. What IS stupid is that our government is not addressing this issue. Why should parents face economic penalties for producing the next generation of Americans? It’s completely counter-intuitive. We ought to demand that our leaders and laws and social programs make it easier for families to live fulfilling lives and raise well-adjusted children. The success of our society is very much at stake.

KS October 13, 2010, 10:33 AM

Why do so many people view the truth as insulting? And why are so many people clueless about what it costs to actually retire? Children cost money. And depending on your standard of living they can cost quite a bit of money. Your financial goals should be something to consider.

Any young couple starting a family should meet with a financial planner and have a financial life plan as well as other life goals.

If retiring early and traveling the world unfettered is of the highest importance well then children probably shouldn’t be in your life plan. It’s just not feasible unless your wealthy. That is the truth.

It’s not a slap in the face for parents or a dismal future it’s what we CHOSE when we had children. We love all four of our children and what they have BROUGHT to our lives. We plan to travel WITH our children and retire when my husband has earned his double pensions then start a bakery. Not exactly retirement per se but looking down the barrel of 30 years with nothing to do but relax is to much for us.

michelle October 13, 2010, 1:00 PM

It’s not “don’t have kids,” but “be financially ready when you have kids and have a plan for the future.” If people wait to have kids till they have at least a college degree, decent income and a solid retirement savings plan, and they are the kind of people who budget carefully, then people with kids absolutely can and do still retire early and/or pursue other life plans. I think if you look more closely at the data, the people most economically affected by having kids are ones with no college degree and many other economic stressors in their lives.

REALMOM October 13, 2010, 2:16 PM

At least she knows she don’t want any kids. I hate when ppl are having them and abandon, beat, neglect and sadly kill them. I just hope she’s being honest with herself, because i know a few women who have always said they didn’t want any children and are kicking themselves in the butt because the clock is ticking and very loudly i might add. “to thine own self be true”

Ralph Thompson October 18, 2010, 12:52 AM

great post thanks

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