There’s Never a Right Time

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An often asked question when considering to start a family is, “Are we financially prepared?”  In our modern world, people put off having children to let the mother have a chance to start her career, or establish the family’s wealth and a retirement fund.

Photo Credit: Photon_de via Flickr

While all of these are completely respectable and responsible reasons to put off having children, today I’m going to play devil’s advocate and argue for the fading notion of starting a family “young.”  (Which today tends to mean when you’re in your twenties.)  Because, frankly, if you wait for the perfect time, it will never come.

 

Age

There are many reasons to start a family when you’re “young.”  (I’m not talking in your teens.  Again, in your twenties.)  The first is that it takes a lot of energy to raise a child, especially in their younger years.  Perhaps the reason we’re able to pull all-nighters when we’re in our twenties isn’t because our bodies have evolved to party at college.  Perhaps it’s actually because we’re going to need to be able to stay up with a baby crying and needing something every two hours throughout the night during the first few months of life.

Once your child sleeps through the night, a new set of obstacles is established as they grow and learn and get into everything.  Chasing after a toddler or young child is no joke.  It takes a lot of energy.

 

Biology

As a woman, your twenties is the prime to have children.  Today it is also the prime time to jump start your career.  I don’t condemn anyone for choosing to use this time to start their career.  If you can’t balance doing both, you risk losing out on some serious dollars over the course of your career by staying home with baby now.  But, the side of the financial argument that seems to fly under the radar is the fact that the longer you wait, the harder it will be to conceive.

Infertility issues are nothing to scoff at.  Many women today wait too long (as dictated by their bodies, not my judgement) resulting in the need for treatments such as IVF.  I have witnessed many friends go into deep debt over this procedure.  A single treatment is $12,000-$17,000, and there is no guarantee that a single treatment is going to result in conception.  After, and if, you conceive the odds of carrying a baby to term goes down significantly as your age goes up.

 

Future Generations

I have a feeling that at my children’s graduation ceremonies I may be one of the younger parents there.  I won’t be alone, but I won’t be in the majority like my parents were.

Because my children will be reaching maturity when I, myself, am at a younger age,  the odds that I’ll be able to enjoy my grandchildren longer than my peers is also increased.  I’m planning on  having a nice retirement fund saved up, and I’ll enjoy using some of it to spoil my grandchildren and build memories that they’ll hopefully carry with them even after I’m gone.

What do you view as the pros/cons of having a family “young?”  Financial or otherwise?

Posted in: Philosophy

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