Kids

I have no kids. Forty-nine years ago I married Dorothy to be with her. Not to have a family. She was good with that. If you get through this life with one true, forever friend, she once told me, you’re lucky. I got mine.

Why do most people have children?

Historically, it made great sense.  Farming families needed hands and backs. Having children was like creating loyal employees you didn’t need to pay.

Tribes and cohesive societies needed to thrive, protect their turf, survive. Numbers were critical. Children give us a way of passing on culture, values and purpose.

Religions need fresh adherents. Size matters to the faith leadership. So organized religion has always made motherhood and parenting godly.

Mostly though, people have kids just because they want to. They replicate and relive their own experiences as children. They’re wired to reproduce. Nature is all about the propagation of a species. In case you were not so inclined, the divine powers made sex. It’s fun.  And guess where that leads you?

Of course people love their offspring. Sacrifice for them. Turn parenting into a life-long job. It gives many their sole or greatest sense of meaning and accomplishment. Not a week passes I am not astonished at the lengths parents will go to in order to cushion their offspring from the realities of life.  Look at the legions of young adults at home these days. It’s historic. We coddle and protect our spawn even when they’re far from youth.

Children are expensive. Zero to 18 costs about a quarter million, all in, studies show. But it’s not just daycare, clothes, food, sports, toys, programs, bail and schooling. Many maternity leaves are unpaid. Lots of new moms decide nurturing their child trumps a paycheque. People buy houses when they have families, even if the kids don’t care. They load up on needless insurance out of hormonal guilt. They eschew mobility and job opportunities because they don’t want a six-year-old to leave her friends. They eat into retirement savings to keep a 28-year-old cocooned at home. The economic sacrifices are endless.

On a larger plane, human reproduction has forever changed the earth. When I was born there were a little over two billion people. Now we’re pushing eight billion. My parents had four kids, which was normal. Now the fertility rate is 1.6 per woman, and the average family is 2.5 people. As women have become universally educated, more critical to the economy and equal in all regards, motherhood has waned. This is most evident in the developed world. As a vibrant middle class explodes in developing nations, the same trend emerges. The fertility rate in China now equals ours, and births are falling by two million a year.

So humans evolve. Now that we’re all talking about climate change, living in a world where half the animals have perished over the course of my marriage, that must be good. Eight billion cannot become twelve or sixteen without dystopian consequences. Why would anyone wish to birth children into a dying world? Perhaps we have turned that corner. If so, it will be an improving global standard of living, more education and economic opportunity that does it.

By the way in Canada we have a negative birth rate. The population would be steadily declining, were it not for immigration. Look at government policies. We pay people – actually quite a lot – to have children. The child benefit has helped remove millions from the tax roles. Kids are as good for the economy as they are tough on family assets.

In fact the decision to have a son or daughter is probably the most profound financial one people ever make. It ripples through every aspect of daily, professional and matrimonial life, and lasts decades. And yet it’s the one that’s most emotional, least logical and often taken as granted. Like breathing.

If you have a family, consider this advice from a guy with no skin in the game: plan for it. Utilize the tax-free growth of an RESP. Collect the free grant money. Don’t go out and load up on the wrong kind of insurance. Don’t buy real estate you can’t afford because of junior. The kid can be a happy renter. Try not to helicopter. Don’t forget your own financial well-being and retirement savings. Ask adultlets at home to pay rent, or the utilities. Good training. Only fair. Move if your family will be stronger financially. Kids adapt. Realize that having a big educational nestegg for your child is worth more than annual trips to Mexico. Teach them what schools don’t. Ethics and (of course) finances.

There. You’re all set.

By the way, Dorothy told me I’d be a complete moron if I wrote this blog. “I’m trying,” she said, “to save you from yourself.”

What’s your best friend for?

 

195 comments ↓

#1 NoName on 01.16.20 at 2:01 pm

Oh swedish people… who knows what else they read that is wrong.

https://medium.com/@Soccermatics/how-swedes-were-fooled-by-one-of-the-biggest-scientific-bluffs-of-our-time-de47c82601ad

#2 Ben Smith on 01.16.20 at 2:10 pm

I always wonder about that. Not having kids is fine, but why not? What if your parents had thought the same?

#3 Andrewski on 01.16.20 at 2:17 pm

Thankfully we maxed out our son’s RESP every year, with a little help from the grandparents, so we had the funds to help him attend & graduate from post secondary school with zero debt & not having to dip in to our own investments!

#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

what are your thoughts on private school education from jk to grade 12 if the grandparents will pay for all of it? my parents (the grandparents) have set up resps/ small trusts for each child so post secondary is fully paid already (eldest is 4 and youngest is 2.5)

my problem is i am 35 in a 2m house (no mortgage) in toronto and no debt and we both work part time and our cars are gifted to us. between gifts, inheritance, our own success, we really have not money problems. we are actually extremely frugal. is private school worth 35k per year total?

perhaps i could just get the grandparents to contribute an additional 35k per year into my children’s trust funds? i know these are first world problems but im stressed about it. my parents are successful and wealthy (10m net worth) mid 60s still working in the family business.

perhaps my children should go to the local tdsb elementary school at the bottom of my street? i feel a burden and feel judged by others if i go the private school route.

alternatively we could give our adult children 1m each when they turn 30 or perhaps give them a trust for life instead of a private education.

help !!!!!!!!!!!!

#5 yvr_lurker on 01.16.20 at 2:31 pm

Interesting blog (to me at least).

I grew up in a financial rather impoverished household led by a young single parent (who worked super-hard) to provide what she could after my father disappeared (mother having to get a divorce in absentia). Her struggles and my work ethic and drive to make a better life are all rooted in my core. Likewise, rooted in my core is a desire to ensure that my kid has all the best opportunities (with financial backing), but couched in an understated way that does not kill his drive to succeed and do well. If I did not have kids, my sense is that my more hedonistic side would take over and although working hard, I would also be living more highly taking many more trips etc…. there would be no need for me to have a 4Miliiion estate when I die that would be left to the SPCA or distant relatives…. just my perspective here…

#6 Drill Baby Drill on 01.16.20 at 2:47 pm

The proliferation of birth control aided the birth rate decline as well.

#7 thebarold on 01.16.20 at 2:49 pm

Having kids is good for the economy. buy a condo, sell the condo buy a house. Sell that house and buy another house. At the same time buy a motorcycle. Then a car with babyseats. Then the minivan and finally a motorcycle again. Until we realize this is not sustainable.

#8 James on 01.16.20 at 2:52 pm

I’m born and raised catholic so there that says it all. My wife is the same and one of the first things we discussed as we dated was that we both wanted a family. So I’m blessed with beautiful little two girls and a monster boy. I also believe that if you do not or could not have children that is your prerogative and your personal choice. We as a society sometimes question childless families and ask why did they not have children? That is none of our business to each his own. As it stands Garth is correct that it does take a huge amount of money to raise them but if done correctly it is well worth spending. We have RESP’s for all three and have realized the savings for now! Each child also has a separate fund that we started for their education that if they decide to take advantage of will be disbursed out upon enrollment of said educational institution of their choice. If they do not exorcise that educational privilege then the monies in those accounts will go towards an inheritance fund to be distributed at a later date.
Bravo to all of those hard working parents out there that raise children and bravo to those whom choose to live their lives as they see fit.
Not here to judge!

#9 Sold Out on 01.16.20 at 2:56 pm

I’m continually shocked by the number of people who make poor financial decisions “because we don’t want to make the children move to a new school, and have to make new friends.”

I’ve got news for people who think that way; anyone born in the last 20 years is going to experience several geographic changes in employment and place of residence. Better to prepare the sprogs for it early on, rather than have them come unglued over minor changes later in life.

When I announced to my much higher paid co-workers that I was retiring at 51, they were incredulous and asked me how I could manage it. All of them owned YVR RE, and had children. I had RE, but no children. Sell your house and move somewhere cheaper, I said. You can guess what they said in response.

Kids make some people dumb.

#10 James on 01.16.20 at 3:02 pm

#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

what are your thoughts on private school education from jk to grade 12 if the grandparents will pay for all of it? my parents (the grandparents) have set up resps/ small trusts for each child so post secondary is fully paid already (eldest is 4 and youngest is 2.5)

my problem is i am 35 in a 2m house (no mortgage) in toronto and no debt and we both work part time and our cars are gifted to us. between gifts, inheritance, our own success, we really have not money problems. we are actually extremely frugal. is private school worth 35k per year total?

perhaps i could just get the grandparents to contribute an additional 35k per year into my children’s trust funds? i know these are first world problems but im stressed about it. my parents are successful and wealthy (10m net worth) mid 60s still working in the family business.

perhaps my children should go to the local tdsb elementary school at the bottom of my street? i feel a burden and feel judged by others if i go the private school route.

alternatively we could give our adult children 1m each when they turn 30 or perhaps give them a trust for life instead of a private education.

help !!!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________________________
I would give them the best education that I could afford. This sets them up for a decent start in life with at least some post secondary education. Not everyone is an uneducated self starter and most fail at least once or twice before they can make a go of it, If they are lucky. Conversely if you were to gift them the money at say age 30 you may inadvertently suck the energetic zeal for learning and self satisfaction out their life blood. Especially if they know its coming. Either way if you have the funds set up separate accounts and invest it with a specific time period in mind at a later date then take a look at how well your children have grown and earned their own way in the world. If they have become successful and are set then you could release the funds to ease some burdens.
Just my thoughts….

Hook, line & sinker. – Garth

#11 Steve on 01.16.20 at 3:03 pm

Please let Dorothy know that I totally agree with your wisdom.

#12 Shawn Allen on 01.16.20 at 3:05 pm

Respectful Piece

Garth managed not to disrespect, or even complain about, those who choose or chose to have kids. Well done. Probably Dorothy’s influence.

#13 Henry on 01.16.20 at 3:06 pm

Well, after ten plus years of reading the blog i think the moment is slowly approaching when canadian lunacy outweighs the obvious benefits of reading this blog…
On the subject matter… You call Garth (and Dorothy of course) and yours only. Do not try to tell others that this is the “new way, a better way”. Never is. The closer to deathbed you come, the better you understand. Sad how hopeless this (Canadian) society has become. Happy I sold my house and moved.

#14 Chris on 01.16.20 at 3:10 pm

Good advice and post! My add to it would be “Make sure you award time to yourself to not only be a good parent, but a good spouse.” I’m only 4 years into my marriage have a 1 year old kid and this advice has really resonated with me. We spend all our free time being a parent, but unfortunately, being a spouse sometimes gets forgotten about and it’s something we need to really work on.

Kids are a huge change. We’re older, responsible, and were ready and it’s definitely been a change but one we expected and were actually ready for! That is so important! We used to travel the world, go on at least 1 or 2 overseas vacations a year, Vegas at least 2x a year, and looking at the swoop seat sale right now, pre-parent me would have booked about 7 weekend trips today, but Dad me is saying “hmmmm, no we’ve flown with her before, let’s not” and I’m ok with that. The last time we went out was back in Sept to celebrate our anniversary (and we were probably home by 11pm b/c we were so tired). Staying up late on a Fri/Sat night doesn’t exist anymore b/c you’re going to be up early Sat/Sun morning. It amazes me of some of my 30-something friends that are out for dinner, drinks, etc 3-4x a week! If you still want that lifestyle, don’t have kids!!!!

#15 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 3:15 pm

#2 Ben Smith on 01.16.20 at 2:10 pm

I always wonder about that. Not having kids is fine, but why not? What if your parents had thought the same?

————————————

Ben, if your parents had thought and acted on that, then you wouldn’t exist.

Please let me know if more information is needed.

#16 Chris on 01.16.20 at 3:21 pm

To add to my post – One last piece of advice… Never ever question a person/couples decision to have or not have kids. I’m sure Garth and Dorothy have been experienced countless ignorant comments over the years relating to this.

Maybe they are trying (desperately) to have kids, maybe they want to but can’t, maybe they just suffered a miscarriage yesterday, maybe they hate kids, Maybe one wants them and the other doesn’t and it’s creating all kinds of tension in the relationship, maybe they want to but know they can’t afford them and it breaks their hearts…. You never know what the situation is, so K.I.S.S. and just keep your mouth shut on the matter. Should you really be asking anyone in any of those situations “So when are you going to have kids?” NO!!!! It’s not your business to comment, even if they are your family members.

#17 Shawn Allen on 01.16.20 at 3:21 pm

A Carbon Solution

Breaking news…

Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans to invest $1 billion to back companies and organizations working on technologies to remove or reduce carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, saying efforts to merely emit less carbon aren’t enough to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Engineers have devised ways to capture carbon dioxide, either pulling it from the exhaust of smokestacks or sucking it directly from open air. The gas can be stored underground or put to use — for example, it can be incorporated into products such as cement. Because most governments don’t impose a penalty or tax for carbon emissions, there’s currently no monetary incentive for companies to buy the technologies, and developers have struggled to turn them into viable businesses.

*****************************************
This is exactly what a number of people have been suggesting for years.

It’s why I favor a carbon tax. Take money from my consumption of carbon-emitting fuels and put it into developing machines that can suck the carbon back out of the air. And use some of the money to alleviate the carbon tax on low income earners. And yes, I will trust the government on this because no one other than the government can do it. MicroSoft can help. But tragedy of the commons problems like this require government actions.

The result can be we have both an economy and a better environment. Guilt-free carbon consumption for me.

The wind taken out of Greta’s sails. Hurray!

#18 Richard on 01.16.20 at 3:25 pm

A lot of excellent info on the blog today. The advice
for people who decide to have children is bang on, well said.

#19 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 3:26 pm

#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

Re: too much money…

———————————

yap, do whatever you want: in the end, the kids are going to be influenced mostly by family.

I always opt for simplicity in life. School at the end of the street sounds simpler than private school. Elementary school is about socialization anyway. It can be good for kids to experience a few more demographic strata.

#20 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 3:45 pm

Most people think their kids are somehow special in a way that translates beyond their (the parents’) own skewed perspective.

They’re not. And a heck of a lot of work.

My wife and I are very happy our kids are out of the house and successfully living their own life.

#21 Smartalox on 01.16.20 at 3:47 pm

There’s a school of thought (Mmazlow) that suggests that children fulfill a desire to leave a ‘legacy’ after one leaves this world. Something greater than achievement or pride.

It’s entirely possible that our host is content in his legacy, buffed each time one of us writes in, gushing about how we’ve parlayed his wisdom into our own successes, but others may not have as much to offer.

Of course there is a down side of having children in order to leave a legacy:

Just look at Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

#22 Dups on 01.16.20 at 4:03 pm

Smart people should not be afraid of having kids. Dumb people should not be allowed to have any.
Good kids will help you when you are in need, dogs and cats will pee and poop on you. Good kids and grand kids will be there for you so you do not die alone.

#23 wallflower on 01.16.20 at 4:06 pm

#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

Heh you wild and crazy part-timer badult parents.
I recommend you hand your kids over to some adults.
That will free you up from having to ask (and think about) asking stupid questions.

#24 I Agree on 01.16.20 at 4:07 pm

I agree with every thing you said although I can see why Dorothy would be concerned that you are stirring up a hornets nest.
People should have kids because they want them and can afford to look after them. Taxpayers should NOT be sending cheques to encourage people to have kids. People with kids should pay taxes.

#25 Yukon Elvis on 01.16.20 at 4:09 pm

Having kids was fun. Having 5 grandkids is even more fun. Best thing I ever did.

#26 Alistair McLaughlin on 01.16.20 at 4:11 pm

Realize that having a big educational nestegg for your child is worth more than annual trips to Mexico.

Fat chance. The Canadian way is to post family pictures of beach vacays every year on Facebook, then when the kid graduates high school, take to social media again to whine that the government isn’t doing enough to make education more affordable. Because “what’s more important than education???” Annual resort vacations apparently.

#27 BlorgDorg on 01.16.20 at 4:15 pm

Nicely put today, Garth. You’ve occasionally had some (some would argue appropriately) harsh words for people who have kids, and usually it’s because they attribute dumb financial decisions to them.

Having kids is an expensive investment, planning is crucial. Learn about the financial implications in advance, you won’t have time later.

#28 Doc on 01.16.20 at 4:15 pm

Children are truly a blessing but life is so much more complicated with them.Timing when to have them is crucial. Ideally parents should do everything they can for them emotionally and be readily available to them for mentoring and support. Of course this is not always the case. I am a very good bad example. By 21 I was a married high school dropout with 2 children working at the low end of the labour pool. Two jobs was routine so I was tired, grumpy and wanted more out of life for myself.

I bought my first house at 26 in a great neighbourhood but couldn’t convince myself that I was satisfied. I really wanted to go to school and become a doctor so when the kids were in elementary school I went to the local community college (where the counsellor unhelpfully recommended I switch to janitorial science when I expressed my desired goal). I dropped down to just one full time job during pre med studies working as a home care orderly so I could schedule my patients care between classes, on weekends and evenings. If I was conscious I was studying or working and quite unavailable to be a good father.

When I had to sell the house to move to a city with a medical school I convinced myself it would all work out but I knew the kids would pay a price—the uncomfortable truth is by that time I really didn’t care that they or my wife would face difficulties so I put my desires before theirs with all manner of rationalizations to convince myself I deserved to succeed. It was my turn!

Well, fast forward past 14 years of post secondary training, divorce, alimony etc. to today. Happily married over 20 years, retired psychiatrist, comfortable financially but my 46 year old son wants nothing to do with me and I have essentially zero access to his older stepchildren or now 3 year old daughter.

Thankfully my 48 year old daughter and I have a pretty good relationship probably because women are generally kinder and more forgiving humans. Relationships with my wife’s children are not entirely smooth either.

I believe I would probably do it all again regardless, but my rather long winded point is this. If you’re going to have children it would be best to get your own stuff sorted out first so you can be present for them and secondly, some of us humans are just not suited to or ready for the continual sacrifice of putting children first in our lives and I think it should be OK to just say so.

My son ironically is trying to be the best father ever but he works way too much doing endless overtime shifts as an RN so he can provide all the things to his children that I couldn’t/wouldn’t provide for him. In short its really hard to get it right.

#29 Dave on 01.16.20 at 4:19 pm

Looks like the major Quebec companies are surviving on provincial and Federal handouts.
– Bombardier
– SNC Lavlin
– Yellow Pages

https://business.financialpost.com/transportation/rail/bombardier-sees-lower-full-year-results-on-challenging-rail-projects-2

Quebec will be in a recession

#30 Mr Fundamental on 01.16.20 at 4:27 pm

We’ll probably have an RESP worth ~$300k by the time our kids are ready to go to college (3 of them). I’m trying to follow the Warren Buffet advice. We’ll have enough so our kids can do ANYTHING, but not so much that they can do NOTHING.

Cheers!

#31 FreeBird on 01.16.20 at 4:32 pm

I don’t have kids of my own either. I like being the fun one to say ‘don’t tell your mom or dad’ with a wink and teach the things parents won’t or can’t. It all works out. My one aunt never had kids but she was crazy and fun.

#32 Steve on 01.16.20 at 4:32 pm

#14 Chris on 01.16.20 at 3:10 pm

ROFL!!!!

Same story.

#33 TheSpangler on 01.16.20 at 4:33 pm

Well written post Garth. Not an easy thing to talk about to a lot of people, but this was well put.

#34 Katherine on 01.16.20 at 4:39 pm

Good post Garth! I had humble beginnings….both parents only had grade 8 education but a strong work ethic. Post secondary education was expected of me and they taught me the value of a dollar. When I got my first credit card in first year uni, my dad’s words were “If you don’t have enough money in the bank for something today, you can’t afford it.” That statement served me well as I have never paid one cent in interest payments on any credit card in the last 42 years.

Teaching children finances is definitely one of the greatest gifts you can give them. My two children learned at an early age that they were expected to attend post secondary and that they were expected to help finance it. Part-time jobs throughout high were also expected. They were involved in rep sports at the same time. If their grades slipped, then the sports went. They learned to manage time and money. I started RESPs for them soon after birth and grandma also helped. When it came time to apply to uni, I encouraged programs that made them marketable after graduation and also those that had co-op programs. Very proud that both my kids graduated without any school debt. Son is a CA and daughter has an MBA. No better feeling than when your kid turns out right!

And now I get to share my wisdom with my first grandchild who is 7 weeks old. Such a great feeling! I am so blessed!!!!

#35 Piano_Man87 on 01.16.20 at 4:39 pm

“Now that we’re all talking about climate change, living in a world where half the animals have perished over the course of my marriage, that must be good. Eight billion cannot become twelve or sixteen without dystopian consequences. Why would anyone wish to birth children into a dying world?”

My thoughts exactly. Thank you for broaching this touchy subject.

My common law wife (hey, I’m a millennial) and I do not want kids. Every day brings in fresh news about how the destruction of the world is accelerating. How could I bring a child into this world, who will have a carbon footprint of over 20 times the global sustainable amount based on our present world population, look them in the eye when they are old enough to understand environmental issues, and say “I knew we were wrecking it all, but I wanted to have kids anyway so I did.”

We need children on this earth. And maybe if the population were declining I’d think of having some. But for now… Every kid I don’t have is like 250k I don’t need to make. Plus freedom, flexibility, leisure, options.

#36 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 4:41 pm

Tenured McGill professor resigns over university’s refusal to divest investment in oil/gas industry.

———————————

I assume he will now pack his office into a backpack and walk home to his unheated house. If you’re going to make a statement, then make a statement, by golly!

If he chooses to move to warmer BC, walking the 4,785 km would take 319 days. But that only moves one backpack full of books. Sailing could be done, but also long. Maybe biking?

It’s possible he will end up holding the university to a higher standard than he holds himself.

Just another example of much education not necessarily leading to more smarter decisions.

#37 The Dude on 01.16.20 at 4:53 pm

I see your point about not having kids but it’s the educated ones like yourselves having less kids that are the ones that should be having kids. It would make such a smarter world to conquer big problems like climate change. Just imagine an America where Princeton students had 4 kids and the low income troubled folks that have a life of just bad circumstances had none. There would be no Trump in power.
Anyways it’s just a pipe dream. Until humans evolve its never going to change. The uneducated will always outnumber the educated.

#38 Mattl on 01.16.20 at 5:04 pm

Dorothy was right.

Yes they are expensive, can be a PITA, and there are to many humans. So what.

I can’t imagine not having my little one. Greeting her when she gets back from school, when they pick me up at the airport after a long work trip. Dance recital last year was mind blowing. Falls asleep in my lap most nights. 250K till 18 is incredible value for what they give back.

Regarding insurance, I always suspect that most people are under insured. I have term for my wife and I – 1MM per and it costs me around $100 a month. Dirt cheap to know that if I bite it, or my stay at home wife does, my family can live reasonably comfortably. Not sure how that 100 bucks could be better deployed.

#39 Stone on 01.16.20 at 5:07 pm

#23 wallflower on 01.16.20 at 4:06 pm
#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

Heh you wild and crazy part-timer badult parents.
I recommend you hand your kids over to some adults.
That will free you up from having to ask (and think about) asking stupid questions.

———

I have to agree with Wallflower. That this is such a dilemma shows your failure to launch. Do you want to transfer that same type of behaviour and mindset to your children or would you prefer them to be independent thinkers?

Your willingness to have the grandparents pay for the private school tells me you have no actual control or decision-making capability. There comes a point where you need to leave the nest and stop relying on parents/grandparents. One day, they won’t be there anymore. What will you do then?

Not trying to be mean here, just realistic. I feel sad regarding your situation. Such drive and potential wasted and now trying to pass that same thinking on to your kids. Just sad.

#40 Xpat on 01.16.20 at 5:08 pm

#22 Dups on 01.16.20 at 4:03 pm
Smart people should not be afraid of having kids. Dumb people should not be allowed to have any.
Good kids will help you when you are in need, dogs and cats will pee and poop on you. Good kids and grand kids will be there for you so you do not die alone.

———————–

What’s with this fear of dying alone people have? Chances are you’ll be in palliative or something hopped up out of your mind

#41 Penny Henny on 01.16.20 at 5:15 pm

The dingo ate my baby

#42 Dmitry on 01.16.20 at 5:16 pm

How much money should be save on average in RESP for one kid to finish University with zero debt?
One option just tuition and books (if local and live in with parents), the other option is tuition, books, rent and meals.

#43 Thedood on 01.16.20 at 5:18 pm

#22 Dups on 01.16.20 at 4:03 pm
Smart people should not be afraid of having kids. Dumb people should not be allowed to have any……
__________________________________________

In fact, f’ups who have kids, who turn into f’ups should in some way be held accountable for inadequate parenting. The f’up train needs to be stopped!

#44 FreeBird on 01.16.20 at 5:19 pm

#28 Doc on 01.16.20

Thanks for the comment. We’re in the same situation with my husb adult kids/my step kids/grandkids. For us girls showed they can be more forgiving but hurt more deeply and longer. But there’s always more then one side to any story and they have theirs. I try to respect that. My husb like you struggles at times with past choices. I say we’re human and flawed. We do the best with what we know and do better (if we choose) when we know better as the saying goes. I think most parents try to get it right but screw it up as they go. Do kids come with a manual? Being a step parent is another mind field as you well know. Like your son my step sons are playing out cats in the cradle too but don’t see the mirror…yet. Give them time.

#45 Leo Trollstoy on 01.16.20 at 5:22 pm

#2 2 Ben Smith on 01.16.20 at 2:10 pm
I always wonder about that. Not having kids is fine, but why not? What if your parents had thought the same?

We wouldn’t care because we wouldn’t know any better

“You” haven’t been around for the last 13.8 billion years that the universe has been around, you didn’t seem to care either

#46 Linda on 01.16.20 at 5:27 pm

‘from a guy with no skin in the game’. Actually there may be more skin in the game than is immediately apparent. For instance, property taxes usually include an education component. Doesn’t matter whether you have children or not, a chunk of tax collected goes toward the educational system. As mentioned, our government (& not a few other governments) pay out if one has children. Pay out of our tax dollars for a personal choice, because yes, our government wants said children to grow up & become taxpayers in turn. Hence the liberal immigration policies, especially since the birth rate is below replacement. Don’t think it matters? Keep in mind Canada’s current population is just around 37 million, of which some 9 million are Boomers. There were an estimated 9.6 million but the die off has begun. Even with robust immigration our population may well shrink, because it isn’t like ours is the only country where Boomers exist.

Bottom line is that whether or not one has a child, one still pays something towards their upkeep. ‘Takes a village’ & all that.

#47 Leo Trollstoy on 01.16.20 at 5:27 pm

Having kids is ok

I could do without them

It’s not the big deal everybody says it is

Overhyped

#48 JonBoy on 01.16.20 at 5:30 pm

Garth – interesting perspective today. Well-written, as usual, and non-judgmental enough to keep the parents from storming your castle with pitchforks and torches.

I have three kids with a fourth due within six weeks. That’ll be the last one for us. We’ve spread them out over 16 years, giving ourselves enough time to “catch our breath” and enjoy each one as they come along. They’re a wonderful blessing, for sure.

One thing they aren’t is cheap! With this “parents have to be all things to all kids” mentality that is so prevalent today, you can easily get sucked into doing things that aren’t even reasonable.

My wife and I have set some basic rules for our kids:

1. They get one hobby/sport/activity that we pay for. For my daughter, it’s horse riding lessons ($200 a month). My oldest son plays roller hockey at a cost of about $400 for the entire season (and we’ve eliminated ice hockey as an option, due to cost and time constraints). My youngest son doesn’t play anything yet but will probably choose soccer.

2. Electronics are not bought for everyone just because all the other kids have them. My son got a used tablet off Craigslist and he is on a 45 minute timer every day. My daughter just got her first (used) phone ($125 off Craigslist – one year old) at 16 years old (she’s nearly 17) and it is also on a usage timer. My youngest son doesn’t have any electronics, of course. These consumer electronics are a massive drain on time, productivity and they cost a TON to keep up.

3. We spend time together, rather than time on screens. Reading is encouraged and we have a massive library in the house (many of my old books from my childhood) as well as access to e-books for each child (they are allowed to read as much as they want).

4. Extras are earned. You want something nice that’s merely a “nice to have”? You can work for it. My oldest son went out and made money shoveling snow yesterday (YVR rarely gets snow – it’s a rare opportunity!). My daughter does our baking in the house (to keep us from buying lunch snacks) in return for $50 a month. Hard work is what gets you what you want in life, not feeding off the work of others.

My wife is a stay-at-home mom and we do just fine. I make a fair chunk of money but we also live quite frugally (newest vehicle just turned 10 years old, the other one is 11 years old, we rent instead of own here in the Lower Mainland, etc). We made a choice early on to trim our lifestyle to allow us to have a family with just me in the workforce and it’s been an interesting journey. At this point, we wouldn’t trade it and we’ve been blessed to make it work.

I think it’s very doable to have a family and still provide financial security for retirement and such – it just means you have to forego big vacations and new(er) vehicles and the crazy consumer electronics of the day. A friend of mine just got a huge new iPhone that would’ve cost him nearly $1800 (!!!) if he didn’t get it at a subsidized cost when he renewed his phone plan. Can you imagine paying $1800 for a stupid phone? Yikes.

Either way, keep the blog rolling along. I read it daily and enjoy each one for the thoughtfulness you put into them.

Respect!

#49 HamiltonDude on 01.16.20 at 5:34 pm

I read you blog nearly every day because of the sound financial advice it offers. Tonights blog was pretty disappointing as you spew some skewed information and opinions on having children. You should have listened to Dorothy because she was right. Next time, stick to your financial wizardry and not your family advice buffoonery!

#50 Sam on 01.16.20 at 5:38 pm

without kids society is toast. TOAST

worse that we are living way way too long. Govt pensions didnt anticipate a bunch of 70 yr old still hanging around.

Disaster

#51 Stone on 01.16.20 at 5:44 pm

#43 Thedood on 01.16.20 at 5:18 pm
#22 Dups on 01.16.20 at 4:03 pm
Smart people should not be afraid of having kids. Dumb people should not be allowed to have any……
__________________________________________

In fact, f’ups who have kids, who turn into f’ups should in some way be held accountable for inadequate parenting. The f’up train needs to be stopped!

———

Have you watched Idiocracy? There are no brakes on that train.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwjHtbnAmInnAhUEDKwKHUbfDWAQtwIIOjAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-N9nVLXMhPc&usg=AOvVaw1lhRrppi-wgoYj0–FrsJw

#52 Keyboard Smasher on 01.16.20 at 5:45 pm

I’ve got 2 or 3 kids myself, in another province, well, depending on whom you ask, and I think the financial strain is exaggerated.

Daddy Trudeau takes care of the basic needs for all of my offspring.

“Liberated” millennial women no longer demand marriage for access to sex, and all you have to do to succeed is tell them you’re snipped.

#53 Camys on 01.16.20 at 5:47 pm

Awesome Post; too good to have not commented on this one. Especially liked ” organized religion has always made motherhood and parenting godly “…Well Said Garth !

#54 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 5:48 pm

#23 , #39

what is wrong with you? failure to launch ? the wife and i both work part time as passive entrepreneurs (i work in real estate development.) I don’t expect my parents to pay for private school (they are willing to pay up to 35k per year for my kids to head into grade 1. they have paid for my kid’s montessori since day one.

it’s easy to criticize as an outsider but i take and pick up my kids from school everyday. i never work more than 5 hours a day (10am-3pm) and never work weekends. i definitely have a cushy life. this isn’t about me or my wife.

my children will likely never have to work for money. like myself they will likely work on finding fulfillment in life.

my household income is 200k gross a year but we have few expenses as stated before so i’m happy to spend my days working on my network and net worth.

again – would you take the 35k for private school or request it be put towards the rest of the funds my parents put away for the grandchildren?

#55 mark on 01.16.20 at 5:49 pm

My brother and his wife have just taken in a foster kid, only a baby. The mother is currently serving a stint. She’s got another two being raised by her sister, who refused to take the third. Unbelievably sad.

Some people need to be sewn up.

#56 Kelowna on 01.16.20 at 5:53 pm

Nicely written Garth – both objective and thought provoking. The decision to have or not have kids is much different now than it was even 25 years ago. In my view, the decision should be made these days with eyes wide open and careful consideration of the facts.

#57 Bezengy on 01.16.20 at 5:54 pm

“You are immortal through your children” they say, but who exactly are your children? I would argue it goes beyond blood, or say adoption papers. I’ve coached hundreds of kids, and would like to I’ve had a positive impact on their lives. I kinda feel like they’re my kids too. When I get together with my own children these days we end up talking about the blog quite a bit. My point is we’re all raising and having an impact on a new generation like it or not. Some people have a positive impact, some not so much.

#58 Remembrancer on 01.16.20 at 6:00 pm

#10 James on 01.16.20 at 3:02 pm
#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm
Hook, line & sinker. – Garth
——————————-
Come on James, that was like a Dutch-registered Super Factory Trawler coming along side…

#59 crazyfox on 01.16.20 at 6:01 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBT5EQt348

2 parents have 2 children into this world and they think, “this won’t add to overpopulation” but it does. Their 2 children have 2 children each, and now it’s 4 children to these parent’s credit and if, for the modern miracles of quality controlled (sort of) food and drugs, if these parents are alive to become great grandparents, they’ve brought 8 children into the planet either directly or indirectly because they’ve lived long enough to see it.

We are all living so much longer than we ever used to, that’s just it. It used to be a couple hundred years back, 2 kids would die from a family of 5 before the age of 5. These days, 3 out of 4 live to the ripe old age of 75. So much has changed.

Here’s the thing though, if you’ve taken the time to watch the short video above. The planet cannot sustain the world’s present populations as we know it now, not with the levels of waste and pollution humans emit. If we substantially lowered pollution levels, we might have a chance. Well… maybe not. Maybe its too late. Perhaps we are in a dying world and the only thing that will save it is a major die off of human beings.

We may not have long to wait. Based on an ice free Arctic ocean for 10 days in early September as a baseline, the numbers I’ve come up with is 2.5 months of open water in 2025 with overall ocean water average highs peaking at 10 degree’s C. For Greenland, this means 5 weeks of 80% area island ice melt for 5 weeks.

For 2030, the Arctic ocean should be experiencing 4 months of open water with peak average Arctic ocean temp highs of 12 to 13 degrees. For Greenland, this means 80% melt by area occurring for 8 weeks out of the year with 6 degree average highs over the island itself.

For 2040, the Arctic ocean is open water for 8 months of the year, experiencing 18 degree overall ocean temperature highs. That’s a lot! This means for Greenland, 14 weeks of 80% average overall ice melt with average temperatures at 9 degrees C.

Under this scenario, is it enough to melt 35 to 40% of all the ice on Greenland by 2050? Yes it is. This is what abrupt climate change looks like. This is what we can expect over 3 short decades once the Arctic ocean experiences it’s first ice free summer. According to these numbers, we are in a dying world.

#60 KAC on 01.16.20 at 6:02 pm

I applaud Garth’s post for being relatively neutral on such a sensitive subject. It is obvious that for some people, having children is a wonderful thing. However, my experience with some parents makes me suspect they deeply regret their choice and hugely resent the freedom enjoyed by those of us who have chosen to be child-free.

As far as I know, my wife and I both have functional plumbing but we chose not to test it with childbirth. We have enjoyed several decades of happy marriage and, whilst not wealthy, we have certainly lived life to its fullest and have routinely enjoyed many luxurious experiences which would not have been possible if we had stated a family.

I appreciate the parents who have produced the next generation of tax payers, physicians, chefs, policemen, etc., etc., we need them all. Just don’t ask me to breed.

Here is an answer I once composed in response to an article espousing the wonders of child bearing and pouring scorn on those who didn’t. My response was a little harsh but the person deserved it.

*************

So let me see if I understand this. If I want to find true happiness I should share my home, my money and my life with some noisy, hyperactive, foul-smelling, selfish, ungrateful, obnoxious little parasites who will suck on my wife’s breasts for their first year of life before sucking on my wallet for the remainder of my life, all whilst they eagerly wait for me to die so they can fight over my estate.

Yeah, that sounds like a great plan.

Ooops! One problem. As a child-free adult I have been repeatedly subjected to drunken confessions from disillusioned parents who tell me that they wouldn’t want to be without their kids …. BUT ….. (wait for it) ……. if they had their lives over again, they wouldn’t have any. They are clearly overwhelmed with guilt when they tell me this and they usually burst into tears.

I do not find these confessions very encouraging and I note with interest that these are often the same folks who, when sober, display mild irritation at my freedom and often spout these clearly contradictory observations – (A) “you’re very selfish”, and (B) “You don’t know what you’re missing.” I’m tempted to counter by telling them that I don’t have a coconut sized, cancerous lesion on my butt either but I’ve got a pretty good idea of exactly what I’m missing.

A message to all breeders:
Keep up the good work, my pension requires your spawn to grow up and pay taxes, but please don’t drag the grubby little things into restaurants with you. It’s not just the noise and smell that I object to, it’s the fact that food is being prepared and served, hence it’s not an appropriate venue for children or any other mobile pools of bacterial contamination.

And one more request, if you absolutely have to drag them on a plane with you, please put them in the cargo hold, particularly if they have an ear infection.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. Hmmm, I think I’ll head out for a nice expensive dinner now.

#61 Shaggy on 01.16.20 at 6:08 pm

Someone once told me that “you don’t know how much you want kids until you have them”. They were right.

I get what you’re saying Garth. I’m a frugal guy, always looking at the cost/benefit side of things…except when it comes to my kids. What they give me can’t be quantified in dollars and cents (with that said, they understand the value of a buck).

I will never criticize or pass judgement on those who have chosen not to have kids, nor do I expect them to understand the foolish financial decisions that I make for my kids.

#62 the Jaguar on 01.16.20 at 6:12 pm

The reproduction issue is more complicated when put under the microscope. Some people seem to have children as a way of reinforcing their identity, i.e. “I’m now a mother or I’m a father”, and my observation is that the decision to go ahead and do it is not always an evenly shared goal. In many cases one party would be content not to have any but spousal or parental pressure remains a significant factor. It also changes a relationship. Not saying for the poorer, but someone once said to me that his parents marriage changed when he and his brother came along, the analogy being it became steak for the kids and hamburger for his father. If you ask a significant number of women or men whether (despite loving their kids deeply) they would do it again if they could go back in time a surprising number will whisper no.
The ability to produce a child also doesn’t ensure stellar parenting skills. The stereotypical demon hockey mom behaving monstrously at the arena or the garden variety type yelling or tormenting her offspring in Wallmart are too numerous to count. Many of the well meaning and generally good natured types seem to lack the understanding that to give your kids everything means you don’t give them everything they ask for, that raising them to be strong, ethical and successful adults has more to do with allowing them to fail and learn with support and nothing to do with showering them with material goods or sheltering them from life’s harder lessons. The every move of so many parents these days is all about one upmanship. Not all, but the aforementioned helicoptering parent is a stereotype that stands on its own.
Jaguar has no kids and zero regrets concerning the issue. The idea of a fur baby or two when I settle down is a goal. I might name the cat after Felix or Vladimir Putin and the dog might be called Merlin. If this comes to pass it will be me and them against the world till the end of time.

#63 Burnaby Boy on 01.16.20 at 6:17 pm

Should not populations, like the stock market, take a rest and decline once in a while?

#64 SmarterSquirrel on 01.16.20 at 6:18 pm

#4 young affluent parent

Take that $35k a year, invest it at 9% annual returns and 18 years later you’ll have $1.74m and a well rounded/educated kid from a highly rated public school near your house in what is probably an expensive neighbourhood with one of the best public schools around.

I’m always amazed at people who pay up to live in great neighbourhoods with great public schools and then send their kids to private schools.

Also when they get old enough to go to university, keep this in mind… a study shows there is no real difference between the financial success of kids sent to Ivy League universities vs good public universities as long as the kids had the aptitude to apply for admission to the Ivy League schools.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-surprising-fact-of-an-ivy-league-degree_b_59e12472e4b02e99c5835654

So, if they don’t wind up making more, why spend more. The experience will be equally enjoyable in either place I’m sure.

I’m the product of a public school in rural Nova Scotia, and I went to one of Canada’s best law schools and one of Canada’s best MBA programs. So clearly going to a public school didn’t negatively impact me. I did have parents who emphasized education and being well rounded. I think that matters more than a private school. Private schools are for suckers.

As a side note my tuition at law school for all three years and my two years tuition for my MBA combined in total cost less than the $35k your planning to spend on one year of private school so your kid can learn how to draw circles. Think about that.

#65 mountain on 01.16.20 at 6:21 pm

Great post Garth.
Thank you for broaching the climate crisis issue which will affect those who are now kids, and their kids.
Re children and RE ownership/rental/moving/change:
My family, with children, lived in 3 provinces and 1 territory in Canada, plus 2 places overseas. All before I entered High School. All in rented accommodation. Not a problem.
Every change took some getting used to so it was good preparation for life: as most people have noticed we all live in seas of unending change.

#66 Sask to AB on 01.16.20 at 6:31 pm

re #42 Dmitry on 01.16.20 at 5:16 pm
How much money should be save on average in RESP for one kid to finish University with zero debt?
One option just tuition and books (if local and live in with parents), the other option is tuition, books, rent and meals.
———-
We have 2 girls in university, first and third year.
Tuition, you can google the university, they have calculators, we pay $7000 per year tuition each, $6042 residence each, books around $200-500, they buy used when they can on amazon.ca or at the used book sale at the university at the start of each term, and the youngest reuses the older sisters textbooks, groceries about $600 per month, and about $50 per month in gas. Meal plans can be expensive, around $4500, and some universities you have to buy the meal plan. Check the university you think they might go to.
Multiply by 4 or 5 years, and gives you a rough idea.

F56AB

#67 Annek on 01.16.20 at 6:38 pm

The maximum child-benefit payments will be $6,639 for each child up to age five, and up to $5,602 per child aged six to 17 starting on July 20. ( according to Google)
It may be more.
Have 10 kids.
Go on welfare where you will get a monthly .income,
“ In Ontario, a single person on welfare receives $656 monthly; a single person with one child, $941; and a couple with two children, $1,173. ”
Get dental, health care and drugs.
Get subsidized housing as well.
Spouse can work for cash under the table.
Having children is not so expensive, if you can work the system..
Free daycare if you can get it…
Breakfast programs at schools as well.
Food banks help.
T2 is prepared to give more.
When the kids get older, they can have part time jobs
……
Just saying….
TAXPAYERS PAY UP.

#68 YouKnowWho on 01.16.20 at 6:38 pm

11 Billion.

It’s where we’re heading. Let the amazing Hans Rosling tell you all about it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FACK2knC08E

#69 YouKnowWho on 01.16.20 at 6:40 pm

$700,000 for an illegal hit in a beer league hockey game.

Did you hear? The world is changing.

#70 Tyler Durden on 01.16.20 at 6:42 pm

Hey Garth,

Do either of you ever have days where you regret your decision not to have children? Is it a challenge or does it never occur to you?

Not yet. – Garth

#71 Gramps on 01.16.20 at 6:50 pm

Benefits of having kids;
1- teaches you that you can be loved as you are, cause you love them as they are, unconditionally
2- you get to have grandkids
Should likely have to pass a “stress test” first before being allowed to have kids tho…

#72 Oakville Sucks on 01.16.20 at 6:50 pm

Kids or no kids? There is no right/wrong answer! To each couple their own!

#73 I'm Alright Jack on 01.16.20 at 6:57 pm

The wife and I decided very early on (at about 22, before we were married)) that we didn’t want kids. We got endless abuse from both sets of parents and others who just assumed that we would be having them. At my wife’s work they even had a betting pool as to when she’d get pregnent (she warned them – no one won).

But it has worked out fine and, almost 40 years later, we don’t regret our decision one little bit.

My advice is if you want kids, have them early on (when you’re supposed to). From my experience, older parents are a disaster, and they end up spoiling and helicoptering their offspring like crazy. Younger parents are also so much less stressed out about the whole child rearing thing.

And don’t have kids just because your parents or peer group wants you to.

#74 IM in C on 01.16.20 at 6:58 pm

Why do people have babies? Because if we didn’t , none of us would be here

#75 Meaning on 01.16.20 at 7:01 pm

I have 4 children, all hard working with tranitional values. They are my stake in the future. Nothing else I have done or ever will do matters. I am not saying everyone should have children. If your a lefty liberal or as socialist nut please don’t. And fortunately many lefties have not had children, so there is hope for the world.

#76 Flanneur on 01.16.20 at 7:05 pm

I think we already have too many people on this planet. Want a kid adopt. Then again I’m the type of person who prefers dogs to humans.

#77 TurnerNation on 01.16.20 at 7:08 pm

I propose two things:

1. Double, treble then a 10-fold increase in Carbon Tax. I can afford it but those which support it need a taste of their reality.

2. Outlaw all organized faith groups. Replace them with a Global Belief System. Its god shall be Gaia, Earth godess, and its enemy shall be Carbon (the most plentiful element)

Not my ideas but it’s coming.

#78 Reality is stark on 01.16.20 at 7:10 pm

Train them properly, push them hard, and invest with them with appropriate incentives.
You can make a killing.
Teach them that high achievers don’t need mediocrity to slow them down, make sure they learn to check their ego at the door and participate when they start to Rock and Roll.
Work is sun up to sun down.
You’ll have a difficult time trying to count all the money.
No one rides for free.

#79 Sold Out on 01.16.20 at 7:11 pm

To those who would ask ” Do you ever regret not having children?”, I say “Do you ever regret having them?”

Lots of people do regret having children, some are just more honest than others.

#80 Nonplused on 01.16.20 at 7:12 pm

“Mostly though, people have kids just because they want to.”

Truer words were never spoken. It is a pretty narcissistic thing to do. But unfortunately the way of nature is that creatures must reproduce to survive. People (and animals) who don’t reproduce are removed from the gene pool and replaced by those who do. Nature is stacked heavily in favor of those who have kids. And nature is not, of itself, opposed to narcissism. If it keeps the cycle going, the more of it the better. Altruism, where it does exist in nature, seems to only exist in closely related groups.

It is a strange thing that the better educated a person is the fewer kids they tend to have. Said another way, our best and brightest are the ones limiting their participation in the gene pool. Sort of like in the movie “Idiocracy”.

But it is probably a good thing. The world probably doesn’t need 8 billion people, especially if all this automation booga-booga comes to pass. So here is another example of the “invisible hand” doing the right thing without government interference. Although a little late I might suggest. 4 billion was probably plenty and the ski hills and freeways are way too busy now.

I read recently that all major regions of the world except Africa are expected to be in decline soon if they are not already.

Of course religions promote having children for the same Darwinian reasons that nature does. Religions that don’t encourage children die out to be replaced by religions that do.

I have 3 children, but it’s spread over 2 women so technically as a group we are below replacement. (Replacement is over 2 kids per woman because not everybody makes it.) I love them all but in retrospect if I knew back then what I know now I might have made the same decision Garth did. Staying in the gene pool is not a very compelling reason to have kids and the world isn’t just going to hell, it’s already there. And unless you are wealthy having kids is signing up for a lifetime of servitude because they go through a lot of cash.

However, when I was making my decisions, it seemed the normal thing to do and encouraged by parents, family, friends, religion, and society in general. So I didn’t really think about it until much later. It would have taken a grand moment of introspection that didn’t occur until it was too late. In short, I hadn’t really thought about it. It was just what you did. Otherwise you were a great disappointment to your mother and everyone else thought you must be weird and/or selfish.

But the die has been cast so off to work I go. The kids didn’t ask to be born so I feel obligated to give them a good life. I have made it clear to them all though that I do not expect them to continue the tradition unless they want to. There is no pressure coming from me. I had a hard time coming up with that $250,000 x 3, so there is no way I am pressuring them to do it.

#81 Dogman01 on 01.16.20 at 7:13 pm

“Eight billion cannot become twelve or sixteen without dystopian consequences.”

That is a keeper.

“Whatever your cause , it’s a lost cause without population control.”

I am not much of one for the Climate Change agenda, but the species destruction has me motivated. I think we diminish human value when we keep increasing our numbers to no end and become a destructive force to every other living thing.

If these guys are correct we are nearing peak Human…phew.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37585564-empty-planet

It’s not that kids are bad it is just that in aggregate there can be too many people on one planet.

Let’s get it down to 2 Billion again…Volunteers?

#82 Yanniel on 01.16.20 at 7:14 pm

How long to become so arrogant and condescending? –

Yanniel

#83 Cici on 01.16.20 at 7:19 pm

Great blog, and so true.

I only have one kid, but wish I’d had four. Kids are just so great, but it’s a shame they have to eventually turn into icky adults.

But I do totally respect couples who decide not to form families, especially DINKS…life is easier cause they have time for each other, lots more money to spend and virtually no stress.

So, whatever floats your boat…just don’t have them unless you’re sure you want them!

#84 Nothing Surprises on 01.16.20 at 7:22 pm

Why do most people have children? – Garth.
………………………………………………………………………………

Well, 55yrs. ago my best friend now, fell in love with me. I with her.
A yr. later we made a baby. Her in nursing school, me in engineering @ university, putting myself through. We were 21.
I borrowed $100 from her to buy a new suit to get married in.

As you will surmise, we didn’t have the proverbial pot to __ _…. fill in the blanks.

Long story short.
Two wonderful sons, and daughters-in-law, 5 grandchildren with 3 in university, 2 in apprenticeships, working, no drugs. Every time we see them it’s hugs and “I love you” on parting.

After 54 years we are financially secure with assets in 7 figures and the necessary cash flow far above what we need as we move closer to our best before date.

Conclusion?
Our overactive hormones early in life have provided our greatest reward…….our family!
Our money value pales in comparison.
Not planned, the decision was made for us and we were magnificently rewarded.
I thank God we didn’t have to make the family decision!!

Take this little story for whatever you get out of it.

#85 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.16.20 at 7:23 pm

@#49 hamilton Dude
“Next time, stick to your financial wizardry and not your family advice buffoonery!”
++++

My my.
Did the smoke belching from one of the Hamilton Factories ruin your breakfast or something?
Take a chill pill.

#86 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.16.20 at 7:26 pm

@#60 KAC
“A message to all breeders:
Keep up the good work, my pension requires your spawn to grow up and pay taxes, but please don’t drag the grubby little things into restaurants with you. It’s not just the noise and smell that I object to, it’s the fact that food is being prepared and served, hence it’s not an appropriate venue for children or any other mobile pools of bacterial contamination.”

+++++
Soooo. I’ll put you down as a “no” for having children?

#87 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.16.20 at 7:28 pm

@#81 Dogman1
“Let’s get it down to 2 Billion again…Volunteers?”

+++++
Patience.
Give the corona virus some time…….It’s barely got started…..

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/01/18/a-new-human-coronavirus-has-appeared-in-china

#88 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 7:30 pm

#61 Shaggy on 01.16.20 at 6:08 pm

Someone once told me that “you don’t know how much you want kids until you have them”. They were right.

100%. Having kids is one of those things in life where you really can’t foresee the experience. It has to be lived to be understood.

Right now my kids are 15 and almost 18, and it’s just awesome having them around at this age. They’re like a couple of buds from back in high school. Lot’s of laughs and good times.

Plus they help mow lawns, shingle roofs, do the chores etc. :D

Hopefully, I’ll get a few grandkids too someday, all the fun, none of the work!

#89 Cow Man on 01.16.20 at 7:35 pm

Sir Garth:

Please relate to Dorothy that not only would you have made a great Dad; but this is another one of your very accurate blogs. You know of what you write.

#90 Devil Anse on 01.16.20 at 7:39 pm

#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

what are your thoughts on private school education from jk to grade 12 if the grandparents will pay for all of it? my parents (the grandparents) have set up resps/ small trusts for each child so post secondary is fully paid already (eldest is 4 and youngest is 2.5)

———————————-

I have two children in an expensive private school, another in public school (severe learning issues…the private school doesn’t deal with his type). The gap in quality of education, personal attention, activities, quality of teachers, extra-curriculars is huge.
Of course, this doesn’t automatically equate to success later in life. We all know some hugely successful public school graduates, and private school old boys who became life long ski bums. Every child is different and will have different learning needs over time.

If you do go the private school route, and grandma has the dough in hand, she can consider a ‘prescribed interest rate loan to family trust’. I did this several years ago when the prescribed interest rate was 1%. This allows me to assign income within the family trust to my children to pay the private school tuition, and each child has is allowed tax free income of $18K or so. Saves me a bunch in tax.

#91 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 7:47 pm

#66 Sask to AB on 01.16.20 at 6:31 pm
re #42 Dmitry on 01.16.20 at 5:16 pm

How much money should be save on average in RESP for one kid to finish University with zero debt?
One option just tuition and books (if local and live in with parents), the other option is tuition, books, rent and meals.

————————–

UBC engineering is about $30k/year all in, living on their own.

Max the RESP and invest it properly and it covers 5 years UBC. The RESP also stays invested while they’re in school, so don’t forget to account for the additional gains.

#92 ppsez on 01.16.20 at 7:52 pm

Dorothy was right

#93 Mr Canada on 01.16.20 at 7:53 pm

150,000 people die every day, yet 360,000 are born. Notice how all the climate change warriors never mention global population growth as the problem ? zero, zip. It’s become too politically sensitive — so ignore the obvious and lets just have Al & Greta treat the “real” symptoms like climate change, Co2, pollution and all will be well! The biggest economic decision you will EVER make is whom you marry and hopefully stay married. Finally, latest US stats from Brookings Institute tell your kids this: You have a 97% chance of avoiding poverty by doing 3 simple things: Graduate from High School, wait until minimum of 21 to get married and have kids, and have a full time job. Do these and you will also have a 74% chance of being in the middle class.

#94 Lisa on 01.16.20 at 7:59 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is that your kids could have special needs of some sort. This is way more common than most people realize. We spent tens of thousands of dollars on private therapy for one of our children when she was younger. If your kid is a late talker, for example, you will want to be able to pay for private speech-language therapy rather than waiting 10 months or more for the government-provided therapy. Ten months is a long time for a preschooler to wait for therapy they need. And I am talking about mild needs. If your child has a severe disability, your life will be turned upside down. It doesn’t mean parents will regret having their kids but having the finances in order with a significant cushion can give choices and reduce stress.

#95 Tyler Durden on 01.16.20 at 7:59 pm

You may or may not have touched upon this subject matter ;)

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/16/the-wests-biggest-economic-policy-mistake

#96 Keen Reader on 01.16.20 at 8:27 pm

Just spent 4+ months working in African countries last year. New friends and colleagues just could not understand that my wife and I chose to be childless. For them, wealth is having many kids, even if it only means smaller pieces of the pie for all involved, plus more cars on the road, more pollution around…

Clearly, our own major efforts in reducing our emissions are a total joke, in comparison to such nations’ ever-expanding carbon footprints. Yeah, I still feel some guilt flying away on holidays, but we’ve already made our most positive contribution to the environment. No point in fretting about our minuscule (and time-limited) impact, when emissions are exploding elsewhere. Within reason, we plan on enjoying the years ahead, while supporting efforts to address the real problem areas.

#97 leebow on 01.16.20 at 8:31 pm

#60 KAC

Despite being childless, you have a child in your family of one.

#98 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 8:32 pm

#89 Cow Man on 01.16.20 at 7:35 pm
Sir Garth:

Please relate to Dorothy that not only would you have made a great Dad; but this is another one of your very accurate blogs. You know of what you write.
——

Seconded – Mr. T is amazingly on point here!

#99 NoName on 01.16.20 at 8:32 pm

#42 Dmitry on 01.16.20 at 5:16 pm
How much money should be save on average in RESP for one kid to finish University with zero debt?
One option just tuition and books (if local and live in with parents), the other option is tuition, books, rent and meals.

https://www.heritageresp.com/the-cost-of-a-higher-education

Those number make kind of some sense, 6-7yrs ago ago two colleagues of mine told me 22-24k per year.

But other day i was talking to friend of ours and i was told that one of her kids is at queens taking engineering and she mention: fees, books, residence and trinkets food/clothes and bus tickets home, will add up close to 30k for first year, probably second year could be cheaper.

What puts that table bit off…

#100 VicPaul on 01.16.20 at 8:42 pm

#34 Katherine on 01.16.20 at 4:39 pm
Good post Garth! I had humble beginnings….both parents only had grade 8 education but a strong work ethic.

*********

I have a similar reference point/role model.
A fine young man, who began his family before he completed highschool. Committed to do the right thing, he set about work that led to a good trade (electrical) were he eventually rose to near the very top. A man whose sons only had to watch him to learn how to be a very good man. Character ethic and work ethic on constant, though understated, display. Thanks Dad )

Re: Private school value.
I taught at a top five private school for twelve summers. Imo, the teaching talent between the two is a wash – very good people and deadwood in both – but it’s in experiential ed that the moneyed private school crushes. Transportation is a quick call away – done. The breadth and depth of activities e.g., three-day camping trips with daily activities that include rappelling, canoeing and spelunking. Of course, who you become friends with at school opens new doors. Finally, you can’t diminish “the private school prestige” is important to some.
Still, I come back to positive character traits and a solid work ethic – if you can model those things to your kids, you’ll be doing well.

M56BC

#101 NoName on 01.16.20 at 8:47 pm

#95 Tyler Durden on 01.16.20 at 7:59 pm
You may or may not have touched upon this subject matter ;)

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/16/the-wests-biggest-economic-policy-mistake

Funny I was listening exactly that on my way home on podcast, i stopped as got to that lack of density buildings part.

Reason why i stopped, because few days ago i was listening a podcast about overcrowding and dynamics crowds dynamis, one of those when everyone is thinking same noone is actually thinking…

#102 Shawn Allen on 01.16.20 at 8:49 pm

The Singly-family house belt

V#95 Tyler Durden on 01.16.20 at 7:59 pm
You may or may not have touched upon this subject matter ;)

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/01/16/the-wests-biggest-economic-policy-mistake

******************************
I rarely to almost never click on “mystery links” but I did this one and it is basically saying that the zoning protected single-family housing belt that circles the core of most cities is a huge problem. It’s blocking multi-family housing. Not everyone agrees that is a problem. I don’t really care at this point.

#103 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 8:58 pm

#90 Devil Anse on 01.16.20 at 7:39 pm
#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm

what are your thoughts on private school education from jk to grade 12 if the grandparents will pay for all of it? my parents (the grandparents) have set up resps/ small trusts for each child so post secondary is fully paid already (eldest is 4 and youngest is 2.5)

———————————-

I have two children in an expensive private school, another in public school (severe learning issues…the private school doesn’t deal with his type). The gap in quality of education, personal attention, activities, quality of teachers, extra-curriculars is huge.
Of course, this doesn’t automatically equate to success later in life. We all know some hugely successful public school graduates, and private school old boys who became life long ski bums. Every child is different and will have different learning needs over time.
——

I have two kids in a PS as well doing jk-gr.12 – and can vouch for the above. It does not guarantee any kind of financial success later in life. It does provide an excellent experience for the kids growing up though. If your kids have special needs, it’s not the place to be. If they are academically gifted, it’ll probably be the best place for them. The teachers have been remarkably in sync with our kids abilities over the years.

I also find that there is much less intense SJW/political stuff being shoved down the kids throats which I personally like. Zero drugs, guns, knives, killings, stabbings, gang activity, beatings, or teen pregnancy, and I do mean absolutely ZERO in 14 years and counting. I also like the fact that if I show up with a beef – it gets taken SERIOUSLY since mine is the hand that feeds. The teachers definitely see us parents as an “authority” of sorts. It is also likely that you may have a better chance of sitting on the board, or on a committee governing the school if you like that sort of thing. Finally, there is a tight community I’ve found, you get to know a lot of the other parents.

Big decision, but sounds like you’ve got free money for it – I’d say check it out and if it looks good, go for it. It appears your kids won’t be hurting for money either way, and you only grow up once.

#104 Stone on 01.16.20 at 9:03 pm

#64 SmarterSquirrel on 01.16.20 at 6:18 pm
#4 young affluent parent

Take that $35k a year, invest it at 9% annual returns and 18 years later you’ll have $1.74m and a well rounded/educated kid from a highly rated public school near your house in what is probably an expensive neighbourhood with one of the best public schools around.

I’m always amazed at people who pay up to live in great neighbourhoods with great public schools and then send their kids to private schools.

Also when they get old enough to go to university, keep this in mind… a study shows there is no real difference between the financial success of kids sent to Ivy League universities vs good public universities as long as the kids had the aptitude to apply for admission to the Ivy League schools.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-surprising-fact-of-an-ivy-league-degree_b_59e12472e4b02e99c5835654

So, if they don’t wind up making more, why spend more. The experience will be equally enjoyable in either place I’m sure.

I’m the product of a public school in rural Nova Scotia, and I went to one of Canada’s best law schools and one of Canada’s best MBA programs. So clearly going to a public school didn’t negatively impact me. I did have parents who emphasized education and being well rounded. I think that matters more than a private school. Private schools are for suckers.

As a side note my tuition at law school for all three years and my two years tuition for my MBA combined in total cost less than the $35k your planning to spend on one year of private school so your kid can learn how to draw circles. Think about that.

———

Well said. $35k to learn how to draw circles says it all. It’s something to have a good laugh about. I’ll have to remember that one.

#105 Rural Rick on 01.16.20 at 9:18 pm

So MSU right off the top. Garth you made us. Your sage advice has allowed us to live the dream. Admittedly rather underachieving by big money standards but hey we are really happy with what we got. Your sensible advice has helped many folks. You are a National Treasure dude.

#106 ImGonnaBeSick on 01.16.20 at 9:22 pm

#93 Mr Canada on 01.16.20 at 7:53 pm

Finally, latest US stats from Brookings Institute tell your kids this: You have a 97% chance of avoiding poverty by doing 3 simple things: Graduate from High School, wait until minimum of 21 to get married and have kids, and have a full time job. Do these and you will also have a 74% chance of being in the middle class.

——–

Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.

#107 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 9:32 pm

#83 Cici on 01.16.20 at 7:19 pm

…just don’t have them unless you’re sure you want them!
——-

So how many dogs here with kids actually sat down and gave some serious thought to having kids beforehand?

I sure as hell did not, I figured that is what you did when you got married, and that was pretty much it. In fact, everything was all still lollipops and rainbows for me right up until my newly delivered first born was in my arms that I started asking myself just what the flying you-know-what have we got ourselves into here!

I look back and realize that no one on the planet could ever appreciate what bringing a new soul into this world would entail ahead of time, and that anyone who gives it serious thought beforehand should probably arrive at the conclusion that it’s a bad idea!

#108 Buddy Ramen on 01.16.20 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for saying this out loud, I agree 100%, the family unit will be the death of our planet if it’s not checked soon!

Everyone hails the family as a pillar of society, but the facts are stacking up that their levels of consumption are killing the planet.

Every human added creates 20 metric tons of c02 per year, leads to more cleared land for housing and food production, adds pollution to waterways and landfills, etc… all so you can dress someone up like you and have something to anchor your existence.

It’s time to shift the tax incentives to the majority: more people are single than part of a family unit, 32% vs 26%. Why should the people killing the planet get all the perks?

#109 Barb on 01.16.20 at 9:44 pm

#49 hamilton Dude
“Next time, stick to your financial wizardry and not your family advice buffoonery!”

——————————————-

How rude.
Rude Dude.

#110 Financial Orchid on 01.16.20 at 9:47 pm

The barren folks like myself appreciate this article.

#111 David Prokop on 01.16.20 at 9:49 pm

I have 2 kids of high school age. I love them and I sacrifice for them, but boy… if I had a choice again, I would be childless like Garth, much less worry

#112 Dmitry on 01.16.20 at 9:50 pm

#66 Sask to AB on 01.16.20 at 6:31 pm
#91 Sail away on 01.16.20 at 7:47 pm
#99 NoName on 01.16.20 at 8:32 pm

================

Thanks a lot feedback and comments.

I’ve figured that $15K a year would be a good number if live in with parents and not counting clothes, phone, some meal, etc.
$30K would be fare number if counting all expenses (maybe except clothes and phone bills).

Looking to save enough for 3 kids – maxing RESP and investing with Garth (so far working out great!).

#113 Where's The Money Greedeaus (Trudy, Morny, Guido-y)? on 01.16.20 at 10:00 pm

DELETED

#114 BS on 01.16.20 at 10:00 pm

#17 Shawn Allen on 01.16.20 at 3:21 pm
A Carbon Solution

It’s why I favor a carbon tax. Take money from my consumption of carbon-emitting fuels and put it into developing machines that can suck the carbon back out of the air.

Yes I am sure carbon taxes will be put back into developing machines that will eliminate carbon. And I also bet once the machine is invented the carbon taxes will be repealed. Kind of like income taxes after the civil war debt was paid off.

The US federal government imposed the first personal income tax on August 5, 1861, to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War – (3% of all incomes over US$800) (equivalent to $22,800 in 2019).

#115 Drunken Stupor on 01.16.20 at 10:01 pm

Before everyone hyperventilates about population growth read this please

https://www.wired.com/story/the-world-might-actually-run-out-of-people/

#116 Where's The Money Greedeaus (Trudy, Morny, Guido-y)? on 01.16.20 at 10:08 pm

DELETED

#117 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 10:08 pm

#79 Sold Out on 01.16.20 at 7:11 pm
To those who would ask ” Do you ever regret not having children?”, I say “Do you ever regret having them?”

Lots of people do regret having children, some are just more honest than others.
—-

It happens. Sometimes kids are the worst things to ever happen to otherwise good people. Everyone knows folks in this unfortunate boat. Some bring it on themselves, others must have done something seriously bad in a previous life.

It’s a total crapshoot when you start looking at all the different ways kids can make your life awesome, and all the different ways they can drop a bomb on it…

#118 canuck on 01.16.20 at 10:10 pm

Your wife was right. You, not so much.

I don’t have a dog. If I wrote a daily blog about how to live your life with dogs and how you should deal and treat them… and why, would you read it?

#119 Stormy Daniels on 01.16.20 at 10:26 pm

“I have no kids.”

That you or Bandit know of……. ;)

$130,000 will pay for a lot of childcare and RESP contributions.

Then no one needs to know about you, me and Bandit that day in the park.

e-transfer is fine by me

#120 Where's My Money Greedeaus (Trudy, Morny, Gordy)? on 01.16.20 at 10:34 pm

DELETED

#121 Dumb Wealth on 01.16.20 at 10:42 pm

Love the advice.

Here’s another one. Encourage your kids to work part time and invest the money. They have so much time they can compound a small amount into a very big nest egg.

https://dumbwealth.com/how-a-high-school-student-can-create-1-million-in-wealth/

#122 Where's My Money Gone Greedeaus (Trudy, Morny, Gordy)? on 01.16.20 at 10:48 pm

Re: #108 Buddy Ramen on 01.16.20 at 9:42 pm

It’s time to shift the tax incentives to the majority: more people are single than part of a family unit, 32% vs 26%. Why should the people killing the planet get all the perks?
+++++++++++++++++
Reason: It doesn’t put incumbent politicians back into the gravy train that is gov’t. Where else can you get indexed DB pensions nowadays w/out being a CEO-CFO etc.?

#123 SoggyShorts on 01.16.20 at 11:13 pm

I think what bothers me the most about the pressure to have kids is when I’m told
“It’s selfish for you not to have kids”
and
“Who will look after you when you are old?”

The hypocrisy annoys me.
It does seem like the movie Idiocracy is slowly turning into a documentary though, which is scary.

To answer the above questions BTW
1. To paraphrase Ricky Gervais :
How can it possibly be selfish to not share my time/money with someone who doesn’t exist on any level? There aren’t a bunch of baby ghosts waiting to be born who are being screwed by my lack of procreation.
2. What are the chances your kids will look after you when you are old? Certainly not 100%. You might even die suddenly making it a non-factor. Aside from that, the people taking care of me in my old age will be the entire staff I can have on payroll rather than sucking the life out of my kids.

#124 Victoria on 01.16.20 at 11:14 pm

I understand why people don’t want kids. I have 4 and I get it. Youngest 15 oldest 22. I certainly get it.

#125 Doc on 01.16.20 at 11:29 pm

#44 FreeBird Jan 16/20
Thanks for the human support and wisdom. “Cats cradle” sums it up nicely with admirable brevity. My wife (Another Polish woman: like Dorothy I expect) tells me I need to get out more and quit talking in public forums; she is also trying to save me from myself. Garth has a tendency to create a disturbance in the force.

#126 WUL on 01.16.20 at 11:37 pm

Public vs. private schools is not as determinative of outcomes for kids as postal codes. Success at school and in life correlates much better with high income areas. Look it up. Where ya been?

Doh!! and natch. It’s about money like everything else.

My kids raised in T2V XXX in Cowtown are doing real fine.

What’s this pointless debate about?

WUL

#127 Al on 01.16.20 at 11:47 pm

If you think you need to spend 250k you’re doing it wrong. That’s the average of people making poor finanacial decisions, like they do in many other aspects of life. A big part of that number comes from real estate, ie I NEED a more expensive house ( for the kids of course, not because I wanted it anyways for various other reasons). Look at how they got that number, you’ll see some interesting assumptions in there. 86% of stats are misleading they say.

#128 Annick Dotal on 01.16.20 at 11:51 pm

Everyone has his/her reasons for having or not having children. Some reasons are great and others are questionable. But for the love of dog, it’s nobody’s business, so don’t ask. Initially, our decision was not to have kids because of the traumatic childhoods we both endured. But after a few years, we changed our minds. But things didn’t work out as planned – we suffered thru 3 miscarriages. And through all this, we had to put up with friends and extended family constantly on our case asking when we’d be starting a family. So the take away is – don’t ask because you don’t know what people are dealing with.

#129 just snootin' on 01.16.20 at 11:56 pm

It’s a calling, having children, being a best friend, blogging. Takes resilience.

#130 Adam on 01.17.20 at 12:02 am

Such gloom in the comments today.

The world is not without its challenges, but we live in a better time now than any previous moment in history. The future is not something to be scared of.

I cast zero shame on anyone who chooses not to have children.

I will tell you though, the very first time I held my newborn child to my chest, I knew instantly that I had uncovered “the point” in life. A profound meaning beyond any personal, professional, or even relationship goal.

Perhaps beautifully, this is not an uncommon thing.

#131 Same as dead on 01.17.20 at 12:02 am

Imagine living your entire life living in an adults only gated community. Then imagine what it would be like to be dead, or worse an irrelevant life stripped of meaning. Your only value to the human race is to be a good little consumer. Pathetic.

#132 Drunken Stupor on 01.17.20 at 12:24 am

Read this before hyperventilating about overcrowding…

https://www.wired.com/story/the-world-might-actually-run-out-of-people/

#133 Karlhungus on 01.17.20 at 12:27 am

Kids only cost a lot of you’re an idiot. It’s very easy to go cheap. No 3 year old cares if they’re clothes are second hand.

#134 Karlhungus on 01.17.20 at 12:37 am

Oh, and after Justin bucks, you can almost be ahead by having kids

#135 yorkville renter on 01.17.20 at 12:38 am

#4/#54 – dude.. you’re obviously very coddled, why not semd your kids to public scho so they can socialize with ‘normal’ people? don’t coddle them, it doesnt help them succeed.

save the $$$ for private school after grade 8.

My wife is thinking private school for our oldest because JK/SK is 28 kids per class (private school woild be 20 or less)… she’s worried our kid won’t get enough attention… but every other kid in the class will be in the same boat… it’s basically finger painting anyway.

what are we protecting her from?

#136 Ronaldo on 01.17.20 at 12:40 am

#88 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 7:30 pm
#61 Shaggy on 01.16.20 at 6:08 pm

Someone once told me that “you don’t know how much you want kids until you have them”. They were right.

100%. Having kids is one of those things in life where you really can’t foresee the experience. It has to be lived to be understood.

Right now my kids are 15 and almost 18, and it’s just awesome having them around at this age. They’re like a couple of buds from back in high school. Lot’s of laughs and good times.

Plus they help mow lawns, shingle roofs, do the chores etc. :D

Hopefully, I’ll get a few grandkids too someday, all the fun, none of the work!
—————————————————————–
Totally agree. Married at 21, sons at 25 and 26. Now 47 and 48. For quite a few years I didn’t think that I would ever be a grandfather but my youngest son gave us a granddaughter who is now 9 1/2 and my eldest son a granddaughter as well who is only 2 1/2. My second wife’s daughter has twin boys 6 1/2 and another son 3 1/2. The joy and the love that we get from these children is absolutely incredible and just makes our lives so much fuller. I can’t say enough about it. IH, I hope that you are blessed with grandchildren as well. From what I can tell, you would be an awesome grandad. My only regret is that I probably won’t be around long enough to see the young ones graduate from school or married. My mother passed away at the age of 89 and her legacy was 45 grandchildren (great and great great) and she loved them all. Today they number well over 50. The other great thing is being an uncle to all these wonderful people. We’ve been blessed.

#137 DON on 01.17.20 at 12:43 am

@61Shaggy

YUP! I have no problem spending on my kids as long as it is something of value or educational in some way. I spend most of my free time with them. What you put in, you get out.

#138 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:16 am

#59 crazyfox

“2 parents have 2 children into this world and they think, “this won’t add to overpopulation” but it does. Their 2 children have 2 children each, and now it’s 4 children to these parent’s credit”

Wow don’t do anymore math. Fractions, my friend. Each parent gets half a kid (expressed as 1/2) for each kid, and each grandparent gets a quarter of a kid (1/4 for those who sat through math 10).

I just absolutely can’t believe you posted that.

#139 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:19 am

#108 Buddy Ramen

I think you haven’t been taking your medication. Do you think the planet cares whether there are more people or not? It does not have the capability of caring. Things will sort out.

#140 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:27 am

#95 Tyler Durden

Don’t be using that handle unless you happen to run a very popular alt-news website. It’s like claiming to be Q.

#141 Dan on 01.17.20 at 2:01 am

Keep in mind we don’t have an over population problem at all. We have an allocation of resource problem.

The whole worlds population could fit into the state of Texas comfortably, with everything else being empty and for food production.

The problem is that we waste so much, burn too much and ship food around the world (almost 50% of it wasted), so that we can have all the foods we want all year round.

#142 Spaccone on 01.17.20 at 2:21 am

So as significantly more of the rest of the world comes out of poverty, moves into the middle class, lower birth rates, benefits from technology from the comfort of their own country, hundreds of 1,000s are going to continue coming to a place that is overpriced and frozen over half the year because…..???

Do we need to nudge big brother to the south to purposefully or accidentally destabilize regions?

#143 Peter Prolific on 01.17.20 at 2:34 am

Never understood why anyone would want to be childless, and effectively remove themselves from the gene pool. I feel a personal obligation to pass on my excellence to the next generation. If you don’t feel that, then definitely don’t have kids.

#144 Diablo Gramatico on 01.17.20 at 2:45 am

#104 Stone on 01.16.20 at 9:03 pm

“As a side note my tuition….. cost less than the $35k your planning to spend on one year…. ”

Dude, you should have spend the extra $5k or so to learn that it is “you’re planning”, and not “your planning”.
The devil is in the details my esteemed friend and learned legal eagle.

#145 Demographer at large on 01.17.20 at 4:59 am

BANNED

#146 Demographer at large on 01.17.20 at 5:32 am

BANNED

#147 Arbanasi on 01.17.20 at 5:45 am

Here’s the places to start: list of countries on the planet, ranked by fertility rate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependencies_by_total_fertility_rate

#148 Dharma Bum on 01.17.20 at 7:07 am

Religions need fresh adherents. Size matters to the faith leadership. – Garth
——————————————————————–

Amen to that.

And the biggest and most dogmatic religion ever?

CAPITALISM.

Procreation breeds its most zealous adherents:

CONSUMERS.

THAT is the only ultimate purpose and usefulness and justification for bringing more humans into this world.

The rest of the reasons are simply self serving emotional fluff.

#149 bruce on 01.17.20 at 7:18 am

Thought provoking article which I enjoyed as usual. Here goes some of my thoughts regarding kids and money. We have three children and love them dearly. My wife has had a good job and I have joked over the years that because I have never made a high income we had to use common sense with our money. I do income tax work in the winter and people think I am a C.P.A. I reply saying I have a B.C.S (Bachelor of Common Sense). Since our first child was born we have invested every cent we received from the government for them in an RESP. We never skipped a mortgage payment and always payed our monthly credit card debt. Once the mortgage was paid of we used those former mortgage payments to maintain the house. Anyway the results are this. Our two oldest both graduated from university within the last four years. Neither one owes any on a student loan. They both graduated owing around thirty thousand each and both are payed of. Yes it can be done. Our youngest is finishing her first year and will owe very little at the end of four years thanks mainly to the RESP. We have spent around forty eight thousand on our house in the last three years and have that paid of. My wife has retired and we have no debt. I retire this year and have some RRSP money and along with my wife’s pension we will do fine. Also we finally are going south this winter. Take care all.

#150 MF on 01.17.20 at 7:34 am

140 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:27 am

Lol that handle was from a book and movie long before that website came into existence.

Read the comments to get a caliber of the type of “people” that site is aimed for and caters to. Don’t blame anyone else if you become cynical, delusional, paranoid, angry and sad.

MF

#151 Phylis on 01.17.20 at 7:52 am

It’s also great when they move out, but then you worry that they might come back.

#152 Remembrancer on 01.17.20 at 8:17 am

#139 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:19 am
#108 Buddy Ramen

I think you haven’t been taking your medication. Do you think the planet cares whether there are more people or not? It does not have the capability of caring. Things will sort out.
———————————————————–
Nihilist much?

“Save the planet” is a catch phrase for the thin slice of biosphere we have adapted to over millennia and cling to for life. Sure, the ball of rock that it sits on doesn’t give a damn one way or the other and maybe you don’t either but myself, I’m kind of partial to it and its well being. My understanding is that a few other people are as well.

Your planning to be on the up side when it “sorts out” is wishful thinking or you know something? Care to share?

#153 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.17.20 at 8:23 am

@#151 Phylis
“It’s also great when they move out, but then you worry that they might come back.”
++++

Yep. timing is everything. Ask people if they regret having kids whenthe “boomerangs” come back.

I know of 4 different couples in BC that have mid 30’s kids living at home….and half of those kids arent working….dont lift a finger around the house to help with work chores….wait for Mom to get home from work to cook dinner….
Slowly…. driving…. their…. parents…. mad…

#154 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 8:28 am

#136 Ronaldo on 01.17.20 at 12:40 am
___

I look forward to the possibility of grand-kids, but I also realize that there is a really good chance it won’t happen the way things are going these days.

On the flip side, I have a Sister who is 13 years younger than me and has a 1.5 year old daughter and another one in the oven. Man, it is so nice to see little kids at that age when they are so endearing! She really likes to check out my beard… “soft” :).

Maybe being an older uncle will be my time to “relive” having little ones :). I’m cool with that too.

#155 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 9:06 am

#134 Karlhungus on 01.17.20 at 12:37 am
Oh, and after Justin bucks, you can almost be ahead by having kids
__

Just mix together one divorce and 4 young kids with a side order of unemployment, and between the alimony, child support, and CCB – a young single Mom can be raking in 50K net doing nothing.

It’s like earning 75K before tax. That’s more than the median HOUSEHOLD income in Canada.

100% true story.

I’m really glad that very few Women in Canada are divorced single Moms…

#156 Penny Henny on 01.17.20 at 9:37 am

#54 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 5:48 pm

again – would you take the 35k for private school or request it be put towards the rest of the funds my parents put away for the grandchildren?

——————-

consider moving to a neighbourhood that has highly rated schools. this saves the 35k/yr/kid.

https://www.fraserinstitute.org/school-performance

#157 n1tro on 01.17.20 at 9:43 am

#130 Adam on 01.17.20 at 12:02 am
Such gloom in the comments today.

The world is not without its challenges, but we live in a better time now than any previous moment in history. The future is not something to be scared of.

I cast zero shame on anyone who chooses not to have children.

I will tell you though, the very first time I held my newborn child to my chest, I knew instantly that I had uncovered “the point” in life. A profound meaning beyond any personal, professional, or even relationship goal.

Perhaps beautifully, this is not an uncommon thing.
—————–
Agreed about what you described but how long does the feeling last to ensure that kids are raised to be responsible and productive?

Just take a look at what people do to each other daily. Greed, Hate, Envy, just to name a few. Did the life lessons get handed back to the parents after 18? Or can it be that the essential life lessons were never taught?

#158 Steve in Waterloo on 01.17.20 at 9:49 am

Timely column for me. I was just advised that one of my staff, a good 5 years younger, was going to be retiring early. Couple that with a two other circumstances where younger friends were retiring, and I started to think I had done some poor retirement planning. Then it dawned on me – all three people were without child. Coincidence? I think not.

I have two approximate 30 year olds making their way in life. I have absolutely no regrets with my choices, even if I have to work a few extra years.

Interesting observations nonetheless.

#159 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am

#135 – yorkville renter

coddled ? perhaps….

i am slightly surprised by the aspirational middle class mentality at some of the comments here today. perhaps there should be more blog posts for people in my situation. i have been reading this blog almost daily for several years (rarely comment.)

as is found in the real world, the topic of private school seems to conjure up envy, hatred, elitism, and feelings of us and them. i get that its a sensitive and polarizing topic. my parents could just burn 35k a year in the back yard fire pit but that seems wasteful. they could just buy my kids bimmers at 17 but that seems passe and so shallow. of course they could donate that money but they do donate money and they pay hundreds of thousands in taxes every year already.

how is private school such a stupid thing for children that will never need to trade time for money as adults?

my parents were clear from the beginning that they want to help the grandchildren by either stuffing their trusts just with money or taking some of that and putting it towards a private education.

with wealth come responsibility and people with money have different problems. i grew up living a proper middle class life, but things started to change for me in high school. back in the mid/ late 1990s my dad’s business grew quickly and it became ‘a 20 year overnight success’ which brought on all the trappings of wealth (car lifts, winter vehicles, summer vehicles, custom built home, custom built weekend home, florida home, etc.)

most of my friends from my childhood either cant relate to me anymore or are also now 35+/- with net worths around 3m and still acting and working like they need more money so they can sleep at night. some are extremely greedy and materialistic.

i grew up in york region (grandparents immigrated from italy in the 1950s and are still alive.) i come from a blue collar workaholic family that live to work.

if my chidlren go to the local public school, they will know probably grade 4 that they are different. they will have a different home life that comes from parents with a leisurely vibe. that doesnt mean i wouldnt be apart of the local resident group, or on the parent council, or doing volunteer work at the school (i will,) its just i dont want my kids to think they can slack off in life.

i dont want the kids to be screwed up because of too much money but what can i do. we need to lead by example and live modestly.

if my kids go to private school for grade 1 they will have no local friends to play with after school. if we send them to private school we will need to drive them to their friends all over the gta. the wife and i dont like this.

help me out garth! what should i do?

#160 James on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am

#58 Remembrancer on 01.16.20 at 6:00 pm

#10 James on 01.16.20 at 3:02 pm
#4 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 2:27 pm
Hook, line & sinker. – Garth
——————————-
Come on James, that was like a Dutch-registered Super Factory Trawler coming along side…
____________________________________
Well I do have a 22 ft Chaparral 223 Vortex VR wrapped up in plastic sitting at Cove Marina presently.
Yes I know parachute parents and such but just my thoughts. If I had that much extra $$ why not analyze where your children are in life and give them a little help. At that point if they are self made they already have the passion to succeed. Anyway its a parents thoughts, you have to be a parent to understand right?

#161 Joe Schmoe on 01.17.20 at 10:22 am

It is fruitless to talk about the impact of having kids in Canada. We make no impact whatsoever.

We are absolutely spoiled in all regards if we are born or raised here.

Have kids, don’t have kids. Doesn’t matter. Just don’t act “holier than though”.

We live in a place where we are allowed/have the opportunity to make those decisions. That is the important part.

#162 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 10:31 am

#153 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.17.20 at 8:23 am
@#151 Phylis
“It’s also great when they move out, but then you worry that they might come back.”
++++

Yep. timing is everything. Ask people if they regret having kids whenthe “boomerangs” come back.

I know of 4 different couples in BC that have mid 30’s kids living at home….and half of those kids arent working….dont lift a finger around the house to help with work chores….wait for Mom to get home from work to cook dinner….
Slowly…. driving…. their…. parents…. mad…
____________

If my boys ever decided that they wanted to move back in our home as adults, I’d welcome them with open arms.

…and a shovel. Plenty of “paint fence” and “sand floor” jobs to be done. Forget ‘wax-on, wax-off”, here at the bunker complex it’ll be “mix the concrete, pour the concrete”, shovel the gravel, strip the shingles, lift the boulder, with lots of other tasks to do that involve heavy objects and hot Sun.

They would quickly begin to fear the Gulag-like conditions that would mysteriously persist as long as they would sleep under my roof.

I hear the landlord can be a real pr!ck too, and he’s good buds with the guy running the Gulag camp.

#163 leebow on 01.17.20 at 10:47 am

Children make you a better person.

May be children cost 250K, but this is mostly the opportunity cost. Children costs scale. Bulk discounts. Food, clothing, time. They can entertain and teach each other. Cost is a weak argument if otherwise you waste your life. I’d guess people collectively waste 97.5% of their time and money on meaningless crap. Watching sports, drinking, Game of Thrones, going for lunch with that narcissistic idiot Jim.

Garth produced a lot of economic and social value, in part due to not having children. Few people can claim the same.

Children can be difficult and parenting is frustrating at times. No nice glass decorations for the Christmas tree in the foreseeable future. But it’s worth it.

#164 Gravy Train on 01.17.20 at 11:01 am

Shakespeare’s third sonnet is worth reading. :)
http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/sonnet/3

#165 45north on 01.17.20 at 11:03 am

If you have a family, consider this advice from a guy with no skin in the game: plan for it. Utilize the tax-free growth of an RESP. Collect the free grant money. Don’t go out and load up on the wrong kind of insurance. Don’t buy real estate you can’t afford because of junior. The kid can be a happy renter. Try not to helicopter. Don’t forget your own financial well-being and retirement savings. Ask adultlets at home to pay rent, or the utilities. Good training. Only fair. Move if your family will be stronger financially. Kids adapt. Realize that having a big educational nestegg for your child is worth more than annual trips to Mexico.

from someone with skin in the game ( 5 kids ). yeah I agree. I’d leave out the helicopter thing.

#166 Rico on 01.17.20 at 11:07 am

Child-free and loving it.
We have enough nephews and nieces to get our share of kid’s activities, in small doses of course.

#167 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 11:09 am

#156 Penny Henny on 01.17.20 at 9:37 am
#54 young affluent parents on 01.16.20 at 5:48 pm

again – would you take the 35k for private school or request it be put towards the rest of the funds my parents put away for the grandchildren?

——————-

consider moving to a neighbourhood that has highly rated schools. this saves the 35k/yr/kid.
__

Good suggestion – big variance in Public School experience based mostly on student/parent quality (ie. demographics). If you live in a more affluent area, your local Public School is probably on the better end of the spectrum.

If so, you could bank the cash and your kids will be loaded if they keep the ball rolling till they are 65, even without any help from you, or your parents.

#168 Sail away on 01.17.20 at 11:19 am

#159 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am

i am slightly surprised by the aspirational middle class mentality at some of the comments here today.

if my chidlren go to the local public school, they will know probably grade 4 that they are different.

as is found in the real world, the topic of private school seems to conjure up envy, hatred, elitism, and feelings of us and them.

————————————-

I suspect irritation you see is reaction to passive-aggressive bragging about wealth that wasn’t earned, and may or may not exist.

You might be more comfortable on the ‘trust fund babies’ facebook page.

#169 Samantha on 01.17.20 at 11:40 am

The RESP accounts for both my kids are maxed out. The 20% matching by the government is great and you can get up to a maximum $7,200 for each kid. What’s not to like :).

#170 BillyBob on 01.17.20 at 11:45 am

Why do pretty much all of the defenders of having children seem to have the exact same argument: it makes THEM feel good, or variations on that theme?

While many – most? – parents act selflessly for their children’s needs (my own included), it doesn’t hide for a second that the real reason almost everyone has children is to project their own wants, goals and desires into the future beyond them. More simply, they just plain LIKE that feeling they get gazing down on a little version of themselves. Don’t tell me it’s about preserving the species, it’s about preserving your own butt.

Which is fine. But dressing it up as altruistic or noble does grate a bit at times.

#171 Marco on 01.17.20 at 11:46 am

DELETED

#172 Legal Beagle on 01.17.20 at 11:51 am

#107 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 9:32 pm

So how many dogs here with kids actually sat down and gave some serious thought to having kids beforehand? …

*****************************************

The Mrs. and I fall into that category.

We planned/projected what our lives would look like if we were successful in having each of our kids by forecasting the worst case scenario that had a significant probability of occurring, (ex. financial impact of a kid, financial hardships like complete job loss, significant health problems given family history, and sacrifice to our lifestyles, etc…) and asked ourselves if we would still have the kid knowing that.

Apparently, nothing gets me (and the Mrs.) more randy than some significant life planning… well maybe amending our wills…

In all seriousness, one thing that we learned is that if a couple (or even single person – I personally know two women taking this path) decides to have a child, there is never a “perfect time” to do so.

You will always be busy and there are always things that will get in the way like career goals, not enough cash saved, etc… So regardless of planning it does take a leap of faith (or something like it) to “pull the trigger” so to speak.

#173 Yukon Elvis on 01.17.20 at 11:52 am

#130 Adam
I will tell you though, the very first time I held my newborn child to my chest, I knew instantly that I had uncovered “the point” in life. A profound meaning beyond any personal, professional, or even relationship goal.
………………….
Nailed it.

#174 yvr_lurker on 01.17.20 at 11:54 am

With regards to public schools versus private schools, I prefer a good public school as this reflects more the vast range of social backgrounds that make up our society. I don’t want my kid to think it is the norm for a school field trip to be a plane flight to Washington DC to visit the Smithsonian.
That being said, my15 year old kid is in several advanced classes in the public system and with my background I provide “tutoring” and some enrichment in maths and sciences. My wife does likewise in the languages… My kid is mostly receptive to this and (at least at the moment), math has not turned into a contact sport in my house…..

#175 BillyBob on 01.17.20 at 11:56 am

#159 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am
#135 – yorkville renter

coddled ? perhaps….

i am slightly surprised by the aspirational middle class mentality at some of the comments here today. perhaps there should be more blog posts for people in my situation. i have been reading this blog almost daily for several years (rarely comment.)

as is found in the real world, the topic of private school seems to conjure up envy, hatred, elitism, and feelings of us and them. i get that its a sensitive and polarizing topic. my parents could just burn 35k a year in the back yard fire pit but that seems wasteful. they could just buy my kids bimmers at 17 but that seems passe and so shallow. of course they could donate that money but they do donate money and they pay hundreds of thousands in taxes every year already.

how is private school such a stupid thing for children that will never need to trade time for money as adults?

===================================================

Is the Shift key on your keyboard broken?

Sail away nailed it. Either poser or nouveau-riche.

Nothing wrong with establishing one’s financial bona-fides when discussing finances on a financial blog. But when you feel the need to try and faux-casually drop it into every paragraph, whether intentional or not you’re definitely the one to come across as “shallow and passe”.

Private schools on the whole do not offer an education better than a quality public school. The money is paid to gain one’s darling little progeny access to other similarly entitled progeny and their parents. Do you really think Harvard charging 10X for a law degree what a 2nd tier school does is because the schooling makes one a 10X better lawyer?

If you were truly wealthy you would already know that.

#176 YouKnowWho on 01.17.20 at 11:56 am

Are you clear of the “weather bomb” Garth?

#177 Eric on 01.17.20 at 12:17 pm

Since we’re talking about RESPs, I’d be interested to know how people are investing their funds. I was unpleasantly surprised to discover my partner has her daughters’ RESP funds invested with Industrial Alliance and the MER on their two funds is about 3.6%. And now she just got her final 2019 statement and over the last 13 years her personal rate of return was 4.52%. Does that sound reasonable? Not the MER, that’s ridiculous, but does 4.5% sound reasonable for that time period? I know starting an RESP in 2007 didn’t result in very good returns for a few years, but dollar amounts would have been very little at the beginning. I would have thought that the rate of return would have been better considering the majority of those funds were in a “balanced fund”. I’ve advised her to cut bait and transfer those funds something where she’ll have more control over her investment options. She doesn’t want to manage the funds herself so isn’t interested in a direct trading account, so are there any other good options? When I research other possible providers very few of them are very forthcoming about historical rates of return or provide information about fees.

#178 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 12:34 pm

#173 Yukon Elvis on 01.17.20 at 11:52 am
#130 Adam
I will tell you though, the very first time I held my newborn child to my chest, I knew instantly that I had uncovered “the point” in life. A profound meaning beyond any personal, professional, or even relationship goal.
………………….
Nailed it.
___

You guys did great – at that moment, I was scared $h!tless!!!

#179 TurnerNation on 01.17.20 at 12:34 pm

Somebody should tell the Royals to stop having kids.
This means in one generation their bloodline will be no longer. We could remove them from the rear of our coins.
They won’t. Elites believe their bloodlines must rule over us.
Silence slaves and pay your carbon taxes.
Fly over Canada and see the pristine untouched land, clean air and water and a bounty waiting. So much ,that we export most of our grown food.
But no, no climate change is always occuring in places we cannot see: Barrier reefs, Arctic, Greenland, Africa, North Pole. Daily doom porn as people pop their drugs to survive.
Trust us! Your experience in Canada is NOT Normal. Don’t trust your eyes, the world is collapsing. Coming here soon: oceans literally on fire, water levels to flood us out. Soon.

OK GOOGLE why is your planned smart city right on the very edge of the Lake in Toronto.

https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/11/sidewalk-labs-quayside-toronto-smart-city-google-alphabet/577078/

Think..why would they build there. And a timber-framed building no less. Sorry to rain on this weblog’s parade of doom but indeed it’s hard being a sane man in a mass of mind controlled people

#180 Ubul on 01.17.20 at 12:36 pm

You can fully realize what it means to have a child only when you have one.

Kind of like sex – you don’t really know the very essence of it until you do it. You can choose celibacy – but what if we really live only once.

#181 Ronaldo on 01.17.20 at 12:37 pm

#154 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 8:28 am

Maybe being an older uncle will be my time to “relive” having little ones :). I’m cool with that too.
—————————————————————–
That is a very good point IH. I have been an uncle since I was 13 (60 years now). That has been awesome experience as well. Was just back from a fishing expedition with the eldest of the bunch who is retired (aged 60). We were great friends and I was his star babysitter. Many more after him and all have done very well. It’s been a great life.

#182 Sail away on 01.17.20 at 12:39 pm

#177 Eric on 01.17.20 at 12:17 pm

RESP- MER 3.6% and CAGR 4.52%

—————————————-

That’s horrible- both MERs and returns, but at least better than a pure savings account, which also happens.

Allowing others (present bloghost excluded) to manage your money is a crapshoot at best. My calcs show she should have around $55k if the RESP was maxed each year?

There is time to fix this, but she needs to take an active role.

#183 LP on 01.17.20 at 12:42 pm

#173 Yukon Elvis on 01.17.20 at 11:52 am
#130 Adam
I will tell you though, the very first time I held my newborn child to my chest, I knew instantly that I had uncovered “the point” in life
*************************************

I well remember the day our first grandchild was born. My husband called out to BC to tell our lifelong friends about her arrival. He broke down, almost sobbing, he was so moved. By contrast our friend, a super intellectual, sophisticated, man-about the world was more than a little condescending about my husband’s emotional call.

Fast forward 3 months and our friend’s first grandchild arrived. He called us and broke down in tears, could hardly get the usual statistics out he was weeping so much. That got my husband going again and the two men, a continent apart, sat at their respective kitchen tables alternately crying, bragging, crying, bragging. It was a sight/sound to behold.

I loved both men for having their priorities set right.

#184 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 1:01 pm

#175 – billybob

writing in lowercase is cool and easier for some people who write informally a lot. for formal writing i use capitals where necessary. this is a blog where i write anonymously. lol.

your correct, i am new money. as i said before my circumstances changed in my teens. i am casually dropping here and there (over and over) that im good financially because people like yourself keep missing the point that im trying to make and the question im trying to ask.

obviously i am struggling with the fact that i may be the last in my family to have a public education (or not.) there will be implications if i raise my kids the private way but there are implications (potentially) if i keep them with commoners like yourself who make fun of them in school and take advantage of them. perhaps though it will toughen them up and make them better down the road.

therefore my question isn’t just about financial capital. it is about social and cultural capital (which is clearly going over your head and some others.)

perhaps my blue collar immigrant (not too ethic but still ethnic enough) working class/ middle class mentality is holding me back or perhaps its keeping me straight.

too many people today are living their 30s and 40s on easy street. inheritances from previous generations are being past down all the time. i have friends my age that need 5 vacations a year and a pool in the backyard to be happy. they drive range rovers and eat out everyday for breakfast lunch and dinner. they make 20k per month clean and their lifestyle means they spend 18k per month at 35 years of age. people i know in this situation have real inheritances (not a 10m one like me as an only child.) they have 40 or 50 million inheritances per child so they don’t feel they need to save. for many this wealth has been made in the last 30 years off land deals. there are too many rich new money types in the gta now with little or no cultural or social capital (or at least not enough to keep up with the wealth they now have.)

much of this comes down to rich people with a middle class mentality. they are so far removed from struggles but they still think middle class. conspicuous consumption still runs deep for them. i don’t want this for my children. i want my kids to grow up wanting to save the planet and be the change we want to see in the world not excited to spend lavishly on materialism.

my question was to see what people (especially garth) thought about the old money waspy tradition of sending rich kids to private school.

#185 Barb on 01.17.20 at 1:03 pm

Religions have enslaved women through the ages.

#186 Where's My Money Greedeaus (Trudy, Morny, Gordy)? on 01.17.20 at 1:10 pm

DELETED

#187 IHCTD9 on 01.17.20 at 1:21 pm

#172 Legal Beagle on 01.17.20 at 11:51 am
#107 IHCTD9 on 01.16.20 at 9:32 pm

So how many dogs here with kids actually sat down and gave some serious thought to having kids beforehand? …

*****************************************

The Mrs. and I fall into that category.

We planned/projected what our lives would look like if we were successful in having each of our kids by forecasting the worst case scenario that had a significant probability of occurring, (ex. financial impact of a kid, financial hardships like complete job loss, significant health problems given family history, and sacrifice to our lifestyles, etc…) and asked ourselves if we would still have the kid knowing that.
___

Oh, we planned to have kids alright – ridiculously planned out in fact. But I never spent two seconds actually considering if I even wanted to have kids in the first place! I just started planning to have them right along with the wife lol!

The weekend came when we decided to get pregnant, she was ovulating and we spent the whole weekend doing the horizontal boogie over and over and over. Just like that, she was pregnant!

Even then, I wasn’t phased, it wasn’t till he was right there in front of me, jaundiced as hell and slicked in meconium, that I started to have a heart attack!

The weight of what we had done fell on me for the first time, only when my first born was there in the flesh. I can still remember the feeling, and I’ve never felt anything like it since!

I’m not sure it would have been any different had I consciously decided that I would have kids though…

#188 Bdwy on 01.17.20 at 1:32 pm

Our only child is 1st yr at univ for hard sciences. Profs don’t hand hold and gleefully fail all under performers.
Came from an enriched program at east van (so not so highly rated) public hs. Seems most high schools in Vancouver have a class like this. Competitive entry in gr 8. Excellent class imo. They call them ‘mini schools’

Seems that it was good enough she is now watching the private school kids flunk out of math and physics.

Back in the 80s at garths alma matter there were boatloads of private school kids. Was friends with many but certainly not classmates as engineering was not their bag.

….
On kids in general, after 18yrs if you don’t want them anymore you can ditch ’em!
Or in our case they move away for univ.

……
The biggest risk i see w kids is a serious health issue that requires 24hr care for the life of the child\adult. Have a neighbor like this and its shocking. Small odds but huge impact.

#189 Sail away on 01.17.20 at 1:42 pm

#183 LP on 01.17.20 at 12:42 pm

I well remember the day our first grandchild was born…

Fast forward 3 months and our friend’s first grandchild arrived…

…the two men, a continent apart, sat at their respective kitchen tables alternately crying, bragging, crying, bragging. It was a sight/sound to behold.

————————————-

Exactly my reaction to my first Tesla.

#190 Old Dog on 01.17.20 at 2:02 pm

#159 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am

Either you’re playing us or you need to work on your presentation. I’m sure there are a few dogs on here who have paid hundreds of thousands in taxes over the last 5 years. Having a net worth of 10 million in Canadian dollars is not that big of a deal in the big scheme of things. Having money has nothing to do with spoiling your kids. Forget how wealthy your parents are and bring your children up properly to respect work and money. You give money a bad name.
Change your presentation my friend or suffer the comments. In B.C. most private schools are funded by the taxpayer to the tune of 35% to 50%.

#191 LP on 01.17.20 at 3:11 pm

#184 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 1:01 pm

Maybe you should spend some time pondering what sort of people you want your kids to be when they have grown up. There are insufferable boors in every strata of society, both the very poor and the ultra rich.

Some of the finest people I’ve ever met come from nothing and still have most of it. And among the few really wealthy people of my acquaintance are some awful snobs and some “just plain folks”.

Your kids will model what they learn at home. In my opinion, the world that will unfold in front of your children and my grandchildren won’t have much time for the snobs. The just plain folks will survive, even thrive, if they are equipped to mingle with everyone else on an even keel. Insulating them from those with fewer advantages won’t be doing them any favour.

I believe there will come a time when a rich person will be unable to buy what s/he needs done. S/he better learn young how to change a tire, do laundry, cook food, repair whatever breaks. It’s pretty hard to unteach snobbery.

#192 Islandgirl on 01.17.20 at 3:22 pm

So many good points. Sometimes I think we spend far too much on daughters activities, but both kids have RESP’s that have been growing since birth and both kids know that there won’t be any free rides once school is over. I didn’t get one and neither shall they. As long as they are contributing members of the household they can stay at home. Daughter is already looking forward to seeing what a part time job will be like this summer. She sees how some of her friends have a very loose understanding of money, and how hard it can be to come by. We’re going on a trip related to her activities and she is paying her share by saving and raising her own money. We started teaching personal responsibility at an early age.

#193 Sask to AB on 01.17.20 at 4:24 pm

re.#159 young affluent parents on 01.17.20 at 9:53 am

Consider French Immersion if you have a school close to you. Kids work hard, get lots of homework, yet you are in the public system. Closest thing to a private school without the enormous cost. Then they also have kids in the neighbourhood to play with.
Worked out wonderfully for our 3 girls.
F56AB

#194 Phylis on 01.17.20 at 5:04 pm

#191 LP on 01.17.20 at 3:11 pm Yes, education begins at home. Too many people think that the government is responsible for their children’s ability to learn.

#195 crazyfox on 01.17.20 at 5:19 pm

#138 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 1:16 am

#59 crazyfox

“2 parents have 2 children into this world and they think, “this won’t add to overpopulation” but it does. Their 2 children have 2 children each, and now it’s 4 children to these parent’s credit” – crazyfox

Wow don’t do anymore math. Fractions, my friend. Each parent gets half a kid (expressed as 1/2) for each kid, and each grandparent gets a quarter of a kid (1/4 for those who sat through math 10).

I just absolutely can’t believe you posted that. – Nonplused

The fraction remains at 1/2, not 1/4 and remains so for each subsequent generation. You might have to envision a family tree to see that I am right.