Here’s a nice post from Lisa Belkin, about older parents and the fact that their own parents miss out on some grandparenting time. Briefly: If you wait till you’re 40 to have kids, then the grandparents miss out on a bigger portion of their grandkids’ lives. Not tragic—just a fact, and one with consequences.
What interests me lately about later-in-life parenting, though, is the dire financial outlook. Theoretically, at least, if you wait to have children, you’ll be more established by then, and your kids will thus have it better. Certainly if I’d tried to raise a child on what I was making fifteen years ago, it would’ve been extremely difficult.
But just think it through for a moment. If you have kids at 40, you’ve most likely thought about buying a place to live around that time, too. The kid then goes to college when you’re about 60. You won’t be done with the 30-year mortgage by then—and it’s precisely during those late-career years when you’re frantically topping up the retirement account you didn’t pay enough attention to, back wen you were trying to assemble the down payment and pay for daycare. In short, the three biggest financial demands of your life (housing, college, retirement) all demand a piece of you at once. Ulp.
Nice detail: All this happens just as you get into your sixties, with their significantly increased prospect of illness, or at least ebbing energy.
All I can say is: Kid? I’d never ever push you into a career you hate. I want you to love what you do, or at least like it most of the time. But if you happen to like doing something that turns out to make a lot of money… well, let’s go with that. You’re our last best hope.