This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
In my “debut” post 2 years ago, I discussed my wife’s and my aversion to having children. This past weekend we talked about this again and are still fairly steadfast in maintaining our childless household. This is kind of an amusing viewpoint to have, as I am writing this post while going to see my new niece, just born an hour ago (apparently my brother doesn’t really agree with me and my views on children as this is his second girl born in 17 months). My wife and I spent the weekend with our nephews, aged 8 and 4 and after we were done playing with them (which was fun) we were both very happy for the quiet ride home.
In the past two years, my views haven’t really changed around having kids although I think my reasons have a little bit. In my first article, I wrote about how expensive kids would be and how it would limit my chances of retiring early. Since then, I have come to believe that kids are as expensive as you make them. If you go out and outfit an entire room with fancy furniture, buy disposable diapers, and attempt to buy your kid a good childhood, then I could see how having children could easily approach the average cost of $250,000 I quoted in my original post. Otherwise, I think costs could be kept down fairly low.
Where my views have changed, beyond my own personal preference to be free to do what I want to do when I want to do it (maintaining what could be called a selfish lifestyle) I really don’t know why I would add to the population. The UN recently had a huge celebration that we as a species have achieved a population of 7 billion people. For me to make a decision to add to this, is essentially being selfish. I can’t really see how me and my wife adding to the population is really going to help anything. The only reason I would be having a kid is because I would want one, as the choice is available. Everyone out there adding to the 7 billion people on the planet is basically saying “What’s one more person?”
I’m not getting all Malthusian here or anything, I’m sure that we’ll somehow figure out a way to get more food for the next 7 billion people on the planet – I’m simply saying that, from the standpoint of the species as a whole maybe we should calm down a little bit in our population growth. I don’t think the addition of another few billion people is going to have a positive effect on the planet, but nobody really talks about that (I’m going to say that population control is not a very popular campaign to run on).
So, no real change here, from my wife or myself. We love kids, we just love to be done with them after a visit. We are enjoying our freedom, and the maintenance of our DINK status.
I understand that this is kind of a charged subject, but my question of the day is can you see how down the road the planet will be a better place if we maintain our current level of growth? Thinking of this, would you think twice before adding to this growth?