If we have children then we can consider ourselves to be millionaires, a standard that’s becoming more and more easily achievable. Modern estimates for raising a child through age 18 are often in the $300,000 range; much higher depending on level of education or even the age they leave the nest. Girls probably cost more these days because of wedding investments, although those costs are now often being equally shared by the families involved. The fact of the matter is don’t have children if you want to sleep peacefully at night, regardless of how old they are. 

The cruelest thing that can happen to any parent is to outlive their child. On the other hand, my son is now 46 and I still lose sleep worrying about his well-being and financial security. I’ve found that this stress is alleviated when we’re miles apart. This is why I’ve lived most of my life thousands of miles away from him. In making our retirement decision to move to his state, I joked of wanting to be close…but not too close. The more I’m around him the more I worry, but when we’re apart there’s always something else to distract me from these concerns. However, this is about to change as we move close together in Florida.

We’ve spent the last five days around his family of five. It’s been enjoyable yet costly to take them out to dinner and keep them entertained. There have always been Christmas and birthday gifts, holiday cards, college savings, dance lessons, golf/computer camps, vacations together, and occasional help with household expenses. My wife has two girls ages 39 & 38, with similar involvement but no kids. However, now we’re on a fixed income so it will be more difficult to make all their lives easier. Granted, they should all be old enough to take car of themselves, but unfortunately my son recently lost his job. Both my wife and I tossed and turned last night, trying to figure out ways to help him, while arranging to buy our own home. 

Retirement is supposed to be a stress-free, leisurely time of life, but in reality it’s still filled with hassles, especially with kids. It’s all about making do with less, but wanting our children to eventually enjoy the same opportunities. I’m sure that in time this will all work out, but I’m worried for my son and his family. His wife has aspirations of becoming an eye doctor but faced with heavy educational expenses. The kids range from soon to be fourteen to two-years old, so he will probably never see retirement and his health isn’t that great. I’m exhausted thinking about what he yet has to get through in life and where he’s going to come up with the rest of the million bucks to raise them?