Of babies and kids..

Saw an ex-classmate today, walking down the steps. We were walking in seperate directions, and I didn't get to say hi. From afar, I think she's pregnant again. If that's the case, then this would be no 2 in 2 years.

Ever wonder how many kids you should have? I mean, my elder sis has 3, one per year. My second sis has one, but is dying to get another. She was practically telling the nurse, "I can't wait for the second one" after giving birth. My ex-colleague and good friend wants to have as many as possible aka about 6. Which makes me wonder if people do plan ahead of what lies ahead.

One hypothesis from an ex-colleague is that it doesn't matter how much you have or how your standard of living is. Somehow or rather, everything finds its way, and even if you only have a $1000 household income, having multiple kids is not an issue. The older could help the younger as they finish school and get a job. Kids that are smart enough would get scholarships and their education would not need to be financed. Another said that education doesn't matter, life is whats important.

A different train of tought would be to think of what it would cost to have a kid. I mean, living expenses aside, there are certain things that we can't really ignore. Take a scenario where the kid grows up and starts thinking of going to university. Yes, thats years away, but let's just take a look at the possibilities:

Scenario A: The kid is smart enough to enter the local university, wants to study locally and gets the course that he wants. Great! Expenses would be the local university school fees which shouldn't be too hard to bear. say $20k-$30k per yr?

Scenario B: The kid is hyper smart, (Let's drag it a little further), gets a scholarship and goes to Harvard or Princeton. Even Greater! Expenses fully paid! Plus he probably would be guaranteed a job.

Scenario C: The kid is average and hopes to study abroad or the kid is not bright enough to enter local university and can only study abroad or the kid could only get the course he wanted for the career he wanted if he went abroad. Not so great. Now how much does it cost to send a kid to lets say UK for say 2 yrs, imagining that he does a Twinning course (i.e. 2 yrs local, 2 yrs abroad or other combinations)? I would think that you'd need at least a couple of hundred thousands prepared for the kid. Multiply that with x number of kids (remember, we put aside living expenses), you'd have a rough estimate of how much that would cost you. Take for example a family with 3 kids x say $300,000. That makes almost a million!! Add on a couple of thousands for expenses, and I'd say that you better be a millionaire if you want to have multiple kids and have to consider finances.

So all in all, I guess it depends on what people really want. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can have tons of kids and take one step at a time, worrying about finances when the time comes. Or you could start worrying, and plan the expenses for the kid, which means you'd probably have to start saving from day 1 just to give your offspring a more certain future.

Well, if it turns out that they are brilliant, you'd have a couple of millions more for retirement. But if you don't prepare, it doesn't mean that its the end. Most of the billionaires have no or minimal forms of education.

And do consider the occasional chinese drama, where the family gives blood and sells their meat to fund a childs education, only to have the child not acknowledge who their parents are when they become rich and successful.

All in all, it's a joint decision. Just make sure it's a decision that both parties agree with and are prepared to take on responsibilities that come along with the kid.
Oh god... did I write that?!??


jozien said...

Great entry!!! It's the first one I read from you. I agree so much. Only I think not even money will do the trick. I wonder even if Brad and Angelina, who seem 'super parents' can do the job. Watch these kids, the older ones soon don't want nannies or caregivers anymore. I was a nanny(a good one).I have one husband, one kid.

Phenom said...

Thanks Jozien. I agree too. Money isn't enough nowadays. Bringing a kid up isn't as simple as what people make of it.