FI and raising kids

Dear all,

Is FI of a family with kids realistic? I believe that it could be possible when kids have finished their education and are on their own… but before?
Currently both in the early 50s, 2 teenagers at school… saving to pay off the house as soon as possible (mortgage free in 5 years). Additionally twice 3a and one 3b.

Any comments?

B

It depends on the savings rate. In my case I’m supporting with my good IT salary my non-working wife and a one year old. Expenses for a small baby aren’t that big, and in my case my savings rate even increased because I’m travelling less than before. I guess the major expenses will be day care but on the other hand then my wife will start working and contributing to our savings, and hopefully we will increase it to 60-70%. I hope to get to FI before my son will be a teenager actually - in 10-15 years perhaps. But since we’re planning a second baby, it might be slower than I initially planned. Or maybe we will get better at increasing savings and we will achieve it even earlier - who knows?

It is hard to find the balance between the fully selfish personal FI and the other extreme which is working as much as possible for the financial security of the kids. Soft factors like worklife balance and Quality time with the family are hard to quantify…
In my situation, we are both working 100% which allows us to put apart a decent sum per year, the question is to find the right moment to reduce the workload….

I would spend more time with small boy rather than with a growing teenager (IMHO)

I don’t have kids, but for what I know Switzerland gives you a lot of help raising kids. Someone might show you some numbers…

@baffo66, I had similar doubts and thoguhts last year when I was considering moving from 100% to 80%. Here’s the thread:

In my case, one of my goals in reaching FI was to spend more time with my family and enjoy my hobbies, so I started working 80% this year to have a little bit of FI-like life here and now. I don’t regret it, even if it will extend my way to FI for a couple of years. It’s a great experience. I don’t know if I’ll ever move back to 100% - probably only if my son will go to school and I’ll find a job more interesting than my hobbies, or I’ll want to pump up my savings rate - but it’s very unlikely. I’ll rather switch to self-employed consulting and only take projects from time to time eventually.

I believe we should focus on living a little bit “like FI” before we reach the number. Postponing all our plans and dreams for years on a way to FI is a very counterproductive strategy. Like in traditional retirement, many people actually reach the number (or retirement age) and they have no clue what to do with their life because they weren’t prepared for it - they only focused on the number, not the essence.

PS. Mad Fientist wrote about this in his"First year of freedom".

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I disagree!

Mothers only get like 3 months maternity leave, father 1 day, public child care is non existing until kindergarten, and since my child was born I receive 200 CHF/month allowance. Not really “a lot of help” from my point of view.

I agree with that. On the other hand, I earn so much here that I can afford additional leave, non-working wife or even full time kinderkrippe, so I don’t care too much about the state support. I prefer this way, rather than additional state care with lower salary (and/or much higher taxes).

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I agree here as well. If these are all benefits that the Swiss law provides, then indeed it is not much. But that’s very good! Why should the state provide help for people to raise kids? Or if you transform the question: why people without kids should support people with kids? I don’t care about future generations supporting my retirement, I will take care of that on my own.

I had a quick look into tax calculator for canton Zurich and I see that there is a 9000 deduction of taxable income per kid, which should result in 2000-3000 lower tax per year. If anything, I would maybe increase this deduction instead of giving free money to parents.

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