Can you be financially independent retire early (FIRE) with kids? Yes I believe you can. I think the easy part is FIRE when they are young. You can budget for health insurance, budget for living, travel, fun, etc. But the unexpected/unpredictable part? College. I mean you can easily homeschool your children. You can say no to private schools. But college or even trade school? How do you budget for that?
I guess if you are super FAT fire where you saved a ton like 5M by age 40 and saved $100k by the time you retired and your kids were 7 and 5 for each of them then no problem. But I feel like there are a lot of people who "FIRE" who had nothing saved for their kids or they FIRE super lean. Then they think we'll my kid can take out loans and live at home. But what if part of the fire plan was downsizing the house and using that equity to help FIRE? What if your kid doesn't go to college and instead just works and lives with you? How does that affect the budget? And you didn't expect to keep hanging on and living in your expensive home? And expected to FIRE maybe abroad or relocate even domestically somewhere cheaper? What if your 4 bedroom house you thought you'd move 30 miles outside the city instead of the great school district?
I think that kids can throw a wrench quickly ino the best FIRE plans. I read a lot of blogs about FIRE. But most don't have kids. Most are couples without kids. The few who do don't have kids as old as mine 8 and 11. Their kids are younger and they haven't gone through college and after while being FIRE. I do read about couples FIRE after the kiddos are gone or left for college or in high school. I feel like by the time they are 16 or 18 you have a lot of question markets about college and future expenses sort of answered. Like you know if they are going to college and how your investments did and if you are helping, if they need loans. So a lot of uncertainty is gone.
I am curious since my kids are finally getting older and I'm thinking a lot about paying for college. My DKs both have asked me if we have saved for college. I said yes we're working on it. My DH teased them though this week and said if the startup is an epic failure then we'll need their college savings. But the truth is that I believe our kids will be fine. We'll figure it out. I am thinking it's time to start educating my kiddos on not just saving and speding but also investments and how they work at least for my 11 year old.