Don’t Have Children If You Can’t Take Care Of Yourself

In “How To Dramatically Increase Your Job Security For Life“, the article suggests managers are more inclined to fire those workers who have nobody to support but themselves.  As a result, one should strategically at least hint at the intention of starting a family to protect oneself from unemploymentville.  Clearly I’m being somewhat flippant.  My goal is to make people realize that relationships and emotion play enormous roles in shaping work success.

Whether you work for a small family business or a large corporation, hiring and firing is a very personal decision that comes down to one or only a handful of decision makers.  By tugging at their souls, and increasing their guilt factor, you’re well on your way to dramatically higher job security for life.

Let’s say you’re not particularly wealthy, nor make a particularly impressive amount of money.  You still have loads of student loans and consumer debt to pay off.  In essence, you’re the typical American!  Shouldn’t you be putting on your air mask before helping others?

Child raising is estimated to cost anywhere between $250,000 to $1 million from birth to after college.  If a family can’t even have the discipline to save 20% of their paycheck after contributing to their 401K and IRA, how can one consciously start a family?


A typical person graduates college by 22.  If you’re really slow, perhaps 25.  $250,000 divided by 25 is only $10,000/year in after tax costs to raise your child.  If you’re in the 25% tax bracket ($68,000-$137,000 income), you’ll need to make roughly $13,000 in gross income to net $10,000.  Right off the bat, you’ll have to save anywhere from 10-20% a year to pay for your child.  Sure, for the first 10 years you probably won’t be spending $10,000 a year, but what about for the last 15 years with tuition costs and inflation?

Any private college worth attending costs over $40,000 a year.  Let’s say little Johnny is brilliant and gets a 50% scholarship.  That’s $20,000 a year right there plus another $15,000 a year for living and school expenses.  Even public schools run about $20-$25,000 a year nowadays in tuition and living expenses.


In “Do “C” Students Deserve “A” Lifestyles“, the article suggests the government impose restrictions on what certain people can buy based on their average GPA in high school or college. For example, only if you have a 3.7/4.0 or higher in college, are you allowed to buy a BMW.  A 3.5 GPA allows you to buy a Honda Accord or cheaper, and those who couldn’t even crack 2.5 are restricted to biking or walking.

The idea is that if you were smart enough to get straight “A’s” in college, you are smart enough to realize that buying a $5,000 Hermes handbag, and spending more than you make is a sure way to financial ruin.  Conversely, if you were dumb enough to not try in school and not realize the importance of education, then it’s best to leave the weapons of mass financial destruction out of your hands.  Society shouldn’t have to bail you out in the end.

As the government continues to infiltrate all our lives, may I suggest a new proposal. Unless your household net worth is over $1 million, no American household is allowed to have a child!  OK, so $1 million is likely too high of a hurdle, but you get the idea.  Institute minimal financial standards, such as having at least a positive net worth and a declaration of a 10 year financial game plan before a couple can start a family.

Remember, we the people of America voted in the current administration, which means the majority of us support Big Government.  I’m just going with the flow here of introducing Big Brother to more aspect of our daily lives because we love the government so much!

Think about all the positives that will come out of this legislation:

1) Population control. We are the #1 user of Earth’s natural resources.  Curb population growth, decrease our fiscal burden, and let the world live longer.

2) Improved financial health. Those who really want kids will stop messing around and really start saving and working on their finances.

3) Increased care for the child. With a net worth of at least $1 million, there’s a lower chance your child will experience neglect due to lack of funds.

4) More well-rounded children. With more resources, a child can take as many art, music, sports lessons as he or she wants.  After school tutoring is no problem, neither is a cultural immersion trip overseas.

5) Less divorce and happier parents. Without the strains of money (the #1 item couples argue over), there’s less stress for couples.  Happier couples mean happier, less trauma-exposed children. 


With over 143 MILLION orphans around the world, maybe we should think thrice about having children.  Perhaps the Duggars family, with their 18 kids aren’t really doing “God’s work.”  Maybe they’d do better adopting 18 children who need help instead.

We all have the right to do whatever we want, but should we?  If we aren’t willing to help feed or adopt a starving child, at the very least, let’s not add another by making sure our financial health is in order first before having our own.

People frequently say there’s no right time to have children.  That’s baloney.  The right time to have children is when you have an unwavering desire to care for someone for 18+ years.  Your finances are the least of your worries because they’re set, and you have a clear plan for child raising.  If you have no plan, no money, and no intense desire please don’t have children.  Figure out how to take care of yourself first.


Shop around for health insurance:  The internet has really helped lower the cost of insuring yourself and your family. eHealthInsurance has some of the lowest rates and best coverage due to its largest network. They are based right here in the Bay Area, and I have met a number of their representatives. The Affordable Care Act debacle has proven to be more expensive and more cumbersome to sign up so far.


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. says

    This article touches right at home. My wife and I are planning on adopting our next child. In some countries they are too poor to take care of kids.. so why don’t they stop having them? That’s my question. Look at Africa.. Uganda has 2.3 Million orphaned children, mostly because of Aids and the wars with rebels. Its sad and wrong and since they can’t take care of them.. they should stop having them! Uganda just passed a law about 2 years ago that made it much harder for anyone to adopt a child from there. I have two different friends who were in the process of adopting and that has slowed to almost a stand still.

    The USA is a different story. People who can’t take care of a child shouldn’t have them. There’s so much opportunity here for work its hard to believe they couldn’t take care of their own kids.

    Its sad how many kids are orphans in this world! We plan on changing the lives of a few of them through adoption.

      • says

        We had always planned on adopting from an African nation but don’t really know which route we will go. There are tons of children in America that need families as well. This is something we plan on doing within the next 2 years. My wife just gave birth to our 3rd child a few months ago.

      • says

        I think children should be welcome with open arms into any family with open arms who can love and provide for them. Others will say “lt is my right to have children” if i want them. Yes it is your “right”, but i seriously would want you to consider a childs well-being too. Love isn’t always enough, there has to be some place to shelter, feed and clothe them and to keep them warm and safe and very importantly educate them and know also that it’s your responsibility until they can fend for themselves. Also know that if you train them up into the way they shall go to be aware that they should also treat others with kindness and respect. It is a learned thing and a big responsibility to raise a child, but it has been done and will always be.

  2. JR says

    I am probably a bit jaded by life and times, but I basically agree with the idea of some minimum set of standards for having children. I see too many folks having kids for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes “love is all you need,” most times it seems not the case. Then everyone sits at home (as Mobius from Detroit said) waiting for the enabling program handouts. I submit a minimum level of education in addition to the net worth. Perhaps the $1mill is setting the bar high; perhaps say that one’s net must be firmly approaching X.

    Additionally, why must it always be that we have to have kids? Why are we so against adoption? Every time we see a childless couple, everyone seems to be pressuring them to have kids; if they do not something must be wrong with them. If they adopt or choose not to have kids they are viewed as pariahs in some way. I see both of these as responsible choices.

  3. MimiR says

    Wow. This is your dumbest post yet.

    First of all, it costs $250k a year to people who send their kids to $5k summer camps. The real cost of the first child is, including saving for college (yes, at an excellent public university–for an undergraduate degree, a private university is terrible ROI now) is no more than $5k a year. The cost for additional children are at least $1k less than that–more if the second child is the same gender.

    Here are reasons to have children:

    1) Prevent the collapse of civilization. Demographic collapse is no joke. It’s happened before, and it’s happening now, and it doesn’t play around.

    2) It’s impossible to adopt almost all of those millions of orphans because the UNICEF believes that it’s better for orphans to starve at home than to go to parents of a different culture. The cost of international adoption is now averaging above $25k and heading higher rapidly.

    3) The parents who waited until they were “financially secure” to have their single child do not usually have more well-rounded children. They have spoiled, neurotic children who are babied and pandered, who are never bored so never learn to think or dream, who are aimless, witless, insipid, and dull. There are exceptions, but they are just that.

    4) Children are not neglected because their parents aren’t rich. Children grow up in a distorted fishbowl if their parents have too much. We aren’t rich, but we’ve had to be very careful with our children because spoiling them today, when consumer goods are so cheap, is ridiculously easy.

    5) Not having children doesn’t lead to lower divorce rates. And being wealthy doesn’t make stupid people any smarter about money. My neighbors make over $200k a year and live in a @##$#hole of a 1950s ranch half the size of ours (they have holes in their kitchen ceiling covered with cardboard and duct tape, to give you just ONE example…) because neither the husband nor the wife have any self-control, and they spend the money on crap the second it comes in and have no savings and no safety net and are always up to their ears in debt.

    And, yes, you dimwit, the children available from US sources are virtually all coming with enormous amounts of baggage. The waiting list for a healthy child under 5 of any race is HUGE, and there are so many people unable to have children of their own who are desperate for a child that you’d have to be the biggest dick in the world to want to shove one out because you can’t be bothered to breed your own.

  4. MimiR says

    And, BTW, we have 2 kids of our own–so far–and are dedicating more than $3,500 directly to helping the poor in other countries next year–focusing on children. ($720 is going to an African AIDS orphanage, for instance.) And we are NOT nearly as well off as you.

    What have you actually DONE?

  5. not using real name says

    This is why I don’t have children. They just cost to much. And am selfish and I want my time to myself. I see my nieces and nephews becoming little shitheads. (that is a proper child rearing term right?) and I don’t want anything to do with diaper changing screaming vomiting
    rug rat ankle biters. I have heard it all…you will change your mind, but you will LOVE them when you have them. What ever. Woman that Does not want children ever…

  6. says

    I’ve wanted to wait until I have a $500k networth to have kids. It’s looking like if things continue the way they are going my networth will be about $300k at the time. It makes me nervous to not have at least a half million in savings before having children. Unfortunately my boyfriend has no savings so I must focus on getting to $500k quicker somehow, or decide not to have children. It’s unfortunate as so many people I know have kids and they are in debt, but I don’t feel like I have a right to bring a child into the world until I have some serious savings.

  7. Dan says

    I totally disagree with this conclusion. I am the youngest of five children, and my parents definitely couldn’t take care of themselves. However, they gave me lots of love and I and my wife, oldest of 3 (I guess she was lucky enough to be prior to her father’s vasectomy) have over 500k of networth, over 700k if you include home equity, which I typically don’t because it’s not producing any income for us. We have two kids. Why do you think everything is so expensive. My 1 year old son does not hardly require anything that he’s ever asked for. Baby’s clothes are cheap, cheaper if used, our house is a fixed cost so no extra expense there, some minimal utilities, some diapers, and $1600 worth of reduced federal income taxes, a $1000 per child tax credit and an additional personal exemption.

    These people who quote these figures are crackheads.

  8. Leslie Cushman says

    What a horrible heartless post. Thank you for the day’s entertainment although it’s a little scary to know how people like you really think. Godless, heartless, robotic people, enjoy your sterile lives.

    Thank you to Dan father of 2!

    • says

      Heartless is having a child when you can’t afford to take care of yourself or the well being of the child. Children are helpless and rely on parents to nurture them. Think about all the suffering that has resulted from negligent parents. Anybody can create a baby. It takes a real man and woman to be a father and mother.

  9. says

    I TOTALLY AGREE with the concept of limiting the privilege of parenting to those who can meet the “good parent” definition as:
    “-Individuals who provide a stable, emotionally nurturing environment for a child without IMPOSING a financial or social burden on fellow citizens”-

    The 1 million dollar mark seems a bit high, but (having left the “breeding” to others) I would have no idea
    My husband and I decided 13 years ago (when he proposed) that enjoying each other’s company and having the freedom to live in different countries was more important to us than taking care of a child

    If we ever get the urge… We’ll adopt!

  10. mysticaltyger says

    I think the $1M requirement is ludicrous. However, we USED TO have a “minimum standard” for having children, of sorts. It was called “marriage”. As in, there was a major societal stigma for those who had kids out of wedlock. It turns out that kids from married 2 parent families do better on a variety of measures than kids who spend time in single parent families. People who marry and stay married tend to do much better than single folks or folks who have divorced. Removing the stimga of divorce and breeding out of wedlock has knocked many folks out of the middle class into poverty or semi poverty.

  11. Lisa says

    I am shocked and saddened by your attitude, but it is typical of “your type”, so I am not surprised. Money is the bottom line, and “how does this affect me?” is the most important question for you.
    How about asking instead “what can I do to help the orphans?”, and get off your butt and do something for them.
    Each person who is brought into this world is a gift and is here for their own journey and has their own purpose. There is a balance to life, and we are not all supposed to be picture-perfect, rich, two-parented, intentional people. Some of us are supposed to be accidents, some of us are supposed to be poor. It is not my job OR yours to decide who should be here, who should not, and what kind of life they should live. Why do you think you have a right to be here? Are you somehow better than the Duggars because you have a different purpose?
    And to answer your question, YES–I am willing to pay a tiny fraction of my paycheck to pay for the Duggar’s, and any other children who need my help–because that is my job as an empathetic and caring person in a community.

    • says

      Why would anyone pay for the Duggars, lt was their choice to have all those children? It’s your money and you can do what you want with it, but they have enough revenue from their show, so they really don’t need it. Instead of having all their own children they could have adopted others along the way if they wanted to share their bounty and given some already here children a good life. Also Jesus said, “Pray in your own closet, so that none others will know of your good works”.

  12. Integrity says

    I agree with Sam (nearly) 100% on this topic. My only reservation is that $1m may be a little unrealistic; with such a standard we’d be totally DE-populated pretty darned soon….which, from an extreme point of view, really isn’t a bad thing….but I digress.

    I believe that 75% of the problems in the U.S. could be resolved by deterring folks who have no business raising children from having them. There is no greater responsibility in this world than raising a child, yet we have millions of people completely lacking in financial, mental, and/or emotional resources bringing forth children.

    Many folks who may not be millionaires may make great parents. Being *slightly* underprepared financially for parenthood may not be the worst thing, so long as the prospective parents go into it with eyes wide open. I still think it’s not the wisest thing to do, but such folks, who otherwise have the mental/emotional wherewithal and maturity to “scrape by” and make it work, by all means should have kids. It’s not about giving kids every financial advantage, really; it’s about having the intelligence, capacity, and wisdom to approach the issue with the care and gravity it deserves, and fully accepting the RESPONSIBILITY.

    What makes me angry is irresponsibility. I have a real hard time with the idea of paying for other people’s poor choices, and having a child that you cannot support at all qualifies as a heinously poor choice. When someone has a child that they cannot properly support, that child becomes “OUR” problem, and usually a problem for life. Our prisons are full of the results of all of these poor choices. And look…. prison populations continue to grow. Worse still, most of those people in prison have multiple children from multiple relationships, further perpetuating/exacerbating the problem. The exponentiality of the thing is pretty darned frightening!

    While I don’t share it, I understand the emotional drive of many people to have kids. However, that drive shouldn’t overcome the common sense required to recognize the consequences and responsibilities of bringing a child into the world. Those who fail to comprehend these things should NOT have kids. Again, it’s not about a fixed dollar amount; it’s about understanding and responsibility. Unfortunately, there are also an awful lot of folks who don’t “think” at all. They don’t have kids because they ever *thought* about it or “wanted kids”; they have kids because they were irresponsible to begin with. Thus we have children (of any age) raising children. Talk about scary!

    I doubt that the cohort reading Sam’s blog falls into the latter category. I think his intent is simply to point out that, if you’re a person seeking to enhance your finances and live a reasonably prosperous existence, you should think long, hard, and carefully about the COSTS of having and raising a child, and be prepared for those, before you actually do it. Don’t let emotion overcome pragmatism and wisdom.

    • says

      Howdy mate, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, $1 million is an extreme hurdle. I just wanted to get the minds rolling a little bit.

      But with kids, a family can get a lot of subsidy from the government. You can also make up to about $95,000 and get subsidized health care if you have children. Hence, it’s not all that irrational to have lots of kids.

      How did you find this article btw? Always curious to know.

  13. igotadose says

    Hi Sam. Comments on this thread still show up in my inbox, 4 years after commenting. Nice thread. Lisa can’t do math, actually, Lisa *won’t* do math, pretty obvious. It’s what you’re up against, though, the fairy-tale princess lifestyle

  14. Sara says

    This is seriously one of the most absurd posts I have ever read. While I agree that people who cannot take care of themselves should not be having children. The amount of money you’re saying one should have before having children would leave my entire family non-existent. I’m lucky if my parents make a million dollars (take-home) in their entire lifetime!

    The hilarious part is I would not consider myself or my family to be poor. Beyond that most people I have met that grew up under these type of circumstances are so wasteful and unappreciative and can’t do anything for themselves. You don’t need a ton of money to live. You can grow your own food and relatively small gardens and freeze/can to last through winters. You can buy the things you cannot grow in bulk for a very small fraction of the price. You can not by any processed crap foods and make everything yourself. You can hang your clothes to dry and wash dishes by hand. Instead of buying new clothes made in over-sea sweatshops you can buy used & up-cycled clothing from thrift stores. You don’t need expensive toys and games you can be creative and active and imaginative. You can make your own laundry soap and cleaning products instead of buying over prices ones in stores. Ect. Ect.

    Basically, you can be an extremely environmentally aware, self-sufficient, creative, happy, appreciative , resourceful human being for very little money. With a happy healthy family.

    Or you can have a stressful job, pop your anti-anxiety & anti-depressant meds. Buy a ton of overpriced shit you don’t need. Spend your whole life keeping up with the jones in your materialistic addictions always wanting more and never being satisfied, and raise some brats of children who will become perfect little consumers who can’t do anything for themselves.

    Ay yi yi

      • igotadose says

        Everyone should get it, or no one should get it. I prefer the latter. I don’t want to support someone’s breeding decision, and saving the EITC will go a big way to helping reduce the budget deficiit and strengthen the economy.

          • igotadose says

            Sam, do the math. Unless you know the details on how those children are financed, all you can do is fall back on the data you trust, like the government projections (which I personally think are on the low side). Families earning less than 50k, get by due to government assistance (like EITC and more) and live more cheaply like in subsidized housing. How many of their children get to graduate from Ivy League?

            I’m not saying every child should attend Ivy League, in fact I think in the US way too many unqualified students go to college and feed the university’s profit maw, but a families budget should allow for it. Attending Ivy League will give your kid a big advantage over her peers when it comes to finding a job at graduation, however.

            In fact, 50k a year is probably about right for everything for 4 year average college these days, including room, board, books, extra fees, additional tuition, … So, be sure when you have that kid that in 18 years you’ll have 200k (with an adjustment for inflation, probably more like 300k if you project out from today.)

            And, this doesn’t even consider post-grad like law degree (a terrible idea these days), medicine, advanced science degree.

  15. Jack says

    I’m really glad that no one has restricted my ability to buy nice things because of my performance in high school or college. I didn’t get great grades, but now I’m in the top 10% of American personal incomes and I’m only a few years out of school.

  16. Bridgitt says

    It is selfish to have sex and get pregnant, when your about to be on the street, and when your in an abusive situation or marriage, are sick with some incurable disease, or are suicidal, and have mental illness. that’s just like asking for despair. I agree wholeheartedly we shouldn’t be forcing women to get married or have kids they do not want, have never wanted, and have no interest in taking care. Not all of us, are nurturers, some of us cant stand kids, and don’t want anyone holding us down so they can rape us, and then say later on it’s a blessing. Some of us do like kids, but don’t want to have any, want to focus on other things, not selfish at all.Not so much, when your suicidal because your pregnant because of incest or rape, and no one cares. A lot of people in this world are suicidal through no fault of their own, bad circumstances, chemical imbalance, you name it, and don’t’ need more problems added on. Look at the news stories everyday and you see reports of women committing suicide who are not happy at all, with the way women are treated or not treated. It’s okay to be single.

  17. NoKids4Me says

    Here, here! I never wanted children. They are expensive, the government wants to have their “hand” in everything, and frankly, I wanted to work and travel without the extra headache. I agree, too many children already in need of a GOOD home, I was one of them. No one ever helped me, everything I have is due to me earning it. (Earning it seems to be a foreign concept to todays generation.) What I do NOT like are the people which have children to ride the free meal ticket, receive the dole, & have something to complain about. I have seen too many people, after kid #5,6,7 or MORE, still NOT FIGURE OUT WHAT CAUSES THIS MYSTERIOUS “ILLNESS” (pregnancy)! I support freedom of choice, but there has got to be a line!! I’m convinced awful places like WalMart/McDonald’s etc., encourage this. Simple idea, you want a car, you save to buy one. You want a child, have a positive bank account. Thank You Mr. Samurai for not beating around the bush, say it like it is! (And now that I’m 41, people are finally no longer saying to me that I will change my mind & want children.)

  18. igotadose says

    For NoKids4Me: you’re absolutely right, corporations WANT you to have many children – it means more consumers for their products, and cheaper labor in their factories. Even the most cursory investigation into the data bears this out – look at the lament about ‘income inequality.’ It’s not inequality -it’s TOO MANY PEOPLE SLICING THE SAME PIE. Or, look at the data on ‘wage stagnation for the middle class’; supply and demand still rules – and there’s an oversupply of humans.

    When people become more prosperous, they have smaller families. For a modern example, look at the ferility rates in Mexico. The families there, are shrinking in size.

    Finally, here’s more good reason to not have kids: you’re condemning them to life in the world described in this study from 1999, a little dated, but not wrong, and its probably worse than the scientists are predicting:

    • NoKids4Me says

      Sadly, I agree with you 100%. The writing has been on the walls for decades, but people eat up the spoon fed propaganda. As a species, we are de-evolving. The middle class has disappeared, and I hear more & more people WANT more government control. It’s just so easy to let others do the thinking. I always believed hard work, perseverance, & good moral grounding would take you to the top. College was a rude awakening. Four jobs, full units, & lived in my car. (I’m a woman.) I chequed into financial aide. This was what I was asked, ” Are you pregnant, do you have children, are you Native American or Hispanic?”. No to all the aforementioned. I was told to leave as there was NOTHING available for me. Fast forward 20+ years, I see it has become worse, in every aspect of society. We all could carry on for hours on the plight of “un”civilisation & the decline of humanity!

      I have read your ramblings from time to time and am encouraged all is not lost. There are thinking people yet! I’m happy to learn some are also resisting the dumbing down of society! (I have no television, but have heard of mockumentaries, reality shows, & other drivel I’m happy to avoid!) Thank you for being a thinking individual!

  19. realitycheck says

    Wow you didn’t mention about what happens when people fall on hard times…divorce, medical crisis and my favorite businesses that needlessly drive up the cost of living and then claim debt when its just making meaningless unobtainable goals that will be just another way to jilt employees out of their pay…
    Many people start out great and then the bottom falls out from under them.. If businesses and employees have such great relations government control wouldn’t be necessary. Oh but look at the person who didn’t go to school and learn about grad level social structure and economics.
    Do C students deserve A lifestyles.. if they are working at it yes. .. If you haven’t noticed people are taking control of resources back from companies.. money is going out of style in some areas.. FreeFood Project where people are sharing what they raised..since houses cost so much and flimsy.. people are pushing for cob homes they last well over a century easier to maintain…… and going back to the group schools carried on in communities at the pace of the children not from gimmicks sold by corporate America that has turned out less graduates. to be human is to understanding…
    It is funny you speak of resources when the rich consume more resources than they need and have the ill-blasted nerve to rant about what poor people have. Many of the poor are living in tent cities.. U.S. is no better than Brazil’s abusive economy..devaluing wages.. telling people that bank clerks, salesmen don’t do much so they should get paid less. They do more now than they use to..They use to have homes, vacations and were fixtures in their they work poor and businesses commit wage theft… and worse in many cases commit wage theft and cheat customers. This is very elitist sight.. shame on you.

    • says

      Is it elitist, or is it a responsible and logical way of thinking to help society out over the long term?

      I grew up in developing countries like Zambia, Malaysia, India, China in the 80s and 90s. America is paradise compared to so many other countries. Did you grow up in developing countries where per capita GDP is just 1/5th or less that of the US?

      I’m actually in Siem Reap, Cambodia now, where children at the age of 5 are working on the streets, trying to make a buck by selling magnets to help the family survive.

      I’ve paid over $100,000 a year in income taxes for over 10 years in a row to help support public works. How much have you paid in taxes over the past 10 years?

      I’ve written on Financial Samurai for six years, publishing 3-4 posts a week without fail, trying to help people improve their financial lives. I’ve never asked for any money. I’ve responded to thousands of comments, and hundreds of e-mails asking me for help, in order to help.

      And in June, 2015, I published a 180 page, 69,000 word eBook that if read will help the reader tremendously with their finances due to the knowledge they’ll gain, the framework they can follow, and the strategies they’ll employ. Furthermore, I’m donating 100% of the book’s proceeds after expenses to a charity that helps keep our youth off the streets, so they can get an education to give them the best shot at doing well in life. Maybe you’d like to purchase a copy and support the cause?

      And here’s the thing, I haven’t done enough. What I hope to do is start a discussion, bring about different perspectives, and get people to take action. The sooner we can secure our financial lives, the sooner we can help other people.

      Instead of criticizing me and other rich people, how about taking action? Please share with us your story and background instead of talking about other people.


  20. Elaine Diamond says

    Dear Samurai, thanks for the great article. Most people have kids for the wrong reasons, without any idea of what it takes to raise sane, healthy adults. They also, for the most part, seem oblivious to the struggles kids are going to face in this complex and already overcrowded world. They are often not preparing the kids for the world they will be enter, and these kids will suffer. And, in order to feel better, many of the kids will HAVE KIDS, even before they can take care of themselves. Being from a family of 8, I find it all very disturbing. I would like to know how you deal with witnessing this unconscious and destructive behavior, knowing the true emotional and financial costs of children who are not prepared for?

  21. says

    Dear Samurai,

    I’ve read some of your articles are find them to be very interesting.

    I would say you hit on many fine point.

    1) The rich do pay most of the taxes, and asking them to pay more and more of it is insane.
    If I make 500k a year and already paid a huge amount (>183k) and then I take the post tax money and decide to invest in our society (which the stock market is), why should I have pay even more taxes on the money I made by being frugal? I don’t get it. Its not a ‘loophole’. Anyone can invest their money, small or large. Investing on the money after paying their share of tax, is not a way for the rich to “get out of paying taxes”. People who invest in the market and allow free trade, the country, economy, companies etc.. should be praised for being frugal. Don’t expect them to pay even more. Charitable contributions are tax deductible. So what? if they are donating their money to a cause they believe in, hey good for them!

    2) America is the riches and the land of opportunities. Look at all the new immigrants who work hard and make something of themselves. Work hard and you will be rewarded. People notice who is hard working. Work hard and if that doesn’t work, work even harder. Don’t expect people to just hand you stuff. If you work really hard, people will be more than willing to help you. And if you are poor, be thankful. Don’t ‘expect’ that you are somehow owed by society. No one owes anyone anything. Poor or those in less fortunate situation usually get help if they are genuine and sincere. But if you go with the attitude you are owed or something, people are less willing to help.

    3) I totally agree that people shouldn’t have children who can’t afford them. If you can’t afford to pay car insurance, you don’t get to drive. If you can’t afford to pay for the steak, you don’t get to eat that steak. If you can’t afford the NFL ticket, you don’t get to see it. Don’t go screwing around (phun intended) and have kids and then expect society to support you. I don’t think $1 million is realistic and I think you were just joking but there should be some standard for having children. They have it for adoption, so why not for anyone who wants one.

    4) I would add that churches/synagogues/mosques/temples should have to pay taxes like any other corporation. Look at how much money is spent on institutions that preach about a fantasies written several thousands years ago. We are in 2015! “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

  22. igotadose says

    Neuro, per your points:
    1. regularly debunked re: charities. Rich give to what benefits them – concert halls, hospital wings (where you can’t afford it as a middle-class due to the ridiculous state of US healthcare, which of course benefits the rich.) Rich pay surprisingly little amount of taxes, what’s in the tax return rarely matters.
    2. The middle-class myth is over. I agree, hard work is good – but it’s no longer sufficient to guarantee a safe middle-class lifestyle. The healthcare deck is stacked against you. Retirees are being told to have $200k at retirement to cover what’s not available through insurance. Do you think with goals of house, kids, education for yourself & kids, that’s achievable at America’s median income (around $54k before taxes?) I don’t
    3. Million dollars is oft quoted and is LOW. The data that the US government provides to reach this, are based on the SECOND child (so you have the crib, the space for the kid, etc.) It does NOT include college education for the kid, nor does it include the opportunity cost of 1 parent dropping out from the workforce. “A million dollars just doesn’t go as far anymore” is true in the US more than ever. And heaven forfend the kid isn’t healthy – an increasingly high risk, and see (1) about the US healthcare system.

    On a side note, the US just fell behind China in the rate of maternal mortality, we’re way down on the list. Despite all that expensive healthcare, a Chinese mom is more likely to survive childbirth than a US mom.

    4. Agree, but good luck. They’re all ‘non-profits’ unfortunately. Congress should be going after the inheritance tax to help balance the books, raise the capital gains, etc. More realistic goals.

  23. SS27 says

    This article is ridiculous. Half the reason our society is in the mess it is now is because people like yourself have become totally blinded by the importance of money and have this sense of social darwinistic entitlement because of it.

    When it comes to children money is not as half as important as being emotionally stable, and there’s plenty of rich and wealthy parents who are emotional fuckups. That and being so wealth driven they don’t spend enough time with the children or retain the ability to actually listen/be present with them because they have dollar signs floating around inside their heads.

    You can be relatively poor and still raise great children. But if you want to produce the next generation of soulless consumer nobodies in high paying positions who attended the best schools and all that, then no, being poor won’t help you achieve your desires for them.

    If you have children your aim should be for them to become happy well-adjusted adults. Money does not guarantee that and should not be the focus of your efforts. Personally I think people should reflect before having children.. but I think the criteria should be emotional competency and not financial as you suggest. The world needs better adjusted individuals, not more rich ones.

    • igotadose says

      “half of all statistics are made up.” .

      The article isn’t “only wealthy should have children.” The article is, “This is how much it costs to raise children. Can you afford it?” and it mostly understates the amounts required. Nor does it say “Money should be the focus of your efforts.”

      Sam at least earns some dough and is more or less clear-eyed about what life costs. For him and his kid(s) – not sure how many, at least one.

      Emotional competency? Sure – just how do YOU measure that? Data please (remember: anecdotes are not data.) And it needs to be measured BEFORE children are had.

      • SS27 says

        “As the government continues to infiltrate all our lives, may I suggest a new proposal. Unless your household net worth is over $1 million, no American household is allowed to have a child! OK, so $1 million is likely too high of a hurdle, but you get the idea. Institute minimal financial standards, such as having at least a positive net worth and a declaration of a 10 year financial game plan before a couple can start a family.”

        The tone of the article is pretty clear. I find it a bit offensive too to be honest.. what right do you have to deny any human being their primary function as a propagator of the species? Or to declare that financial competence should be the arbitrating factor in the decision? As my post alluded I would argue that emotional competency is far more important than financial competency in whether someone should have children or not.

        How does one measure it? Well it’s something a computer will never gauge – it requires another human to do it. Anyway we shouldn’t be placing these kinds of demands on the process of reproduction, but rather trying to help people grow as individuals as much as possible before committing to have children. We have to work out the kinks as we go. Placing a financial barrier on the process doesn’t solve the root causes of the problems we face.

        I get some level of money is important. You want to prevent those without it from getting into a bad situation and for the wellbeing of the future children, I get that. I’m saying there’s better ways around this and that a financial criteria doesn’t really solve the problem at all.

        ‘Society shouldn’t have to bail you out in the end’

        Because society is perfect? Without any compassion we will go backwards. Give people the tools they need to move forward, don’t punish them for inheriting flaws from their parents and external environment!

        • says

          SS27 – The article is supposed to get readers to feel some emotion.

          Why does the government give child tax credits for those with income under a certain level? What business do they have deciding who gets to have money for children and who doesn’t? Instead of a tax credit, what about a tax penalty to help minimize absentee parents. Raising kids is a full-time job!

          Here’s a tangential post: Why Debt Welchers Are Admired

        • igotadose says

          SS27 – sorry, no data and we’ll ignore you. Your agenda is pretty obvious, with silly comments like ‘primary function.’ The primary function of any being is self-preservation. As for propagation, here’s a simple fact for you: It’s not enough to propagate humans. The progenitor needs to provide for the offspring to ensure it’s success.

          As Sam rightfully points out, why should childbearing be subsidized then? If you can’t feed ’em, don’t breed ’em.

          All the arguments against Sam’s post can be boiled down to: “You’re a mean man. I want my kiddies. Want want want. Don’t spoil it for me by presenting some REASONS it might not be a good idea.”

          • Svea says

            Sorry to spoil your rant, but your opinion is just that- an opinion. It has no credibility. Just like the original post. I saw no real statistics in this post and it isn’t going to change the world. Time to get a large dose of reality.

  24. says

    “If you have no plan, no money, and no intense desire please don’t have children.”

    *Stands up and applauds*

    You know, looking back at the comments section, it’s amazing at the hate this post is getting. Hey Sam, how DARE you suggest that having children isn’t THE MOST WONDERFUL, AMAZING, PRECIOUS THING IN THE WORLD THAT EVERYBODY SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW!!!!

    Honestly, if you are telling people to stop having children, then I actually completely agree with you. In today’s society, you are seen as strange, weird, and even selfish (and at least one commenter has accused you of being that) if you don’t want to have kids. My mother once asked me when she’s getting grandkids. Based on my current desires, life goals, and financial situation, the answer is currently “eww, never”. And I don’t feel weird or guilty about that. I don’t have the intense desire to care for a tiny person for 18 years, dedicate my life to him/her, and put his/her needs before mine.

    And everyone else getting mad at you seems to not have read the post. “How dare you suggest that only families with a net worth of $1,000,000 and over be allowed to have children”, they scream, seemingly not having read the very next sentence where you say that the number you suggested is actually unreasonably high and you were just trying to prove a point and get people thinking. If your point was that people should stop having kids, point proven.

    I’ve been reading your posts recently. Some of them I completely agree with, others not so much. But reading this post (with which I agree with completely), it’s amazing how many people get so irrationally angry at something that I’m not even sure they actually fully read.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

    • igotadose says

      Wow, someone that Actually Gets it. Nice post, ARB.

      Having kids is entirely a choice, and as you point out, a bad one. Those that HAVE made this choice, react violently when it’s, I’ll put this mildly, “called into question.” (I don’t question it – it’s never the right choice, it’s because someone has a WANT.)

      Good luck, though. Most of society loathes those that CHOOSE not to have children and persecutes them.

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