In a GQ thread about personal financial planning, I said this:
Another poster said this was a “silly statement . . . on so many levels,” and elaborated further. I am responding here since it’s obviously turning into a debate.
That may be true, but as I said to my wife when we got married, it’s not like the children are going to starve to death. And nobody is a perfect parent, at any age. What happens is that you muddle through.
Which isn’t to say it’s a good idea to get pregnant at age 15. But for a 15-year-old, there isn’t much downside to waiting until one’s late 20s. For someone in their late 20s, there is a lot of downside to waiting until their late 30s. Particularly for women, since fertility tends to drop a lot during that time period. Also, their child is more likely to have problems.
Even for men, whose fertility tends to be more stable, there’s value in being on the young side.
It depends what you mean by “financially support.” In a typical young struggling middle class family, the children still have food to eat; clothes to wear; and a roof over their heads. Maybe they will be wearing some hand-me-downs; and not own a lot of toys; and not go on expensive vacations. But still.
Sure, it’s a matter of personal values. But recall that the GQ thread was about acquiring assets. My point is that you can go overboard saving money and acquiring wealth.
Probably you are right, but that’s not quite the point I was making. I’m not saying anyone does (or should) act that way. Just that it’s an unintended consequence some of the time.
Again, it depends what you mean by “realistically plan.” Unless they happen to have a trust fund, most people have to plan on doing some muddling.