Any parents reading this blog know that there are many “extras” that come with your bundles of joy. Those extras include a bond you will never experience anywhere else, in addition to higher bills from diapers to healthcare to school tuition. I would not change it for the world, but recall my own sticker shock back in 2003 as we moved into the day-to-day costs of childcare. Like so many other parts of becoming a parent, there is no handbook on how to prepare emotionally or financially for all of the extra benefits. As I mentioned in a previous post, the cost to raise a child has increased 25 percent over the last 10 years with projected costs above $285,000 per child. I did hear from some folks that a figure that size serves as birth control, but I would prefer to think of it as a planning opportunity.
Now, based on a recent Wells Fargo nationwide survey, LGBT adults with children consistently report more financial challenges, including preparing for retirement, than LGBT adults without children. LGBT parents feel less comfortable financially than those without children (42% vs. 61%), and reported less confidence in their financial future (40% with children vs. 68% without). They are also twice as likely to report that high living expenses are limiting their ability to save for the future (51% with children vs. 26% without).
So, having children seems to be a terrific equalizer across these different family types. This study reminds us of the need for clear planning and preparing for all families venturing into the world of having children. Comparing it to other special things in your life with a $285,000 price tag, it is an investment in the future requiring a good degree of additional planning.