Financial worries causing family delays
It’s a well-known fact that having children can be very expensive.
Raising a child to the age of 18 can cost more than £150,000, according to research from the Child Poverty Action Group.
Even for people with a household income that is well above the national average of approximately £29,400 a year, the main reason why people delay starting a family is the cost of raising children.
Around a third of adults aged 18-34 are still living at home, according to Fidelity, and parents estimate this costs them £1,780 each year.
Unfortunately, the financial impact of having children is also unlikely to end the moment they reach adulthood.
Emma-Lou Montgomery, Associate Director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said:
“Any parent will tell you; there is no ‘right time’ to start a family. Having children costs money, and that’s a cost that doesn’t even come with a definite end date, as today’s parents who are still financially supporting their adult kids know.”
“But being aware of the financial commitment needed and factoring children into your financial life plans can help you feel better prepared to cope with what’s to come.”
Research from Fidelity’s Modern Life Report found that 35% of people who do not yet have children would like them in the future, and that number rises to just over half of 18 to 34-year-olds.
Financial insecurity prevents 56% of people who would like to have children in the future from having children now. This concern is more significant for men (61%) compared to women (52%).
For those with a household income above £50,000 who would like to have children, 14% say it’s not being financially secure, which stops them from starting a family.
However, it’s not just money worries which prevent people who want children from having them.
Other key considerations are not being married (28%) or in a secure relationship (26%), as well as other responsibilities people have in life (15%).
Poor health impacts the decisions of one in ten people, with 9% worried about the effect on their career.
15% of women state that the impact on their career is a reason for not having children, compared to just 2% of men.
All of this has contributed to an increase in the average age of having a first child to 29 years old.
Being financially prepared makes all the difference, whether that’s school or university fees, helping children take their first step on the property ladder or thinking even further ahead to your grandchildren.
Putting in place a financial plan will also ensure that you don’t forget to plan for your financial future in all the chaos of family life.