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Why Millennials Are Increasingly Putting Off Parenthood

The Short of It

Millennials seem to be putting off having children due to financial instability. But if they wait for the perfect time to become parents, will they miss their window?

The Lowdown

Adults born between 1980 and 2000 face more debt than their parents, and even their grandparents, did at their age due to the recession of 2007. And as a result, they're spawning (or not spawning) a trend that has economists worried for the country's future.

Among 20- to 29-year-olds, the birth rate is falling steadily, reports Yahoo Finance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, birth rates for adults ages 20 to 24 dropped 2 percent between 2012 and 2013. Birth rates for 25- to 29-year-olds have dropped 1 percent every year since 2008.

The only age group for which birth rates are on the rise are the 30- to 34-year-old set. The rate at which they became parents rose 2 percent in 2013.

But strapped with student debt and lower paying jobs or unemployment, most millennials are increasingly waiting to become parents, especially given the rising cost of raising children.

The question is, how long is too long to wait?

The Upshot

My husband and I were by no means wealthy when we had our first child in 2008. We worried about how we would afford to be parents. Guess what? We still worry about it three kids later.

Financial worries about raising a family never go away. But in my opinion, if you wait for the perfect time to have a baby, it will never come. That being said, there's a big difference between putting off parenthood because you're flat broke and waiting for baby because you need to be 100 percent financially sound first. Most people never experience the latter.

Yahoo Finance suggests these tips on how to financially prepare for baby:

  1. Practice living off of one salary for at least a year.
  2. Make lifestyle adjustments now, not later.
  3. Review your health insurance policies.
  4. Balance your savings needs with your children's savings needs.
  5. Women should plan their transition away from and back to work carefully.

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