Do you want to get married / have kids? What age?

Curious to get some thoughts here as it seems a lot of people these days either a) don't want to get married / have kids or b) do it super late (according to media). Of course, most media has a pretty liberal bias & of course is going to be reporting on stuff that might not even be super relevant for a long time.

Asking this forum here as it's got a young demographic and is generally quite moderate (not too many far left / far right people) vs. likes of Reddit / 4chan. Would be great if you could provide a rationale for both just to see if there are some common themes 

Do you want to get married and if so by what age would be your preference? Why?

Do you want to have kids, and if so by what age would you want them and how many would you want? Why?

I'll start off, I do want to get married and ideally by 30-31 (would be fine doing it at 29 at the earliest). I'm sure there are religious / economic reasons behind the nuclear family dynamic but nonetheless I think it's just critically important to oneself & their quality of life / mental health. Having a partner / best friend by your side is so important to deal with life's curveballs, you have someone you can share things with, take care of each other as you age, etc.

On having kids, I'd like to have 2-3 kids in my early 30s (latest mid-30s). Don't want them in my 20s as I want to enjoy the freedom of these years / lack of maturity (still don't really feel like a real adult yet). But definitely do want them as I think it's probably the most rewarding thing I'll ever end up doing. Absolutely aiming for a robust career but when I look back at age 60, I'm pretty sure I'll be more proud of having done right by my kids than my career. Also my mom always talks about this, but what are you doing in retirement? Having 2-3 kids to visit and to visit you is super important to your sanity, and would be nice to have grandchildren...where you get to enjoy 'having a kid' but you're not as responsible in terms of the actual work of raising them

Anyway, curious to get all of your thoughts 

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Comments (113)

Sep 1, 2021 - 10:42am
cyberpunk, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I deferred marriage and kids until this point, always thought I should be more stable about my geographical location (I used to travel a lot).
Now, that I am in my late 20s/early 30s, I tend to look at more details of the women I am dating. Character, upbringing, values, etc.

After getting married we would like to have two to three children in the next 5-9 years. If she agrees to it as well, of course. We haven't discussed the details yet, but we are talking high-level stuff first (which country, what about careers, which parents need help first, etc.).

Sep 1, 2021 - 12:41pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Either marry the chick and live with her or don't have the kid at all. 

Array

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Sep 1, 2021 - 1:30pm
ThatOtherGuy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm leaning towards this school of thought, especially after seeing friends be raised by divorced parents who still prioritized taking care of them and ending up appreciating their childhoods. Miles better than being around parents who no longer enjoy being around each other

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Sep 1, 2021 - 11:11am
Drumpfy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

22 and engaged to a Russian girl.  We had met before and lived together in third countries while everything was remote.  Hopefully going to bring her over when the US embassies reopen, but COVID has made a mess of the immigration system.  My preference would probably be getting married at age 23-24 but we need to get engaged so she can immigrate.  Neither of us are really into hookups or going out so it makes sense.

As for kids I intend to have them a little earlier and a few more of them than the average American, but this depends on how our financial situation is in a few years.  I have an offer in an LCOL city which would make everything a bit easier but I'm not sure if I'd like the slow pace of life

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Sep 1, 2021 - 11:15am
cyberpunk, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are a USC, fiance visas will be among the highest priority cases for the authorities and, as far as I know, are also being adjudicated in some countries. If she is still in Russia I obviously don't know if the embassy in Russia will handle this at what volume atm.

https://www.boundless.com/immigration-resources/how-is-a-fiance-visa-different-from-a-marriage-based-green-card/

The only requirement is having met physically in the last two years, which is a bit tricky given the overall situation. Maybe there is a Covid waiver for that. Or fly over and marry abroad, then sponsor her GC (consular processing). There will in all likelihood delays, but it should somehow work out. Best of luck to both of you.

Sep 1, 2021 - 12:51pm
Drumpfy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

We have spent much more time together than most couples who do this visa, and we're waiting for our interview to be scheduled.  But Putin said that citizens of "hostile countries" can't work at the embassy so it's basically shut down.  I am getting her case moved to another country.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Sep 1, 2021 - 11:27am

21 right now. I plan on getting married by 25-27. Spend a couple of years without children and just hanging out with my wife and have a kid by 29-30 and then another in a couple of years after that for a total of 2.

Sep 3, 2021 - 11:05am
red_bandit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Initially wanted to rip on this but, truthfully. it genuinely sounds like a great circumstance

  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Sep 1, 2021 - 11:32am

30 Right now. Got married at 25, had our first kid at 27, second kid at 29, and our third kid last month. Wife and I are both from cultures/families that tend to value getting married and having kids early (I'm Asian, wife is white but was born and raised in Singapore).

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 1, 2021 - 11:37am

Wow, congrats on the newborn! Are you both professionals? And if so, how do you balance raising a family with work?

Most Helpful
  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Sep 1, 2021 - 11:43am

Yeah, for context we both live in NY. I'm at a PE fund that straddles UMM-MF and wife is a capital markets ED at a BB. Financially, it's definitely tough to raise a family in NY, but we both graduated without any debt, lived extremely frugally before our first child, and made good financial decisions, and by 27 we decided we were financially sound enough to raise a family. As for WLB, it's tough but we're both willing to make professional sacrifices (not grinding ourselves to the bone and gunning for MD/partner ASAP) to spend time focusing on family. Also, as is customary with Asian culture, both our parents also live close by in the city and they're very involved our children's lives.

Sep 1, 2021 - 1:06pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What made you decide to have all the children in quick succession? 3 babies/toddlers seems like a lot to handle. 

Array

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  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Sep 1, 2021 - 1:12pm

Ultimately 3 kids is definitely a handful to say the least, but we thought it was worth the sacrifice. We wanted to have our kids early (our newborn will likely be our last kid) so we'd be able to see them grow up more throughout our lives. Also, growing up my siblings were always by best friends, and I wanted our kids to be close enough in terms of age so they'd effectively grow up together and always have each other as companions and friends, as my wife also had siblings but she was by 9 years the youngest so she was never as close to her sister as I was to my siblings.

Sep 3, 2021 - 2:40pm
dutchduke, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Another reason -You will realize that having a child will put you in a total mental fog for quite sometime. Nothing can really prepare you for it. Your whole world changes and you are almost home bound for 3-4 years bc it is so challenging. To that end, many people decide to knock them out in succession since you are already getting your ass kicked and need to get out of the home bound phase sooner if possible. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 1, 2021 - 12:05pm

Currently 20, hoping to get married by 26-28 and to have a child before 30, and one or two more down the line afterward. Matches roughly what my parents' timeline was, and they made it work while both being white-collar professionals in Manhattan so I think it's pretty realistic.

Sep 1, 2021 - 1:03pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At the moment planning to be voluntary celibate (unlike an incel). If I find a woman who I deem has a positive NPV, then that would change, but realistically I don't see that happening. It's more of a "0.000000000000000001% chance this happens" rather than some target age I'm going for.

Toddlers do nothing but throw temper tantrums and are stupid. It takes about 10 years before the kid could get interesting, and don't feel like giving away so much of my prime to get a return that may or may not even play out the way I'd hoped for.  Also not really into raising a spoiled brat. Additionally, anything I'd consider fun is age-restricted (even normal stuff like lifting weights, etc.) so until I'm ready for a life of monotony and boredom (probably never) kids are a no-go for me.  

Array

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Nov 4, 2021 - 2:06pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

planning is in the future tense...

Array

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Sep 1, 2021 - 1:47pm

im surprised Isaiah hasn't responded yet. the man wants something like 7 kids. truly insane and quite beautiful tbh. 

Sep 1, 2021 - 2:40pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Doesn't he also want his girl to be a 19 year old Catholic virgin who doesn't mind a 20-25yr age gap? Might be worth toning down the expectations....

Sep 1, 2021 - 3:01pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Sequoia

Doesn't he also want his girl to be a 19 year old Catholic virgin who doesn't mind a 20-25yr age gap? Might be worth toning down the expectations....

I said my preferred dating range was 18 - 25 on Tinder. I'm willing to make exceptions if I meet a chill person in real life. People have latched onto me only going for 19yr olds for some reason on here. I never said she has to be a virgin - you just made that up.

I do want to have a lot of kids though. But, not for a few years. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Funniest
Sep 1, 2021 - 4:29pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

18-25 is the range, yes, but 19 is the weighted average

Array

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Sep 1, 2021 - 8:07pm
PaulTwodoorJones, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Bro, how do you put up with dating girls 18-20 though? I'm in my mid twenties and have been with with girls 18-20. While it has been strictly sex, trying to hold a convo with a chick in this age range is mind numbing. The cute giddy shit gets old quick, and there is no substance thereafter.

  • Research Associate in AM - Equities
Sep 1, 2021 - 3:49pm

Bruh I get that, been a few years since I've been on a date, dealt with some shit post-college and then Covid hit right after. Planning on getting more aggressive on this stuff early next year or so, losing some weight rn too

Tbh I'm lucky in a sense that I'm Indian so I can always yeet out with the 'semi-arranged' marriage life in 2-3yrs if I wanted. Never gave that thought before but as soon as I hit my mid-20s I realized the clock is ticking. And honestly if she's like a 6-7 works fine for me as long as our personalities jibe. Anyway we'll see how it goes 

Sep 1, 2021 - 4:31pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Female professionals already married in b-school?

Array

Sep 1, 2021 - 4:06pm
thebrofessor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

been with my wife for 10-20 years (not all marriage, we dated a while before marriage, and y'all know I like to be mysterious)

don't want kids right now, I've never really wanted to be a dad, but if we do, I think 3 or 4 is the number. go big or go home, though I'm kinda leaving the initial decision to her as (let's be honest) I don't have to carry the thing in my belly

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 1, 2021 - 7:33pm

Haha I guess my 20 year old brain doesn't want to get married and have kids, but I guess eventually I do. I find the idea of a wife and family to be so nice, though my family is super broken, so I'm scared my next one would be like that too. 

Sep 1, 2021 - 9:06pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:
Sequoia

Curious to get some thoughts here as it seems a lot of people these days either a) don't want to get married / have kids or b) do it super late (according to media). Of course, most media has a pretty liberal bias & of course is going to be reporting on stuff that might not even be super relevant for a long time.

Asking this forum here as it's got a young demographic and is generally quite moderate (not too many far left / far right people) vs. likes of Reddit / 4chan. Would be great if you could provide a rationale for both just to see if there are some common themes 

Do you want to get married and if so by what age would be your preference? Why?

Do you want to have kids, and if so by what age would you want them and how many would you want? Why?

I'll start off, I do want to get married and ideally by 30-31 (would be fine doing it at 29 at the earliest). I'm sure there are religious / economic reasons behind the nuclear family dynamic but nonetheless I think it's just critically important to oneself & their quality of life / mental health. Having a partner / best friend by your side is so important to deal with life's curveballs, you have someone you can share things with, take care of each other as you age, etc.

On having kids, I'd like to have 2-3 kids in my early 30s (latest mid-30s). Don't want them in my 20s as I want to enjoy the freedom of these years / lack of maturity (still don't really feel like a real adult yet). But definitely do want them as I think it's probably the most rewarding thing I'll ever end up doing. Absolutely aiming for a robust career but when I look back at age 60, I'm pretty sure I'll be more proud of having done right by my kids than my career. Also my mom always talks about this, but what are you doing in retirement? Having 2-3 kids to visit and to visit you is super important to your sanity, and would be nice to have grandchildren...where you get to enjoy 'having a kid' but you're not as responsible in terms of the actual work of raising them

Anyway, curious to get all of your thoughts 

Nice write up about your planned ages, but how old are you? 22, 25?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 2, 2021 - 8:32pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dude? You wrote up all this big post and how old are you?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 1, 2021 - 9:15pm
ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nah I'm good. If you've seen modern women, you'd understand. It's absolutely terrible out there. And I'm not saying guys are any better

Sep 1, 2021 - 10:07pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

That's what WSO is for :)

Array

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  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Sep 1, 2021 - 10:15pm

My ideal age of settling down with a special lady would be about 40-42, then getting married at about the age of 45, provided that she properly fits my standards in a wife. I find that my age of settling would be appropriate for a director/MD, so that I can have a higher level of income for my wife and future offspring. As for my children, I would like to have a son and a daughter who can be sent to good private schools (e.g., Regis High for my son and Marymount or Sacred Heart in Greenwich for my daughter) for their education.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 2, 2021 - 8:59am

You won't have any healthy offspring - or any offspring at all - if you marry a woman in her 40s.

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Sep 2, 2021 - 10:28am

Actually, I plan to marry a woman in her early thirties when I am in my forties.

Besides, if I wanted a MILF, I'd go for one now.

Sep 5, 2021 - 12:25am
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You won't have any healthy offspring - or any offspring at all - if you marry a woman in her 40s.

This is incorrect - lots of women still have children in their 40s. My mom was 44.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Prospect in PE - LBOs
Sep 5, 2021 - 2:08am

As a faithful man, I will choose to forgive you for your cold response. Have a good day.

Feb 9, 2022 - 1:01pm
Sean LeFuck, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Also, my family is noted for our longevity in terms of life expectancy. My great-grandmother lived to be 100 while my grandmother is turning 91 next month; my paternal grandparents rarely had ill health until their late 80's. My grandfather (R.I.P.) died from an autoimmune disease called pemphigus vulgaris and complications from Coronavirus, while my grandmother is battling a treatable variant of lymphoma, and while doctors have told us that she won't be with us forever, we believe that her passing is somewhat far away (at least one year from now; Grandma and Grandpa are/were both very strong people).

The mother of idiots is always pregnant.
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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Sep 1, 2021 - 10:22pm

Do I want to get married: Yes

Around what age: 31-33 yo

Current age: 26

A bit more: I have had a very tough career start. I did a full-year off-cycle internship that eventually did not convert because I hated sell-side equity research, completed an MSF to get a target school brand name and the alumni network to get interviews, got laid off from my first full-time job during covid-19, and now basically started fresh as an Analyst 1 at a not-so-good LMM/boutique investment bank. We sometimes get good deals. Tbh, not learning a lot right now, learning something but not to an extent where I want it to be.

I have almost 0 savings and make shit money right now compared to BB/EB/most MM bankers. I dated this female banker a few months ago. She's a senior associate and she's 2 years older than me. Talked about getting married. Hell, I don't have any money to get married.

I feel terrible whenever I think about the fact that I'm not making a lot of money because I spent so much time self-studying modeling, coding(VBA, Python, SQL with sample projects on GitHub) and I read a ton.

Now, out of bad luck I have to start over.

I don't think I can get married by that age tbh because I'm not sure if I can afford say a nice apartment for 2. I work damn hard to prepare myself for the lateral. 

Sorry for the vent. Wish myself good luck. 

Sep 1, 2021 - 11:58pm
Pizz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

But don't you want to have sex with your wife when she is better looking in her 20's??? Her body is better looking 

Sep 1, 2021 - 10:35pm
patrickb8man, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Of course yes. Keep the family line going.

When me and my partner is ready of course. Not too old I hope

Sep 2, 2021 - 5:03am
Balance.of.Payments, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I always assumed I would, I guess it's just implied by everyone and everything we're exposed to as we grow up. Been in a couple of serious (multi-year) relationships which could've gone that way. 

Lately though I've soured on the idea. My life goal is to retire young-ish (40s, early 50s) and travel pretty seriously (six months or so out of every year). I don't need much, just a decent apartment, a reasonable passive income, and the ability to wake up in the morning, get in my car and just drive in any direction for as long as I want without any obligations to anyone or anything. A wife and kids don't really fit into that easily. 

Beyond that, my career trajectory doesn't really allow for a serious relationship. I'm currently negotiating a move to my fourth city (third country) in five years. I don't see myself living more than 3ish years in this new place so I doubt I'm going to slow down anytime soon. If I were married my wife could only easily follow me by sacrificing her career (and to be honest, I don't make enough to both meet my retirement goals and support a whole family on one income). 

I'm also naturally introverted, and while I love dating I also really like my own space. I'm not good at prioritising others over myself. Beyond providing material needs, I don't see myself being an especially good husband and father. 

Mid-late 20s for context. 

Sep 2, 2021 - 7:27am
princepieman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Definitely want kids at some point but not in the near future. I frankly couldn't handle the responsibility of having kids whilst in the core part of building up my career (early 20s -> late 20s / early 30s). My focus right now is on rapidly getting to a comfortable level of responsibility, income and stability. Any relationships I pursue will most likely not be too serious whilst I'm in this phase of my life - unless of course I find a real "keeper" and it just happens. 

Having kids is no joke at all. You lose a good chunk of your free time to devote to helping to develop and mould a set of human beings over 20+ years. You also lose a significant amount of your budget as it gets redirected to serve that purpose. It is a big sacrifice and a major commitment that requires emotional and financial maturity to really pull off. I don't want to be in a situation where my kids have to suffer because of my own naïveté or lack of financial stability. 

Also, WHO you have kids with is just as important as having a good foundation / being in the right phase of your life. You need someone who is honest, considerate, trustworthy. Someone who will partner with you to effectively lead a household. Someone that is aligned with the same values and vision for the future. I'm not convinced that I can find that person yet so I'm happy to build myself up first whilst firming up what I'm really looking for in a significant other. 
 

Array
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Sep 2, 2021 - 9:23am
D.O.U.G., what's your opinion? Comment below:

Married 25 years.

5 kids.

Having children is no joke. Managing triplets should be taught in sex-ed classes.  Guarantee teen birth rate would drop to zero.

Namaste.

D.O.U.G.

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Sep 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Tracer85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

29, got married at 25 to boyfriend. Not really sure if I want kids as pregnancy doesn't sound fun. Husband and I are also fairly career focused and I don't see him sacrificing it for kids. I'd be stuck with single parenting them and that's a scenario I don't want. Id seriously consider adoption once career has slowed down a bit. Biological clock doesn't help.

Array

Sep 4, 2021 - 6:18pm
Tracer85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't see the point of having them if I can't give them the time and attention they deserve. Better to adopt later when I have more control on my life and better means no?

Array

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Sep 3, 2021 - 11:02am
jto777, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I was married at 23, we had our first kid at 27, 2nd at 29, and 3rd at 31. So your plan of "married by 30, with 3 kids by mid 30's" is doable, but you gotta be turning and burning em at that rate. 

I completely agree with you that the family dynamic is critically important to mental health and quality of life. No judgement at all on the people who don't want kids or marriage, but my family is everything to me and I don't feel like I am "missing out" on anything. Our youngest is just a couple of months old, but we are already talking about maybe having one more in a couple years. 

Sep 3, 2021 - 6:21pm
Risk Weighted Ass, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Saying your going to get married 29-31 is a sure way to end up proposing to the wrong person and living with someone you grow to despise or divorce.

I am simply waiting until I meet the correct woman. If I met her at 16, I would have married. I am 22 now but still have not found anyone I would consider that would also consider me.

I would like to get married by end of 28.

Regardless of the woman, I want to start having kids immediately. The younger a woman has kids, the better it is for her body/health and post-pregnancy recovery.

I just dated a MILF who has 3 kids (including twins), but she had them at age 18 and now her body is amazing. I thought she was 18 when I met her but she is 26. Marry and have kids at 30+, and you may not be too attracted to your wife afterwards haha.

Sep 3, 2021 - 8:42pm
xGQUFiJD9To, what's your opinion? Comment below:

damn a lot more dads than i expected in WSO

im 27 and not interested in anything more than FWB until early/mid-30s

  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 3, 2021 - 11:50pm

I think it's unnecessary to keep expanding the earth's population. Primarily concerned about environment impact but also inequality and how expanding the population lowers standard of living overall in the long run (population growth drag). 

I have the desire to raise children and see it as a fulfilling life pursuit but I don't intend to have more than one biological child. Happy to adopt and think I'd like 2-3 kids. 

Would like to be married early 30s and kids mid thirties on.

  • Consultant in Consulting
Sep 4, 2021 - 10:37pm

The earth isn't overpopulated. Only specific regions (Asia, Africa) are.

If you define overpopulation as the population in a geography exceeds the amount of nutrition that geography can produce (Malthusian growth trap), then sure. However if we consider each marginal person born (no matter the geography) will also lower the GDP/capita and hence average standard of living, it seems sensible to reduce population growth in developed regions as well so everyone can enjoy a higher quality of life and it would also reduce inequality. Further, the Malthusian definition doesn't account for ecological impact per head, just whether or not they can be fed. If we define overpopulation as when the population in a geography has a net ecological deterioration, then I would say most of the world is overpopulated.

Due to this, I feel if I bring less biological children into the world and adopt, my direct impact on deteriorating the environment, economic inequality and standard of living will be slightly less severe.

Sep 4, 2021 - 3:53pm
LaBost, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Am fine with getting married. But I am sure as hell NOT having kids. You basically waste 18 years of your life with kids

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2021 - 4:43pm

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  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 4, 2021 - 4:46pm

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Nov 4, 2021 - 4:17pm
philbegas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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  • Lincoln International (= =) 99.2%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲06) 98.7%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲01) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲07) 97.9%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲12) 99.6%
  • Rothschild (▲02) 99.1%
  • Lincoln International (▲04) 98.7%
  • Truist Securities (+ +) 98.3%
  • Greenhill (▲05) 97.9%

Professional Growth Opportunities

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company (▲04) 99.6%
  • Lincoln International (▲04) 99.2%
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch (▲05) 98.7%
  • RBC Capital Markets (▲08) 98.3%
  • Houlihan Lokey (▲06) 97.9%

Total Avg Compensation

May 2022 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $661
  • Vice President (36) $393
  • Associates (181) $246
  • 2nd Year Analyst (110) $161
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (17) $156
  • 1st Year Analyst (349) $148
  • Intern/Summer Associate (74) $147
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (272) $91