How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Child to Age 17?
You might be surprised – and unprepared
Ric Edelman: You're listening to The Truth About Your Future. I'm Ric Edelman. Normally when we talk about the future, we're talking about aging, getting old. But I want to flip that conversation around and talk about babies because it now costs over $300,000 to raise a child from birth to age 17. This is new data from the Brookings Institution based on statistics from the USDA. For a middle-class couple who have two children, looking at a child born in 2015, the cost of raising that child to age 17: $310,605. The Brookings Institution considered housing, food, clothing, health care, child care, everything from diapers to sports equipment. We're talking $18,000 a year, $1,500 dollars a month, $350 bucks a week. That's $50 a day for each child you're going to have. Remind me, how many kids are you planning to have? How many kids do you already have? And what's the impact of raising those children on your ability to prepare for your own retirement? And oh, by the way, as I noted, and I just want to emphasize the point, this data is raising a child to age 17. What happens when the child hits age 17? They graduate from high school and they then go to college. You'll spend as much sending them to college as you spent on their first 17 years preparing them for it. You need to factor in the costs of raising children as part of your financial plan because it's all part of your future. And that's why we call this show The Truth About Your Future.