One of my friends recently admitted to me that he and his wife only had children for the assurance of someone taking care of them when they were older. They had not planned on having any children, however, after experiencing the demands of taking care of his sick parents, decided that they did not want to be in a situation where they would be alone to fend for themselves later in life. Upon hearing this, I instantly recalled how back in the day families bred children to serve as farm hands, which often resulted in families that looked more like baseball teams. There are many reasons why parents choose to have children – continuation of lineage and passing down the family name, wanting to leave a legacy, pure love of children and a strong sense of family, or because society says so, etc. But to justify the birth of a child based upon the “benefit she/he will yield in the future” seems awfully similar to how we justify the purchase of long term insurance policies, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Is it fair to think of children as benefit producing assets? Just as there are no guarantees with our investment strategy due to unpredictable events largely out of our control, I would argue that there is no certainty that these children will evolve into the loving caretakers that they are hoping and longing for. As many parents can attest, children can often be more of a liability than an asset. I do hope that it works out for my friend and that he and his wife realize incredible capital gains when they go to cash in!