Are you a parent or thinking of becoming one? If so, the federal government has a new report that will cause your bank account to gasp.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610, or as much as almost $14,000 annually. That’s the average for a middle-income couple with two children (the cost is more in urban areas and a bit cheaper in rural locales).
While this may sound like a hefty expense, the return on investment of children is quite high. As James Heckman notes The American:
In times of economic adversity, governments look for temporary stimulus packages, be it cash for clunkers or shovel-ready jobs filling potholes. More often than not, they overlook America’s best economic stimulus package with lasting benefits long after the money is spent—investing in the youngest among us and producing significant economic and social benefits with rates of return that are comparable to the high return on stocks over the long run.