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the problem with considering a family at a later age (for aspiring FIRE's) is that you are closer and closer to RE with each passing year.

I just heard a radio report on this. Another factor is that as a parent of a child who is turning college age just as you are thinking of retirement, people think of the child first, spending money that should be for retirement. The report was about grandparents raising grandchildren and the financial difficulties, but I think it could be generalized out from there.

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