An “Apples and Eggs” Question of the Day

Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand, CC BY 2.0.

Friend of the Billfold Helaine Olen tackled a very difficult question in today’s Slate:

Should I sell my shares in Apple, currently worth about $4,000, to help cover the costs of freezing my eggs? I am 34, have about $100,000 in retirement accounts, and am in year one of buying my apartment on a 15-year mortgage. I put 9 percent of my earnings in a 401(k). There’s not a whole lot extra after the mortgage, bills, and other normal expenses to put toward egg freezing, which will cost at least $10,000. Having $4,000 would mean the difference between doing it this year and waiting another 12 months or so while I save.

How would you respond to this? On the one hand, it’s Apple stock; on the other hand, it’s a possible child. Both options with enormous theoretical potential, as it were.

Olen brings up one point the letter-writer might not have considered:

The fertility industry is a big business, with estimated annual revenues between $3 billion and $4 billion in the United States. Not only does it make money charging you for the initial egg-freezing procedure; it charges egg storage fees of anywhere between $500 and $1,000 annually. That adds up! Critical articles on egg freezing often rightly bemoan how women are still — in 2016! — put in the position of choosing between career and parenthood in a way that men are not, but we read far less about the procedure’s high failure rate.

In the end, she advises the letter-writer not to sell her stock for this particular treatment. Would you give the same advice?

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.