I have been living on my own since age 16, and taking care of my son since I had him one month after I turned 17. Our mortgage payment on our suburban home is reasonable, and the only debt that we have. I feel confident leaving him home alone for the nights I'm not here after the age of 16. I'm a nurse at a local hospital (near our suburban home). It takes me about 20 minutes to drive there from this house. It takes almost 2 hours to drive there from our homestead. My work schedule is 3 days a week, 12 hour days in a row. If I add 4 hours of travel time (2 hours each way) to that 12 hours it will get exhausting. So I'm planning on keeping suburbia for a while and staying there for the 3 days a week that I work. My son goes to his dads every other weekend, and will probably come up to our homestead every other weekend. So he will only be alone for 2 nights a week. Also my brother lives with us here in suburbia, so he won't really be alone at all... When my son goes off to college, I will retire and leave my job. We will live off of our investments, and our income from our farm.