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Old 03-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
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Greetings!

Greetings! I am new to this forum. I'm currently a SAHM in my 40's with a working husband. I left the workforce over a year ago to care for my young preschooler. Child was in daycare near my workplace and I had a long commute that I traveled with my kid. I was hoping to stick it out enough to put more money away so DH and I could both RE, but I just couldn't do it. I'm not much of a multi-tasker. I wasn't much of a parent or a worker. DH was actually the one that thought I should leave. Who am I to argue? I have to say, it's been nice having a parent at home. DH has been relieved of most of the household duties so his life is easier too.

We have a pretty good nest egg built up, but we're not quite there yet, at least according to FIRECalc. Maybe in 3-5 years? This is dependent on HI costs. Our lifestyle is modest, but my focus is trying to put away as much money as possible, just in case DH comes home one night and says he's had enough. Or maybe he'll be laid off and will have trouble getting new work given his age.

Sometimes I wonder if leaving work was the best decision. Maybe I should have tried harder to look for a job with a closer commute? Maybe I should have just stuck it out for five years or so? I don't really have in demand skills. I was an admin for a system that no longer exists. I'm not interested in going back to school at my age (I just don't think the ROI is there). Plus, I don't think the prospects are all that great in tech for people in their 40's. In the back of my mind I thought I could get PT work when the kiddo goes to school FT (in 2 years). I think that may just be a pipedream though. There don't seem to be a lot of PT jobs available during school hours only, especially for people with stagnant skills.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:23 AM   #2
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Frau, how about something different than you used to do? Small business, sell stuff on ebay, etc. It might only be pin money or it might blossom into something bigger. Could be fun as well.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Sometimes I wonder if leaving work was the best decision. Maybe I should have tried harder to look for a job with a closer commute? Maybe I should have just stuck it out for five years or so? I don't really have in demand skills. I was an admin for a system that no longer exists. I'm not interested in going back to school at my age (I just don't think the ROI is there). Plus, I don't think the prospects are all that great in tech for people in their 40's. In the back of my mind I thought I could get PT work when the kiddo goes to school FT (in 2 years). I think that may just be a pipedream though. There don't seem to be a lot of PT jobs available during school hours only, especially for people with stagnant skills.
Trying to answer the questions you pose for yourself isn't productive, so don't worry about the past. What's done is done and odds are you made the best decision at the time or you wouldn't have done it.

I don't have any specific suggestions but you can find work one way or another if you want. May take longer than you'd like, but you do have technical skills. Would one of the What Color is Your Parachute books, or Encore Career help. Even if they don't pan out directly, they might spark new ideas for you to consider. Best of luck...
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Yes, that's a possibility, although I've never done any kind of side business. I've thought about going back to work (doing whatever I can find) when DD goes to school. That way DH can retire (he is older than me) and we won't have to deplete our nest egg. I'm not sure how he'd feel about doing the cooking, cleaning, getting the kid ready for school, etc. He may find it's easier to go to a job.

I do worry about about the realities of finding work in my mid to late 40s after being out for a few years though. Maybe I read too many depressing unemployment stories. If the worst scenario came true and DH and I were both unemployed and couldn't find any kind of work, we could always sell the house, move to a cheaper place in the middle of nowhere and live off our investments. It's not really the life we envision though, but at least we have some options.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Trying to answer the questions you pose for yourself isn't productive, so don't worry about the past. What's done is done and odds are you made the best decision at the time or you wouldn't have done it.
Ha, ha, I tend to do that, but for the most part we are happy. I think we'll always have a parent at home (everything is just easier) and right now DH is content at his job. Still it never hurts to be prepared. I think we can shave off a little more money off our monthly expenses, but DH doesn't want to live too spartanly. Our take home is about 2500/mo. We spend about 2300/mo, but sometimes more, sometimes less.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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Depending on your background, look into contract work. There are part time positions with flexible hours out there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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Well, the German word caught my attention. Welcome.

Don't see the point of lamenting the coulda shoulda scenario. Long commute sure is a drag on life.

I'd say enjoy the mothering and play with future options. Even if nothing comes of it just examining the possibilities and options can be cause for optimism. Some potential options can even make you smile.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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Hi and welcome. See if your library has a copy of the Ultimate Cheapskate retirement book. It has a great section on being what the author calls "Selfishly Employed" and I think that sort of thing might give you a few ideas.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:40 AM   #10
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Hi and welcome. See if your library has a copy of the Ultimate Cheapskate retirement book. It has a great section on being what the author calls "Selfishly Employed" and I think that sort of thing might give you a few ideas.
I just started that book and am looking forward to the content. Perhaps when I finish I'll know better than to buy it and get it from the library instead.

For the OP, I spent too much time pondering the coulda shoulda wouldas and found it does nothing productive. As you wrote, you do have options and that's the important thing.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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My DW was a SAHM up through our younger child being in her last few years in HS. After that DW went back to work P/T at a low paying, but labor of love type job. Had DW worked continuously, yes, we would have more $ and could have pulled the plug earlier, but the benefit to our kids and our own peace of mind was well worth it. That said, I was fortunate to have a well paying Mega-corp career that was sufficient enough for us to be comfortable.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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There are always opportunities for in demand skill sets. I was a bit younger than you but went back to school for bleeding edge tech skills night and weekends when the kids were little, then worked from home when they started grade school.

For my first contract I beat out companies with actual offices and sales people in suits. The hiring manager said my proposal was the same as the suit people but obviously I could beat them on price because of my low overhead (working in a spare bedroom wearing bunny slippers).
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:04 AM   #13
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Thank you for the welcome everyone! Eh, I guess in retrospect I don't really have any regrets about leaving. The commute was stressful and long. DH and I have been talking about even taking a short vacation for the first time in over 10 years (our schedules never really meshed before). That will be fun!
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:36 PM   #14
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Welcome hausfrau!

I was a SAHM from 1984 to 2006. DH and I both felt it was a priority for one of us to be a non-working parent to our two sons. I really enjoyed it and only took a very-part-time job when the younger son was in college and I wanted to complete my Social Security credits. The income was not a necessity although it came in handy.

One of the retirees here (another topic from a while back) has stated that it's easier to control expenses than it is to produce more income. Producing income causes taxes and expenses, sometimes a commute and all kinds of other hassles (bosses, conference calls, committees, etc.) while controlling the spending can be done on your own. So weigh carefully what you decide to spend your money on.

There are a lot of frugal forums online with many ideas on how to be a better "home economist". Don't be concerned about what other people think about you not working in a job. You know you're doing what is right for you and your family.

You are correct to be concerned about the possibilities for work in the future but you don't know how long that will be and what the working world will be like. In 1984 we knew we wanted to try being a one income family. We said we'd see how long we could do it and it worked so well that it became permanent.

When a part time opportunity came up it's in a completely different field than my previous career. Luckily, it didn't need any relevant experience because my resume was from another century It's something I truly enjoy and if it ended we'd be fine without it.
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