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Old 03-29-2013, 01:02 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
You are probably right, and I certainly sympathize with your position. I've been there myself, but failed to solve it to our mutual satisfaction.
The word jumped out at me because in recent years I have tried to observe my speech, as well as I can before I say it. If I heard this one, I would expect cannon fire on the way.
It certainly never hurts to be mindful about word choice. I mean, with me calling the thread "requiring" spouse... and "letting" him do stuff, I can see how it might look. Fortunately, reality is much more pleasant than one might assume.

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Originally Posted by ShortinSeattle View Post
I wonder if this is one of those things you can let unfold through conversation with your spouse....
Anyway, we have a good (as far as I can tell) relationship and it is easy to be upfront about things. I didn't post here to get advice on how what we should decide or how the subject should be broached. Really just curious how others feel about it.

So this is not verbatim, but tidbits from a conversation:
Me: Do you think it is strange for SAHP to continue to stay at home once kids are in school? I was talking about this online today.
DH: Yes, I do. Which is strange because it wasn't so long ago, relatively, this was the norm. But I would have way too much time on my hands with both kids in school, IDK what people do all day long. It'd would be different if we lived 80 years ago and the stay at home spouse had a ton of housework to do. Personally, I'd rather be short on time to cook and clean and do something else productive...
Me: uncool, I don't want to not have time to cook/clean. Do you think it would be unfair if I didn't like my job (you know I go back and forth daily...) for you to not work when you could?
DH: Of course it would be unfair! I can't do nothing!
Me: But would it be unfair if I made you work at a job you didn't like and/or ask that you make a certain amount just so I could quit working earlier?
DH: Kinda. It's like when you are in college and you have to decide whether you are going do job A and make $ or do job B and make $$$. It's the same decision you have to make, except your not in college anymore.
Me: yeah, except if you decide to follow your passion and make less, that automatically requires me to make more to keep up with our expenses and financial goals. It has an impact on the family now.
DH: Yeah, that doesn't seem fair, either. It shouldn't be on you to save for our joint retirement.
Me: Well, do you think it would be unreasonable for us to decide that when kids are in school, and you have 30 extra hours a week, you'll have to create some measurable value?
DH: Oh, yeah, I think about that all the time, how much biz I would have to do to make a certain amount of money.
Me: Yeah, but you would need to consider the time you put in doing x, y, and z. Like if you pull in 3K working all those extra hours, should we say you should stop doing that and do something with a better yield? Would it be unreasonable to expect that you earn or otherwise provide value to the tune of say, 10K, with all that extra time?
DH: Yeah, I think that is totally reasonable. (laughing) Are you trying to fight with me? I don't think it's working.
Me: No, I really want to talk about this! But let me say this, then..
DH: uh oh.
Me: Would you be offended if I said "How long should I let you do this biz if it isn't making much money?"
DH: No, not at all. I mean, it's a good question. I don't know the answer, but people need to make tough decisions about running struggling businesses.
Me: I guess the actual question isn't what would be offensive. I said "let" on purpose, does that bother you?
DH: (laughs) no.
Me: Do you think I think I'm the boss because I make all the money?
DH: (scoffs) Of course not!

There you have it. A glimpse into our dinner conversation on the topic. Less the comments directed at our children to eat their dinners and superficially involve them in the conversation. The last bit, I just though I'd double check that I wasn't a delusional power hog.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #62
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Thanks so much for sharing your experience. 5-15K is a big range, it seems. But it also seems reasonable (with my not-thought-out 10K point right in there.)
It is a big range, but it sort of reflected what is at stake in the compromise since we get a lot of value out of me not having to worry about home base being covered. Especially after taxes which she would jump into the 33% bracket, plus 7% FICA, 5% state puts the range closer to 2.5K to 7.5K. You can see why I stopped caring about her pulling a check.

His small business with a bit of scale may be a better deal than part-time work if you can shuffle all his money into retirement accounts (which may or may not be available to part-timers) and reduce/avoid the tax haircuts.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:25 AM   #63
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The only caveat I would offer is the feasibility of finding that kind of work (assuming the side business doesn't work out). To me, a PT job that brings in 10K while the kids are in school is the holy grail of PT work. I'd jump on a job like that and so would a lot of parents. I haven't been able to find anything. I'm hoping something might pop up in the school system when DD is off to school in a couple of years, but I'm not banking on it.

In any case, I am a SAHM, but our situation is a little different. We are older parents and have always lived on a single income and banked the rest. We are in a pretty good financial position. I am not planning to go back to work when DD is in school, unless I can find a PT job that can be done during school hours. DH and I both think it's important that someone is around for DD after/before school/vacations, etc. We are getting to the point where our dividends kind of make up for a second income anyway, so we are losing the financial incentive. I might feel differently if we were younger and trying to accumulate assets.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #64
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My wife and I were more or less in the same position. I was the main breadwinner when we were first married. She was studying for the medical boards full time and applying to residency programs.

Then we moved across the country for her residency and I gave up my career. I did part-time consulting for my old agency out of a home office and brought in some money but mostly I looked after the 3 kids, two of whom were infants and toddlers and the other was early elementary at the time.

Once the youngest entered preschool I went back to school and got an alternative teaching certificate to teach HS science (my previous career was science related with a government science agency). For the past 6 years I've been teaching HS science at just about half my previous salary while my wife earns the bulk of our income as a physician.

Could we afford for me to stay home? Yes, obviously, many families do so. But our kids are 6, 10, and 14 and don't need me at home. Although my work schedule coordinates with the school schedule which is nice. And frankly I'd go crazy if I didn't work.

My thoughts are as follows. Staying out of the work force too long makes it difficult to get back in for a whole variety of reasons. I didn't want to find myself unemployable should our family circumstances change such as losing my wife or finding her seriously disabled such that I MUST become the primary breadwinner again. Ask your husband what he would do if you vanished from the picture? Presumably you have life insurance, but disability is also possible and life gives us lots of twists and turns. I don't think it is even so much about the money as being prepared to be able to step up if circumstances require.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:47 PM   #65
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As a rare SAHM on this board, I can say my workload INCREASED when my kids started school. Being a class 'Mom', PTO Treasurer, Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, Soccer Mom, Chauffeur & spectator for sports and school activities left me little time for the housework, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, home improvement projects, finances, etc. Phew! And now that the kids are grown, I've become a SAHD (Stay at Home Daughter)

. Sure, I have some regrets but they are all monetary. As we approach retirement, I am keenly aware of how much better off we would be had I continued my career (Pharmaceutical Lab Director with a couple of BS's and an MS... What a waste of college tuition!) so I have absolutely no advice :-). Just wanted to make people aware that just because kids are in school "all day" (what is that really? 6 hours? And then that's only 9 months and with half- days and holidays and breaks) that there really isn't all that much time to be working outside the home, not if you want to keep your health and sanity.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:42 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by tessaduncan View Post
As a rare SAHM on this board, I can say my workload INCREASED when my kids started school. Being a class 'Mom', PTO Treasurer, Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, Soccer Mom, Chauffeur & spectator for sports and school activities left me little time for the housework, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, home improvement projects, finances, etc. Phew! And now that the kids are grown, I've become a SAHD (Stay at Home Daughter)

. Sure, I have some regrets but they are all monetary. As we approach retirement, I am keenly aware of how much better off we would be had I continued my career (Pharmaceutical Lab Director with a couple of BS's and an MS... What a waste of college tuition!) so I have absolutely no advice :-). Just wanted to make people aware that just because kids are in school "all day" (what is that really? 6 hours? And then that's only 9 months and with half- days and holidays and breaks) that there really isn't all that much time to be working outside the home, not if you want to keep your health and sanity.
+1 from another SAHM :-)
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:51 AM   #67
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As a rare SAHM on this board, I can say my workload INCREASED when my kids started school. Being a class 'Mom', PTO Treasurer, Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, Soccer Mom, Chauffeur & spectator for sports and school activities left me little time for the housework, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, home improvement projects, finances, etc. Phew! And now that the kids are grown, I've become a SAHD (Stay at Home Daughter)

. Sure, I have some regrets but they are all monetary. As we approach retirement, I am keenly aware of how much better off we would be had I continued my career (Pharmaceutical Lab Director with a couple of BS's and an MS... What a waste of college tuition!) so I have absolutely no advice :-). Just wanted to make people aware that just because kids are in school "all day" (what is that really? 6 hours? And then that's only 9 months and with half- days and holidays and breaks) that there really isn't all that much time to be working outside the home, not if you want to keep your health and sanity.

The dinner conversation from a few posts back sounds like it was recorded at my dinner table 22 yearsa ago. Then the same thing happened to my wife as happened to tessaduncan, and my wife, who made good money in the medical field as a vascular sonographer, never went back into the work force. So that's just something to watch out for.

There is an assumption that was overtly stated, and seems implied by much of the discussion as well that having a sahs will put off the fire date. I'm not so sure that is true. Admitedly, these examples I'm about to draw on are not mature healthy financial couples, but I've known two couples where both work outside the home and bring in equal pay, but can't save anything. They basically try to "spend equally" and it's human nature to see the other spouse's spending as more, and as each tries to even the score, expenses spiral up. For example "well, you got a new car, so I need one too", etc. Or "you got your remodeled kitchen so I want to turn the porch into a bar". In my case we, before my wife quit, we decided on some budget cuts, and it's been very easy to manage expenses since then; it's easy to NOT keep up with the Jones', which, in my case, would be much more difficult if my wife was working.

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Old 03-30-2013, 01:19 PM   #68
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My thoughts are as follows. Staying out of the work force too long makes it difficult to get back in for a whole variety of reasons.
Much depends on the position of course, but I am reminded of DW's aunt when she applied for a job after not working/being a SAHM for ~15 years.

Interviewer: What have you be doing during the time you weren't working?

Aunt: Well, I raised ten kids.

Interviewer: Ten kids! When can you start?
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:27 PM   #69
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Just wanted to make people aware that just because kids are in school "all day" (what is that really? 6 hours? And then that's only 9 months and with half- days and holidays and breaks) that there really isn't all that much time to be working outside the home, not if you want to keep your health and sanity.
I worked FT until my child was three. It wasn't too bad when she was a baby/toddler because she was on my schedule. I can't imagine the logistics trying to get a kid to after-school activities, finding care for all the holidays, conference days, summer break, etc. while trying to hold down FT jobs.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:40 PM   #70
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I worked FT until my child was three. It wasn't too bad when she was a baby/toddler because she was on my schedule. I can't imagine the logistics trying to get a kid to after-school activities, finding care for all the holidays, conference days, summer break, etc. while trying to hold down FT jobs.
DH and I both worked FT most of the time we were raising kids until DH retired a couple of years ago. I worked reduced hours (in my work world that means I worked what would be considered FT for other jobs) for a few years. We used a lot of different means.

When kids were elementary school it actually wasn't difficult. For a couple of years they took a bus to after school day care a couple of blocks from the elementary school. For another couple of years YMCA had an after school day care program at the school itself. School conference days weren't an issue because the day care always provided care for those days. Summers were the same. What was after school day care became full day during the summer. One year we did a YMCA full day program in the summer. When they were older, most after school activities that they wanted to do were there at the school itself so that wasn't an issue.

Occasionally DH or I would need to take off work, of course, for certain things, but we managed.

Most parents do work so schools and activities are used to working out schedules that will work for kids who have parents who work during the school day.

We did eventually hit a huge issue. We had a child who needed to attend a therapeutic school that was a long drive from our house. The school let out in mid-afternoon and there was absolutely no after-school care at all. Zero, none, nothing. I even emailed every parent to see if I could find someone who could either bring our son home or who could keep him after school. Again, nothing. Neither DH nor I at the time could afford to work reduce hours or quit our jobs (the school was very expensive - that child is now in college and the tuition a year of college is only a fraction of what we were paying for the therapeutic school). So, we ended up having au pairs for about 5 years until our son was out of that school. The au pair solution worked really well for his and for our kids as well. However, we wouldn't have needed to do it for a more typical school situation.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:51 AM   #71
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I have never "required" the Beloved to do anything (except be faithful, and that was in the marriage vows). No kids here, but spouse declared at dinner the other day a desire to work after we "retire". This made me happy, as I'm not sure I want to. The "higher and deeper" issue leaves me just burnt out, and I've been the principal breadwinner for almost 25 years.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:36 AM   #72
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...(snip)...
Me: yeah, except if you decide to follow your passion and make less, that automatically requires me to make more to keep up with our expenses and financial goals. It has an impact on the family now.
DH: Yeah, that doesn't seem fair, either. It shouldn't be on you to save for our joint retirement.
Me: Well, do you think it would be unreasonable for us to decide that when kids are in school, and you have 30 extra hours a week, you'll have to create some measurable value?
DH: Oh, yeah, I think about that all the time, how much biz I would have to do to make a certain amount of money.
Me: Yeah, but you would need to consider the time you put in doing x, y, and z. Like if you pull in 3K working all those extra hours, should we say you should stop doing that and do something with a better yield? Would it be unreasonable to expect that you earn or otherwise provide value to the tune of say, 10K, with all that extra time?
DH: Yeah, I think that is totally reasonable. (laughing) Are you trying to fight with me? I don't think it's working.
....
This seems the crux of the issue, i.e. business risk and how to measure progress towards a financially sound business.

I would think it depends on the type of business, the capital needed to run it, the individual's honest self evaluation, etc.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:40 PM   #73
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In my own case my wife and I both w*rked and we had no kids. My income was about 60% to her 40% of our household total income.

While there is a lot of discussion about how to deal with the side business vs a more profitable j*b I recall that the crux of the issue is that you want to retire earlier rather than later and that you think making additional $$ and saving more will get you there. As others have said there are many ways to get from here to there.

You haven't given us a timeline. I assume you are pretty young. Are you planning on ER in 5, 10, 20 yrs?. The extra income you are talking about 10-20k doesn't sound like much unless you are planning for a long time to save and compound interest. Is your planned ER soon enough that your husband's startup could be put off for 5 yrs? If he is going to work at a less than desirable job is it going to be for a couple of years or decades?

I worked at a job I loved for 30yrs as an engineer and ER'd at 55. My wife also loved her job until her boss retired 2 yrs ago and now, even though it isn't as much fun, she is still w*rking because she wants to earn just a little bit more pension income by putting in a few more years (one more year syndrome). I also think she just hasn't mentally figured out how to handle retirement. You and your spouse need to be on the same page and on the same timeline.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:19 PM   #74
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Hmmm....I am the one who works from home and has an "ok" income doing what I love. DH has a sort of stressful job but I do a lot of the house work and running errands in addition to my work. We live off his salary and use mine for savings, home renos, gifts, vacations, etc. If he ever told me that I had to get out and work a "real" job, we will have issues....I don't like being told anything
However, if I was not able to do what I do anymore, then I would definitely look into going back to office work to keep bringing in the same amount of income.
If I were you, I would just let the situation evolve over time....you have a few more years to figure out what needs to be done.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:46 PM   #75
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I was a SAHM when our kids were in school but I know many of the moms who worked. I carpooled with my son's best friend's family, the mom worked 2.5 days a week in a job sharing position.

Too many families had to put together a plan that depended on grandma one day, a neighbor a day or two, after school activity another day and Dad coming home early another day. There was always a school holiday, conference day or "waiver" day to plan for. Then we'd have a snow day (or 3!) that could not be planned for in advance. We wouldn't know about those until 6am.

Our local school system got a new superintendent last year and one of his first changes was that every Wednesday the teachers get an extra hour for in-service and planning purposes. Over the summer it was announced that school would let out an hour earlier every Wednesday. Suddenly all these families with after school plans had to scramble to cover an extra hour once a week. Parents were stunned that this was announced just a few weeks before school started.

My point is that expecting both parents to work a set schedule once the kids are in school may not go as planned.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:55 PM   #76
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It seems like something you and your SO have to work out. I think I'd resent working at a hard job I disliked and watching my SO do something he enjoyed. Actually, since I'm retired, and my SO is working for himself... I think sometimes he expects me to do all this additional stuff since I'm not working - but I worked hard so I could retire and NOT do extra housework or whatever. If I want to read a novel all day, I'm okay with that.

When you have two people with different goals it is always hard. When you have two people who want different levels of home maintenance (us) it's pretty stressful too. So I guess you need to be sure that you and your SO are on the same page in terms of long-term goals to retire early (or whatever) and he understands what affect his income - or lack of it - will mean....

Just my two cents. It's hard. Luckily you're young enough that you have some time to reach your goals. Meanwhile... work on the discussion.

The poster who said to talk about your SO's goals is right, also - maybe his goals are different than you think.

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:46 PM   #77
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My point is that expecting both parents to work a set schedule once the kids are in school may not go as planned.
That is what grand parents are for!

Signed,

Grandpa
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:02 PM   #78
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That is what grand parents are for!

Signed,

Grandpa
That is how I see it too. No matter how many trips to Europe or Asia you take, once you are retired, finding meaningful social roles is not automatic. Helping with grandchildren has worked for 10s of thousands of years, so this is a time tested winner.

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #79
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When I was pregnant with my first, Mom made it clear she "had raised her kids and I would have to raise my own". She loved her grandkids and treated them well but she was "Grandma", not a sitter although she & Dad did 'sit' a handful of times per year. And they were both retired, healthy (at first) non-travelers. (In-laws were too far away to be much help)
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:23 AM   #80
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When I was pregnant with my first, Mom made it clear she "had raised her kids and I would have to raise my own". She loved her grandkids and treated them well but she was "Grandma", not a sitter...
Your mom was very wise to establish ground rules up front. Avoids all sorts of unnecessary family drama.
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