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Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-16-2005, 04:04 PM   #1
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Guilty about working spouse?

This one is for ER's who have a working spouse. I know there are more than a few.

Does this situation generate any guilt or resentment?

We may be headed for the same arrangement and I confess to some apprehension. My wife is fine with it but I'm somewhat conditioned to feel otherwise. Maybe it's just that pesky testosterone talking.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-16-2005, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

DW and I talked about this last night. She was feeling
"funky" about her work and mentioned that I
could just come and go as I pleased (true).
I do not think she is resentful as I have suggested if
she is unhappy to just quit. That's what I always did.
But, she likes having her own paycheck/money, which I
can understand. OTOH, eventually we will be living on my money. That's just the way it is. In the meantime,
I think things are fine. She can work or she can quit.
Strictly up to her. In our case, she is 5 years younger
and I currently provide most of our financial resources. Overall I would
say this area has worked out just fine so far.

JG
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-16-2005, 08:11 PM   #3
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

She loves her work. We just talked the other day and I told her that we can manage the expenses and health care without her working if she wishes. I think thats comforting for her to hear, but she's not interested in quitting now. Being able to see a horizon thats a lot shorter than 25 years clearly is pleasing to her though, and being FI and able to pull the trigger anytime she wants.

Since we're paying most of the monthly bills with her paycheck, I also think she gets a little charge out of being the "breadwinner".

No problems between the two of us.

Baby Gabe is mad at his dad tonight though. Wont give me the time of day! Oh well, him mom is a lot softer and sweeter than I am
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 02:23 AM   #4
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

DW is retired and she doesn't feel guilty at all.

In fact, she's quite good at retirement. I have no problem at all with her retirement. We both worked and worked hard, we both raised the kids, and we both saved, so I really feel that she deserves this time.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 04:58 AM   #5
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

This is another area where being close to SS takes the pressure off. At this point, if DW decided to cut back,
we could make it until I started drawing benefits.
If I had a long way to go, it wouldn't work although
I managed when it was just me and the one dog.
With 2 of us and 4 dogs, the equation changed
considerably. For all I know my spouse may opt to continue beyond the arrival of my SS checks. That is the
next "Magic date" as far as I am concerned. I don't attempt to influence her though. My unsolicited advice
is not helpful so I keep it to myself mostly.

JG
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

I am the breadwinner and DW stays home and takes care of the baby. She has a business, but it is very part time and maybe nets 5 or 6 grand a year. The money is IMO not worth the trouble, but it keeps her active in her field and the option value of her being able to get back into the labor force if the sh!t hits the fan is valuable.

Even though she is clearly not "retired", I know that DW does feel a bit bad from time to time that I am the one in the salt mines, especially when work sucks. Having said that, I am OK with our deal and so is she after I remind her that I get a lot out of her not working.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 06:19 AM   #7
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

My wife is planning to go back to work for a few months.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 06:42 AM   #8
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

I am one of the few survivors of a dying breed that
believed it was a man's duty to bring home the bacon
and it was the wife's duty to cook it and raise the kids.
And, I was lucky enough to marry a wife who agreed.
We raised two great kids .... one of whom is carrying
on the tradition. Times have changed now and I
know it takes two bread winners in some families,
but if you look closely at the numbers in many cases
the 2nd salary comes at a high price .... money wise
and family wise. Just my opinion.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 06:48 AM   #9
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Scott Burns and a few others have taken swag's at the costs of a second job for the wife in the past. In many cases - it's a wash.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:
I was the sole wage earner for a number of years so now I feel somewhat justified in taking a turn at relaxation. *Right now we are penalized by taxes for that second income to the point where it is hardly worth the effort. When I retire DW's income will be taxed at a negligable rate...I think she likes the fact that *we will get to keep so much more of her income.

Our current tax rates are definitely a dis-incentive to work and earn. *I actually enjoy the perverse thought of depriving Uncle Sam of those excessive taxes.

What part of that makes sense? *
That was one of the precipitating factors in DW quitting. By the time we figured in taxes, commuting costs, work clothes, lunch, etc., she was working for minimum wage. Add daycare (ugh) in and it gets really silly. The fact that DW was ready to drop out of the rat race and we wanted kids clinched the deal.

The nice thing is that whatever her earnings are for the side business are not touched by income taxes (SS only). She puts it all in a solo 401k.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 08:58 AM   #11
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:

That was one of the precipitating factors in DW quitting. *By the time we figured in taxes, commuting costs, work clothes, lunch, etc., she was working for minimum wage. *Add daycare (ugh) in and it gets really silly. *The fact that DW was ready to drop out of the rat race and we wanted kids clinched the deal.

The nice thing is that whatever her earnings are for the side business are not touched by income taxes (SS only). *She puts it all in a solo 401k.
That's all true, but the most important thing is that you will be paid back in spades by having your wife home and available when your children are most in need of direction in their lives.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 09:05 AM   #12
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:

That's all true, but the most important thing is that you will be paid back in spades by having your wife home and available when your children are most in need of direction in their lives.
Absolutely. The decision process I was talking about lead to her bailing out a couple of years before we started having kids. We do a lot of juggling to meet our goals one just my earnings, but I have absolutely no doubt that it is the right thing to do, even if I do work longer

I get a lot of fringe benefits as well. She does most of the cleaning, some of the cooking, virtually all of the errand running, is available to wait for repairmen, etc. DW is also a LOT happier, which makes me happier. I also know that if something happened to one of my parents (as they are getting older), DW could be there and deal with it in under an hour, compared to hours or days for me.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 11:17 AM   #13
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

I think that if you can afford it, and have children, it is very helpful to have a full time parent/ homemaker in the home. Most often, and i believe most happily, the at home person will be the woman.

Many men are OK with that arrangement; I believe fewer women will put up with a househusband, especially if the family is still young. Goes against a few million years of evolution, and thus takes unusual people to carry it off. I wouldn't want to try.

Mikey
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 12:24 PM   #14
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Since hubby is retiring in 31 days this will be a mute issue very soon.
I can say, however, that he never resented me not working for the last 12 yrs while he did but he was a little jealous at times. Of course the fact that I do all the cooking, laundry, finances, yardwork, snowblowing, and 90% of the cleaning helps.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 12:45 PM   #15
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:
I am one of the few survivors of a dying breed that
believed it was a man's duty to bring home the bacon
and it was the wife's duty to cook it and raise the kids.
Who had the responsibility of putting it on an animals head?

You know, I had the same mindset put in me as a child...probably the last gasp of the "traditional family" mindset. I think its important for ONE parent to be highly available.

I sure had a little "re-learnin'" to do as I grew up and the world changed drastically around me.

Seems to me theres a direct correlation between the change that took parents out of our childrens daily lives and the "wilding" attitude among kids today. Our parents had guns available to them as children...how many times did they take one to school and shoot all their schoolmates?
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 01:00 PM   #16
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

TH, I agree that ONE parent should be there for the
kids ..... I thought about you after I posted and I
believe Nords is in somewhat the same situation.

Power to you. *

Cheers,

Charlie

P.S. *I like to eat my bacon, not wear it. Must be
a generation gap thing.
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 01:26 PM   #17
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:
Seems to me theres a direct correlation between the change that took parents out of our childrens daily lives and the "wilding" attitude among kids today. *Our parents had guns available to them as children...how many times did they take one to school and shoot all their schoolmates?
I was thinking about this the other day. My house, and almost every kid's house I went into had a shotgun sitting in the corner by the door. I never remember any injuries, accidental or intentional.

Also, to show "Times have changed"- we used to take our .22s or shotguns and stand them in the back of the classroom, so we didn't waste any time getting into the woods during squirrel season. All the teacher ever said was "Be sure they aren't loaded."

I can imagine what the teacher would do/say if a bunch of 16 yo boys walked into school with guns today! And rightfully so. Kids have changed.


Mikey
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 01:38 PM   #18
 
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:
Also, to show "Times have changed"- we used to take our .22s or shotguns and stand them in the back of the classroom, so we didn't waste any time getting into the woods during squirrel season. All the teacher ever said was "Be sure they aren't loaded."
We always brought our shotguns to school, back in 60's during duck hunting season. However, if we were caught wearing blue jeans, we would be sent home immediately!
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 02:04 PM   #19
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Quote:

We always brought our shotguns to school, back in 60's during duck hunting season. However, if we were caught wearing blue jeans, we would be sent home immediately!
Cutthroat: You brought back memories on that post!
We had a marshy area (small lake) about a quarter of a mile behind our school. During duck season, we went out early before school, and prior to school starting, we brought ducks to Home Economics Teacher, and she would clean and pluck the ducks during the day, and place them in the refrig. (She liked wild duck, and we always gave her half the take for her efforts.). Shotguns were kept in her closet.
Only concession is had to take off hip boots before entering school
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?
Old 03-17-2005, 02:50 PM   #20
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Re: Guilty about working spouse?

Guilty about working spouse? I plead not guilty. But I sure would be willing to commit the crime.

BUM
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