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For retirees with school-age kids
Old 03-03-2016, 07:31 AM   #1
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For retirees with school-age kids

So my husband and I were discussing retirement this morning- unusual, he doesn't like talking about it. He pointed out the fact that we have young children and I'm usually more than ready to return them to school when summer/vacation is over. He wonders how I'll adjust to being home with them all the time. While its true that I am not the queen of patience, I am also generally stressed out from work. AND when I come home from stressful job, there is laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, homework and the usual kid messes which is tiring and frustrating. Anybody went from being stressed working mom to stay at home mom? How was the transition? Did retiring make you generally less stressed and grouchy at home? Kids will be somewhere between 11-16 at my retirement. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:45 AM   #2
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What a great opportunity to have some quality time to spend with the kids.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #3
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Your description could have described me. When I retired the kids had just completed 5th and 7th grade. (Now in 7th and 9th grade.)

I can't say I yell at them less. (I also have issues becoming a zen mom)... but I feel less stress of trying to balance it all. I am not stressed about getting the chores done anymore - there's time for that to do at my own pace. I have the time and mental bandwidth to work with them on school work, track down tutors for the one son, host team projects at our house, etc.

For me the transition was wonderful. I really enjoy not going to work, not dealing with traffic, not dealing with office politics, annual reviews, etc.

I haven't been able to throw away my alarm clock - still have to get the kids up and out the door... but I now have time for *my* interests during the day.
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Old 03-03-2016, 07:58 AM   #4
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Without knowing your finances, I am gong to make this statement.

If you are stressed out now with the kids, imagine if you have to cut back on your budget, and you add monetary concerns to the mix. Maybe trying to figure out how to pay for college, or weddings, or extra healthcare.

If you think quitting work will make it all better, think again. The underlying issues will always be there until you make the mental adjustments to yourself.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:15 AM   #5
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You speak of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc...does your husband help with this? If not maybe he can pitch in like a grown adult and take some of that weight off of your shoulders. Now if he's from the old school mentality that the woman should do household chores then forget it...thats not going to change.

How much vacation time do you have? Maybe take a week off in the summer and just stay home and see how it goes as a trial run? Yep I get it...a week isnt very long. What other options do you have though.

Also...you will need to find some hobbies to keep you occupied during retirement. Do you currently have any? Do you do things with friends? Being financially sound isnt that difficult...not going insane and keeping yourself sharp is the challenge for a lot of people.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:53 AM   #6
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FWIW - my husband had the same concerns that I'd be bored in retirement. He was wrong and freely admits it now.

That said - I did sign up for classes at the local community college (Italian)... As a parent I'm using the opportunity to model good study habits and show that it takes effort to get an A.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Your description could have described me. When I retired the kids had just completed 5th and 7th grade. (Now in 7th and 9th grade.)

I can't say I yell at them less. (I also have issues becoming a zen mom)... but I feel less stress of trying to balance it all. I am not stressed about getting the chores done anymore - there's time for that to do at my own pace. I have the time and mental bandwidth to work with them on school work, track down tutors for the one son, host team projects at our house, etc.

For me the transition was wonderful. I really enjoy not going to work, not dealing with traffic, not dealing with office politics, annual reviews, etc.

I haven't been able to throw away my alarm clock - still have to get the kids up and out the door... but I now have time for *my* interests during the day.
Thanks- that is EXACTLY what I was asking
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Without knowing your finances, I am gong to make this statement.

If you are stressed out now with the kids, imagine if you have to cut back on your budget, and you add monetary concerns to the mix. Maybe trying to figure out how to pay for college, or weddings, or extra healthcare.

If you think quitting work will make it all better, think again. The underlying issues will always be there until you make the mental adjustments to yourself.
No monetary worries. I will not retire till we can live on 3% of out assets at CURRENT spending levels- which I think will go down- you know, no more work lunches, fancy wardrobe, etc. I'm just tired of being in a hurry all the time. Its not that I hate the house chores, I just don't have time to do it all after 40 hours at work, and I'm cranky because I have no downtime. As soon as I take off the work hat, its time to put on the mom, hat, you know?

Also re the money- my husband is NOT planning on retiring- he will work at least part time. I suspect we will draw nothing from our portfolio for YEARS. Have the kids 529 accounts funded- and we have boys so we have a car account instead of a wedding account
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
You speak of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc...does your husband help with this? If not maybe he can pitch in like a grown adult and take some of that weight off of your shoulders. Now if he's from the old school mentality that the woman should do household chores then forget it...thats not going to change.

How much vacation time do you have? Maybe take a week off in the summer and just stay home and see how it goes as a trial run? Yep I get it...a week isnt very long. What other options do you have though.

Also...you will need to find some hobbies to keep you occupied during retirement. Do you currently have any? Do you do things with friends? Being financially sound isnt that difficult...not going insane and keeping yourself sharp is the challenge for a lot of people.
My husband IS helpful- I wouldn't say he does half, but yes, he helps. Kids are required to do chores too including dishes, some laundry etc. My husband works out of town a lot so for weeks at a time sometimes he is only home on weekends and I am a single mom. Its hard. Its not that I mind the house chores- its that I don't have sufficient time to do everything. In order to cram everything into one day, I'm constantly rushing and I'm sick of it.

There is absolutely no chance of me being bored ever. I am interested in everything, I am a voracious reader, I love to cook and garden (and we live on 7 acres so it will be a while before I run out of space for that) and I love to learn- have taught myself Spanish and a bit of Italian. Have tons of friends and none associated with work- I suspect my social interactions may go UP after I retire.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:52 PM   #10
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I retired with kids aged 9 and 12. It's been 4 years now and I wouldn't trade it for the world. But i like being with my kids as much as possible because they'll be gone in a few more years.

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Old 03-03-2016, 08:15 PM   #11
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I would encourage you to retire. In 1998, at age 42, I had 3 children, 15, 11 and 2 . My income was about 40% of our total income. I liked my job but felt very stressed trying to be a mom, wife and working full time. My husband was very supportive of me wanting to be at home. Since we no longer needed daycare, fast food, as well as other items we were able to eliminate from our budget, we found we were able to live very nicely on my husband's salary.
The time at home with my children was very precious to me. The older two liked coming home from school to snacks and were more talkative to me. They were able to have friends come home with them. I got to listen to what was going on in their lives. It greatly helped with the teen years.
When my youngest was 9, I got a part-time job with the public schools. That helped pay some college expenses for our oldest two. My job was from 9-2:30, so I was able to get my daughter to school and be home by the time she got home. I had the school holidays/breaks off as well as the summer.
I am continuing to work the part-time job to help with her college expenses.
The best part of my school job is that I will qualify for a small pension and retiree healthcare after 2016.
At the time that I "retired", my mom told me she thought I would be back to work in 6 months. If it wasn't for wanting to get all our children a debt free college degree, I would not have returned to work.
If you don't like being "retired", you can always go back to work. However I have discovered that you cannot get the time back with your children. My best wishes to you.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:00 PM   #12
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I would encourage you to retire.

If you don't like being "retired", you can always go back to work. However I have discovered that you cannot get the time back with your children. My best wishes to you.
Thanks- your comments are very helpful and much appreciated. You are right. My 12 year old is nearly looking me in the eye already. I want to enjoy the time I have left with them at home. And you are quite right- I can always go back to work later if I need to (pretty sure I won't want to though!)
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:33 PM   #13
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I got let go from my job very suddenly in 2013 and decided I was retired at that point (under the "close enough" doctrine!). At the time I became the stay at home dad for a 1, 7, and 8 year old. The 1 year old was a lot of work but the older 2 kids are pretty low maintenance.

Now our 1 year old is about to turn 4 in a few months and he's mostly autonomous (he knows how to type NETFLIX into the browser bar, click on netflix, click to search and type in some show names). He can eat on is own, pee/poop/wipe his butt. He speaks words to say whats going on. Anyway, much easier life today than when he was 1.

I've really enjoyed all the free time and being able to spend it with the kids. My morning commute is now a 10 minute walk to school with them, occasionally staying for breakfast. I volunteer at the school about once per week and we're up there another 1-2x per week for school events. We walk the kids home and sometimes their friends come home with us. Tomorrow we're having 4 of their friends over and we're all going swimming at the city water park for a while then hanging out at our house.

I'm definitely more laid back now than when I was working. I know what you mean about putting in 40 hours then coming home and putting on the "parent" hat. We didn't have a lot of free time while working. Weekdays were hectic and weekends were playing catch up, running errands, and some relaxation time. I feel ER definitely made me a better parent (less yelling; more doing random fun but silly things that 3 year olds or 9 or 10 year olds like).

Here's an endorsement for you: my middle kid saw an old business card on the counter and about freaked out because she thought I was getting a new job. She doesn't want me to go back to work because then she'll be just like all the other kids at school whose parents mostly work full time.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:55 PM   #14
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I retired 3 years ago, only child daughter was in 6th grade. Wife hadn't worked since we got our daughter (adopted from China).

It is nice to have the time to support her, not miss any of her games, meets, etc.

I've gotten into the best shape I've been in 20 years, paying more attention to diet as well as having time to work out regularly.

Both my wife and I volunteer to try to show the need to contribute, help others.

I did, and still do, wonder about the effect of the non-working (not productive?) role model we are setting.
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:17 AM   #15
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I did, and still do, wonder about the effect of the non-working (not productive?) role model we are setting.
I discuss money with my kids a lot- I am an FA and I have seen what happens when you don't. My kids know that I'll be retiring soon and I think that they get that the reason we're able to is that we worked hard and saved hard and didn't buy stuff we didn't need. 12 yo and I had an interesting conversation a year ago when buying a car. He made a comment about us not being able to "afford" a certain brand- We explained that we COULD afford it, and then explained why we don't choose to spend out money that way. Judging by his questions, he thought about it for a long time. If they love our lifestyle in retirement, perhaps they'll want the same for themselves. Time will tell though.

Thanks for your responses- I appreciate all of them. I don't know ANYONE (personally) who has done what we're about to- I appreciate you sharing your experience with me!
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