Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-03-2007, 12:42 AM   #21
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,036
My wife and I used to both be insanely busy professionals too for years (my wife especially is a work horse and she has always been more career-oriented than me). Leave the house early, work until late, come home, cook, do the dishes, catch some news on TV and go to bed with little or no time for ourselves. On the week end we would have to clean up the house, take care of some house project or the yard, shop for groceries, go to the bank or the post office, run errands we did not have time to run during the week and before we knew it, it was Sunday night and we had not relaxed at all. Quite frankly I wonder how people with kids don't go mad...

Early this year we sat down and we looked at the numbers. My wife has always been the top earner in the couple. Though we both have PhDs in chemistry, along the way she switched to a management career while I preferred to stay in the lab. So we decided that I would only work part time with minimum income loss while she could really focus on her career. And life is a lot saner now. I have more free time during the week to run errands, shop for groceries, take the car to the garage, go to the bank, clean the house, take care of the yard, look after our finances and all that. I have time to prepare dinner so that when she comes home at night she can relax. And our weekends are now completely free so that we can enjoy doing whatever we want to do and we are much more relaxed and rested on Sunday night. This has been beneficial for both of us. For me, obviously, working part time has been a great stress reducer, and I don't mind taking care of stuff around the house, on the contrary. For her, her performance at work has vastly improved. She handles stress better, is more focus and has more energy. She was supposed to be up for promotion in 2009, but ended up being promoted last week, a full 2 years ahead of schedule. Her income will increase far more than what we lost with me working only part time. But I think the best thing is to see her enjoy her weekends a lot more...

My decision to work part-time seemed to have a fairly minimal impact on our ER plans at first (ER would have been delayed by just 3 years, so our projected retirement age moved from 43 to 46), but with my wife's early promotion, we are right back on track for our original plan.
__________________

__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-03-2007, 07:14 AM   #22
Full time employment: Posting here.
citrine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 944
I see a lot of people in my mega corp burning their candle at both ends. I also don't understand how people with kids manage to do everything....my hats off to the single mothers who work and take care of the kids and the house.
One thing that I started doing this year is only accepting 2/3 social outings with other people a month. The rest of my time, I work on my interests, spirituality, and my paintings. When I get to work on Monday, I am relaxed and able to handle work. By mid-week, I am crazy because everyone else around me is absolutely bonkers and since I support one Executive director and one Director.....things get quite nutty.
The more I watch the higher ups run around like chickens, hear their terse conversations with their spouses on the phone (I am in a cubicle outside a few offices) about when they might be able to come home, watch the strained looks on their faces as they have to decide between their family and their job....the more I realize that I need to retire early. There is no way my health and sanity would last if I were to work till 67 in the corporate atmosphere....and the funny thing is that I am an executive assistant.
I had a manager once ask me why I don't become a manager and move up since I have the degrees.....but I would not be able to do it.....it's like selling your soul to make some money.
__________________

__________________
citrine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 04:55 PM   #23
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 463
FIREdreamer,

DW and I are considering downshifting, for the reasons you laid out above.

Don't know if we'll both go part-time, or if she quits and I continue full-time. Our salaries and careers are comparable.

I have no idea how two-income couples with kids can get everything done or save money.
__________________
TickTock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 05:19 PM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,031
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
FIREdreamer,

.

I have no idea how two-income couples with kids can get everything done or save money.
They either have help or are medicated !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 06:25 PM   #25
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 961
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
FIREdreamer,

DW and I are considering downshifting, for the reasons you laid out above.

Don't know if we'll both go part-time, or if she quits and I continue full-time. Our salaries and careers are comparable.

I have no idea how two-income couples with kids can get everything done or save money.
They can't. DW went part time earlier this year. Our son has Asperger's, and his OT, ST, and other doc appts take up a lot of time. Not too mention, DW functions much better when she has total control over things things are more organized. With both parents working and two kids, having someone prepare meals for you is like a God send.

Quote:
They either have help or are medicated !
So, true. They either medicate [via alcohol, or prescription drugs] or they exercise. I always wondered why the peeps I worked with that had kids ran/worked out on their lunch breaks. Now I know.

- Alec
__________________
ats5g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 10:01 AM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickTock View Post
FIREdreamer,

DW and I are considering downshifting, for the reasons you laid out above.

Don't know if we'll both go part-time, or if she quits and I continue full-time. Our salaries and careers are comparable.

I have no idea how two-income couples with kids can get everything done or save money.
That's why I always worked part-time while my ex-spouse continued building his career. What I discovered was there are quite a few downsides to this arrangement. First, the obvious loss of my earning power, especially problematic once ex decided to leave the marraige. Second, the sense of dependency I felt, which is related to problem number one. Finally, the lack of respect and appreciation from ex-spouse for my contribution.

Although my experience is not at all unusual, I think this pt/ft spouse arrangement can be fine as long as both spouses talk about ALL the trade-offs and think about them in advance of making the change.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #27
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
That's why I always worked part-time while my ex-spouse continued building his career. What I discovered was there are quite a few downsides to this arrangement. First, the obvious loss of my earning power, especially problematic once ex decided to leave the marraige. Second, the sense of dependency I felt, which is related to problem number one. Finally, the lack of respect and appreciation from ex-spouse for my contribution.

Although my experience is not at all unusual, I think this pt/ft spouse arrangement can be fine as long as both spouses talk about ALL the trade-offs and think about them in advance of making the change.
So far this arrangement has worked for us. We have enough life insurance and disability insurance coverage so that if something happened to my wife, I/we would be OK financially. So the biggest risk for me as the "financially dependent" one is divorce. But, because I still work part time, I keep my resume current and my skills up to date and therefore I could go back to work full-time if needed. As I mentioned previously our current arrangement benefits both of us and we are both happy with it. I believe that it works for us for several reasons:

1) we see each other as equals (we used to jokingly say that the boss of the family was neither my wife nor I, but the cat...).
2) we have similar goals in life (FIRE being at the top of both our lists). She makes the money, I make it grow.
3) we are a team and there is no "I" in team. We are very suppportive of each others and of each other's aspirations.
4) we are very aware of the other one's feelings and talk it out when tension or resentment builds.

But we encountered a few difficulties along the way:
1) At first, my wife was uneasy about being virtually the sole bread winner and I was uneasy about becoming financially dependent but we soon found out that we just had to adjust our perspective and mindset.
2) With me working part-time and my wife making most of the money, we became an atypical couple for most people, and we had to explain our choice to people who don't share our vision. It was difficult at first, but later realized that we really don't have to explain anything to anyone.
3) My wife sometimes wishes she would have as much "free" time as I do though she admits she would get bored very quickly. I sometimes wish she wouldn't travel as much as she does for her job and would spend more time at home with me, but I understand that it is the price to pay for her success.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2007, 10:27 AM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by ats5g View Post
Our son has Asperger's, and his OT, ST, and other doc appts take up a lot of time.
DW and I made it through raising a family and dual careers, but admittedly, it was tough. We got some help from my folks and other members of the extended family which really helped.

Today, we help my son and DIL where we can, passing on the extended family tradition. Our oldest grandson is afflicted with cerebral palsey and I pick him up from school every Wednesday and take him to OT and ST at the nearby Easter Seals facility. Then we pick up some carryout dinner on the way home so that when the rest of the clan arrives (Dad, Mom and two other kids) dinner is on the table.

Usually I go over there one other day of the week and cut their grass and handle any minor repairs needed around the house. (With three kids, there's always some minor repairs! ) During the warm months, I bring a cooler with the makin's for one fine bar-b-que dinner and serve everyone out on the patio when they get home. I tell ya, between sincere appreciation from my son and DIL and hugs and kisses from the grandkids, it's been a huge pay raise compared to toiling at Megacorp for a kita and a few bux!

DW and I do try to make sure we're only there when they expect us. We never, never, just drop in. And we've also made it clear that we need ten weeks a year or so for our own vacations, etc. During those times, DIL's Mom arrives from out of state and stays with them to help.

So..... extended family won't be the answer for everyone. But, despite these modern times, it can still work, especially when there are special needs kids in the picture.
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RV Life fisherman Other topics 9 07-11-2007 04:56 PM
OK ... The REAL Question of Life ... Your Socks Life Craig Other topics 25 01-19-2007 04:24 PM
Ever wonder how life would have been OldAgePensioner Other topics 14 06-28-2006 09:31 AM
Get a Life! REWahoo Other topics 43 12-05-2005 07:05 AM
Help direct my life... malakito Other topics 19 06-29-2005 11:50 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:42 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.