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Going part time!!
Old 07-23-2016, 03:30 PM   #1
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Going part time!!

So DW and I are raising three awesome kids, and the oldest has special needs. Between medical/therapy stuff and after school sports/music/theater/etc activities we've been feeling a little ragged. For six years my wife worked part time and those were lovely years. For the last four she's been back full time and while that really helped accelerate our NW (see "Meh at a million" thread) it's made life hectic. She gets up at 3:30 every day to go to work early, I get the kids off to school, she gets off and races home to pick them up and at the end of the day we can spend a short time after the kids go down before she needs to hit the sack herself.

So I've been exploring possible career changes for a while and found out my old department can't find qualified engineers to churn out product, and is happy to take me back part time! I'm going to do 24 hours a week, and handle both pickup and drop off of the kiddos, so DW can work a normal shift and we can see a little more of each other! I'll also get to keep my benefits, including 401k with matching. Best of all, three day weekends!

It'll be a cash flow hit, for sure, but we've just had our day care costs roll off (youngest starts all day kindergarten at the public elementary school this September) so it mostly cancels out. Once we pay off the second car in three years and in five years have the rental property paid off, we'll leap way ahead again. I'm really excited to go part time, I know not everyone gets that kind of opportunity and this is the part of their childhood they'll really remember.

DW says she gets the beemer now and I get the Acadia....I feel it's best I agree to this.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:26 PM   #2
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Congrats! I would love to find a part-time opportunity in my field.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:31 PM   #3
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Congrats! Great deal for you and the kids.

Not to sour anything, but do check that the 24 hours is enough for HC bene's next year. There are some changes I think related to ACA to where companies can put the minimum at 30 hours? DH was PT for his OMY and was told as of 2017 he would not longer get bene's at his 20 hours (didn't matter because he RE'd this month). And likely you could go on your DW's if needed anyway.

The past year that he was PT I saw a big difference in his stress levels, really helped out both for him and us.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:54 PM   #4
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laurence,
Congratulations, this sounds like it will be a QOL enhancement for the whole family.
PS--A long-overdue "It's great to have you back, we missed you during your hiatus."
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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I'm a fan of part-time work, especially with young kids at home. I went back into more techie work after we had kids so I could work from home and have a more flexible schedule. Enjoy the new job!
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #6
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Sounds like an xlent plan. Just don't let the 24 hrs per week creep back up to full time. I can see that happening , the employer wants you full time I'm sure.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:37 PM   #7
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Yay--Really happy for your fam!
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:57 PM   #8
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Congrats. That's a huge increase in quality of life for very little monetary loss (especially after taxes).
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:05 AM   #9
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I took a night time hospitalist job and moved 3000 miles to spend more time with family. It was my best job ever. A pediatric hospitalist job is never as busy as adult medicine. There just aren't as many kids in the hospital.

Anyway I worked every other week, 90 hr at the hospital (but I could sleep there too). Being off every other week was my trial run at ER.

My son especially benefitted from having a devoted tutor at home...his mom. Even on work weeks I was up getting ready for work and getting dinner in the table when DS came home from school.

Being at home with your kids after school is associated with a reduction in high risk behaviors in teens. It will also probably help with their success in school.

Part of FIRE is getting the kids successfully launched. I think overall it's a good plan.


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Old 07-24-2016, 09:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Congrats! Great deal for you and the kids.

Not to sour anything, but do check that the 24 hours is enough for HC bene's next year. There are some changes I think related to ACA to where companies can put the minimum at 30 hours? DH was PT for his OMY and was told as of 2017 he would not longer get bene's at his 20 hours (didn't matter because he RE'd this month). And likely you could go on your DW's if needed anyway.

The past year that he was PT I saw a big difference in his stress levels, really helped out both for him and us.
Yes, I checked with HR and 20 hours is the minimum for benes but that could change 2018 - good news is DW could pick me up on health care if it gets cut, the kids are already on hers as it's Kaiser and the offices are just a few blocks down the street from us.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post

Being at home with your kids after school is associated with a reduction in high risk behaviors in teens. It will also probably help with their success in school.



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This is our number 1 motivation, we enter the rough waters of adolescence any month now....
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:29 PM   #12
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I just switched 3 weeks ago to 24 hours per week part-time myself. My schedule is 3x8, and Tues-Thurs is my normal workdays. So 4 day weekends. Amazing how much of my to-do list I have already got things done or progress made. That was my main motivator, having time for the other stuff I never seemed to get time for.

Like you, I keep my insurance at the same cost as previous full-time co-pay amounts. Also get my other benefits same, but vacation and sick leave are accumulated at 60%. Superb deal from my perspective and seems to be working out good for my employer.

I say go for it and be happy with the extra time to take care of family items. I know for me the extra time away from work is worth more then the extra money.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:59 PM   #13
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What a great decision. I went to 24 hours/week as an engineer in 2001 when I came back from maternity leave for my older son. I had to up it to 32 hours/week when I transfered jobs - but kept part time. My husband was between 24 and 32 weeks also, after our boys were born.... it made parenting MUCH easier.... and we still managed to sock away money.

You will not regret spending more time with your kids.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:57 AM   #14
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Congrats. I started part-timing it last September as well and have been loving it so far.

I went back into partnership with an old business partner, so there are two of us "experienced" hands in the office now and we can cover for each other.
I generally work 4 days a week/44 weeks a year now. Long weekends every week (I take Mondays off, he takes Fridays off)

This summer we've even gone down to three days a week. I'm off on M/Tu and he is off Th/Fr. We go over everything on Wednesdays when we are both in.

I must admit I do monitor the email from home quite often and sometimes jump on the laptop to send out a particularly convoluted quotation but I figure that is a small price to pay. With that in mind though, I also say beware the slippery slope of more hours.. it's an easy trap...
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:33 AM   #15
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Congrats. That should make family life much more pleasant. Money is not everything.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:20 PM   #16
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UPDATE: Just got finished telling all the upper management and my team. "family first" was an often repeated statement but I can tell everyone was shocked. I'm very excited to make the change, still nervous to see that first, smaller paycheck though!
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:52 PM   #17
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UPDATE: Started part time yesterday. The first day was weird, and I felt a little anxious. Today it already felt normal, and AWESOME. I highly recommend a five hour workday. Spent the afternoon in the backyard setting up the softball gear for first practice tomorrow (of course had my kid pitch and hit for a while as well). I am cleaning the house like a fiend to make sure DW isn't too resentful! I'm still going to clear 80k (yay, cybersecurity!) so I'm not a deadbeat. It's really just to pack more into the 401k and pile money on the rental so it's paid off in time for DWs retirement. I get every Friday off, too, and DW works from home on Friday, I hope that's a good thing!

It's funny how nature abhors a vacuum. I got asked to step up from dugout coach to manager this season.....
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:00 PM   #18
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Good to hear you made the change to part-time. You will adjust to the new schedule very quick, for now it is still like taking some vacation for the partial days. After a bit you will get into the routine and enjoy your extra time away form work.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:04 AM   #19
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Be aware that the PT situation may not be sustainable long term.

If your department ever needs to reduce headcount, you may be in a class by yourself.

Current or future management may take a very different view on this in a contracting market as opposed to an expanding market.

As long as you have thought through this scenario you should be fine.

I have first hand experience with this sort of thing. It all ended very well in the end (ie FIRE'd and loving it), but it was a bit traumatic when sprung on me initially.

-gauss
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:45 AM   #20
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Let the good times begin .

I got a good chuckle out of this : " I highly recommend a five hour workday." I have quite a few supervisors over the years that spent 90% of the time doing personal stuff on company / city time. A " 5 hour work day " would be a big increase in actual work for those boys .
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