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Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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Like a raisin in the sun?

So this young dreamer's dream is being deferred, for now. DW and I have made up our minds, and we've decided the best thing for our daughter right now is for one of us to stay at home. Long story short, DW quitting was the best option, so her last day will be the end of March.

Our daughter is the light of our life, but she is continuing to fall behind in her physical milestones. At 17 months she still isn't crawling. PT wants to do weekly sessions and sign her up for other programs, like "reigns" a program where special needs kids learn to ride horses (helps lots of development areas).

So my plan for retirement at 45 ain't gonna happen, but I'm o.k. with that. Looking at what weve saved so far, and what we'll continue to save, and all the things we have learned here and elsewhere, we are still doing very well. We don't have to be afraid of being two paychecks from eviction, and if all goes well, I'll still be retiring around 55, not too shabby. Of course, my DW counts her retirement in days! I asked her the other day, "what do you want to do in retirement" and she said, "oh, go to the park with Tori, go to play dates, and the beach and...." . It took me a second to realize she wasn't talking about 25 years from now like I was!

So I guess that saying about making God laugh by showing him your plans fits here. But I want to thank all of you for the sage advice you've shared here, my understanding has grown exponentially over the last year, and while we are not FIRE, I do feel like we've obtained a modicum of FI, and the freedom to do what feels right is liberating! So hopefully you'll still let me hang out, even though I went from ER wannabe to er wannabe!
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Yes, man plans and god smiles.

Sounds like an excellent set of decisions and the right things to do.

You're still welcome here, and you can even call me names if it makes you feel better to work an extra 25 years

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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Laurence, some of my favorite people didn't ER in their 40's, they er'd in their late 50's. Believe me, that's one heck of a lot better than a DNR in your 80's!

The decisions you and DW have made for Tori are absolutely, positively the right thing to do, no questions asked. And you have the FI thing well underway, which I think you understand is almost as liberating as retirement.

Also, it's nice to see your parents bought the farm well before they bought the farm. Looks like a great place and I know they and your entire family will have some great times there. Must be every kids dream to have grandparents who live on a place like that.

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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Laurence,

I applaud your family's decision.* I recently left the high tech world and a very nice salary in order to be a stay-at-home mom.* We wrestled with the decision because we knew it would set us back for ER.* But I absolutely know that it was the RIGHT decision and have no regrets.* I'll admit that there are times when I feel like I am not a productive member of society.* I go to parks, play groups, a
"mom's class" at my church, etc.* *Having been in the working world for 10+ years (at a very stressful high-tech company), it is a much slower pace.* But I love hanging out with my 9 month old son.* I get the priviledge of experiencing everything with him, and you just can't put a price tag on that.* So, ER will wait a few more years for us as well, but no regrets.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 03:41 PM   #5
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

I am absolutely proud of parents who come to the conclusion that their children are the most important things in their lives and that the best gift that they can give to themselves and to their children is a good start in life for the young'ens...and that involves as much time with loving parents as is possible. I'll likely step on some toes by saying this, but I blame "day care" for many of the problems in our schools and in society, in general, today. You folks are making the correct decisions, without a doubt, and I applaud you for it.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Thank you guys. My concern was DW's feeling of "lack of productivity" since she's been working 12 years straight. But I think it will be o.k. one step at a time. Now I know (a little) of what recent/soon to be retirees are talking about when they say they it's scary! Big life changes always are, I suppose.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

There is no doubt you are both making the best decision for your child.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Sounds wonderful. Don't you work to hard-you don't want to miss out on your family life either.

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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-19-2006, 10:28 PM   #9
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Mrs. Zipper stayed home with our boys for their first 5 years.

I don't know about SS rules but in Canada the Canada Pension Plan allows dropout years for spouses staying home raising kids. Mrs. Zipper's 5 years of no earnings will be dropped in calculating final payouts.

In my case, I retired at almost 54, and CPP allows the 7 lowest years to be eliminated for final pension calculations.

I began CPP payments the month after my 60th birthday. I receive the max, -30% for taking before age 65.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 03:43 AM   #10
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Choosing family over money--good choice. Lucky daughter to have two parents such as you.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 04:19 AM   #11
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Good decision - it makes no sense to sacrifice health and well being of a child for early retirement IMHO.
You may want to check out www.stretcher.com and www.slnet.com for lots of ideas how to live well in a one income family.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 08:21 AM   #12
 
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

And remember that you're not losing as much money as you might think. You're saving all the money that would have gone to DW's commuting, you're paying less taxes, and DW has time to implement money-saving strategies.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 08:40 AM   #13
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
And remember that you're not losing as much money as you might think.* You're saving all the money that would have gone to DW's commuting, you're paying less taxes, and DW has time to implement money-saving strategies.
I was thinking the same thing. Were you paying for day care, also? I think cutting expenses (and having a little more time to research options) can be just as powerful as bringing in more income.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:22 AM   #14
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Good decision Laurence. Our kids come first.

I also agree with the comments that you're not just losing an income. DW will have more time to implement money saving strategies. That can really save you a chunk. Good luck and hope your daughter thrives in her new environment.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 11:27 AM   #15
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?


Hey Laurence.... kudos to you and your wife for finding a way.

My life as a younger sis to a special needs big brother has been.... well, unique, as I'm sure you'll find in your own way. The future will hold its own challenges and blessings.......

I think your daughter is very, very fortunate to have parents who work together to decide what's best. My parents did that too.

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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 12:49 PM   #16
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Laurence, I think you will find that having DW at home is the way to go with Tori and you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. I also really doubt that it will impact your FIRE date that much.

About three years ago, my wife quit her job. We didn't have any kids at that point, but we were planning on it in the near future and the two of us were so busy and stressed all the time while working and going grad school that we went 6 months after buying the house before having the time to do anything to spruce it up (and we bought a place that was in good shape but had decorating that could only be described as "unique"). After she quit, she had time to get stuff done on the house, start up her part time business (gross 5 to 10k a year) to keep her active in her field, and generally take care of things that we would have had to pay someone to do. When she had our daughter, she had the time to spend with her.

And we found that although we had less free cash flow, our investment balances continued to grow nicely. You pay less taxes (especially in places like CA, NY, NJ, etc.), daycare expenses are nil, you eat out or order in less because one person has the energy to cook, other odds and ends become less costly because there is enough time to shop around or do it yourself, etc.

So I think you are doing the right thing, and I bet it won't delay your FIRE date all that much. Good for you guys.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:16 PM   #17
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

"Like a raisin in the sun?"... ooooh, very literarily appropriate. Extremely subtle too. Are you sure that you're a computer expert taking geeky certification exams? Would your co-workers still respect you if they understood this allusion, or would they force you to balance your checkbook in hexadecimal?

Kinda ominously foreshadowing, too, no? Your dream is no fantasy, you've been making it happen, and you're not dependent on a stroke of good fortune. Does it seem that the harder you work, the luckier you've become? You will make this happen, one way or another, sooner or later. You'll always win putting family over income, even if that income is supposedly necessary to "properly" raise a family. Looks like you made a good choice.

Now the trick is to not fool yourself into working 60-hour weeks to "support my family".
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-20-2006, 09:50 PM   #18
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

I stayed home when my kids were little. You know,in a few years your beautiful daughter will be full time in school. Maybe at that time your wife can think about work again. Maybe not full time but part time. I worked part time for years then to full time when the kids were bigger.

Today I don't think the workplace holds it too much against you. And if they do it is probably not a place a parent wants to work at anyway.

Although we are 51 and close to the end of or worklives, I have no regrets that we couldn't retire a few years earlier. Our kids did really well. Think about all the little milestones she will be able to witness, and the extra attention and physical therapy has to be helpful. One of my good friends is in a similar situation and she takes a lot of time working on what the therapist shows her, her little boy was totally non verbal and at age 4 is starting to talk. It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and sometimes tears, but each milestone is so appreciated by them. It is especially hard to raise a child that has special needs so having someone home will take a lot of stress off the family.
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-21-2006, 12:30 AM   #19
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

Like others, I think you've absolutely made the right choice.* I have a relative who at age 30 is still handicapped by a reading disability that was never addressed in childhood.* I have no doubt that giving attention to your daughter now will make a huge difference in her future.

As others have also said, the impact may not be as dramatic as you think.* Similar to brewer's wife, I've spent the last 3 years working freelance from home part-time and am keeping my skills sharp and options open for fulltime work later down the road.* However, at this point my husband is pretty opposed to us going back to the two-income, two commute, overworked, craziness we had before.* We both feel like we have more quality time now and enjoy life more.* There may be less money, but with the time to actually track down deals and do work ourselves, we feel we get more value from it.

Keep us posted on how this works out for you guys.* * *
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?
Old 02-21-2006, 10:55 AM   #20
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Re: Like a raisin in the sun?

First you make the decision, then you make it right. Seems to me that you've already done both. Good luck to you and your family.
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