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Old 02-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Sure, but death before a household reaches the point of FI is a lot less than 100%.
Turning the picture around, and you can say the majority of Americans never achieved financial independence in their lives, before them show up for the appointment with the ultimate bookkeeper.

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
Money is important. But your choice is to raise your kids or pay someone else to. Want your kids fondest memories to be of the nanny?
This has been a nice thread to this point without a lot of the SAHM/working mom culture wars.

But, I have to say the above is a bit distressing. I did have an au pair for about 5 years.

I disagree with the idea that because I paid for an au pair or paid for day care that somehow means that I am paying for someone to raise my kids or that my kid's fondest memories or of the nanny or the au pair.

Suffice it to say that my husband and I raised our kids, even though neither one of us stayed home full time with the kids. Our kids did like the au pairs that we had who lived with us while here as members of our family. They were enriched by these experiences. However, I am confident that my children's fondest memories are not of the au pairs.

I could write a lot about the benefits (and not just financial) which came to my children through both parents working. I can also see benefits to children in one parent staying at home (doesn't have to be the mom, by the way) or one or both parents working reduced hours. This isn't something where there is just one right answer for everyone.

However, when someone seems to say that any who uses child care is somehow not raising her children or or says that if they do the child will have a lesser memory of the parent then that really just sort of stops all the discussion and becomes nothing more than an insult which devalues the many different ways there are of being a parent. It seems to be designed to be just hurtful and dismissive of every working parent (somehow those who hold this kind of view usually don't have a problem with working is just working mothers that get slammed).

I don't intend to get into a debate on this subject from this point on, but I also can't let this kind of over generalization go by.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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Congratulations on making such great progress at such a young age. Your strong planning and focus will serve you well in staying on top of all that comes with raising kids. Having said that, my 2 cents would be to balance your planning with the acceptance that there are many unknowns that you won't be able to predict until they are upon you. As the earlier point mentioned, you never know what you'll be dealing with until you have each child. You also really cannot predict how you'll feel about the working mother thing until you have the child and perhaps try it. Then you will still have a million mixed emotions...the mental stimulation of being with adults, but oh, the guilt of going to work when they're sick.... That early meeting, but they are still not sleeping thru the night. The pressure from all sides which is morphed only by the self-imposed guilt. It's really hard no matter what choices you make. Be sure you have some type of support system in place. You mentioned not having parents around. You need backup plans, support and someone to make you laugh alot to be successful. I know this wasn't really a financial type answer but there's so many angles to this topic! Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cloverissweet View Post
[Is there a way to balance it all? Stay at home, have a still career and build wealth?
There's always going to be tradeoffs and I think it's a matter of picking what's makes the most sense for you.

Most of the women I've known who are career focused and want a family basically either: (1) pay for a nanny or (2) pay for daycare. One coworker of mine has 3 kids in daycare and it costs 60k/year. Obviously to go this route, you need to be paid well enough to afford it.

Another option may be to have your hubby be a stay at home dad. Or you might split the difference. E.g., woman stays home for 2 years and then dad stays home for 2 years. There's no question that long period's of time out of the employment market will hurt your career opportunities.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
One coworker of mine has 3 kids in daycare and it costs 60k/year. Obviously to go this route, you need to be paid well enough to afford it.
This is one reason we went the au pair route after we had 3 children. The cost was about a third of that. You do have to have room to have someone living with you and have to be fine with the aims of the au pair program, but it is far more economical than putting 3 kids in day care or hiring a live out nanny.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:03 PM   #26
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Maybe this was mentioned in one of the many threads started by the OP, but isn't this sort of counting the chickens before the eggs have hatched? The OP doesn't even know if she and he DH will be able to have 4 kiddos. Isn't it better to take this as the stork comes and see how things play out?

If it matters, I don't see obtaining a master's and then staying at home to be with kids a waste. In fact, my DW has no degree and I wish she did so we had a little more to hang our hat on other than disability insurance/backup plan in case I get laid off. To me, nothing is more honorable than raising children. I find there to be an advantage of having a parent stay at home, but that is just my feeling and opinion. There are many wonderful children who have 2 working parents, and just as many with one parent working and one staying at home.

Cross the bridge as you come upon it.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #27
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I have two engineering degrees and am a female - I had no children of my own and have two stepsons now. I think that if you live in the USA, you will have the opportunity to combine a career and children. I have a close girlfriend and colleague who is also an engineer and she says you can everything you want, just not all at once.

I would also say that your degree has taught you a way to think and that is very valuable in whatever endeavor you wish to pursue. You will be able to effectively ascertain if your children are getting an effective science and math education. You may decide to home school.....I've spoken to many educated mothers and this has been a very fulfilling thing for them and their children have thrived.

I've noticed that for most women, having children changes their outlook on life dramatically. So my advice is go in the direction you believe is important to you and then readjust and change as life changes. I've found that I've had overall goals and yet each five years has been another adventure. However, those aspects of my character, values and life goals which form who I am have remained constant. You are young, and there is a lot of time ahead of you.

The one thing you've already done is provide yourself with a degree and skill which can support your family if that is needed....many people are not in that position. You will be able to make decisions from a possibly more generous economic perspective, which can take the pressure off other aspects of life.

Lastly, many of the most successful women I've known have come back into the workforce after raising children. They tend to be very effective as they've been dealing with children for a long time - motivating behavior, working on molding them into productive people...etc. These women have outstanding communication skills and the proper sense of priorities and proportion regarding the workplace.

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“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” - George Orwell/Winston Churchill
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