Thoughts on using paternity leave as a trial run for ER? I'm tempted to take three months (unfortunately unpaid) as a trial run at ER. I have some passive income from a family business that is more than enough to meet my expenses.
It could be seen as a career limiting moves. On the other hand, it's a perfect opportunity to try ER while having certainty that my job is waiting on me.
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I raised our children for 5 yrs as a stay at home dad.
I considered it my early retirement, and it seemed a good trade off, even if I would have to work the rest of my life.
It's a great experience and joy <work> to bring up a baby and toddler and I'm glad I did it.
Turned out I was still able to retire early
I took one year of Dependent Care leave prior to ER. DM, who lives alone, just had fusion-lumbar spinal surgery.
While on DC leave, no pay, no health insurance or other benefits, however you had the right to come back to a similar job when your leave was up.
I wasn't really planning to come back, but having the option open and seeing the effect of a trial ER on our family was priceless.
Seeing the additional effect of SS benefits taken at age 70 (even if reduced by 1/3) on my retirement modeling convinced me that we had more than enough $. Prior to this I did not really take into account SS. In our case it was a big difference even though we were both paid fairly well over and were huge savers our careers.
I would advise anyone who has HR policies such as this available to consider if they would apply before a prospective ER. It really took the stress out of the decision (along with pension accrual freeze while I was out on leave).
Like Sunset, I took 5 years off when our kids were born to be a stay-at-home-mom. It was invaluable, but I don't think of it as a trial of ER because: parenting is tough-ass work.
It's a great trial of not working for pay, yes. But it was sufficiently demanding, to the point where we joked that I'd traded a 40 hour/week job for a 168 hour/week job.
I'd recommend taking the time to be a dad to your new baby. That's enough for this time around. These first three months of your child's life are unlike any other time you'll have, so they're perhaps not the best sample of what ER life would be like, anyway.
Congratulations! Enjoy being a dad!
"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
@Urchina--Thanks for the response. I agree. My DW is a SAHM and I am convinced she has the harder job between the two of us. One of the reasons I want to RE is to be more involved with the kids during the day, not just evenings and weekends.
My question was geared more towards using paternity leave as a financial test run. There are very few other opportunities to test the financial aspect of RE while having a guaranteed right to return to work.
I agree with the value of paternity leave, but, unfortunately, I fear maxing out paternity leave is a career limiting move for my position. If my test run proves I can RE, then it doesn't matter if it is career limiting.
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