Author Topic: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?  (Read 1987 times)

vivienneme

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Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« on: March 06, 2017, 12:56:34 PM »
Life Situation: Married, 34 years old, to a wonderful guy, 38 years old. We have a 1-year-old daughter.

Gross Salary/Wages: 140k
His Salary: 110k
My Salary: 30k (part-time, 9 months of the year. This has been ideal with an infant/toddler.)

Current financial overview:
We have no debt. We've had medium mustaches for the last year or so, and paid down $30k. So, I expect we could really grow our savings rate in the coming years now that we 1) pay attention to the budget, and 2) funnel more money toward investments.
We have a total retirement nest egg of $225k.
We have non-retirement savings of $30k.
We have about $30k in equity in our home and $130k left on the mortgage.


Question:
Should I continue to work? Should I worry? Should I do both? (Or neither??) :)
My husband and I are contemplating a move. He would stay with his current company and get approximately a 10% pay increase. The move would put us closer to family, but further from good career options for me. Since getting tuned in to MMM and other financially-focused communities, I have such conflicting values. On one hand, I think I could really crank up my earning potential and put us in an even healthier financial situation, but I would have to work full-time and be aggressive about it in our new location. On the other hand, I could stay home for a year or two (though I have no desire to be a permanent stay-at-home-parent). I feel guilty about the time we've wasted being not as focused on financial wellbeing as we could, but I also recognize we're in an okay place. It's hard for me to gauge how we're doing and if I can let go of my own worry about not increasing my earnings in the short-term (I read a lot of financial blogs where people our age have a million in net worth or more already). My husband says either is totally fine with him, but he is definitely encouraging me not to stress about it either way.

Basically: If you were in our shoes, would you be worried about our current financial picture? Would you choose to work and really boost the net worth picture? Or...other? Thank you all! It will help to have some other outside perspective.




Mikila

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 04:35:51 PM »
I only have one question:  Ten years down the road, or twnety, which option do you see yourself possibly regretting? 
I would ask myself this question and go from there.

jessicat

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 05:09:10 PM »
I would choose to stay home for a bit.  You never get that time back with your little one.  Also how much goes to taxes from your income, day care, costs of going to work ect.  Once you take those items from your salary how much are you really bringing home.

PDXTabs

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 05:25:04 PM »
I would choose to stay home for a bit. You never get that time back with your little one.

I would second this. Some of the people on MMM are very focused on FIREing as soon as possible. That's totally fine if that is what they want but you can't buy back the time with your 1 year old. If you and your husband want to optimize staying at home and you aren't compromising an eventual retirement then I would say that it is a completely reasonable decision. I spent a lot of money (from savings) when my second child was born to stay at home and I would do it again. Of all my financial mistakes, that wasn't one of them.

Laura33

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 06:05:59 PM »
Eh, if you're happy with your current part-time schedule, why change?  Basically, you have great options in any direction.  You can choose to stay home if that's what you want to do; you can look for a full-time position and ramp up if that's what you want; or you can stay part-time and keep a foot in both roles. 

The point about optimizing is to optimize to the kind of life you want.  And no one here can tell you what that is.  This is not a cause for worry or stress!  It is more a celebration, because you have three awesome options that will all get you to FI quickly -- whichever you choose, you can't lose!*  Stay home, your DH makes an awesome salary, you can become the frugal home master and DIY your way to socking away 50% or more of your salary.  Ramp up, you have a lot more money to cover daycare and get help with cleaning and stuff and still save a giant wad of dough -- probably a lower percentage, but the same or maybe even more in the absolute.  Stay in your current role and you'll have time to cut some of those outsourcing costs while still bringing in cash that can help jack up the savings.  Win-win-win.

Tl;dr: Success is more about your attitude than which version of the mommy track you choose.  You have resources and skills to make any of them work, so choose the one that fits your goals and your family best.

*I know, I know, easy for me to say.  In the real world, I am a fretter, so I totally get it.  But as one fretter to another, I am officially ordering you to stop.  :-)
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

AMandM

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 10:25:13 PM »
Personally, I would make the move and either stay home full-time or work part-time or maybe create a part-time side hustle.  The one year I worked full-time with a small child I hated it--I never felt like I was doing  good job at either end.

But that's me.  I don't care about retiring early; I'd rather work part-time for the next 10 years than full-time for three, because those first three years would be yucky and the next 7 wouldn't be hugely better. What would make you happy?  (Happy, not just non-fretful!)

Plus, being near family is golden.  Again, for me.

thereserve

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 09:15:56 PM »
Worrying itself is not a course of action or a decision. It is a position of uncertainty.

Nothing will be 100% certain in life, but at some point you gotta say, I chose what I chose and I'm certain of that, and move on.

sorry i probably sound like a dick but i wish worrying on no one!

vivienneme

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 01:06:32 PM »

Tl;dr: Success is more about your attitude than which version of the mommy track you choose.  You have resources and skills to make any of them work, so choose the one that fits your goals and your family best.


Hello! I really appreciated your perspective, namely this piece of advise. I tend to believe that for other people, but worry I'll have a tough time getting my career really moving again if I cut back any more. But, I definitely believe this! It helps to be reminded. Thank you!

vivienneme

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Re: Reader Case Study - Work, worry, or both?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 01:08:12 PM »
I only have one question:  Ten years down the road, or twnety, which option do you see yourself possibly regretting? 
I would ask myself this question and go from there.

Thanks for the reminder about perspective. I'm always fighting for balance in career & kid land, and this exercise does help bring clarity!