Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

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RootSki
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Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am

Hi Bogleheads,

I’m seeking the BH collective wisdom on our families situation & decision for my DW to stop working.

This should be an easy decision but we’re both struggling coming to terms with it. DW has been with her megacorp 15 years and earns about $110k/yr, great low cost 401k and ESPP. I’m at my megacorp 22 years and earn about $125k/yr. We max out all tax advantaged space. I’m 46, she is 44 and we just had our first rainbow baby June 2019.

She has stable employment but hates her job. I have stable employment and love my job. The problem is she’s not managed effectively. Maybe she is productive 8-9 days a month. The downtime is spent watching videos on YouTube. She was working from home on Fridays (I work from home all the time) but she was told she can’t do that anymore.

Our son is now in daycare and she’s miserable about it. She depressed someone else is spending all this time with him while she’s stuck in a cube doing nothing. He’s also getting sick one every other week there which is beyond frustrating. With both of us home on Fridays we’ve been able to adjust our schedules so we only need daycare 4 days a week. We would have to make that 5 days.

We’re savers for sure. Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but have a high concentration of megacorp stock. We have zero debt and live in a hcol area. If she stops working, we’d move to a lower cost area within a year and unload some stocks for TM fund.

I’m nervous about being the sole provider for us. It’s more responsibility than I’ve ever taken on in life so far. I do want her to have that time with our son. DW is feeling selfish about giving up a really good salary that requires little work. We feel it is a career killer for her as going back into the workforce in her early 50’s isn’t realistic. Additionally, we’d be moving 90 minutes away from her job.

Do we just FIRE her at 44 and end the professional work chapter of her life? I do like the sound of that but worry she will get bored when school starts. I understand it’s totally within our means to do this, it’s just so different to how we’re used to thinking/living.

Thanks,
Root

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luminous
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by luminous » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:19 am

You didn't talk about your cost of living, would your salary alone cover your regular expenses? Do you have a large emergency fund or taxable savings that can be used for large irregular expected and unexpected expenses, such as a new car? Do you feel that you have enough saved up for retirement, or do you want to save more?

I've been the sole wage earner since my children were born, and my husband has stayed home as the full time caregiver, and we have loved it. My income easily covers our standard of living and having him at home has allowed me to really focus on my career which has ben great for promotions and salary growth. Now, with the youngest almost 8 years old, my husband is about to go back to work. It isn't the same line of work as he was in before our children, but that's fine with him. We optimized for maximum family happiness.
50/20/30 US stock/international stock/bonds. Hope to semi-retire in 2022.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:25 am

We’ve been looking at our spending monthly and yearly and we believe that my salary will cover expenses and still allow us to max out tax advantaged accounts. Our taxable accounts are seven digits. So are the retirement accounts.

I just got a new car. DW will need one in 2-4 years, but I also might be getting a company car soon (non-personal use) so maybe not.

I would L-O-V-E to be the stay at home dad, but I have the better employment situation. I work at home, but spend 1 day a week visiting job sites.
Last edited by RootSki on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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luminous
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by luminous » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:27 am

Sounds like a no brainer to me. You have lots of savings, and adequate cashflow to cover day to day living.

How your wife will feel about leaving the workforce and possibly trying to reenter it years later is impossible to predict. It can't be optimized for, in my opinion. If she wants to stay home, she should stay home, in my view.
50/20/30 US stock/international stock/bonds. Hope to semi-retire in 2022.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by middistancerunner » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:28 am

Has she considered finding another job?

Another option would be for her to downshift into some kind of independent consulting/side work for a few years, then plan to reenter the workforce later. Are her skills amenable to that?

I feel like this is less about money - if you have seven digits in your forties then you can probably let it just grow with slower further contributions and have enough to retire on. (Though unclear from your post if even that would be necessary). And more just about how to shift her career into something more fulfilling and amenable to family life. Focusing on the FI part of FIRE and looking at how you can best take advantage of your financial flexibility.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by invest4 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:51 am

I have also been the sole income for our family since the first of our 4 children were born. Yes - the responsibility is significant and you will feel it from time to time. However, it pales in comparison to the joy of the family setup we have and I am confident it is a decision you will not regret.

I say grab onto it with both hands and live the life you want and have earned the good fortune to choose.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:51 am

Just have money set aside for loss of your job. It needs to be larger than you have with 2 incomes.

manatee2005
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by manatee2005 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:37 am

Your wife hates that somebody else is taking care of your baby but she might be miserable staying home with the baby for years. It's definitely not for everyone.

See if she can take family leave for a few weeks and try it out. If you both have 7 figure retirement accounts, you guys can even retire now, so there's no issue with dropping to 1 income.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Tamarind » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:42 am

middistancerunner wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:28 am
Has she considered finding another job?

Another option would be for her to downshift into some kind of independent consulting/side work for a few years, then plan to reenter the workforce later. Are her skills amenable to that?

I feel like this is less about money - if you have seven digits in your forties then you can probably let it just grow with slower further contributions and have enough to retire on. (Though unclear from your post if even that would be necessary). And more just about how to shift her career into something more fulfilling and amenable to family life. Focusing on the FI part of FIRE and looking at how you can best take advantage of your financial flexibility.
I think this is good advice. It's clear she needs to leave her current job, bit less clear that she would actually be happy at home full time. Why not search for a part time job in her field so she could downshift? Failing that, could she quit with the plan to destress* and job hunt for a couple of months?

*She may not be required to do much work for the money, but that doesn't mean her job is low stress. Productive people will generate their own stress when underutilized. Speaking from experience here as I've quit a job before due to not enough to do. I am too young not to be developing professionally, and so is she.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:23 am

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but have a high concentration of megacorp stock. We have zero debt and live in a hcol area. If she stops working, we’d move to a lower cost area within a year and unload some stocks for TM fund.
Given that she wants to be a stay at home parent doing this is a no-brainer easy choice.
RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but .....

I’m nervous about being the sole provider for us.
I am not sure what the "each" part of that statement means.

It might help to make a spreadsheet and do a "fire drill" and look at these scenarios in both the high cost of living area and the low cost of living area you talked about moving to. See this website and be sure to also factor in the Social Security as if you both stopped working today.

https://opensocialsecurity.com/

1) You die. If this would be a financial problem that is what term life insurance would be for.

2) You lose your job and neither of you can work in your field again.

It may not be the lifestyle you are living now but I am retired in a low to medium cost of living area and with a paid off house I budget about $60K a year for my core expenses so I can live an above average middle class lifestyle. Necessities like food, utilities, etc only cost a limited amount and with a paid of house I only have to pay for maintenance and property taxes which are low in my area. That is hardly a frugal lifestyle and I could live comfortably on a lot less if I really needed to.

Health insurance would be wild card but you do not know what the rules will be in the few years but there should be some way to muddle through even if you need to get some bridge job with benefits to get to retirement.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:41 am

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
We’re savers for sure. Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but have a high concentration of megacorp stock. We have zero debt and live in a hcol area. If she stops working, we’d move to a lower cost area within a year and unload some stocks for TM fund.

I’m nervous about being the sole provider for us. It’s more responsibility than I’ve ever taken on in life so far. I do want her to have that time with our son. DW is feeling selfish about giving up a really good salary that requires little work. We feel it is a career killer for her as going back into the workforce in her early 50’s isn’t realistic. Additionally, we’d be moving 90 minutes away from her job.
First, huge congratulations to you!!

Sounds like you are doing wonderfully on the savings side of things. I would be very hesitant to have a chunk of that in megacorp stock. If it is in a tax advantaged account, I would sell and diversify quickly. If in taxable, I would do the same, perhaps just at a different pace based on other variables.

When my DW stayed at home, it made life much easier for us. For example, mornings went so smooth, compared to having to get all of us out the door. However, for me, feeling the stress of being the sole provider was real. Worth it, but real. My wife did re-enter the workforce after a few years out. It was more difficult than I imagined it would be, even with her skills. That was eye-opening, and frustrating.

All the best to the three of you!

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Isabelle77 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:42 am

I think she should quit. She's 44 not 24, she has had a lot of great working years. Your savings are in a good place. She wants to be at home with your child.

It's an adjustment and she may have mixed feelings about it once she gets into it, but it sounds like it's worth a shot. She needs a new job anyway because life is too short to hate your job for a long length of time, especially when you're in a secure financial position. Might as well take a year and see how staying at home agrees with her and your family.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by dknightd » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:51 am

luminous wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:19 am
We optimized for maximum family happiness.
Good for you ! :)

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:53 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:51 am
Just have money set aside for loss of your job. It needs to be larger than you have with 2 incomes.
Covered.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:56 am

manatee2005 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:37 am
Your wife hates that somebody else is taking care of your baby but she might be miserable staying home with the baby for years. It's definitely not for everyone.

See if she can take family leave for a few weeks and try it out. If you both have 7 figure retirement accounts, you guys can even retire now, so there's no issue with dropping to 1 income.
Maybe I could clarify. Our combined retirement accounts is just over 1m. Our combined taxable accounts is also just over 1m.

She had 6 months of paid leave when our son was born. She knows what being home all day with the child is like.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:05 am

TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:41 am
RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
We’re savers for sure. Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but have a high concentration of megacorp stock. We have zero debt and live in a hcol area. If she stops working, we’d move to a lower cost area within a year and unload some stocks for TM fund.

I’m nervous about being the sole provider for us. It’s more responsibility than I’ve ever taken on in life so far. I do want her to have that time with our son. DW is feeling selfish about giving up a really good salary that requires little work. We feel it is a career killer for her as going back into the workforce in her early 50’s isn’t realistic. Additionally, we’d be moving 90 minutes away from her job.
First, huge congratulations to you!!

Sounds like you are doing wonderfully on the savings side of things. I would be very hesitant to have a chunk of that in megacorp stock. If it is in a tax advantaged account, I would sell and diversify quickly. If in taxable, I would do the same, perhaps just at a different pace based on other variables.

When my DW stayed at home, it made life much easier for us. For example, mornings went so smooth, compared to having to get all of us out the door. However, for me, feeling the stress of being the sole provider was real. Worth it, but real. My wife did re-enter the workforce after a few years out. It was more difficult than I imagined it would be, even with her skills. That was eye-opening, and frustrating.

All the best to the three of you!
The huge concentration of megacorp exists in our taxable accounts. We sell some every year but are holding off on selling more due to the high taxes in NJ. When we move, it will be to PA where we’d pay less taxes on the sale.

I think writing all of this down and reading all of the replies has eased my fears of having the burden of being the sole provider. We both have been saving since our early 20’s. She was an indexer before me.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by FoolMeOnce » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:06 am

You have $2+ million saved and can continue to max retirement accounts (including spousal?) on your $125k salary, which also implies your spending is reasonable. I think you are fine to have DW stay home.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:09 am

Is there a middle road to take?

Is there a trial middle road to take?

Rather than either or. . . .
j :happy
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by oldfatguy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:10 am

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
We feel it is a career killer for her as going back into the workforce in her early 50’s isn’t realistic.

... worry she will get bored when school starts.
I think this will be the biggest obstacle. If she does want to go back to work at 50+, it is unlikely she will be able to pick up where she left off in a professional role, and will probably have to work for relatively low wages.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by OnTrack2020 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:19 am

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people on this board who push for a spouse who wants to stay home with a child to look for another job or re-enter the workforce just as soon as possible due to the "what ifs." :annoyed Sometimes, the "what ifs" never happen and everything moves along just as it should. When I left the workforce over two decades ago, my own father was telling me that I would need to go back to work at some point. I have a job--it's just that it's no-pay but excellent fringe benefits. :happy I think you, for the most part in regards to this particular thread, are getting good advice. But some of the other threads I've read on Bogleheads are very strongly oriented toward the spouse finding a job just as soon as they possibly can.

You have more than enough now to retire, your wife hates her job, she wants to be with your child, depression is setting in because she can't be with your child. The answer is easy. She should leave the workforce and you both should be happy about the decision.

I've never been bored, even when school started, but we have 4 children. If you or she think she might get bored when school starts, at that time, then you can reassess. School districts are always looking for help (besides teachers) and she might consider doing that part-time if she wants/you feel the need.

I am wondering though, if you move, what your commute time will be? I'm assuming you would be closer to your job?
Last edited by OnTrack2020 on Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by seity » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:21 am

Based on spending you can afford for her to quit her job. She will not regret having time at home. You are way better off financially than we were, but we still found it well worth my husband quitting and staying home full time. Now that both our kids are in school we still find it beneficial to have a full time at home parent. Sick days, snow days, school events/sports. It's nice to have someone who's available without having to juggle time off from a job.
There's always the opportunity for her to reevaluate working as your child gets older.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by tibbitts » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:23 am

middistancerunner wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:28 am
Has she considered finding another job?

Another option would be for her to downshift into some kind of independent consulting/side work for a few years, then plan to reenter the workforce later. Are her skills amenable to that?

I feel like this is less about money - if you have seven digits in your forties then you can probably let it just grow with slower further contributions and have enough to retire on. (Though unclear from your post if even that would be necessary). And more just about how to shift her career into something more fulfilling and amenable to family life. Focusing on the FI part of FIRE and looking at how you can best take advantage of your financial flexibility.
Although seemingly logical, I'd guess about two percent of the working population is able to pull off the "downshift into some kind of independent consulting/side work for a few years" idea. Similarly, very few people can exit the workforce and return later in anywhere close to the position, in terms of not just pay but benefits and working conditions, that they left. Maybe it's a higher percentage of Bogleheads, and because of that we see these posts here describing possibilities that just don't exist for most people.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:29 am

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:19 am
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people on this board who push for a spouse who wants to stay home with a child to look for another job or re-enter the workforce just as soon as possible due to the "what ifs." :annoyed Sometimes, the "what ifs" never happen and everything moves along just as it should. When I left the workforce over two decades ago, my own father was telling me that I would need to go back to work at some point. I have a job--it's just that it's no-pay but excellent fringe benefits. :happy I think you, for the most part in regards to this particular thread, are getting good advice. But some of the other threads I've read on Bogleheads are very strongly oriented toward the spouse finding a job just as soon as they possibly can.

You have more than enough now to retire, your wife hates her job, she wants to be with your child, depression is setting in because she can't be with your child. The answer is easy. She should leave the workforce and you both should be happy about the decision.

I've never been bored, even when school started, but we have 4 children. If you or she think she might get bored when school starts, at that time, then you can reassess. School districts are always looking for help (besides teachers) and she might consider doing that part-time if she wants/you feel the need.

I am wondering though, if you move, what your commute time will be? I'm assuming you would be closer to your job?
I work form home but I have to visit different job sites about 1.5 to 2.5 hours drive, 3-5 times a month. If we move, I’d be closer to where the work is. I’d have a 30 minute to 1 hour drive to job sites (based on the area we’re looking in).

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by as9 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:34 am

With every piece of new information this becomes even more of a no-brainer. She should give her notice tomorrow and take advantage of the 2+ decades of hard work and saving you both put in. This is the reward.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by winterfan » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:45 am

We had almost the exact situation years ago. We had a rainbow baby late in life too. My husband enjoyed his work, but I had a meh office job. I worked for several years after my baby was born, but I wasn't happy. I left almost a decade ago and never looked back. We did not have as much saved as you did either, but we did OK. I have zero regrets and it's been wonderful for our family in so many ways. Oddly enough, my husband's income has almost doubled since I left and the market has been kind to the savings we did accumulate.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by lessismore22 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:00 am

You've done a fantastic job accumulating assets, congrats to both of you. This is an easy decision based on everything you've mentioned. Let her enjoy the time at home with your new son. You could be surprised how at much it improves YOUR career to have a SAHW. It has benefited mine greatly.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:16 am

Mathematically, this does not seem to be an issue as long as OP's household can live on OP's wages and let the taxable and 401k's grow (although accounting for taxes). OP may not even have a mathematical need to be in the workforce more than a few years anyhow. Living in non Philly/Pitt PA should be a major step down in COL as well?

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by DucsRMe » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:25 am

We too had a child late in life, at about the same ages as you and your wife. We made the decision before my wife even got pregnant that she would be a stay-at-home mom until kindergarten. We both agreed it was important to us, so we set about making it happen. To me, that's the biggest thing: we knew we'd make this work, no matter what it took. If I had to deliver pizzas at night and on weekends, that's what I was going to do. Thankfully, it didn't come to that. :happy

Up to that point, we lived the typical DINK lifestyle - dinner out 5x a week, nice vacations, expensive hobbies, so there was definitely fat in the budget that was fairly easy to trim. Sure, we both missed it to a degree, but the reward of staying home with our daughter (like you, I also work from home) was well worth the sacrifices.

Prior to leaving work, my wife was doing full-time corporate event planning. During our daughter's first year of 5-day-a-week pre-school, she struck up a friendship with another mom who was in educational curriculum sales. She asked my wife to help her with an author event, then asked he to do a few more. When our daughter started kindergarten the next year, my wife started working part-time directly with the educational company as an event planner and sales assistant. Which then turned into a full-time sales role with a different educational company when our daughter started first grade. Daughter is now in second grade, wife is still in the sales role -- which she loves -- and we both work from home.

Did we have some lucky breaks along the way? Sure. But sometimes we get so hung up looking at the potential downside of things, that we forget to remember that often times good things happen as well!

As I said earlier, if you and your wife decide this is what you want to do, then do whatever it takes to make it happen.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Third Son » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:34 am

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:08 am
Hi Bogleheads,

I’m seeking the BH collective wisdom on our families situation & decision for my DW to stop working.

This should be an easy decision but we’re both struggling coming to terms with it. DW has been with her megacorp 15 years and earns about $110k/yr, great low cost 401k and ESPP. I’m at my megacorp 22 years and earn about $125k/yr. We max out all tax advantaged space. I’m 46, she is 44 and we just had our first rainbow baby June 2019.

She has stable employment but hates her job. I have stable employment and love my job. The problem is she’s not managed effectively. Maybe she is productive 8-9 days a month. The downtime is spent watching videos on YouTube. She was working from home on Fridays (I work from home all the time) but she was told she can’t do that anymore.

Our son is now in daycare and she’s miserable about it. She depressed someone else is spending all this time with him while she’s stuck in a cube doing nothing. He’s also getting sick one every other week there which is beyond frustrating. With both of us home on Fridays we’ve been able to adjust our schedules so we only need daycare 4 days a week. We would have to make that 5 days.

We’re savers for sure. Our retirement and taxable accounts are in seven digits each but have a high concentration of megacorp stock. We have zero debt and live in a hcol area. If she stops working, we’d move to a lower cost area within a year and unload some stocks for TM fund.

I’m nervous about being the sole provider for us. It’s more responsibility than I’ve ever taken on in life so far. I do want her to have that time with our son. DW is feeling selfish about giving up a really good salary that requires little work. We feel it is a career killer for her as going back into the workforce in her early 50’s isn’t realistic. Additionally, we’d be moving 90 minutes away from her job.

Do we just FIRE her at 44 and end the professional work chapter of her life? I do like the sound of that but worry she will get bored when school starts. I understand it’s totally within our means to do this, it’s just so different to how we’re used to thinking/living.

Thanks,
Root
My wife stayed home with our kids for 26 years while we were on one income. Got all four of them through college. One of our proudest achievements. You will most likely be fine if you adjust your budget a bit. It seems like you are a sensible couple.
"A part of all you earn is yours to keep" | | -The Richest Man in Babylon

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:46 am

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:19 am
You have more than enough now to retire, your wife hates her job, she wants to be with your child, depression is setting in because she can't be with your child. The answer is easy. She should leave the workforce and you both should be happy about the decision.
+1, close the thread it's done. :beer

(I win the bread for my family, but my wife has the way more stressful/active/rewarding career in raising our kids and making our home. You've also got a 7-/8-month old. Things are about to get real when that kid turns 1.)
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, | Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow. | None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: | His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:00 am

I can sort of relate to your situation. My wife and I are both 45, my salary is similar to yours, and I have stable employment as well. We have less saved than you but I am expecting a nice pension when I retire. In 2018, when our daughter was a three-year-old, my wife said she wanted to be a stay-at-home parent and spend time with our child. It’s been two years now and life has been very good since that point. We’ve adjusted to living on less money but once you factor in reduced child care costs, taxes, commuting costs, etc., that makes up some of the difference. There is so much more time and less stress now, and that is huge as well. When our daughter is a bit older, my wife may go back to working, or not. It’s nice to have options. Your family is in a position to do whatever you want. Congrats on being in that situation so do what makes you both happy.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:00 am

duplicate

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RootSki
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:22 pm

as9 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:34 am
With every piece of new information this becomes even more of a no-brainer. She should give her notice tomorrow and take advantage of the 2+ decades of hard work and saving you both put in. This is the reward.
I actually dropped a tear reading that 😅, thank you.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:27 pm

deltaneutral83 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:16 am
Mathematically, this does not seem to be an issue as long as OP's household can live on OP's wages and let the taxable and 401k's grow (although accounting for taxes). OP may not even have a mathematical need to be in the workforce more than a few years anyhow. Living in non Philly/Pitt PA should be a major step down in COL as well?
I think we can. We’ve never had much need to budget but I think our annual expenses are just shy of $30k. Moving from Morris County, NJ to Bucks County, PA should reduce our tax burdens. Maybe not our property tax, as I’d like a nice yard (something we can’t have in our current townhouse). I’m guessing property tax might be a wash, but Income and Capital Gains taxes will be lower.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:31 pm

winterfan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:45 am
We had almost the exact situation years ago. We had a rainbow baby late in life too. My husband enjoyed his work, but I had a meh office job. I worked for several years after my baby was born, but I wasn't happy. I left almost a decade ago and never looked back. We did not have as much saved as you did either, but we did OK. I have zero regrets and it's been wonderful for our family in so many ways. Oddly enough, my husband's income has almost doubled since I left and the market has been kind to the savings we did accumulate.
You understand. It was so hard, but it strengthened our bond unbelievably.

My wife has only been back at work 6 weeks (thanks to a 6 month maternity leave). There is no way she’ll last the year.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:35 pm

lessismore22 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:00 am
You've done a fantastic job accumulating assets, congrats to both of you. This is an easy decision based on everything you've mentioned. Let her enjoy the time at home with your new son. You could be surprised how at much it improves YOUR career to have a SAHW. It has benefited mine greatly.
That is true, I never really thought about how it might benefit my career. Moving closer to my work will benefit me for sure.

I contacted a realtor today. We’re moving forward with this plan. Thanks to my BH friends I’m feeling much more confident about giving my wife an early “retirement”.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by manatee2005 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:40 pm

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:56 am
manatee2005 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:37 am
Your wife hates that somebody else is taking care of your baby but she might be miserable staying home with the baby for years. It's definitely not for everyone.

See if she can take family leave for a few weeks and try it out. If you both have 7 figure retirement accounts, you guys can even retire now, so there's no issue with dropping to 1 income.
Maybe I could clarify. Our combined retirement accounts is just over 1m. Our combined taxable accounts is also just over 1m.

She had 6 months of paid leave when our son was born. She knows what being home all day with the child is like.
It's a big difference when the baby is 0-6 months old ie just laying there and not moving, to when the baby starts to walk, then terrible twos etc.

I remember when my son was under 6 months we'd just put him in the crib and could have some rest. But once they start to walk it's a whole different ballgame.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Keenobserver » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:44 pm

Sounds like you gotta bite the bullet and let her spend this precious time with the baby. Maybe she can go back to work at a later time. Time waits for no one. Let her make memories and be at ease. Money game will continue to infiniti.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Keenobserver » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:44 pm

Sounds like you gotta bite the bullet and let her spend this precious time with the baby. Maybe she can go back to work at a later time. Time waits for no one. Let her make memories and be at ease. Money game will continue to infiniti.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by decapod10 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:24 pm

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:19 am
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people on this board who push for a spouse who wants to stay home with a child to look for another job or re-enter the workforce just as soon as possible due to the "what ifs."
This thread seems though seems pretty heavily in support of dropping the job though? I think the answers you get lie heavily on the motivation for quitting.

Unlike another similar thread posted here (where the sentiment seemed to be on the more on the other side), this person hates her job and is miserable seeing her kid going to daycare. They have at home with the baby for 6 months so has a reasonable idea of what to expect. I don't get the sense she is quitting just so her husband can further his career, but more for her own purposes, but of course we are all guessing ultimately since we just going off of an internet blurb.

This person should quit IMO, which is the opposite opinion I had on the other thread. What ifs matter less here IMO than other situations, again just my opinion.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by whereskyle » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:26 pm

$120k is enough. Having my wife home with our baby is simply irreplaceable. I make $97k. We comfortably max out one tax-advantaged account in addition to employer plan and we live in an expensive city. DW hating her job and being away from baby is not worth another $120k. Listen to Bogle. Enough is enough.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:36 pm

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:35 pm
I contacted a realtor today. We’re moving forward with this plan. Thanks to my BH friends I’m feeling much more confident about giving my wife an early “retirement”.
With taking care of a baby she will likely be working a lot harder with that than she did with her current day job.

I take care of my grandkids some times and it is a LOT of work and I and not even trying to juggle doing the laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc at the same time.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by RootSki » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:47 pm

Watty wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:36 pm
RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:35 pm
I contacted a realtor today. We’re moving forward with this plan. Thanks to my BH friends I’m feeling much more confident about giving my wife an early “retirement”.
With taking care of a baby she will likely be working a lot harder with that than she did with her current day job.

I take care of my grandkids some times and it is a LOT of work and I and not even trying to juggle doing the laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc at the same time.
She’s well aware of that. On the days when I’m working from home, I plan on giving her some down time to eat, run an errand, nap, whatever. On days I have to make site visits, I plan on giving her some downtime once I get back home. I do a lot of laundry working at home now.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Unladen_Swallow » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:45 pm

OP,

A lot of these questions seem like an all or nothing situation when it doesn't have to be.

Your wife has a cushy job, people would give anything for it. There are people working 3 jobs making less than she does and supporting a family as a single parent. Certainly this is not ideal, but I want to mention it to bookend the context.

Your wife wants to be with your child more. I don't want to sound presumptuous, but the desire to stay home is probably fueled (at least in part) by her unfulfilling job. But these get mixed up in our minds. She might look for a more fulfilling job, albeit part time. Being in the workforce, having more free time, and still bring in money will do your family more good than not. If she is watching YouTube 75% of her time at work, she will be doing the same at home when your child is asleep, school, etc. I discourage looking at this as an all or nothing.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of one person entirely giving up their careers. No matter how much money they have saved, crap happens. Divorces, death etc. The whole "stay at home parent" situation is very novel to me. But my experiences and philosophy about life doesn't have to be shared.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Richard Feynman

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by seligsoj » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:08 pm

I like the suggestion of your wife taking a few weeks off to see if she likes staying home with the baby full time....the life of a sahm is not for everyone. Also, are you definitely done having kids? If not, you may want to take this into account in your budget. You have the money to do it without a doubt. If this is what your wife really wants then I say go for it.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by leeks » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:56 pm

With your financial situation, there is no reason for her to stay at a job she hates. If it were me, I would quit.

She may stay home with the child for 6 months or 6+ years. She may return to work full time or part time or never work again. There is no need to decide or worry about that too much now. There will enough options open to her in the future. She is not deciding for a lifetime, she is deciding for the right now.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by greg24 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:49 pm

What is the point of saving up $2M if you're not going to allow yourselves to focus on what matters in life?

She should quit her job. All three of your lives will be improved.

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:00 am

RootSki wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:31 pm
winterfan wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:45 am
We had almost the exact situation years ago. We had a rainbow baby late in life too. My husband enjoyed his work, but I had a meh office job. I worked for several years after my baby was born, but I wasn't happy. I left almost a decade ago and never looked back. We did not have as much saved as you did either, but we did OK. I have zero regrets and it's been wonderful for our family in so many ways. Oddly enough, my husband's income has almost doubled since I left and the market has been kind to the savings we did accumulate.
You understand. It was so hard, but it strengthened our bond unbelievably.

My wife has only been back at work 6 weeks (thanks to a 6 month maternity leave). There is no way she’ll last the year.
Then it sounds as though the decision has already been made and you're more or less just coming to terms with it.

You have over $2 million. Being the sole breadwinner is not a big deal, especially since you like your work. I'm speaking from experience. Continue maxing out your retirement accounts, and your financial life will be just fine. But more important than money is doing what's best for your family, something that is seeming forgotten far too often by far too many on this forum. Money is a means, not an end.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Carson » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:17 am

I was in a similar situation except DH's unique schedule made it so that he was working FT and watching our son while I worked a rewarding but extremely challenging/high pressure megacorp job. He was the one who suggested to me that I scale back, because I was missing out. Doing serious financial analysis showed we would be OK if I had to leave altogether, but what I really wanted to do was go PT.

I've been PT for 8 or 9 years now? Its fantastic. My work is cyclical, there are some really quiet periods and still some 14-hour days. I think a lot of people here can relate that having a spouse at home not only helps with the practicalities of childcare, but can also alleviate home pressures. With me being at home most days, DH is able to work OT that not only makes some money but also advances his career.

I will also say my kids are in Elem. school and I'm not bored. I'm on the board of 2 local charities, and do a LOT during the day with that. I exercise consistently, and I'm able to have our home life under control so that DH can work out consistently as well. We don't have our kids overscheduled, but we are busy between therapy and sports. There will be plenty to do, and I don't even spend $100 at Target every day like a lot of SAHMs do ;)
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Re: Yet another 2 -> 1 income thread

Post by Nowizard » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 am

You have the ability to do this, particularly since there are almost certainly no more children in your future. As someone with experience of a wife who did not quit work completely but did work PT during early years after the birth of our children and those ongoing illnesses picked up at daycare, I know that your wife can return to work later if she chooses, depending on her skill set. It could be in a lesser paying job, but the "job" of raising your children without required day care is a good start on their lives and will cut down expenses significantly. That can be both a "salary" and psychological comfort. My wife went to school PT during those years, earned a doctorate in her 50's and continues working as an in-demand PT consultant today for fun in her mid-70's. Compare the differences in taxation and overall COL, and determine the amount of difference between where you would move and live presently. If there are high quality public schools where you move, that is a bonus.

Tim

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