SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

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silverskates
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 11:19 am

SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by silverskates »

I work full time (age 44) and my husband (age 49) has stayed at home with our kids for the past 13 years. We have 4 kids (7 to 15) with the youngest graduating in 12 years. We're trying to figure out if he should return to work or if we should have him continue to focus at home with all the stuff going on here. He has no strong desire/passion toward any particular field so he'd be doing it for the money but he also wants the flexibility of all the same days off the kids have with a short/no commute. Our thought is maybe we should take advantage of this time while our kids are still at home and we can use him here, have the freedom to go on 3 week family summer vacations, spring break trips, etc. instead of chasing the extra money we'll just end up saving. I'm also WFH 100% of the time so on most days it feels like we're retired since my job is pretty low stress and very flexible. Thoughts or ideas?

2.5 million NW
140k income
Save around 80k per year (401k, 13% match, HSA, 2 Roth IRAs, taxable)
Spending 55k to 65k per year (differs due to whether or not I travel internationally which I hope to start doing annually as each child turns 16)
No debt and house is paid off
529s are started for each child and added to annually up to state maximum
Since we'd end up saving the majority of his extra income, we could have an extra 580k in our savings (save 2k/mo, 6% nominal return, 15 years)
The goal is to retire when I'm 59.5 and he's 63.5 so we can travel and do Roth conversions
Plan for me to take SS at 70 with him taking 1/2 my full retirement age (67) amount -- projection is 60k total in today's dollars

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by silverskates on Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sailaway
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by sailaway »

Unless you have a million dollar house, it looks like you have already met most of your financial goals. Would extra padding be worth the extra stress for him and the family to go back to work just to say he has an income?
DoubleComma
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by DoubleComma »

Every school I’m aware of is wrestling with substitute teachers, classroom aids, and other non-credentialed roles. Maybe he could find a role at the local school district. Not huge money, but can be rewarding and has all the same flexibility in schedule your kids have.
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mhc
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by mhc »

Some people that I know that are in your situation go to work for a school. That way the person is off basically whenever the children are out of school.
stoptothink
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by stoptothink »

DoubleComma wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:27 pm Every school I’m aware of is wrestling with substitute teachers, classroom aids, and other non-credentialed roles. Maybe he could find a role at the local school district. Not huge money, but can be rewarding and has all the same flexibility in schedule your kids have.
Related anecdote: both my SILs children are on the autism spectrum and attend an ASD-focused school ~25 miles from their home. They are having such a difficult time finding and keeping staff that they sent notes home to the parents asking if they were interested in administrative work. My SIL wasn't even looking for a job, but accepted an administrative position pretty much to save her one round trip 5x/week.
Topic Author
silverskates
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by silverskates »

Thanks for the responses so far. He's looked into jobs in our school district and although having the same days off as the kids would be nice, the pay is so low. It's hard to justify him directing his focus during the day to a job paying $13.30/hour when we have so much he could focus on at home.
Afty
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by Afty »

What is your husband's preference? It seems that you are in good financial shape and so this can be largely a lifestyle decision. IMO it’s nice to have a parent available to ferry the kids to activities, deal with unexpected issues, etc.
diydocwifejd
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by diydocwifejd »

I often wrestle with this dynamic myself (although we are dual income no kids). My husband makes $700k+ a year. I made $180k+ a year (but I'm taxed at the highest rate since we file jointly). So I bring in ~$5k/mo versus his $35k/mo take home. And my job is incredibly stressful and demanding. And I only have 18 days off a year. My vacation time is so limited that it limits the time my husband can take off of work. I often wonder if it's even worth it for me to work when I'm bringing in limited value.

If your spouse does not derive satisfaction from work, then I think it's a bad idea to do it for the financial reasons only. The reason I do it is that I take pride in having a job, I like sharing in our shared financial goals, I like contributing to the household, I like keeping my brain sharp, and I spent my entire life getting an education to work -- so it makes sense for me to apply that education.

If he doesn't have some intrinsic or external motivation to work other than for money, then just have him stay at home. Once our house is paid off in 4.5 years, I will definitely re-evaluate. In your circumstances, it's a no brainer to me that he should probably stay home unless he has some REALLY compelling internal desire to work.
Stubbie
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by Stubbie »

Have him stay at home. You can afford it and the kids are only young once. If he goes back to work solely for the money, he will be kicking himself when they are grown up and out of the house.
stoptothink
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by stoptothink »

Stubbie wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:51 pm Have him stay at home. You can afford it and the kids are only young once. If he goes back to work solely for the money, he will be kicking himself when they are grown up and out of the house.
Not to turn this into a SAHP debate, but as someone who WFH (wife works primarily in office) and has two young kids (9 and 6), I handle the large majority of the household duties and I'd still be bored a lot between 8am-3pm (when they're in school) if I wasn't working. If you are getting a normal 8-4pm job, how much time are you missing with the kids?
Normchad
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by Normchad »

I was really happy, grateful, and supportive that my wife stayed home while our family was growing up. She sacrificed a lot to do that, but for us, it was totally worth it. In our case, our kid was most expressive, and most willing to listen immediately after the school day ended. I am so glad that my wife was there for her on those days.
bloom2708
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Re: SAHD return to work outside home or enjoy easier lifestyle now -- YOLO :)

Post by bloom2708 »

I think you should stay where you are at if there is no imbalance/extra stress caused by your current system.

It is flip flopped for us. I work and my wife manages the house and kids. 2 are in college now, so that changes demands a bit. Aging parents and their health issues has added a new dynamic though.

Would I like us to both be working and saving more? Yes. Is it worth disrupting the system we have? No.

If you are OK with your role and not stressed/jealous and he is happy with his role and not stressed/antsy/wanting to go back to work, then I'd stay the course.

For your salary, you save a high amount and with 4 kids, spending is really low. We have 3 kids and spending is in the 80-90k range.

Well done and good luck with the decision.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
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