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Is time with my kids worth $1M?

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  • #31




    I worked about half time for 5 years after residency and just took a FT job 2 months ago. My kids are 3 and 11. My plan is to work FT for 4-5 years and then work go back to half time or less. I don’t regret my choice exactly ( I’m still home by 4:40 every day) but I’m making about 130k more per year so it will really speed up our time to FI. I would not do it for an extra 30k a year for sure. But I really loved that time at home with my kids and I know that those early years will be some of my most valued memories. Everyone is going to look at this differently.
    Click to expand...


    That extra pay really will speed up your time to FI! Thanks for sharing your choices. Will you have reached FI by the end of 4-5 years or why that timeframe?

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    • #32




      I’d like to pose to the OP a few questions.

       

      What would you do with that million dollars in 20 (or longer) years?  Serious question.  I know you said “not Dr. Diamond money”, so you’d obviously be able to utilize the money.  But for what?  A bigger house?  Nicer car?  Is what you would use the money for (not the actual million dollars) worth the time away from the kids?

       

      I was reading something something… people aren’t happier after making more than $75,000 per year.  I’m fuzzy on the details, but stretching that out, can you do everything you want to do in retirement without the million dollars?  Skip the week at the French villa, just go the Bahamas instead…

       

      How much sooner could you retire?  If its “a couple” of years, probably not worth it.

       

      And is it definitely $30,000 extra per year?  Higher tax brackets, loss of deductions, random taxes that only show up once your adjusted gross & taxable income go above a certain number (I’m looking at you “Net Investment Tax” & “Additional Medicare Tax”).
      Click to expand...


      Thanks for the questions, they're really making me think.  It would be part of our 25x(33x?) for FI(RE?). I'm still reading & learning about how to estimate that number but I tentatively have $3M in the draft of our financial plan from using POF's Dr. Benson @ 25x120k. Could we go down to spending 75k instead?  Deflating our lifestyle is definitely something to consider.

      As you suggest, my math is almost certainly wrong as all I've done for a crude estimate is whack the pretax amount in half and then lop off some more for additional childcare to get to 30k. I'll try to work out a more realistic figure.

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      • #33







        I worked about half time for 5 years after residency and just took a FT job 2 months ago. My kids are 3 and 11. My plan is to work FT for 4-5 years and then work go back to half time or less. I don’t regret my choice exactly ( I’m still home by 4:40 every day) but I’m making about 130k more per year so it will really speed up our time to FI. I would not do it for an extra 30k a year for sure. But I really loved that time at home with my kids and I know that those early years will be some of my most valued memories. Everyone is going to look at this differently.
        Click to expand…


        That extra pay really will speed up your time to FI! Thanks for sharing your choices. Will you have reached FI by the end of 4-5 years or why that timeframe?
        Click to expand...


        We will be close enough- house will be paid off,  renovation done and we'll have 1M in retirement accounts, kids college will be funded. After that point we'll just need enough to pay living expenses each year, although I'm pretty sure we'll keep contributing to savings/retirement. It's just nice to know that we won't absolutely have to anymore.

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        • #34
          We gave up on FIRE dreams for the kids. I wanted to stop at 50, as they were leaving for college. Instead I decided to take a large pay cut to stop taking call. No regrets. Even if it adds 10 years on to my retirement date.

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          • #35







            I chose the part time path until my kids were in school… now mostly (but not always) I work while they are in school or are working themselves and I do email type work when they do homework. It works… we’ve been able to amass enough wealth by late 40’s to feel comfortable. Not FI if we stay in our current location but could be if we wanted to move to a LCOLA. I would not ever do it another way… but each person is different. If you choose one path you can always go to the other path… nothing needs to be permanent.
            Click to expand…


            This is a very appealing setup! Certainly something for me to consider proposing in a few years. How supportive was your employer (your partners?)?
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            What do you do? Maybe you can set it up this way...

            When kids were young, I worked 8am-noon with a break from 10-10:30 to pump. Breastfed at 7am, went in to round, then to office, home by 1pm for next feeding. Off for afternoon, slept due to being up nights breastfeeding. Took full time call burden, which is what my partners really wanted help with. It was best of both worlds for them since I took the call but not all the surgical volumes from them.

            Later, I changed it up to have more admin responsibilities and the kids were in school longer...Drop them at bus at 7:30, in to office then done by 12:30, meetings 1-2:30 then back to bus, emails and extra charting in afternoon when they did homework. Some early morning meetings (7am- Dad would take them to bus) and some evening meetings too.

            Find out what your co-workers want... then design your plan. Mine needed call help... so it worked out well for me to take full time call. I was still in office as often to deal with calls, labs/radiology, etc. just not there as many hours. It would have been too hard to do two full days for me... 4 half days were much better.

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            • #36
              I find it fascinating how many people want to stay home until their kids are in school.  For us, those early years were some of the easiest in a lot of ways.  Daycare had long hours and stayed open all year long.  No spreadsheets of camps to ensure they'd be looked after over the summer.  No worrying about their getting their homework done. The kids' activities were *our* activities.

              Now with teenagers who don't remember anything about those early years, we feel the need to be more present than ever.  They have tons of activities, and we want to be there to cheer them on.  They have social stresses and, again, we want to be there for them.  They will definitely remember these years.  At the same time, they see how hard I work, and they definitely respect that.  I want to model hard work and dedication, so there's a fine balance.  Our balance entailed my spouse moving to part time when the kids were older, and may or may not go back to full time when they are both in college. With college close on the horizon, any time my kids want me to spend time with them is precious.  I have no regrets, however, about both of us working full time when they were little.

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              • #37


                Now with teenagers who don’t remember anything about those early years, we feel the need to be more present than ever.  They have tons of activities, and we want to be there to cheer them on.  They have social stresses and, again, we want to be there for them.  They will definitely remember these years.  At the same time, they see how hard I work, and they definitely respect that.  I want to model hard work and dedication, so there’s a fine balance.
                Click to expand...


                I was present in the early years (more for my enjoyment) and now finding that my presence is more and more required (even if it is to the detriment of my enjoyment!).

                So far, no regrets about being home/available instead of being at work.

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                • #38


                  Do you have any advice for comparing the value of intangibles like *more* time with kids *now* versus more time with kids
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                  If think the question really depends on the "real needs" of the kids and value to them. Most parents would accept a debt of a million and spend everything if means that much for their kids.  I have no problem with parents "sacrificing" for their kids.

                  The real question is it the value to the kids or to you? I would gladly work a number of years and assume debt to provide for my kids needs. I would also invest my time in my kids have a need as well. Can't put a price on raising kids, its kind of a crap shoot too.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I worked full time (part time for a bit, but it was hard fought battle to get and in the end part time was no longer an option) until our 3rd child was born. At that point trying to handle it all was unsustainable and I wasn't loving my job anyway. 3 years (and another kid) later I'm happy I made the decision. Our lives are calmer, I am happier, and our marriage is stronger. I don't feel a sinking feeling on Sunday nights anymore as I try and get it all done before the weekend ends. Part time might have been a different story, but I didn't have that option so it is hard to make that comparison. I'm not really sure how our family would run if I went back to work full time, without hiring significant extra help. We both feel like we are living life more than just surviving it.

                    Mostly though, I think a lot of it depends on your overall income. If my husband was making a training salary forever, I might be more inclined to go back. As it stands, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to go back unless I truly wanted to. We were actually talking yesterday about how much it would suck to feel like I had to work when he has easily replaced my income with relatively easy moonlighting as a fellow (obviously not a common situation). The bottom line is he can just make money a ************************ of a lot easier than I can right now, so we focus our efforts there. That might be something to look into? Overall, though if your financial situation isn't dire (crazy loans) and your spouse is making a physician income, I'd be inclined to say you are overthinking things by worrying about that $30K. There are probably significantly easier ways to earn or save that amount than going back full time.

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                    • #40
                      @MSooner,
                      My wife told me about a conversation my mom had with her when my first born was due. Subject: plans for working. The advice:
                      1 tough but manageable
                      2 huge struggle but yours truly needs to really step up
                      3 backbreaker, kids need someone to raise them
                      No opinion given about working, just “take good care of my grandkids.

                      We stopped at 2. Time off during middle school and then a desire for resuming a work life. As you said, it’s about life. We probably scaled back living some, but it wasn’t a factor. At some point, my guess is you will do something career wise again, for you not the cash.

                      FYI, I am one of 5, spouse one of 7. Things get crowded but it’s all good.

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                      • #41
                        I always say that my teenagers have been more time intensive in some ways than my infants.  Driving to activities, getting to know their friends, listening to their stories, making sure they are keeping up on their schoolwork etc.  It is much harder to pay someone to do a good job raising your teenagers than to find someone to care for an infant.  I would guess near impossible. Sounds like you don't need to work full time and that you rather not work full time.  Spend time with your kids. You won't regret it.

                         

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                        • #42
                          I showed this thread title to my kid and he thinks it's not worth it. Granted he thinks $100 is a ton of money at his age but he also wishes one of us spend more time with them as their friends stay at home parents do walking them to school etc. We have 9-6 schedule to start with and think we spend enough time with them but our kids dont think we do.

                          Note to self: just spending time with them is not enough, make it worth it for them.

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                          • #43
                            Yes - Quality > Quantity.   This is why during the early years we felt it was fine for nanny/housekeeper expense while we both made hay.  As they got older, there was higher demand for quality time with the kids.   The concerts, games, learning to ride bike or shoot the ball or climb the tree.  Going out apple picking and hiking along the ridge or weekend getaways for family down time.

                            Few remember the daily food, pickup, household chores, laundry or groceries shopping.

                            So be aware of the timing when calculating the worth.

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                            • #44
                              An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

                              The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

                              The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

                              The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

                              The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

                              The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

                              The American scoffed. “I have an MBA from Harvard, and can help you,” he said. “You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle-man, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening up your own cannery. You could control the product, processing, and distribution,” he said. “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

                              The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

                              To which the American replied, “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”

                              “But what then?” asked the Mexican.

                              The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time was right, you would announce an IPO, and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”

                              “Millions – then what?”

                              The American said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”

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                              • #45
                                Hopefully the fisherman's plan A has him saving 20% towards retirement.

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