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Is this typical? So many having to go back to work


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In the last couple weeks, I've noticed a slew of "I have to quit homeschooling, putting the kids in school. Gotta go back to work." threads.

 

I've only been here 2 years. It just seems like a lot more than normal. Is it just me? Are the economic problems getting to be more widespread and families have gone as far as they can on one income?

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I think that the economic crisis has a LOT to do with it. I know several moms that have gone back to work because of it. Prices just keep rising on food, clothing, utilities, etc. and income isn't. At some point, the rubber meets the road for many families. I also know two contractors whose wives went back to work because not only are these men having a hard time keeping their businesses going, but they can't afford private policy insurance and have sick kids. Their wives have degrees, professional licenses, etc. that put them in a position to work and get group medical.

 

Faith

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I think it's also that in some cases the primary breadwinner has lost their job, the other spouse can find one more easily, but the primary one still needs the freedom and flexibility to look for work. That's where we'd be if DH lost his job. I can probably get a job without too much issue that pays SOMETHING, but it won't replace his income, so we'd still need him to be looking for a permanent job, which wouldn't allow him to homeschool DD. We'd need the child care, if nothing else.

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I think that the economic crisis has a LOT to do with it. I know several moms that have gone back to work because of it. Prices just keep rising on food, clothing, utilities, etc. and income isn't. At some point, the rubber meets the road for many families. I also know two contractors whose wives went back to work because not only are these men having a hard time keeping their businesses going, but they can't afford private policy insurance and have sick kids. Their wives have degrees, professional licenses, etc. that put them in a position to work and get group medical.

 

Faith

 

I think this is one of the reasons. Our income has steadily decreased for the past 5 years, though I am certainly thankful Dh still has a job. I thought I might have to get a part time job this fall. It might still be a possibility.

Edited by shanvan
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I think that the economic crisis has a LOT to do with it. I know several moms that have gone back to work because of it. Prices just keep rising on food, clothing, utilities, etc. and income isn't. At some point, the rubber meets the road for many families. I also know two contractors whose wives went back to work because not only are these men having a hard time keeping their businesses going, but they can't afford private policy insurance and have sick kids. Their wives have degrees, professional licenses, etc. that put them in a position to work and get group medical.

 

Faith

 

:iagree:I feel lucky that I can work from home part-time++ and still homeschool (school at home or what ever one wants to call it), but I've had to make compromises. This juggling act of work, school, and domestic duties makes putting kids into a physical school appealing.

 

DH lost all work in the construction industry with the down turn in the economy, and it has been a struggle to regain that lost income. We've both had to retool for a different kind of global economic world.

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In the last couple weeks, I've noticed a slew of "I have to quit homeschooling, putting the kids in school. Gotta go back to work." threads.

 

I've only been here 2 years. It just seems like a lot more than normal. Is it just me? Are the economic problems getting to be more widespread and families have gone as far as they can on one income?

 

I am one who has posted about this and sadly, I have always worked. In the past I homeschooled ds while I worked part-time. Now that dd is starting school, and I no longer have child care for when I work, I decided to put the kids in school. :tongue_smilie:

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I think that the economic crisis has a LOT to do with it. I know several moms that have gone back to work because of it. Prices just keep rising on food, clothing, utilities, etc. and income isn't. At some point, the rubber meets the road for many families. I also know two contractors whose wives went back to work because not only are these men having a hard time keeping their businesses going, but they can't afford private policy insurance and have sick kids. Their wives have degrees, professional licenses, etc. that put them in a position to work and get group medical.

 

Faith

we are really feeling it too. Gas and groceries are killing us and we are getting to the point where we can't just keep on taking a bit out of savings to make ends meet each month. So we've cut back deeply. Still a bit concerned. We will see. It would take a lot for us to have to put the kids in school and me go to work. (I doubt I'd be able to pick up anything other than minimum wage work anyway) But our extras are next to nothing anymore.

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we are really feeling it too. Gas and groceries are killing us and we are getting to the point where we can't just keep on taking a bit out of savings to make ends meet each month. So we've cut back deeply. Still a bit concerned. We will see. It would take a lot for us to have to put the kids in school and me go to work. (I doubt I'd be able to pick up anything other than minimum wage work anyway) But our extras are next to nothing anymore.

 

:iagree: This is where we are. Our spending is cut about as deeply as it can be cut, and prices keep going up. I am going to have to add about 15-20 hours per week, and frankly, I am really unsure how that's going to work out. I can typically tolerate a high level of stress and activity, but when it comes to stress over money, that just gets me in the gut. Hate it.

 

Think I'll hop on over to that aromatherapy thread for some calming oils!

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We're in this boat too. Economic stagnation of construction, dh's health issue, and rising expenses forced me to work part-time. We're hanging on by the skin of our teeth. My paltry income all went towards school books.

 

Dh changed jobs and is making what he did a decade ago. The cost of living increases have not kept up with his industry. He did get a promotion last week, but he hasn't been there long enough to get the pay raise that might normally accompany it.

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We're in this boat too. Economic stagnation of construction, dh's health issue, and rising expenses forced me to work part-time. We're hanging on by the skin of our teeth. My paltry income all went towards school books.

 

Dh changed jobs and is making what he did a decade ago. The cost of living increases have not kept up with his industry. He did get a promotion last week, but he hasn't been there long enough to get the pay raise that might normally accompany it.

 

Total bummer... I have great concern for each family's primary breadwinner. How demoralizing it is to work as hard and harder than ever and not be able to make ends meet.

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Our dd is still young, but we would have been in the situation a little over a year ago of having to put her in daycare and have me work if not for my epilepsy and other assorted health problems. At this point, there are no jobs that I can do without essentially endangering myself and my poor, broken brain. :tongue_smilie: If I was healthy though, and if dh hadn't found a decent job, I'd probably be at work this very moment and dd would be in a daycare somewhere.

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I think it's also that in some cases the primary breadwinner has lost their job, the other spouse can find one more easily, but the primary one still needs the freedom and flexibility to look for work. That's where we'd be if DH lost his job. I can probably get a job without too much issue that pays SOMETHING, but it won't replace his income, so we'd still need him to be looking for a permanent job, which wouldn't allow him to homeschool DD. We'd need the child care, if nothing else.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

We came very close to this situation back in July. Fortunately, DH was able to land another position at his employer so we are able to continue to HS for now.

 

The jobs for which I am qualified only pay roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of what DH can make. I'm not complaining- I could've stopped at a single child, gotten a MBA and professional certification like DH has, and continued working full-time. This was something I actually considered, but it just didn't feel right to me. I made my choice, and I don't regret a thing, even though financially I paid a big price for it. I have 3 wonderful kids, and was able to be a SAHM for 80% of my oldest's life and 100% of the younger two's lives. :)

 

The flip side is that there is no way that we could support our family on just the income I could make. If I were to resume FT employment and DH didn't have a permanent position, he would still need to be job-hunting and he'd also presumably be doing consulting projects/freelance work.

 

A big factor in these kinds of situations is that we are now in the 5th year of a lousy economy. It is not unusual for folks to have experienced multiple layoffs/other financial setbacks during that time. Even if the family had had a "rainy day" fund to keep them going during the first crisis, they are in a much weaker position the 2nd or 3rd time around. :(

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I think it's probably because school is starting, so it's on the minds of moms who are in that position and families who may have been trying to find other options over the summer found that school was the best option.

 

:iagree:

 

This year is undoubtedly worse than some as the economy is not exactly thriving, but it does happen every year.

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I hear about it here, on this board, but have not seen an increase in friends going back to work & stopping their homeschooling around here.

In my circle of friends, I pretty much lost my homeschooling support group in the past 5 years. Which led to me seeking out others...including you. :) But out of almost 10 hsing families in our church, only 2 are left.

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I hear about it here, on this board, but have not seen an increase in friends going back to work & stopping their homeschooling around here.

 

It seems like every fall for the past several years there has been a fair amount of turnover due to the lousy economy. Folks who used HS now putting their kids into PS so that the home educator can resume employment. But there have also been a bunch of former private school families who decided to HS because they could no longer afford the tuition. It's been my observation that overall the numbers seem to be a wash, but I don't have any actual numbers to back that up IYKWIM.

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In my circle of friends, I pretty much lost my homeschooling support group in the past 5 years. Which led to me seeking out others...including you. :) But out of almost 10 hsing families in our church, only 2 are left.

 

I wonder if I would see more of it if I had started homeschooling earlier.... I only started 7 years ago.

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I hear about it here, on this board, but have not seen an increase in friends going back to work & stopping their homeschooling around here.

 

:iagree: None of my friends in my area have had to go to work or stop homeschooling, so it must be very dependent on how hard your area has been hit by the bad economy. I'm sorry for the moms who don't want to work and are forced to in order to pay bills. :grouphug:

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:iagree: None of my friends in my area have had to go to work or stop homeschooling, so it must be very dependent on how hard your area has been hit by the bad economy. I'm sorry for the moms who don't want to work and are forced to in order to pay bills. :grouphug:

In general, our area is weathering the economic problems pretty well. But that could be the demographic from our church coming into play...not a particular affluent area. More lower middle class families, those with little wiggle room in the budget for increasing costs of the necessities of life.

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I am in that position. I really need to get a job. Prices are crazy and my husband's business is down because of the economy. He's a Chiropractor and has gotten insurance reimbursement cuts every year. So many patients have lost their jobs or their insurance has been cut. No one can afford out of pocket payments. It's getting hard to stay afloat.

 

He owns his own business so we have to buy our own insurance. We pay almost $1,000 a month plus a $10,000 deductible. That's the cheapest plan we can get in our state. We just can't afford it any more. I was in tears the other day at the pharmacy after paying a $141 payment for a one month supply of meds that my son needs.

 

I plan on going back to teaching if I can find a job. I just need anything with benefits.

 

It's sad, because we have never had to worry like we do now. I wonder how things will end up for folks like us.

 

Gayle

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I think the economy is still really bad. We're hanging on here, but we are in a *much* worse position financially than we were two years ago when I started homeschooling. We got some money when my FIL died and we invested it and it has lost much of its value. My husband lost his job and couldn't find anything for eight months and we wiped out whatever money we had saved. We lost all of our health and life insurance and our retirement plan when dh lost his job. DH found a job at a much lower pay and with no benefits. Prices of everything are so high right now and our city, health department, and school are all putting levies on the ballot this fall. If they all pass, we may be in big trouble. Oh, and I have degrees in the same field as dh, so if he can't find a job, I probably can't find one either!

Edited by mom2scouts
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I know several moms from our homeschool 4-H group who have had to quit homeschooling and go to work, and a couple of others who are thinking about it. The dads have either been laid off or had their hours cut...some work in construction and there's no work. We're struggling here, too. My dh is back on furloughs now, and while we'll manage somehow, it's worrisome.

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Lots of good points. I am sure there's natural ebb and flow over the years, but as has been mentioned, the longer the subpar economy drags on, the more people are feeling the effects of it.

 

In our case, when PS wasn't working anymore, the alternatives were private school and homeschooling. HS was more appealing for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I could do it for about 10-20% of the cost of private school each year. While I would make more than the cost of private school if I were to return to work, the question is how much would be left after tuition, expenses, and taxes.

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While I would make more than the cost of private school if I were to return to work, the question is how much would be left after tuition, expenses, and taxes.

yes, this is a good point. After I factored all that in, I doubt that I, personally, could make enough money to make it worth the disruption to our lives. And it would be a HUGE disruption. My dh looks at families with 2 working parents and is so thankful that we don't have to do that. He likes getting homecooked food and not having to pitch in so much to clean!

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I will say that I see more and more SAHM's returning to the workforce (I unfortunately don't know more than a handful of HS'ers). Prices of *everything* seem to be increasing, and in my circle, fresh rounds of professional layoffs. I know for us, that we have cut everything possible- and the "leftover" for savings and fun stuff is smaller and smaller every month. It *is* really depressing to work hard, make good money, and not have much left after the small amount of monthly bills we have.

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I am not planning to return to work at this point. DH is fortunate to be working for a small business that is growing a lot right now and adding employees. However, you never know what the future will bring. I recently reactivated my professional license (from an "on hold" status) and will take continuing ed to keep it up to date, just in case.

 

We pay for our own insurance OOP, and it is substantial. It would be even more money if we were added on to DH's work policy.

 

Rising college costs scare the pants off of me. It feels as though no amount of saving $$ for college will be adequate. Even if I went back to work, I'd feel that way, and we could afford to sock away considerably more money. It still wouldn't feel adequate or totally comfortable.

 

The rising costs of food, gas, etc. are scary. Extracurriculars add up very quickly as well, and my kids aren't even enrolled in that many as compared to many people we know.

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We had 2 in college last year-- 1 in this year and still helping to support the recent college grad.

 

Money is tight-- I AM the college fund-- so I have had to find work. Luckily I get to work from home teaching homeschoolers-- since that is all I've known for the past 14 years!

 

Youngest dd goes to PS... we can not afford for me to cut back on my teaching hours. I work too much to have dd home. Luckily we have a great district and dd loves to 'after-school' (plus she is my social child and with no kids within 7 miles and no family.siblings nearby and no co-ops less than 1 hour away-- she would be stir crazy at home!

 

When we get middle dd through college I will become the 'retirement plan'.

 

We are also setting aside $$$ for youngest dd's future...

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Like most people have said, it's the economy. I don't know of anyone in my circle of homeschool friends who have gone back to work recently, but most of my homeschool friends are married to engineers who are either in fields where there are never enough engineers or fields that are so narrow and specific that it's doubtful they will ever lose their job. Even with the job stability of the people I know, it's been harder the last few years with the prices on everything going up. Groceries, clothing, gas, taxes, insurance ....up, up, up. We noticed the other day that the cat food we buy just went up 10%. As another poster said, college costs scare me! We never intended to pay for all of it, but I look at piddling amount we're able to sock away in their college funds each month and it's laughable. Something has to give somewhere. I've considered working part time just to bring in a little extra, but I don't know if it would be worth the sacrifice in family time.

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It's definitely the economy, compounded by the fact that it's dragged on for so long. If I had to get a job, we'd be in pretty awful straits as any job I got would pay peanuts and probably not even accommodate around school hours. We definitely struggle, but MIL has been helpful. We usually use our tax refund to fund most of our homeschooling expenses.

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What I have seen locally has been more related to marriages falling apart. There seems to be definite times in either a marriage or the kids are a particular age when it seems like people decide to split. about two years ago, I saw at least three homeschooling couples split up. In each case that was the end of homeschooling. All three couples had kids about the same age and had been together about the same amount of time....married 8 or 9 years.

 

There also seems to be some correlation to the age of kids and putting them into school. When my elder son was a toddler everyone I knew was going to homeschool. Of that crowd, I am the ONLY one still homeschooling. There was a big jump to enroll in ps when the eldest child was in 4th grade and another big jump last year when they started 6th. Now, among homeschooling families, every year closer to high school brings more and more enrolling in ps.

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Obviously as everyone has said, the economy is the number one reason, but I also feel that as homeschooling becomes more mainstream, people move in and out of it more fluidly. When we moved into our neighborhood 10 years ago, I was the only working mom. Now, I don't know any single income families in our neighborhood (there are likely some, I just don't know any). All of the moms I know, and I know a large portion of them, work in some capacity.

 

This is based on my perception only, so I could be wrong, but it seems like the majority of home schoolers from the 70-80-90s were more of the 'homeschooling is the only school for us' families. In the 2000's I would say it was more half and half with people like our family who make the decision year by year, kid by kid. In the 2010+s, I see it tipping to be more and more of families like ours, while the 'homeschool only' families becomeing more of the minority. I would guess there are more 'homeschool only' families overall, but just not in ratio to the families who reevaluate year by year.

 

I think we see more people who are willing to look at other options that in previous decades.

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We were there two years ago when dh lost his job. Around 100 other carpenters in our area lost their jobs that same month & as dh had just turned 60yo, he's been unable to find full-time work since. We finished out that schoolyear hs/ing ds#2 (dd & ds#1 had already begun tertiary studies.) Ds#2 began at our local highschool with the new school year. I had been applying for every teaching vacancy I saw with no luck. A few weeks after ds#2 began school I got called up to relieve (sub) at our local intermediate school & have been there ever since. This has been a life saver for us & without me being free to go in at a moments's notice I wouldn't have gotten the work I did. I still don't have a full-time position, but the money I bring in has kept our budget afloat for the most part. We are lucky here in NZ that we don't need benefits for health care.

 

I wish I was able to continue hs/ing, but putting food on the table was more important & dh wasn't in a position to take over the hs/ing as he needed to be available to do the little jobs he's been offered occasionally. We've now almost recovered from the 6 months of absolutely no income two years ago. I think my story is not uncommon in many areas.

 

Blessings,

Edited by Deb in NZ
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My going to work has been in the plan for a long time. Dh doesn't make enough to get by without relying on the gov't or others, so off to work I go. I make more than he does, and my earning power will just keep going up over time. His has pretty much hit the top of what he can make.

 

I like working, and I am glad to move towards financial stability. I am sad to stop homeschooling, but homeschooling and rearing my dc in poverty is not a good option.

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It's easy to see how it happens. Dh's income has increased since we started in 2007, but our financial lifestyle hasn't improved one bit. Our groceries alone have more than doubled since then, and our real estate taxes are up 60%. Our insurance premiums, copays, and deductibles have risen. Gas is much higher, and dh has a long commute.

 

If his income hadn't increased, we'd have a very tough choice to make.

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I do think that it is the length of the economic downturn more than anything though. Many breadwinners haven't had a raise or bonus in years, and food and gas are much more expensive.

 

I've also seen an increase among homeschool moms who work in addition to those who put the kids in school and go back to work. Several of my friends have been increasing their part-time work with the idea that they'll need to go back full-time in the next few years either because of economics or kids going to college. Some with teens are taking work here and there as school substitutes so that they can go back to teaching at some point. We're also at the point where we're seeing more and more send their teens to public high school or the community college, but I'm not sure if that is economically driven or just a normal drop-off.

 

I've always worked and homeschooled, and thankfully am finally up to the number of hours I had five years ago. That helps immensely with hungry teenagers and a house that has needed more repairs of late ;).

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We also thought of putting the kids in PS this year because of financial reasons. The reason we didn't though is because of the flexibility that homeschooling gives us for the hours that I can work. There aren't many jobs to be had that are between school hours. One thing we won't compromise on is putting them in one of the before or after school child care programs or having latch-key kids. Another motivator for working is that I don't want to be old and poor. It worries me that we have very little retirement savings.

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I also know two contractors whose wives went back to work because not only are these men having a hard time keeping their businesses going, but they can't afford private policy insurance and have sick kids. Their wives have degrees, professional licenses, etc. that put them in a position to work and get group medical.

 

Faith

 

Same here, Faith. I know several women with self employed spouses who have gone back to work not necessarily for great pay but for health insurance!

 

I want to add that I started homeschooling about the time that the early college high school opened in our area. A number of hard core homeschoolers (the people who had encouraged me to homeschool) suddenly made the move to enroll their kids in the new program. Once the kids are no longer at home, many of these Moms entered the work force, in part to assist with college costs I assume.

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Since 2007 Americans have lost 40% of their wealth. It catches up with you after awhile. Here's to a turnaround shortly!

 

Fact check! While I believe that the 40% figure was for the years between 2007 and 2010, there has been a turn around in the stock market. The perceived wealth tied to real estate equity has not turned around--and some hope that it does not as it was an artificial bubble.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled program. ;)

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I do think that it is the length of the economic downturn more than anything though. Many breadwinners haven't had a raise or bonus in years;).

 

My brother works for a very large, very wealthy corporation. He and his co-workers - all of whom require master's degrees in order to have their jobs so these are not unskilled labor positions by any stretch - have not had a pay-raise in 9 years. He is only 48 and was told by his manager that it doesn't matter how much money the company makes (it's profitable by the bazillions), the non-management employees will never see another raise, ever. So, until he can find work with a more reasonable employer - which doesn't really happen here in Michigan because NOBODY is hiring for full-time with benefits jobs for IT work - he can only watch his net worth keep dwindling as our property and state income taxes keep rising (despite the fact that his property isn't worth squat on the market anymore and the economy is so bad here people really just.cannot.afford.to.pay.more.tax).

 

I think the thing that really gets me is that we can't leave. If dh's siblings would take some responsibility for his mother, we could be in Singapore. The company that wants him there offered HUGE money, way more than what we would need to live comfortably (and in very nice, safe neighborhood), so we could bank a LOT towards retirement. But, they absolutely shirk their end of things and the immigration rules are quite tight in that country. We checked it out and we absolutely cannot get a residency VISA for her unless she can work full-time in an industry with an opening that can't be filled by the citizenry. If her hearing were good and she didn't have this one particular neuro issue - minor, but could still affect job performance - she could work as a pediatric nurse and professor of nursing...easily able to get a VISA for that. But, she just can't do it anymore and under their rules, she cannot be listed as a dependent of DH's so therefore, no residency VISA. Sigh.....

 

Michigan could be a good place for people to retire to if they are currently in a high cost of living area. The real estate can be purchased for peanuts and food costs are much, much more reasonable than other states. But for families still raising children, unless you've been made a pretty sweet job offer - and that's not too likely here - it's the kind of place worth fleeing at the moment.

 

Faith

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The weakened construction industry seems to be a theme in this thread. My DH's work used to be tied to construction, and he lost his job and went through extended unemployment a few years ago. The last two companies he worked for aren't even in business anymore. We moved closer to where I grew up, and I was the first to find a job. DH found a job but doesn't make what he did before.

 

I would not have put my kids in public school where we lived before, but we did here because it's a better school system and a different community and environment. We aren't in the same situation we were when I started homeschooling; some changes were negative and others were positive. (At our old district, gangs are such a problem that administrators won't even allow grade school kids to wear T-shirts or shoelaces in certain colors. They were also ranked at the bottom of the state and put on probationary status.)

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My brother works for a very large, very wealthy corporation. He and his co-workers - all of whom require master's degrees in order to have their jobs so these are not unskilled labor positions by any stretch - have not had a pay-raise in 9 years. He is only 48 and was told by his manager that it doesn't matter how much money the company makes (it's profitable by the bazillions), the non-management employees will never see another raise, ever. So, until he can find work with a more reasonable employer - which doesn't really happen here in Michigan because NOBODY is hiring for full-time with benefits jobs for IT work - he can only watch his net worth keep dwindling as our property and state income taxes keep rising (despite the fact that his property isn't worth squat on the market anymore and the economy is so bad here people really just.cannot.afford.to.pay.more.tax).[/Quote]

 

My husband is a corporate guy. His company weathered the recession well and continued giving employees raises, bonuses, 401K matches. But they did not replace all of the early retirees who were bought out around 2006, 2007. Thus everyone has been forced to work longer hours for no additional pay (salaried employees). And people are afraid to complain because they do have a job that pays well and has good benefits. The current state of corporate culture needs some repair work!

 

Michigan could be a good place for people to retire to if they are currently in a high cost of living area.

 

Faith

 

Yeah but you have this thing called winter!

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My husband is a corporate guy. His company weathered the recession well and continued giving employees raises, bonuses, 401K matches. But they did not replace all of the early retirees who were bought out around 2006, 2007. Thus everyone has been forced to work longer hours for no additional pay (salaried employees). And people are afraid to complain because they do have a job that pays well and has good benefits. The current state of corporate culture needs some repair work!

 

 

 

Yeah but you have this thing called winter!

 

 

But Jane, it's so pretty here! We have autumn leaves, lovely crops in the summer, just about every variety of flower and fruit tree, gorgeous lakes, ....surely you can "suck it up" enough to survive a piddly little thing like a bit of snow! :D:D:D

 

As a side note, here is an interesting phenomenon - all of the snow birds we know are sickly as soon as they start going back and forth between Michigan and Florida. All of the retirees that stick it out seem to be stronger. So, I'm a little confused because the snowbirds keep telling us they flee Michigan each winter for their health, but their health doesn't get better and they spend half of their Florida time in the hospital. So here is the scientific question, "Are they already in poor health which prompts them to become snowbirds and thus they'd be sick no matter where they were?" or "Were they healthy to begin with and Florida makes them sick?"

 

Hmmmm...my mom says it is because during the winter here, retirees stay inside, home more because they don't feel like contending with snowy roads or shoveling the driveway, thus they aren't exposed to as much of the contagious cruds that tends to go around. But, the ones that go to Florida all socialize with each other all winter long since the weather is nice and they spread their cruds to each other. This is also a reasonable hypothesis.

 

MIL loves it here. But, she grew up in Omaha and has always loved the changing of the seasons and being outdoors in all kinds of weather. It was FIL who HATED any hint of changing weather and opted for Florida so that he could then stay inside nearly ALL the time because it was too hot for him to be outside. :glare: So, this very outdoorsy woman spent a fair amount of time shut up in A/C with Mr. Grumpy Pants.

 

Faith

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