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Anyone else have doubts about being a SAHM sometimes? Being on one income in this area makes us lower middle class at best. I don't know any SAHMs here who aren't either super rich or military spouses. Everybody works at least part time, including the homeschoolers I know. DH's grandfather and great-grandfather both died in their 40s of heart attacks. Sometimes I worry it will happen to him and I'll have no means of supporting us.

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I am 43.  Dh had just turned 50 in June.     Of all the things to be concerned about, being able to pay the bills is not one of them.     I have done this before.  Been a single mom I me

I can't really speak to most of this post, but if you are a one income family you absolutely should have life insurance for both of you. 

I haven't read all the replies, I'll just say this, if it helps GREAT, if it doesn't, discard.  We tend to like to be anxious, play with the what if.  It feels like we're doing something to offset ris

7 minutes ago, hippymamato3 said:

I can't really speak to most of this post, but if you are a one income family you absolutely should have life insurance for both of you. 

We do have life insurance, but I'd still need to somehow find a job with zero full-time work experience.

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No relevant career experience is why four years ago I started an associates degree in an area that didn't exist when I went to college after high school. I graduate any day now. I've worked very part-time in this field for a year now. It's only about five hours per month, but it gives me a reference and something recent to put on my resume.

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9 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

We do have life insurance, but I'd still need to somehow find a job with zero full-time work experience.

This is what used to keep me up at night, too.  I finally managed to find a way to work very part-time and have hung on to that job for dear life.  My job has almost certainly been a net financial negative for us -- at least it was when the kids were younger and I needed to hire babysitters -- but it has given me a great deal of peace of mind.  

 

 

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19 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

We do have life insurance, but I'd still need to somehow find a job with zero full-time work experience.

My husband’s life insurance subsidized through his employer was more than enough to cover mortgage. We have paid up on our mortgage. 

For us the main issue would be cost of healthcare (including health insurance premiums) because I could tutor to earn enough to pay for daily expenses and property tax. 

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Besides life insurance, you need long-term disability insurance. People are far more likely to become too disabled to work than to die young.

Have you looked at your local community college to see what is available? As far as degrees and career experience (with little to no debt, at least) I like the motto, "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

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7 minutes ago, JennyD said:

This is what used to keep me up at night, too.  I finally managed to find a way to work very part-time and have hung on to that job for dear life.  My job has almost certainly been a net financial negative for us -- at least it was when the kids were younger and I needed to hire babysitters -- but it has given me a great deal of peace of mind.  

 

 

I've thought of doing one of those programs where you teach English to Chinese children, but I don't have a laptop or WiFi. Plus I can't count on my 4yo to not barge in. I used to write novels but I only have 2 hours of free time at the end of the day and by then I'm exhausted.

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29 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Any sexually active man should have a life insurance policy to care for any woman who has or could become pregnant by him so that they can be taken care of if he dies. He should also have annual physicals and a lifestyle that doesn't increase his chances of early death.

A man can find himself unable to financially support his family, without dying.   That's the situation we're in right now, and I'm really glad that I have an established career that I could return to. 

 

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4 minutes ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

Besides life insurance, you need long-term disability insurance. People are far more likely to become too disabled to work than to die young.

Have you looked at your local community college to see what is available? As far as degrees and career experience (with little to no debt, at least) I like the motto, "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

I've looked at George Mason University, which is a local public college where my husband did his master's at night a few years ago. I have a bachelor's but I could do a career change degree for teaching or nursing, which I think about sometimes. But then I couldn't homeschool and our city's schools are not good.

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I agree with the life insurance recommendation.  I also agree with the getting some training or a degree that can be used to gain part time experience that could go full time if needed.  

I was a full time SAHM for about 8 years, then went back to work for a few years after dh was laid off and decided to start his own company.  I worked mainly for the medical insurance.  Now I run my own business and dh has a typical full time job.   So, I can definitely go back to work fairly quickly if needed (I was an executive assistant, now I teach science classes).   I was more worried about it when my kids were younger since I would need to put them in school (not a good idea for our situation, we hired a private teacher when I worked)  if something happened to dh.   Our life insurance is enough to pay off the house completely and leave enough so I don't need to work full time for 5 years or so if I'm careful, especially without having to worry about a mortgage.   

Sounds like you may need to up your life insurance if you'd have to worry about working right away. 

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When ds was little and I was still married to his dad we had enough life insurance so that I would not have had to go back to work at least for a long time.  Now that the kids are all raised I am working full time and dh has very little life insurance and it is all he will ever get because of his health.  But that is ok.  I can support myself especially if I get enough to pay off our home.  I do get a little worried sometimes at 3:00 a.m. of course but overall I try not to overthink all of the what ifs in life.  

Try to enjoy your kids now.  

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7 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

I have a bachelor's but I could do a career change degree for teaching or nursing, which I think about sometimes. But then I couldn't homeschool and our city's schools are not good.

There are ways to work part-time and homeschool. Many people on this forum do it. Another possibility is to volunteer in a career-related area, if the goal is to build a resume just in case it is ever needed.

What was your bachelor's in? Maybe we can help you brainstorm ways to start developing a talent stack.

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I should clarify that I do have a degree, in economics and a "target language." I graduated during the recession and ended up working part-time at a school until I was finally able to have our daughter. So I never actually ended up using this degree and I think it would be nearly impossible for me to find a related job. All my experience is in education. Tutoring, ESL summer camp, working at that school.

I'll tell DH we need to look at our life insurance again but it's a solid amount. The idea of this happening just really scares me. That, along with having an only child, are the only two things that make me have doubts about homeschooling. 

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1 minute ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

There are ways to work part-time and homeschool. Many people on this forum do it. Another possibility is to volunteer in a career-related area, if the goal is to build a resume just in case it is ever needed.

What was your bachelor's in? Maybe we can help you brainstorm ways to start developing a talent stack.

Econ and a foreign language. I'm woefully out of practice because I don't know anyone here who speaks it. I was planning to work for an intelligence agency but I graduated during the hiring freeze and a government shutdown and ended up working at a school part time.

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Here's an article about the idea of a talent stack. The idea is to find several areas that you are better than average at and combine them in an uncommon way.

The economics degree and interest in working for the intelligence agencies suggests you might be very analytical (or some other trait I'm not thinking of now). There must be a way to leverage that somehow.

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25 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

I've thought of doing one of those programs where you teach English to Chinese children, but I don't have a laptop or WiFi. Plus I can't count on my 4yo to not barge in. I used to write novels but I only have 2 hours of free time at the end of the day and by then I'm exhausted.

Most of the tutoring of Chinese children is done early early in the morning, usually 4 or 5am, or in the evenings and overnight when your husband could be in charge. Most of the companies actually prefer that you not use WiFi, so a desktop plugged in to a router would be perfect.  So that could be an option worth exploring.  

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8 minutes ago, JumpyTheFrog said:

Economics, education, and a foreign language. That sounds like the start of a nice talent stack. Now we have to figure out how to put it together somehow.

Are you entrepreneurial or do you prefer being an employee?

I'm not sure. I have a lot of anxiety so I'm not sure how entrepreneurial stuff would work if I was trying to actively go and sell things to people. I tried freelance translation before and it didn't work out because everyone just wanted a native speaker. But I've had several truly awful bosses at the part time jobs so that makes me nervous, too.

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Just now, Cnew02 said:

Most of the tutoring of Chinese children is done early early in the morning, usually 4 or 5am, or in the evenings and overnight when your husband could be in charge. Most of the companies actually prefer that you not use WiFi, so a desktop plugged in to a router would be perfect.  So that could be an option worth exploring.  

We don't have internet service at all, actually. We just use the mobile hotspot on our phones when we need to use my husband's work laptop for something.

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32 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

I'll tell DH we need to look at our life insurance again but it's a solid amount. The idea of this happening just really scares me. That, along with having an only child, are the only two things that make me have doubts about homeschooling. 

I've always homeschooled my only child, who is 12 now. No regrets. She has good friends and is happy and social. 🙂 

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31 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

A man can find himself unable to financially support his family, without dying.   That's the situation we're in right now, and I'm really glad that I have an established career that I could return to. 

 

Her original post specified her concern about her husband's early death and mentioned his family history related to early death.  That's why my post specifically addressed it from that angle.  And everyone should be prepared to face the possibility of retraining for a different career in the future.  Many jobs/careers are on the verge of being automated and obsolete, creating a surplus of workers, just like the new global economy has created increased competition for jobs. People need to keep in mind that they might have to make big changes very quickly.

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I’m in the same boat and DH is mid career change and taken a pretty big pay cut.  
 

I think I could probably find work in my previous field if I was able to work full time but i can’t see how to do it part time around homeschooling.  Plus homeschooling seems to take most of my energy.  I’ve thought about getting properly qualified in the job I used to do.  But I actually really don’t want to go back to that I would rather do something else but that doesn’t help with the finances short term.  And if I’m spending money on training I’d really rather do it in a field I want to work in.  I’m quite encouraged by Quill and others who have managed to find work.

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42 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

I'm not sure. I have a lot of anxiety so I'm not sure how entrepreneurial stuff would work if I was trying to actively go and sell things to people. I tried freelance translation before and it didn't work out because everyone just wanted a native speaker. But I've had several truly awful bosses at the part time jobs so that makes me nervous, too.

A lot of medical translation is done remotely even without Covid. That could  maybe be a better market if you live where there are lots of native speakers. 

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16 minutes ago, matrips said:

What about taking on students to tutor?  Or working for a homeschool coop there?  People pay really good money for tutors in NoVa, and there’s got to be a demand since most schools there are virtual right now.  

Maybe once the pandemic is over. I'm high risk and almost ended up in the hospital when I had covid. What subject should I tutor?

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I could also try to push myself during those 2 free hours to start writing again and maybe get something published. It's just that it sucks up the whole evening if I want to actually make progress. Then I can't work on anything else like knitting/sewing or spend quality time with DH. I actually completed NaNoWriMo last year but then the due date of my second miscarried child came and I became so depressed that I had to stop. I have ADHD so I really can't get anything done that I need to focus on while DD is running around and interrupting.

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2 hours ago, MoyaPechal said:

Anyone else have doubts about being a SAHM sometimes? Being on one income in this area makes us lower middle class at best. I don't know any SAHMs here who aren't either super rich or military spouses. Everybody works at least part time, including the homeschoolers I know. DH's grandfather and great-grandfather both died in their 40s of heart attacks. Sometimes I worry it will happen to him and I'll have no means of supporting us.

I think the biggest risk for most women is divorce. No help from life insurance at that point, and nobody is holding a go fund me for the family in that circumstance.

It's a worry, for sure. I left nursing after working for nine years to stay home. I don't have any regrets but there is a lot that could have gone wrong. It's certainly benefited my children to have me here though. The regrets I do have are about the years my little ones went to part time child care.

There are many risks in life though. I think you have to weigh the odds and prepare for unfavorable outcomes the best you can. Active volunteering with the community does open up opportunities. Continue to learn and pursue interests. Hope for the best and have a plan for the worst knowing that some of the details will need to be worked out at that time.

Editing to add that my oldest two have graduated from college now and my youngest graduates high school in the next couple years. This is from the perspective of an old mom. I have a part time, not terribly profitable photography business at this point that could keep me busier if I wanted. I've considered substitute teaching as a flexible income stream. I have found that my young adult kids have needed a lot of my time, so I hesitate to tie myself down too much with full time commitments.

Edited by GoodGrief3
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You don't need to make a decision that XYZ is the thing! Just think of one thing you could try that might bring in a little extra money. A very small side hustle won't have the same feeling of pressure as trying to a pick a career. Think of it like this, "I am going to do an experiment. I will see if I can earn $200 in 2021 doing XYZ. If it isn't a good fit, I will try something else."

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1 hour ago, MoyaPechal said:

We do have life insurance, but I'd still need to somehow find a job with zero full-time work experience.

One woman I know who was widowed with young children remarried. Do you have a degree? You could start working on one very slowly or at least think about what degree, maybe a 2 year program, you'd like that would make you feel more secure. 

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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

One woman I know who was widowed with young children remarried. Do you have a degree? You could start working on one very slowly or at least think about what degree, maybe a 2 year program, you'd like that would make you feel more secure. 

I have a bachelor's degree.

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6 minutes ago, MoyaPechal said:

Maybe once the pandemic is over. I'm high risk and almost ended up in the hospital when I had covid. What subject should I tutor?

People always seem to want reading and math help.  We used to live in Arlington and tutoring was  popular with elementary age kids.  Among the families that had their kids in schools.  

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1 minute ago, matrips said:

People always seem to want reading and math help.  We used to live in Arlington and tutoring was  popular with elementary age kids.  Among the families that had their kids in schools.  

That's one reason I don't want to use the public schools. Everyone is talking about how they have to pay for tutoring to supplement!

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1 minute ago, MoyaPechal said:

That's one reason I don't want to use the public schools. Everyone is talking about how they have to pay for tutoring to supplement!

Ask around for current hourly rates.  I remember $50-70/hour that some people paid.  I was astounded. 😳. Tutoring is good money up there.  It’s a fraction of that where I currently live. And even a fraction is still good money!  You could even try it virtual- do homework help or something like that.

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Oopos - I quoted above but something got messed up along the way ...

So when we were working with a financial advisor on insurance, savings, long term plans, etc he said statistically you were much more likely to need disability insurance than life insurance.  I know more than one stay at home parent who had to go back to work under duress.  

Anyway, so if you have absolutely zero higher education/training and zero work experience, I would work on that.  Even if that just means doing part time child care or tutoring or volunteering or working on an online certification, etc.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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12 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Oopos - I quoted above but something got messed up along the way ...

So when we were working with a financial advisor on insurance, savings, long term plans, etc he said statistically you were much more likely to need disability insurance than health insurance.  I know more than one stay at home parent who had to go back to work under duress.  

Anyway, so if you have absolutely zero higher education/training and zero work experience, I would work on that.  Even if that just means doing part time child care or tutoring or volunteering or working on an online certification, etc.  

I asked and he does have disability insurance! I have a bachelor's and have internship and part-time experience in the education field. Just not full-time work experience

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Just now, MoyaPechal said:

I asked and he does have disability insurance! I have a bachelor's and have internship and part-time experience in the education field. Just not full-time work experience

Oh good!  Then even as a homeschool parent there are good ways to build up a resume  if you have some decent communication and organizational skills - tutoring, volunteering for non-profits/boards, leadership of groups, event organization, etc.   I know it's a hard year to do that kind of thing, I'm in the same boat, though I'll be attempting to lead a zoom class over hte winter.  Something you can think about for the next 6-12 months or so.  

And sorry I meant disability insurance more than LIFE insurance (and I edited mine), I was thinking faster than I could type up there.  🙂 

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

40 something me would tell 20 something me to work part time and after school, fwiw. After you have been out more than a handful of years it is difficult to become re-employed.

Exactly this. I am 49 and, at long last, did re-enter the workforce in November. But, though I am happy at my job (at least, so far), it really did become more of a beggars-can't-be-choosers situation. I have no benefits. My pay is not too impressive for someone with my skills. My hopety-hope is that, in time, bossman will see me as a valuable contributor and will raise my pay, but I still don't have much hope of job benefits so long as I stay in this tiny firm. 

I tend towards optimism and it really never occurred to 20-something me that being taken seriously and seen as a valuable employee would be actually really difficult at the half-century point. I did work part-time (very, very PT) over the past couple decades, operating the business side of dh's companies. I always assumed that reflected well on me - I wasn't sitting around eating bon-bons, right? - but it doesn't look good on a resume and when people learned that I homeschooled for 16+ years, many, it seems to me, wrote me off instantly as a little domestic wifey type. The person who finally hired me actually had a lot of respect for homeschooling, but many did not (I don't think). 

In my darker moments, I question whether the whole homeschooling experiment was worth it. My kids have turned out lovely (so far) and I'm proud of my young adults, but still...was it worth what I did? I really wonder that sometimes. 

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2 minutes ago, Quill said:

Exactly this. I am 49 and, at long last, did re-enter the workforce in November. But, though I am happy at my job (at least, so far), it really did become more of a beggars-can't-be-choosers situation. I have no benefits. My pay is not too impressive for someone with my skills. My hopety-hope is that, in time, bossman will see me as a valuable contributor and will raise my pay, but I still don't have much hope of job benefits so long as I stay in this tiny firm. 

I tend towards optimism and it really never occurred to 20-something me that being taken seriously and seen as a valuable employee would be actually really difficult at the half-century point. I did work part-time (very, very PT) over the past couple decades, operating the business side of dh's companies. I always assumed that reflected well on me - I wasn't sitting around eating bon-bons, right? - but it doesn't look good on a resume and when people learned that I homeschooled for 16+ years, many, it seems to me, wrote me off instantly as a little domestic wifey type. The person who finally hired me actually had a lot of respect for homeschooling, but many did not (I don't think). 

In my darker moments, I question whether the whole homeschooling experiment was worth it. My kids have turned out lovely (so far) and I'm proud of my young adults, but still...was it worth what I did? I really wonder that sometimes. 

But you really just can’t have it all.  I don’t regret the years I spent with my son. I cherish them.  I like to think those years devoted to him have had some impact on how well he is doing in so many areas of his life.  I bet your kids are similar.  
 

 

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

But you really just can’t have it all.  I don’t regret the years I spent with my son. I cherish them.  I like to think those years devoted to him have had some impact on how well he is doing in so many areas of his life.  I bet your kids are similar.  
 

 

Yeah, I know; none of us knows what was down that road not taken. It's not that I regret it, particularly; it's that I think the career-mom track could have been much better than I thought. I see my young nieces having children but retaining their jobs; they have graduate degrees and specialized knowledge and quitting that just does not make sense to them. I think it's smart. There's much more security in it. It's only in retrospect that I fully appreciate all the "what-ifs" I dodged. 

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1 hour ago, GoodGrief3 said:

I think the biggest risk for most women is divorce. No help from life insurance at that point, and nobody is holding a go fund me for the family in that circumstance.

It's a worry, for sure. I left nursing after working for nine years to stay home. I don't have any regrets but there is a lot that could have gone wrong. It's certainly benefited my children to have me here though. The regrets I do have are about the years my little ones went to part time child care.

There are many risks in life though. I think you have to weigh the odds and prepare for unfavorable outcomes the best you can. Active volunteering with the community does open up opportunities. Continue to learn and pursue interests. Hope for the best and have a plan for the worst knowing that some of the details will need to be worked out at that time.

Editing to add that my oldest two have graduated from college now and my youngest graduates high school in the next couple years. This is from the perspective of an old mom. I have a part time, not terribly profitable photography business at this point that could keep me busier if I wanted. I've considered substitute teaching as a flexible income stream. I have found that my young adult kids have needed a lot of my time, so I hesitate to tie myself down too much with full time commitments.

Yep.  Divorce is terrible for women. I was always more worried about that than death of Xh, but again I tried hard to enjoy my son and take life as it came.  I did think of things I could do if I ended up divorced.  But I didn’t let it terrify me.  And in the end it turned out well.  

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6 minutes ago, Quill said:

Yeah, I know; none of us knows what was down that road not taken. It's not that I regret it, particularly; it's that I think the career-mom track could have been much better than I thought. I see my young nieces having children but retaining their jobs; they have graduate degrees and specialized knowledge and quitting that just does not make sense to them. I think it's smart. There's much more security in it. It's only in retrospect that I fully appreciate all the "what-ifs" I dodged. 

But who is taking care of their children?

Edited by Scarlett
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