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January 31, 2014

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This was great. Thanks for sharing. How did you and your husband decide that he would work as a stay at home dad? And do you have any advice for others considering a similar arrangement?

It sounds as if you can both comfortably live off of your income alone until retirement. Does he have any plans to re-enter the workforce, and did his income contribute significantly to your net worth prior to him staying home?

Really inspirational story! Congrats on your achievements.

@VA: Good question. It wasn't the initial plan, we got into this due to visa quotas issue (since mid-2004 it's been incredibly difficult to get a working visa, unless you find an employer not only to sponsor you but also wait months for you to get the visa). My husband did his MBA a year after me, going to a smaller and cheaper school, we were actually able to use my summer job earnings to pay his tuition, so we didn’t need to take additional debt. However, the school did nothing to really help him find work, he got stuck in the vicious circle of “you have no relevant [US] experience, but you have an MBA so we can’t give you an entry level position either” and by the time he finally found a job the visa quotas got cut and they couldn’t get him a permanent work permit, he had to leave after his student visa expired. Another example of "cheaper" MBA being a complete waste.

Anyway, by the time we got the green cards, he had an extra 4 years gap on his resume, we were expecting our first kid, still hadn't finished renovating the fixer upper, and my new job, albeit flexible, was not light on hours. So it really made sense for us to keep him at home. And it still does financially - the flexibility of having someone at home outweighs the possibility of cutting a few years off the path to retirement. Also if he takes a job at this point it won't be well paid, in our tax category the net gain will be likely at most another $17K or so in tax-advantaged space (assuming he gets a job with 401k which is not that likely) because we already max his Roth IRA.

Having said that, if you are considering this and can afford it, the biggest downside is not financial, it's morale. My husband does feel now and then depressed by the lack of "formal" appreciation of his contributions, not exactly rationally as he would himself say, but it's a feeling. If the person staying at home is happy to be a homemaker, or likes volunteering it's all good. If not, it may be better to keep a foothold in a regular work environment if feasible.

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. Although my salary is lower than yours, I can relate as another chief bread-winning woman/wife/mom. My husband works at a low paying job; however, every time we talk about him staying home, the morale issue and his insurance benefits (they save us $800/month) outweigh a stay at home arrangement that frankly makes the most sense and would be better support for my career to keep on growing.

The career advice really helpful, very inspirational. Yes, we need to chart out career plan considering our weakness and strength.

I too hate job hopping frequently, I feel it will not help for long term career growth.

This was interesting, but I'd love more specifics. Details like what you state you live in, your area of expertise, and from which country you emigrated, would be helpful. As is, your story is so generic, it's kind of hard to relate to.

Thank you for the response! I appreciate your honesty about the downside of the stay at home dad arrangement. That is definitely something to consider, as I know too often it's easy to overlook the benefits of traditional work, aside from income.

Best wishes to your family!

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