Why Women Need More Money Than Men (and how to get what we need!)

by Millionaire Mommy Next Door on September 13, 2009

in How To Guide,Making Money

Women need more money than men. Why? No, not so we can buy more shoes, handbags and manicures. We need more money because we live longer than men, make significantly less salary than our male peers, and are more likely to be single parents raising a family on one income.

Having a child is now the single best indicator of financial collapse.

Women comprise 87% of the impoverished elderly. A woman who works full-time for 40 years will earn $523,000 less than her male counterpart. At age 65, that extra half a million dollars could keep her from becoming one of the elderly poor.

What do these grim statistics tell us? They tell us that women, especially as they become older, are not prepared to take care of themselves financially. Yet nearly 90% of all women will end up managing their finances alone at some point in their lives.

Despite a woman’s greater potential for financial need, it appears that many factors hamper financial equality between the sexes.

What can women do to beat these alarming odds?

Here are a few of my own – perhaps unique – ideas:

Delay motherhood. Or, if it suits you, don’t have children at all. My husband and I purposely waited until we had achieved financial freedom before adopting our daughter because we didn’t want to repeat our own parent’s experiences. We both grew up with work-all-the-time, struggling young parents and quite frankly, that often stunk. We didn’t want money to interfere with our parenting.

Forming a family through adoption rather than pregnancy was a decision I made when I was a mere teenager. The way I figured it, why “make my own” child when there are countless orphans dying for a family already?  Since my husband and I chose to create our family through adoption, my biological time clock wasn’t a ticking time bomb.

One’s forties are the usual peak earning and saving years. By switching the typical order of things, my husband and I experienced our peak financial years ten years earlier than most. This allowed us to put the power of compounding interest and growth to work early. Consequently, we don’t need to earn or save as much money over the course of our life because time is on our side.

Today, financially free, our family hasn’t set an alarm clock in years. Whether it be work, parenting or play, we wake with the sun, eager to spend each new day doing whatever we choose. We waited until we could afford to commit to parenting 100%, together. For our family, the wait has been worth it.

I realize the path we chose isn’t a good fit for many but I do think it’s sensible for parenthood to wait until certain things are in order. Consider taking the time to first:

  • finish college, establish your career or launch your business
  • pay off your credit cards and other consumer debt
  • build an emergency fund
  • protect your growing wealth with insurance policies like disability and health
  • start your retirement account
  • build a solid partnership with your significant other

Share parenting and careers with your child’s father. I have two biases to confess right off the bat: One, I think most kids grow up best when raised by their parents (as opposed to day-care providers); and two, women need to know how to make money (see the statistics referenced in this article, above).

My ideal parenting-career model looks like this: Mom and Dad divide childcare and career hours between the two of them. Rather than settle for the stereotypical full-time working father and the stay-at-home mom, each parent works part-time (20-25 hours each), during different shifts, while swapping care of the kids.

Consider the benefits of this arrangement:

  1. Kids grow up spending quality time with both parents
  2. Both Mom and Dad get to spend quality time with the kids
  3. Both parents have the opportunity to pursue their own career paths
  4. No childcare expenses are required
  5. Mom hasn’t given up her earning power

I recognize this isn’t an easy arrangement for everyone. Many families feel they both need to work full-time to support their family. Some don’t think their employer would allow them to work part-time. Others are single-parents who can’t count on reliable child-support or parental care from the other. It’s not the perfect solution for everyone. But if it sounds like an appealing idea to you, see if you can eliminate the “yes-but’s” and figure out a way to make it happen anyway.

Refuse to be underpaid. Remember– a woman who works full-time for 40 years will earn $523,000 less than her male counterpart.  When you perform the same work, why in the world should you settle for less pay? Demand what you deserve.

Become financially literate. Almost 90% of all women will end up managing their finances alone so it’s foolhardy to allow the man in your life to handle your finances. Read books, take classes, find a money mentor.

Come to grips with the emotions behind money. The “How To’s” of personal finance are the same for women as they are for men. What is different is our feelings and beliefs about money. It has been demonstrated that most women are raised to nurture and seek acceptance and view money as a means to create a lifestyle. Women spend on things that enhance day-to-day living. Conversely, most men grow up learning to fix and provide. They view money as a means to capture and accumulate value, like a house and retirement. Men don’t spend, they invest. Men don’t want something, they need it. Theirs tends to be a future-money orientation.

Modify your money mindset to a more functional one.

Create a lifetime financial plan. I use Microsoft Money’s lifetime financial planning tool. (Too bad this useful software program has been recently discontinued! Anyone know of a replacement that includes a lifetime planner?)

If you are married or in a committed relationship, invest in it. Money ranks as the first most argued topic for many couples. It has been estimated that an astounding 80% of divorces are the result of money disagreements. A good marriage takes effort. I’ve been married for 22 years, so believe me, I know.  We schedule regular date nights (sans kid) and see a counselor for “maintenance tune-ups”. Money and time well invested, I assure you.

Push for national change in Congress, state legislature, public schools and at the corporate level. Support systems that will help to ease financial differences between genders.

Readers, how do you think women can beat the odds? Please add your ideas in the comments section.

Statistical information for this article was obtained from the following sources:
http://character-education.info/Money/money-studies-and-statistics.htm
http://iasp.brandeis.edu/womenandaging/poll_exsum.pdf
http://federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2006/financesurvey.pdf
http://www.stocktonwomensnetwork.org/pdfs/Perle/Statistics%20on%20Women.pdf

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

MoneyEnergy September 14, 2009 at 12:07 am

I agree about delaying having children until you can afford it. It seems this might be a controversial idea with some, and perhaps it’s even idealistic, but when you think about it, what position are you going to be putting your child in if you can’t even afford your own lifestyle yet? Life may not be about money, but if money causes familial tensions and emotional problems, that’s not good for children and they don’t deserve that.

Take charge of your own finances and don’t end up in a position where your husband or boyfriend handles all the money. Don’t pretend that you just “don’t know that stuff” or you “can’t handle it.” Definitely never believe anything like “men are smarter than women.” It’s not true and that does you a disservice (a friend of my mom’s actually believes that and you can see the effects of that belief in her own life).

Find other female role models – businesswomen, entrepreneurs, artists – who are financially successful that you can look up to and model yourself after. Have you thought about just buying your own house as an investment, even if you’re single? You can do it! You can start investing on your own with as little as $25. It’s worth it if it means claiming your independence and autonomy.

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Little House September 14, 2009 at 8:15 am

I completely agree with delaying having children. My husband and I have already had conversations about adopting, and that does give us a little added time to get all of our finances in order.

I have always managed both my husband’s and my own finances, so I feel that I’m not in the dark. I think more women need to either manage their own money or make sure that they sit down with their spouse and go over bills and finances together. My mother is a case in point, she has no clue how to pay bills. Recently, my step-father has begun to show her how he invests in stocks and manages their money. He is quite a bit older than her and I think he’s trying to prepare her financially for when he’s gone. Hopefully, she will be able to take over when he’s gone.

thanks for this post-
Little House

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anca September 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

i read this blog from some time and this is my first comment. first i want to congratulate you for adopting a child:) i do not want children but if one day i’d feel this need i would consider adoption too. i do not want to marry from the same reasons – i’d better travel with my boyfriend each year than spend on a wedding once
i would like women to read more on personal finances to not stay in a relationship because of lack of money; in my family, i am the saver and he’s the spender so the stereotype does not apply:)

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morrison September 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

I see it differently.

Women don’t realize how lucky they have it already and if they would just follow their natural callings and abilities, life would be much more pleasant (and richer) for them.

For instance, you failed to mention, in this worst economic crisis of all time, it is women who outnumber the men as being ‘still employed’. 8 out of every 10 pink slips have gone to men. This current economic disaster has idled men 4X more than women. Why is that? Because our salaries are more realistic than bloated men’s paychecks. Which would you rather be right now? An out of work man or a woman slowly climbing up the corporate ladder (and taking more advantage of current opportunities whilst the men wait on UI lines)????

The other point, regarding childbirth……..most women’s careers, at least in my corporate experience, doesn’t really kick in till mid 30′s or early 40′s. No one is going to give a 20 year old an important career move. Look at most high paid corporate officers. It’s rare to see a 20-something in charge. So, I had both my daughters in my mid 20′s. By the time I was 35, my oldest was 10. She was old enough to babysit the 7 year old and stay home alone more without a sitter. In my mid 20′s it was easier to be a stay-at-home mom and work part time. (bills were low) When I was 35 I could work longer and put in more days and hours than my other 35 yr old co-workers who had very young children (2 and 3 yr olds). I was able to manuever up the corporate ladder while they struggled on the phone finding child care or going to PTA meetings/ child functions at their kids schools etc. etc. By the time I was 40, my career was in full swing and my oldest was 15 years old. The following year she could drive and that freed me and my career up even more. Both of my daughters worked starting at the age of 13 and by the time they were 18-19 they were paying half of their private school education and freeing me and my money up even more.
I don’t see children as a negative nor an expense. They are nothing short of assets and the joys of my life. I wouldn’t have become a successful career women if it weren’t for their help.

I was able to purchase my first home, alone, without a man’s signature when I was 35. My goal was to have it paid off when I was 65. As it turned out, the value increased so much, that when I was 50 (and my oldest was 25) I sold it and retired on the equity. I laugh when I see friends my age now (56) still with young children and they have nothing in front of them but school tuition and college bills. I’m enjoying my life. They are strapped with still childrearing. I get tired just thinking of them and all the work they still have ahead of them. In my 50′s, with my children out of the home and on their own, I was able to amass a slight fortune in retirement funds. Your 50′s are supposedly your highest earning years. You can’t amass any wealth if you are still burdened with college tuition.

So, no. I did it my way. I figured this out while I was in my teen years. I pre-planned having my kids in my 20′s. By the time I hit my 30′s my career was on it’s rise. In my 40′s I soared. Now, in my 50′s I can relax and I can have a fantastic relationship with my adult children. We’ve gone to Paris and Rome and Milan together. Every single Caribbean Island. AND my daughters can pay their own tabs.

I think I have been a great role model to them because both of them are also fantastic, highly paid career women. When it came to college time, I used to tell them “Mommy has 2 college diplomas. Let’s see what you can get.” That got them moving. My daughters had their own money, their own checkbooks and retirement funds very young. Lead by example is my motto.

My oldest daughter has remained working in her career through 2 economic downturns-the first in 2001 and the current one. Her boss fired each and every single man in her department. She is the only one still standing. Why? Her salary is more realistic, she can multi-task and has proven to the corporate heads that she is their most valuable asset. She will be marrying soon and will probably immediately have a child. I will be free enough to help her and pitch in to assist her in her career and childrearing. Again, this has all be long termed, pre-planned.

This is what worked for us and is just another side to the equation.

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Adrianne September 14, 2009 at 10:20 am

I think Morrison has a better plan. Delaying having children, regardless of the field or monetary situation you are in creates a situation in which you are doing more later. I’m due to have my first child in a month and at 28 I sometimes wish I had started sooner! No I am not financial where I want to be, and yes I know that there will be hardship and unpleasant circumstances in my path. But do I think that will detract from my child, well its a two-fold answer. Yes, longer hours suck, and they take away from being able to raise a child yourself, and yes I am working a typical office job that I dont particular enjoy because of the hours. But, I’d much rather be working now, in a job I dont like and raising a child, and know that I will be around to see grand children. And unless adoption is the route you decide to take, then yes MOSt of us who want children do have to face that biological clock. I want to have one, maybe two more children at most, and I will be having them before I am 35 regardless of my situation. Children born after that time are far more likely to have something wrong with them, mentally and genetically. Modern technology has created a generation of Granny Mommys and thats just not who I want to be.

I enjoyed the content on women needing to take control of their finances. I wholeheartedly agree with that. However I strongly disagree on your approach to children. Unfortunately your methods will not work for a good majority of women, unless they can find success early on.

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Gabriel September 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

Fantastic advice. As a woman and a recent college graduation, I’ll definitely take it to heart!

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Millionaire Mommy Next Door September 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

@morrison and @Adrianne: I appreciate your input about having kids in your 20′s. Most families follow this model and for some it works well financially to do this. It just isn’t a model that fit with my desire for the freedom to spend my time and energy with my kid(s) rather than at work.

Here’s something I should add to my post: Typically one’s 40′s are peak earning and saving years. By switching the typical order of things, I made my 30′s my peak earning and saving years. This put the power of compounding interest and growth to work 10 years earlier. This means I needed to earn and save less during my lifetime than most. (Imagine if I had figured this out when I was in my 20′s instead!)

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JB September 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Very interesting article. I’m a single, 40-something childless-by-choice (as well as circumstance) college-educated woman, and it’s been a tough century so far. But one point: we DO need to make more money so we can buy more shoes, handbags and manicures, because the corporate world demands women to be perfectly coiffed, manicured, bedecked in the appropriate accessories, and made-up.

It’s not enough to just get a quick haircut at the barber, shower, shave, and toss on a suit and tie like a man does. The pressure is much higher for corporate females. And that stuff costs MONEY. Seems to me that womens’ suits cost more than mens’ suits do, AND they change every season—unlike men who can get away with wearing a classic cut and color of suit for 20 years, adding only an updated tie or shirt.

So why does the male-driven world demand this of women, then pay them less?

Hmm. Quite a conundrum.

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morrison September 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm

MMND, the great part is that women can choose whatever they want to nowadays. It’s a very good thing.

I don’t know if this is on target, but I also calculated into my own life, the day I reach ‘old age’. When I am 85, my eldest will be 60. She will be free from her own family (her kids will be grown and out of the house) and hopefully will not become part of the ‘sandwich generation’: Women who have their own kids, plus aging parents to deal with.

Lastly, I hope and pray I stay well and fit and never, ever be a burden to anyone.

Thanks for listening.

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Natalie Roberts September 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Great article. I have read about salary statistics before, but I am always amazed by them. Thanks for the reminder! By the way, my company wants to know why you save and invest? We have a lot of interesting entries from male contestants, but we would love to hear some female stories. You may when an iphone 3GS. Take a look at http://www.fabeetle.com/giveaway Thanks again for the great post!

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Mommy Reporter September 14, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Great, great, great article!! So much wisdom and useful advice. I have listed your blog as one of the top ten blogs for moms. Keep up the great work!!!

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MoneyEnergy September 15, 2009 at 12:48 am

The points about having kids earlier are good insofar as it frees you up from main childcare duties earlier in life too, but it’s a tough call. I like Jen’s point that she reversed the order so her savings could be compounding sooner. I’m just recently out of my 20′s but I hope I haven’t gotten too late of a start on that. I’m definitely trying more aggressively now to get my money working harder for me sooner.

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Ann September 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Your recommendation to invest in your relationship is an excellen one. Divorce and the incident new household(s) formation have a huge negative impact on finances for both men and women, from which many never fully recover.

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FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com September 16, 2009 at 11:06 am

I agree with JB’s point. Women just cost more to look “normal” or “natural”. It’s a really twisted catch 22.

As for your points about adoption, I think it’s a great idea and kudos for doing it.. but for me, I want my own kids not someone else’s. Call it selfish but if I wanted someone else’s kids, I’d just get with a divorcee with stepkids.

Note: I am currently financially secure having paid off all my debts, started a healthy retirement fund, earn a good self-employed salary when the economy is normal and understand my personal finances inside out.

With that being said, I don’t really want to delay having kids. I’m financially secure, but when is it ever enough when you decide to have kids? Some people save for kids accounts before they even have them!!!!

Also, out of principle, I don’t want to do it just because of money matters or career, but that may be my bias towards wanting my own biological kids and the fact that I’m already financially independent and secure.

Your post put it quite succinctly: we live longer and earn less. Period.

I will never, ever become the starving widow who stuck her head in the sand all these years. Being financially independent has been a priority for me since I started working.

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Financial Samurai September 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I absolutely agree in delaying having children until your finances are in order. I don’t understand how some families, who are still struggling have 4,5, 6 kids. Isn’t that just very expensive?

The debate on women earning less is an interesting one. A female manager friend of mine told me that women are actually more expensive then men due to maternity leave and family creation. My counter argument is simply, someone has to give birth!

This is a great article. Thanks to Wise Bread and Linsey for highlighting.

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Deborah September 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm

This post is wonderful. It’s very encouraging. My boyfriend and I have been struggling so much financially and it’s caused so much emotional distress in our household. For him, it’s being gone all the time after college to go make money for the bills and for me it’s freelancing and when things are bad, bouts of depression tend to cause me problems. It’s been incredibly frustrating and miserable and I know I have to wait until either my business grows a little more or he’s out of school. Either way, there seems to be no short-term solution. This blog really inspired me as I know now that I’m not alone. I appreciate your views on adoption as I was an orphan myself, hence why I was out on my own so young and struggling through college. There really should be more people who think that way about adoption. Congrats and thanks for the inspiration :)

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jj September 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Great post. A lot of the debates I’ve read about staying home vs. working never take “peak earning years” into consideration. To me, the 30s that are peak earning times. You have experience under your belt and you’re not yet facing ageism. Most women I know choose the stay-at-home route in their early to mid-30s. By the time they’re ready to re-enter the workforce, they face three major obstacles — their skills are obsolete, they must compete against both younger workers and women who have continued working all along, and they face biases due to age.
Of course many of these women never plan to work again. It may work out for some, but not all. It’s tough to rely on one income and I don’t understand why so many women put themselves at risk of ending up poor in old age. I guess if the husband does not turn out to be the knight in shining armor, they hope their kids will provide for them??

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Elizabeth September 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Excellent points! But here’s something else to consider: The majority of caregivers are women. In other words, women who are in their peak earning years before retirement are cutting back their hours, taking time off work, and turning down extra responsibilities and promotions to care for their aging parents. It all adds up to lost earnings at a time when people should be putting extra away for retirement. Caregiving is starting to be recognized as a contributing factor leading to poverty in old age.

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neverland~ September 16, 2009 at 9:22 pm

i completely agree the point that “Share parenting and careers with your child’s father”, i think children need love from both their parents. This article is a good guide for women to learn how we can live our lives more colorful and meaningful, be alive when we are alive.

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mccn September 17, 2009 at 12:40 pm

@FB Adopted kids are your own kids, not someone else’s. You raise them, clothe them, change their diapers, love them – and they love you. You’re the parent, they’re your child. I don’t understand what you genetic focused people are all on about?

My mom is my mom, and I’m no one else’s kid – it doesn’t matter that we’re not genetically related. Also, we don’t hate each other, we don’t yell and scream, and we talk on the phone twice a week and genuinely love and share in each other’s lives. I don’t know another adult with a relationship that good with their genetic parents.

If genetics is all it takes to make a kid “YOUR OWN KID” why parent at all, lady? Scrape off some dead skin – that’s related to you too, and that’s YOUR OWN AND NO ONE ELSE’S. Otherwise, think about what the heck you could possibly mean.

Is your spouse not YOUR OWN spouse because you’re not related? He’s not really your family? Maybe you should have married your brother, then. Let’s not be ridiculous about what makes a family. Blood isn’t it.

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jj September 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm

It’s just rude to call non-biological kids “not your own.” I ‘m going through infertility and can only have a kid (maybe) through a donor egg. We’re using my husband’s sperm and I do understand the biological component. Given a choice, I would use my old eggs. However, I’m 100% positive that no matter how we start a family (donor egg, adoption), that kid is my own.

I know that the commenter who mentioned use the term is young and fortunate not to experience infertility but her comments sting.

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HollyP September 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm

We can argue all day long about whether it is better to have children early or late, but that isn’t really the point.

The point is that women need to invest in themselves through education, to work hard, advocate for themselves in the workplace, and to marry well (if we choose to marry.)

Don’t fritter away your time pursuing Prince Charming (or Princess, as the case may be.) Don’t rely on a Mr./Ms. Right to support you forever. Marry someone who is mature and to whom you will remain married, if you choose to marry. The biggest mistake many women make is to think a man will take care of them forever. What if you never meet Mr./Ms. Right? What if he/she leaves you? What if (heaven forbid) he/she dies, and leaves you to fend for yourself?

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DivaJean September 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Adding to the delaying children, adopting conversation…

My partner & I delayed our family- we have adopted 4 kids together over the years. We live comfortably on my $54K income- a family of 6 on one income. How you ask? The state pays a stipend for 3 of the 4 kids, until they turn 18 (a long ways off at ages 10, 7, 4, and 2). We use this money as their college money- it gets added together, then divided by 4 and deposited. My hubby stays at home- she is the one “earning” their college money. However, we are not bound in iron to only ever depositing all the money. Should we come up short or I end up w/out a job, its there each month as a back up.

Also, in NY State, kids are elgible for WIC until age 5- regardless of our income. Granted, you could call this as “living off the state” but its out there- and it sure has come in handy for our family in being able to provide for these kids.

We live very simply as you can well imagine- 2nd hand clothes, simple meals, etc– but we are all happy and secure in knowing we have backup.

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mindmgmt September 18, 2009 at 8:25 am

I am a bit skeptical of delaying having child. Let’s say, If in your 50′s and then want to have a a baby, the chances of having your own natural biological son or daughter is extremely slim (due to old age), unless you opt for adoption or artificial insemination (all this cost money). Another point is, if you are lucky to have your child, and by the age it reaches 20 years (where they can find their own work), you be around 70 years old. and it will be also a questionable age, whether you will get to stay in employment or not unless you had prepare a nice golden nest (plenty of money in the banks) to retire and feed your family. So, I prefer to have child as early as possibly rather than deferring it..

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FinanciallySmart September 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

Wonderful article. Women should educate and love themselves in beating the odds. With education they will be able to have a more financial life upon old age. A career woman is more likely to have a better financial freedom. With love for themselves women will not allowed things to go awry in their lives. Most of the times we are downtrodden is because we don’t love ourselves. We spend time loving others and leave ourselves behind and so when we become older our lives are already mismanaged.

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ames September 22, 2009 at 11:12 pm

When would the couple get time together? I think kids benefit from seeing parents interact in a healthy and constant way. It seems like its two adults but if you are on separate shifts 1 parent is sleep, or gone, while the other is awake.

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Millionaire Mommy Next Door September 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Excellent conversation, ideas and points of view here! Thanks, everyone, for your contributions.

Re: adopted kids: My daughter was born from her birthmother in China AND she is all mine. Sharing common DNA would not make us any more of a “real” family than we already are.

@mindmgmt: Delaying conception, pregnancy and childbirth until your 50′s isn’t what I suggested in this post. Age has it’s gifts and it’s limitations.

@ames, I agree 100%. I think you missed the part where I suggested that each parent work 20 hours each, not 40.

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ames September 23, 2009 at 9:57 am

No I did get the 20-25 hrs per parent. So that is 4-5 hours a day for one parent, 4-5 for the other parent on different shifts.

People who work the night shift tend to sleep during the day. People who work day shift, tend to sleep during the night.

I could create the hours and make assumptions but I was hopeful you would explain what that would look like.

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Paul Petillo October 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Many good points but having children while you are young, better enables you to handle and recover from financial setbacks that if they occurred later in life, might not be as easy. While women are still underpaid and suffer worse than men do during these sorts of financial meltdowns, they can be less resistant to making the same mistake twice. The women I have spoken with are mostly realists. They would love to retire early but understand that this is not always possible and are willing to keep right on working. Men on the other hand will obsess to the point of sickness about the subject of money and never see the opportunity.

Women are simply wired better and no matter when they have kids, are more likely to survive the ordeal better than men.

Good post!

If I may, and although this will seem like a naked plug, it isn’t really. I simply thought that your readers might be interested in something I have been asked to participate in.

Gina Robison-Billups and Kat Belluchi are doing a financial talk radio show for women. It is on 8am PST on Fridays and is really quite well done. It is broadcast at http://blogtalkradio.com/momsmakingamillion/

Thanks,

Paul Petillo
Managing Editor/BlueCollarDollar.com

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BillM November 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Interesting article and so thoughtful. Congrats on your life decisions working out so well. People do not plan to fail they fail to plan. For my two cents, and I realize that I am not typical. The women in my life have always made more money than myself. My wife outstrips me by 2x. I am very proud of her ambition and dedication to her work. If you do a little digging into the statistic of women earning less than men you are comparing apples to oranges. The reasons (and this has been thoroughly documented elsewhere) are men take riskier (to life & limb) and dirtier jobs than the majority of women do. Also if one looks at degrees achieved by men and women – men major in much higher paying specialties (math, computers, engineering, science) more frequently than the majority of women do (communication, gender studies, philosophy, etc.). We cannot compare a woman poli sci major with a male chemical engineer. That is not how it is done. Of course, not all women do this but enough to make the statistic false. Actually when comparing men and women at the same job with the same experience and time – women actually were shown to be earning slightly more.

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anna November 28, 2009 at 11:50 am

Great post, and I’d subscribe under every point, except the one about demanding more legislation for equal pay for men and women.

From what I see, women who are valuable, sought-after workers are able to have equal or higher pay than men. The problem is, women often fail to become really sought-after employees until their 40s, because it’s harder for them to focus on the job while raising children earlier in life. For men, it’s more typical to focus on career alone, and therefore they become better specialists earlier.

Legislation protects women against gender and pregnancy-related discrimination. Often, the courts do too good of a job tipping the scale the other way and opening the doors to women abusing their privileges at the expence of their employers and co-workers. But, as long as a woman is able to perform the job duties, she is protected.

The main reason why women get paid less is because the employer takes bigger risks hiring them. Lower salary is simply a way to incorporate the risk. There’s no insurance out there that will cover employer’s expences for hiring, training, re-scheduling new workers in case a female worker becomes pregnant, or her child becomes sick and she has to miss work because of this. Women on average, while doing the same work as men, do it with more disruptions than men do.

I believe that, while it’s perfectly fair to explore other mechanisms to help women raise children, we should stop pushing for equality in salaries. Enough had been done, and more will only hurt overall productivity by creating the wrong incentives.

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dolores charbonier March 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Follow the leading of God .I never knew I would be used to adopte a child from a mother that lost him now I have two son 14,18 plus my 5 children all that I had younger,the boys came to me as infants.The thing is I was a divorced single mother that God used and I also was able to stay and care for my chilren.My future isn’t financally secure in finances ,I alway have what I need and thats all that matter .We are blessed in many ways.

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bigj April 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

marriages work when a man goes to work and the woman gets to stay home and either take care of kids or do some part time job that she wants to do. basically men overall are more mature in this situation and have the ability to go do something they hate all day every day so the woman can kind of do what she wants to do. sorry but for the most part thats just the way it is. many examples of marriages that have lasted that have this formula. just doesnt seem to work when woman has to go to work and do what she doesnt want to do all day to support the man who stays home or kinda does what he wants to do. if the woman who has a man to support her has any character she will take care of her husband. I am a man obviously and I would love to stay home with the kids and work part time doing something I want to do and I would love to pamper my wife for going to work to support me staying home, but thats a pipe dream. its just not gonna happen (at least not if I want a marriage thats gonna last) and ya I know that its alot of work taking care of kids and house and yata yata yata but what sucks about a job job is not the work its the lack of freedom, the bosses, and the fact that if you screw up or decide to take a day off or slack off your family is all of the sudden starving and homeless.

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bigj April 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

and i love the idea about both parents working 20 hours per week, but the problem with this is that in order to support a family you need 40 hours per week at 20 dollars per hour but there are no part time jobs that pay 15 dollars an hour much less 20 and you dont get insurance with part time jobs. so ya it would be awesome to have both parents work equal, but it just wouldnt work with todays pay/hours/benefits set up

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