to think that work should be worth it financially, and if not ....

(76 Posts)
HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:42:41

then do what's best for you family given the perversity of the system.
Please note, not interested in benefit bashing - this is a real situation that someone I know is in. I'm much more fortunate.

We were discussing their situation yesterday. Married couple, expecting in London. She's planning on being stopping FT work, and being a SAHM, but will work freelance, he's got a full time job earning 50k.

Where they live, living on the one salary will be tight, but doable. It'll return about 35k per year after tax plus they will get Child benefit for the child of £20 per week. Rent alone will take around 40% of their annual income. They are fairly frugal people so can make it work.

However, we were discussing the entitled to site, which I suggested they had a look at. The calculator is fascinating so I thought I'd have a go. Turns out that if he reduces his hours too (to 16 hrs per week - though he would have to take a salary reduction more than pro rata to around 14k) and she works 8 (say as a cleaner earning herself a couple of grand a year) - they will be no worse off....

Huh? I couldn't believe it either.

Well, that's the way it is. They would be entitled to Working tax credit, child tax credit, Housing benefit, Council tax credit and child benefits which bring them back up exactly to the 35k income. Plus there would be all the additional benefits like free prescriptions, free school meals etc when the time came.

Their life would be an awful lot better too - as they both would dearly love to spend time with their child rather than working all the hours that the job requires, and with that work schedule it really would be a nice life.

They are not seriously considering this - but in many ways I think it would be the better life. Is that ridiculous? I'm posting this from an ivory tower, but quite a liberal one......

RedHelenB Fri 12-Jul-13 18:46:08

Can't see that they would be better off - they would have to pay towards childcare to claim it & wouldn't get a lot of council tax benefit, if any. I think the entitled calculator can be a little generous!

Latara Fri 12-Jul-13 18:48:48

Working age people now only get a tiny reduction with Council Tax Benefit (I know cos I still have to pay £80).

Also it's not a good idea to rely on benefits when the situation re: the Coalition Govt ''reforming'' the Benefits system is so uncertain.

I'm trying to get well enough to work more hours so I don't have to rely on DLA and WTC.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:49:33

There would be no child care cost in either their current or hypothetical situation, because at least one parent would always be at home. I do take your point that the entitled calculator is probably being generous, but I've run the figures a few times with various scenarios. The council tax benefit is not full - you're correct, but they would either be paying that out of their own after tax income or out of all the extra working tax credit etc income so it's the same anyway.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Fri 12-Jul-13 18:50:44

The benefit calculator is not 100% correct.
They will not be entitled to free school meals if they claim working tax credits, I know this as a fact!
We didn't get council tax benefit once we got Tax credits, so I would not expect they would get that.
Housing benefit is not available for everyone.
Most of those benefits are means tested, and may change with the Universal credit.

Fairylea Fri 12-Jul-13 18:51:41

Well we are sort of in that situation. Dh earns 15k in retail management. We have two dc. If I went back to work we would be all of £20 a week better off, which would then be eaten up and more by the travelling costs to get me to any job let alone the one I had. So for the time being I am sahm and we manage. Child care alone would eat up most of any money I'd make even with the allowance from tax credits.

I like being a sahm so I don't mind but I do worry long term with tax credits being reduced and whatever else. But what is the point of working for nothing?

I think there are lots and lots of families in our situation. I know of at least about 7 I've had similar conversations... 2 people I worked with prior to having ds have also decided to sahm for the same reasons.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:52:18

Interesting, so things are changing. I told you I was in an ivory tower!

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:54:57

Fairlylea that's basically it. I think they would actually be better off in your situation given they would have so much more free time (which allows you to live in a cheaper manner in so many ways) and the 'going to work' costs of transport etc all go away. From what I can see, the financial hit, if any, is more than offset by that.

Latara Fri 12-Jul-13 18:55:35

Housing Benefit is only available for Renters (ie. not me) and is capped at the lowest local rent I believe.

In fact I think it's been reduced for Working Age people like CTB has, so it's not a reliable benefit.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:56:17

Which is a fairly long way of saying I sympathise and agree with your analysis fairylea - you are genuinely better off not working for your families sake.

WilsonFrickett Fri 12-Jul-13 18:56:33

As others have said though, things change / are changing and what financially stacks up today may not financially stack up tomorrow. I also think (from memory) if someone voluntarily reduces their hours or leaves a job there's a long wait for benefits to kick in?

And of course, the benefits of working aren't just financial.

Latara Fri 12-Jul-13 18:56:35

I don't think it's wise to leave jobs or cut hours in this current economic climate.

When OH was studying and I was working 20 hours a week (on a fairly decent hourly wage) we were bringing in the same amount of money with benefits as we are now OH is working 45+ hours a week at the same rate of pay I was receiving (same company), and I'm at home.

I still can't work it out.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 12-Jul-13 18:57:24

The entitled to calculator isnt always correct as others have said. It told me i would get £70 a week jsa as well as my wages for a part time job. In reality i get £20 a week jsa as well as my wages. The jsa gets deducted due to my wages but the calculator didnt show this when i tried it.

Latara Fri 12-Jul-13 18:57:25

Yes if you voluntarily leave a job you have to wait weeks for benefits.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 18:57:57

They are renters, so HB is applicable if their income was significantly reduced like in the scenario above. They couldn't buy a place in london anyway, 50k salary or not.

SueDunome Fri 12-Jul-13 18:59:15

Except that her dh will no longer be motivated and have career satisfaction, he will get older and, in a few years time, find it impossible to reinstate himself on the career ladder inline with where he is now.

The benefits will be withdrawn as soon as the child/ren finish school (or probably a lot sooner if we keep the current government).

When the kids leave the nest, they'll have no benefits and no real means to live.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 12-Jul-13 19:00:18

Are they private renters as i thought a lot of private lets couldnt take HB due to insurance or mortgage?

You have to wait either 13 or 26 weeks to claim benefits if u leave a job or get fired.

specialmagiclady Fri 12-Jul-13 19:00:46

I think if I knew a couple who were genuinely considering this, I wouldn't blame them for thinking about it in the short term at least.

BUT lots of decisions made when pregnant - at least by me - were based on the short term. Oh, it's too expensive to put two children in full-time child-care so I'm just going to give up.

Actually, if I'd kept working instead of basically stopping for 7 years, we would have had a few lean years and then been back in the pink by now, instead of which I have been out of the workplace for evah....

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:00:53

There you go Kirjava - that is a practical example of what I'm saying. As far as I can see, the system is set up to give no reason for a family to 'earn' more than 16k unless they can otherwise earn vastly over 50k (before tax) if you see what I mean. You might as well enjoy your life.

Kat101 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:01:38

I find free time with a young child very expensive with the usual uk weather ( been much cheaper the last few weeks).

Putting all your eggs in the governments diminishing benefits basket whilst reducing both parents future employability must be not the wisest idea.

I worked for a year after dc3, child care took all my income and tax credits. Literally nothing left. It was important to me to not deskill over a period of years, and I've now got a pt job on a much higher income. It was def worth it to keep in the employment market. I imagine London with a small child, hours to fill and no spare money could get a bit tedious in the rain -- but then I am no earth mother--

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:03:21

Her DH is a good man - he's less concerned with career satisfaction and more concerned with being able to spend time with the family. Not to say that someone who goes out to work isn't equally good iyswim, but I like his stance on that.

They won't do it though so it is just a pie in the sky discussion - but interesting to me.

Kat101 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:04:12

but then I am no earth mother

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:04:44

So, AIBU? Kind of I think from the answers here - thanks!

OH looked into it and it's described as the 'sweet spot' for work/benefit ratio. The least amount you have to earn to receive the most benefits. It seemed we fell into that bracket without realising.

I don't think it would be a popular lifestyle choice, part-time jobs are hard to get a good wage from, I think I was lucky. It's nice to be able to pay your own rent without jumping through the rings of housing benefit, we wouldn't go back.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:11:07

Thanks Kirjava - it is good to know that there is indeed a practical example of my theory!

Yes PT jobs are difficult to get a good salary from - however not impossible.....I have one. Very good in fact (thanks to the universe). The luck of it is probably where my 'head in the clouds' style I think comes from!

But the benefits relating to DC are not forever. It stops when they are grown, before they are grown in the current climate continues. And what of pension? Lower hours lower pay lower pension. What of career advancement? Part timers are at a disadvantage, and in your scenario the woman gives up a career to take up menial, minimum wage labour! the pros of working are more than immediate financial gain. In fact, I think that we have a problem in this country where people cannot appreciate the value of delayed gratificationsad People don't see the point of working because it is not immediately financially better and seem to disregard the future and the other benefits of working. This attitude does lead to a benefits culture somewhat.

sunshine401 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:11:58

Never trust an online benefit calculator. It is an average estimate but hardly true to figures. Most People who claim WT with a lower portion of CT do not get free prescriptions or free school meals. Council Tax is now mostly never available and if it is it is a very low rate. All and many more things like the above which the online calculator does not actually calculate to true results can cause a lot of false view points.
Also remember it is all changing in October and under the new rules the more you work the better off you will be. (quite rightly) So even if they would "stay the same" now by cutting working hours they will be worse off for it come October.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 12-Jul-13 19:12:20

You might as well enjoy your life.

It is not enjoyable to live off benefits. You don't know what the next change will be and that feeling of relying on the government and their whims is awful. Even when you have a wage coming in and the benefits are just a top up (like the scenario you are describing) all it takes is being asked to work overtime a couple of weeks to fuck everything up and change what you can claim etc and you spend ages sorting it out with everyone to make sure you aren't getting more than you are entitled to. And then rinse and repeat the week after. And the week after.

Anyway its all systems change when (if?) universal credit comes in. You'll have to earn a certain amount each week as a family unit and the amount increases when the children get older. I wouldn't reduce any hours with this all coming in!

WilsonFrickett Fri 12-Jul-13 19:12:53

You might as well enjoy your life.

See, I don't think I could enjoy my life without some form of meaningful work and financial independence. That especially is critical to me. I couldn't downshift to 8 hours a week and sleep at night to be honest. What if something happened to DP, or to our relationship? I freelance ATM and have a secret business plan which I could implement to scale a reasonably lucrative part-time job into a fully-fledged business within 6 months. I need to have that security blanket.

But in terms of your op, YANBU. It does seem bonkers that this 'sweet spot' exists. The trouble is in trying to eradicate it, the govt is cutting benefits left right and centre. It would be better I think to work on reducing housing costs (which completely drive the needs for high salaries) and making work more lucrative.

Portofino Fri 12-Jul-13 19:14:37

YABVU as "now" is just a snap shot in time. Kid's grow, careers grow if you have one. If you leave a career because you are not better off at the moment, you still need to take into account that not working isn't going to improve that any, whereas continuing most likely will long term - even if you have to work for £0 for a couple of years.

Portofino Fri 12-Jul-13 19:17:40

Benefits should be the last resort surely? Some people really NEED them, need MORE of them even. I hate the argument that you could work but it is not worth doing so because the state will prop you up to the equivalent level.

Enjoy your life? For me a benefit of working is independence, I was brought up to believe benefits are there as a safety net, and I would be embarrassed if I used them as anything but that. I couldn't enjoy my life when my income is based on government whim and handouts. I'm happy that my DC learn a work ethic from me. My DC may not have as much time with me, but the time we have as a family is well spent and appreciated. Working is a part of life, IMO, for all but the lucky few millionaires, and I'm not entirely sure that they are luckier than me for not working.

foslady Fri 12-Jul-13 19:19:35

The thing is i expect he'll be paying into a pension which his company pay into - giving them hopefully a decent retirement. Also that scenario is fine as long as the benefits system remains the same........and I don't trust it to hence me trying (and so far failing) to get a full time job on a living wage.
It's also about the message he'll be giving the children as they grow up - my personal (and it is personal to me, other families, well that is their decision) view is that I want my dd to see me demonstrate a good work ethic.
It's all about how you view life, and if you are prepared to gamble on the benefit system, each to their own basically

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:19:40

It would be better I think to work on reducing housing costs (which completely drive the needs for high salaries) and making work more lucrative.

I couldn't agree more! If their housing costs were not so ludicrous, I wouldn't have even thought about it - so you found my catalyst.

Thanks to all for the considered responses and interesting perspectives.

Latara Fri 12-Jul-13 19:20:31

Yes WTC are a pain if you work shifts and earn a different salary each month that you have to let them know about.

You have to underestimate your wages and get less WTC than you are entitled to or you risk getting (and having to pay back) an overpayment!

And you don't get much... tbh I have to live on a large overdraft, credit card and borrow money from my dad & sister (who are lovely) to make ends meet.

And I feel ashamed of having to rely on Benefits... the press calling us all ''scroungers'' doesn't help.

Knowing that I only get WTC due to being on Disability Living Allowance that could be stopped at any time is very scary too.

janey68 Fri 12-Jul-13 19:21:52

I can see what you're saying that broadly speaking, there can often be very little immediate financial difference between working a lot of hours and qualifying for no tax credits and benefits, and working fewer, and getting a lot of top ups

BUT I agree with all the others that its a short sighted view. The system is changing and people who have relied on tax credits could find themselves screwed.

I also totally agree with the poster who said many people nowadays don't get the principle of delayed gratification and want an immediate gain. Sometime you just need to look at the longer term. I know a few families who work very part time hours and qualify for all sorts of top ups, but they'll find it really tough when their kids get older and the benefits dry up and also none of them have given a thought to pension

you are forgetting the £500 a week cap that is being rolled out, that included all benefits so if you are talking about private rents in London i expect they will end up with nothing to live on once that comes into effect.

oh and i live on benefits its not fun or easy, i cant wait to get another job

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:25:56

I don't think anyone who is working and trying to do their best is a scrounger if they receive benefits that top them up to a decent income.

I do think that it's perverse that has to happen in the first place. Companies don't pay proper salaries, and housing costs have been allowed to spiral out of control (and not allowed to rectify, but that's another argument!).

In their case, they have a decent income, and a decent life anyway - what I found interesting was that (in the short term at least), they could possibly have a better life, given their interest in time vs money by reducing hours. But yes, there are intangibles (career development, long term retirement prospects) that are things I did not consider.

caramelwaffle Fri 12-Jul-13 19:27:06

I agree wholeheartedly with foslady and portofino

EeTraceyluv Fri 12-Jul-13 19:31:07

I have been very tempted lately to just give up working for two years (and get dh too as well) as we would only be around £10 worse off per month if we did so. We would get mortgage interest paid, free school dinners, blah de blah de blah... Obviously we would both have to be sacked and don't want to be, and realistically would hate it but it is infuriating at times. Especially as we really are struggling right now.. might as well struggle and relax.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:32:08

By the way, I am the queen of delayed gratification! I saved up for years to buy a place outright thinking I was doing the right thing - only to see firstly a boom, and then a bust that hasn't been allowed. Savers are demonised in my opinion, hence I was looking at alternative ideas for others - delayed gratification must not be allowed according to our economists and governments!

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 12-Jul-13 19:37:18

I think if the pay covers the cost of child care, but no more, it's worth it for mothers to work. It's the best way to keep a viable career.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:40:25

Katy, in an ideal world I would agree with you. However, salaries are not really increasing these days - and companies are able to play on the 'dark times' rhetoric to even keep pay rises when promoted at a fairly low level.

If pay covers child care and no more, and there's an increasingly diminishing chance of being rewarded for it long term, better to be a SAHP - either sex.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:40:55

IMHO of course.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 12-Jul-13 19:40:56

I mean, it's still worth it. My previous post sounds like I say that she shouldn't work for more than the cost of child care. blush

Mumsyblouse Fri 12-Jul-13 19:44:54

It only pays to work for career reasons if you have a career type job. If you have a minimum wage type job (e.g. care work) that you could step back into in ten years time or are happy to pick up a part-time post in the future I think the incentives to work are really little. I love my job so the incentive to work is high but I can see for lots of people, the workplace is not rewarding in several senses, not least because there is so much instability in employment, zero contract hours, short contracts and so on.

badguider Fri 12-Jul-13 19:46:11

It depends if you like your job or not and what you want to do professionally with the decades after your child(ren) grow.
Also, although work is unreliable, it's usually (if you ate a professional) more reliable than govt controlled benefits. And a professional job will be more reliable (salaried, sick-pay, redundancy) than a lower paid p/t job.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:47:01

Exactly mumsy. Not everyone has a career type job - and these days, even those have glass ceilings everywhere because everyone is scared of taking risks.

badguider Fri 12-Jul-13 19:47:44

Btw. That comment is entirely in relation to the op situation of someone with £50k earning potential choosing a p/t job with much lower pro-rata wage.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 12-Jul-13 19:48:59

And the DH will become deskilled and there will be a detrimental impact on future pensions and death in service benefits etc. Might not be so easy to raise hours and maintain a career when the dC are a bit older; neither will it impart a sound work ethic for the DC.

This sort of thing makes my teeth itch.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:50:09

The pro-rata was purely voluntary for the purposes of finding the benefit sweet spot. If he reduced to a 2 day week, his company would pay him 20k.

badguider Fri 12-Jul-13 19:52:59

It may start voluntary but it will have a permanent impact in his cv.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:56:31

Agreed badguider - this is merely a provocative 'if you can't beat them join them' idea I thought of based on their circumstances. I'm not seriously condoning doing it.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 19:57:32

Oh and buy 'beat them', I mean the government and industry, not the people who are the recipient's of state funded subsidies to corporations.

Mumsyblouse Fri 12-Jul-13 20:02:10

Yes, but the woman in the original scenario is giving up her FT presumably professional job for a few years anyway. Funny how when it is the man proposing that, the concern over the CV gap is very high, but thousands of women downsize or drop out of the job market every single year when they have children and I don't think so much thought is given to the damage to their CV's by doing this (or at least, they don't seem concerned about this in the original scenario).

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 20:04:55

She currently earns a lot less than him. if she had been the higher earner, I would have posed the situation in exactly the same way with the genders reversed without giving it a thought.

It is in no way shape or form a gender issue.

I don't have a career type job- I work in a call centre, but still I think I'm better in work. Even if it's a shitty shitty job sometimes, last time the place I work advertised jobs there were 30 applicants per post. If an applicant had spent a period out of work, a significant period they would be less likely to come back to even call centre work than people who have continuous employment. Even shit jobs are competitive now.
On my team of ten people five are university graduates (including me). Jobs are scarce and I value the one I've got, and as I said earlier, to me, there are more benefits aside from financial gain.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 20:06:22

In an ideal world mumsy, both would be sharing child care and earning equally. That is the best scenario.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 20:07:40

I don't often post about this because I know it will make me generally unpopular. But just thought I'd point out there is another "sweet spot" that DH and I occupy

. We each earn between 40 and 50 K with deductions, pensions and expenses which mean we pay very little if any HRT.We need very little childcare (4 hours a week) because we both work a bit less than ft and the dcs are schoolage.We keep full child benefit too. If either of us did more work and earnt more we would see a tiny fraction ofit. I am not proud of this but the tax system makes this the reality for us.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 20:09:42

I think if the government wants to make work pay they need to look at higher earners as well as lower earners

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 20:11:10

Pregnantpause - no judgement - if work is valuable to you in an intangible way, that is fine. However as you yourself say, the job market is shit, and companies take advantage of that. It doesn't change the fact that people in effect are working for no reason if there is no career progression (and the state offers a scheme to subsidise that).

However, where someone places no intangible value on going to work, and whilst the state is prepared to fund it, if your work is soul destroying and looking after the kids is fulfilling, can you really blame someone for choosing the latter option? I wouldn't.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 20:13:51

Good on you wishihadabs. 40-50k is hardly a lot these days when a family home costs such insane money. You are merely using the creative accounting that the corporate world and governments would use themselves.

If I was you, I would whack every bit of your salary you pay as higher rate tax into a pension too to get the tax relief if you can afford it.

chandellina Fri 12-Jul-13 20:16:50

Your scenario overlooks future earning power from pursuing a career, as well as the vulnerability of relying on benefits that can dry up at any time.

Yes I do blame.them. I work for money. To eat and drink and live. Because benefits are a stop.gap and intended to help when you're down. Working shouldn't be optional, and the way to resolving lazy attitudes that choose to work less because the state will pay is not to withdraw what the state is willing to give but IMO adjust peoples attitude to the reasons behind working and what benefits are there for.
The state lowering what they pay will leave people who need a safety net in poverty, which is wrong. It's the attitude that the 'state is wiling to pay' that I object to- they are not, they pay as a safety net in the hope that people will try to increase hours/get jobs etc when they are able. They do not pay to support a lifestyle choice.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 20:25:55

But, as we've covered ad infinitum on this thread, the state subsidises the company's pathetic salaries to such a degree that it has completely contorted the reasons to work 'hard'. And chandelina, we've also covered the future earning power argument. There is not nearly enough of that progression happening these days too. Optimism is a lovely thing, I'm all for it, but reality is not reflective of that in so many cases.

Wishihadabs Fri 12-Jul-13 20:32:35

I suppose it's worth pointing out that we can only occupy this "sweet spot" because we both kept working through the lean pre-school years.

badguider Fri 12-Jul-13 20:38:30

Mumsyblouse - my point about the cv was about taking a lower pro-rata salary, not about doing less hours or earning less. I would make EXACTLY the same point to a mother as a father. By all means, reduce your hours if you can but if you reduce your salary in pro-rata terms you will find it hard to argue that you're worth your old rate per hour when employers can see your willing to work for so much less.

Somebody on a £50k salary working one day a week so earning £10k will be thought of more highly as more 'valuable' and 'more senior' than somebody on a £25k salary working two days a week and earning the same £10k.

Portofino Fri 12-Jul-13 21:38:15

I would expect to be asked serious questions by potential employers if working one or two days a week. It would harm your career long term. And it would fuck seriously with your pension.

janey68 Fri 12-Jul-13 21:53:45

Agree with portofino

I reduced to 3 days a week when our children were small, and stepped back up to full time once they started school.
Tbh it was quite a fluke that a full time post came up just then, and if it hadn't I might perhaps have carried on with 3 or perhaps 4 days a week, which is what a number of my friends have done, even when the children have grown into teenagers.
I didn't even consider the pension issue much at this stage- I was just excited by the full time opportunity. However, it's the best thing I could have done financially . Even just those few years of being part time have reduced my final pension significantly. It shocks me to think I could have been lulled into thinking I'd carry on working part time simply because we could afford it. IMO a lot of people are set for a really hard time financially in their later years. It's so easy to overlook these things though and just see a job in terms of the immediate money in your pocket

Portofino Fri 12-Jul-13 22:17:20

Sadly I am of an age where my pension is becoming all important. DH worked off shore for many a year then did a late degree. His wages are ok now, but he paid no NI for donkey years and started a career late so his occupational pension won't be all that either. He is 11 years older than me and will probably retire when dd reaches Uni age. This will all be on me. I am nagging him now that we need to downsize and learn to live on my wages alone.

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 22:34:50

Janey, whilst I agree with you in some senses (part time hitting your earnings), that is not true if you make smart use of the extra time. I manage my own pension (and investments) because I have the time to do it, and believe me, the returns I achieve are far, far in excess of what I would get it I worked full time and just put in the extra cash and let some financial parasite do it for me. My wealth is growing at a faster rate than full time - weird eh!

I appreciate that is not for everyone, but part time in my case has actually increased my long term financial security!

HeyIJustMetYou Fri 12-Jul-13 22:36:36

You might argue of course that I am working for myself doing so, but it doesn't take that much time and I can do it with a far clearer head than when I was stressed out by work.

janey68 Fri 12-Jul-13 23:05:06

Well that's great that it works for you, but it certainly doesn't apply to a large chunk of the population who have woefully inadequate pension provision (and this issue disproportionally affects women)
If it were that easy to work fewer hours and rack up really great investments which don't get hit by the problems in our economy then I suspect more people would be doing it!
As it is, most people would be wise to work to their potential to get the long term advantages, rather than working the minimum possible to gain the short term benefits

badguider Sat 13-Jul-13 10:50:05

I am self employed and when I go from 5days a week down to just 2.5days (and also during mat leave - 3mo of nothing, 2mo of just 0.5days a week) DH and I have agreed to keep paying the same amount into my pension as I did when fulltime. In reality that means HALF of my MA is going straight into my pension, but we can afford it if we tighten our belts so we're going to do it.

Also, as self-employed, nobody ever needs to know how many days a week I work. I have multiple clients and have never done more than 3 days a week for any one client (to spread the risk) so there will be no evidence on my cv of my new work-life balance.

[disclaimer: of course many people are not in as fortunate a position as me but again this thread started by talking about peple earning 30-50k a year rather than struggling on NMW]

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