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For thinking SAHMs are making themselves financially vulnerable

655 replies

PeasOff · 24/07/2022 18:25

Would or do you depend on your partner financially?

Do you have a backup in place in case of breakup or for your retirement?

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ancientgran · 24/07/2022 19:42

Dinosauratemydaffodils · 24/07/2022 19:30

If you were on minimum wage job pre kids then surely you can get minimum wage job post kids

I've been out of work 7 and a half years (not intended but I had postpartum psychosis and then undealt with trauma bit me hard). In that time I've done a load of voluntary work, improved /kept my IT skills uptodate and gained another degree as well as just getting a distinction in an OU course which interested me. Can't get a minimum wage job though.

On the positive side I have a civil service pension and a private one plus access to all dh's money as well as some inherited money of my own but it's frustrating.

When we moved to a different part of the country I was 40 and just finished maternity leave. I signed on with a temp agency and got offered permanent jobs from my first two assignments. Accepted one and worked there for the next 20 years. Started at quite a low salary but ended up as a senior manager on good enough money that I worked part time.

Doing some temping might be a way into a decent job for you, hope that might be helpful.

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MrsWolfyWoo · 24/07/2022 19:44

I think the crux of this is - are they married or not. If not married and not on mortgage and can’t prove they have contributed money to mortgage it leaves women hugely vulnerable.

Also of course SAHM have less pension entitlement.

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MrsSchrute · 24/07/2022 19:46

Suprima · 24/07/2022 19:35

I can walk into my well paid profession any time I want.
I am married.
I’ll be using my time to upskill and am going to be going back to my postgraduate studies now I have ‘the time to do it’.
My husband values everything I do at home.
We are very financially comfortable.
I have no fears for my retirement.

Why the fuck would I lose these years with my tiny baby? If he leaves me, I can just go back to work. Whatever. If he leaves me when I’m old, I will be able to do elements of my profession part-time and will have a property to live in.

I would feel very differently if I was a SAHM due to not being able to offset the cost of childcare, not married, my boyfriend was a twat and we had to pinch pennies. And if I had no vocation.

There are plenty of situations where being a SAHM does make you vulnerable. But for many, you are secure enough to deal with the risk of relationship breakdowns.

Similar situation here.

8 years at home, two children later, just about to go back into a job that is within school hours, more senior, and pays more than before I stopped working.

And even if things hadn't worked out like they have, I would not have wanted to give up those early years with my DC.

The way I see it, everything comes with a cost, I just chose to lose out financially but gain stress free time with my DC rather than visa versa.

My DH and I were very much in agreement and value each other's contributions, we are a team.

I also recognise that people make different choices for very valid reasons that work out well for them. Which is as it should be.

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MrsWolfyWoo · 24/07/2022 19:47

PandoraP · 24/07/2022 19:20

Not sure. Being a man married to a SAHM also leaves you financially vulnerable. I have male friends who wanted their wives to work, they didn’t. This partly contributed to the divorce and they had to move out of the family home and support the wife to live in the home until the kids are 18. I tell my boys to marry girls who want to work!!

My husband is still paying the mortgage for his ex until youngest child is 18- plus he pays maintenance.We as a result live in a tiny place as he can’t get another mortgage as he is already on one in a house which he can’t live in.

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PinkPair · 24/07/2022 19:48

It really depends on the career/qualifications the woman has and the length of time she is a SAHM.

I have a couple of friends who have careers which were fairly easy to get back into. They gave up work when their second child was born and went back to work when the child went to school, initially part time. So they were out for 5 years which is quite different from someone who's been out of workplace for 12 years and skills need updating.

But they were both in situation that if their marriage had broken down they could have got back into reasonably well paid jobs quite easily

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WillitFit · 24/07/2022 19:48

It's not even just break ups. To have the whole family dependent on one job always seemed risky to me and for that reason, I kept my career up, albeit part time, but I knew I could go back FT if I needed to.

Which is just as well because DH had 3 months out of work following a disciplinary thing, then years later in a different job was diagnosed with cancer and was off work for a year for treatment, then the cancer returned and he died. Me and DC would have been well and truly stuffed if I'd let my career go when they were young and wasn't able to support us.

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nca · 24/07/2022 19:48

I was.

It screwed me over for years post divorce and I'm only getting out of it now in my 50s.

I would tell any woman not to do it

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Rwealere · 24/07/2022 19:55

If you’re in a relationship with anyone you can you can make yourself financially vulnerable just stop and think about it, but no, why do that let’s just go with the stereotype that all SAHMs are air heads or gold diggers, much simpler.

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NerrSnerr · 24/07/2022 19:57

It depends on the situation. Some people are able to protect themselves to some extent for example I have friends who are nurses who do a small amount of bank/ agency to keep their registration so they'll have work to fall back on if and when is needed.

Others clearly are very vulnerable, you see many posts on here from women who want to leave their partners, don't have a penny to their name, can't work as their partner won't contribute to childcare etc.

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saraclara · 24/07/2022 19:59

I was a SAHM for a few years and I thought it through very carefully. I weighed up the pros and cons, I knew I could get occasional supply work if I needed a cash top up (I was a teacher) and I knew I could get a job again very easily if the chips were down.
It was a lovely time, I kept in touch with schools I knew, and went straight back into part time or temporary contracts when my youngest started school. I liked keeping that bit of control over my life at that point. Then when I was established at a school that I liked, I went permanent when they offered me a contract.

Yes, my pension was affected to a point, but that's the only downside. And we saved hard to make sure that our retirements would be comfortable enough.

I don't know why you assume that SAHMs don't think this stuff through. I imagine that most will these days.

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WillitFit · 24/07/2022 20:00

Rwealere · 24/07/2022 19:55

If you’re in a relationship with anyone you can you can make yourself financially vulnerable just stop and think about it, but no, why do that let’s just go with the stereotype that all SAHMs are air heads or gold diggers, much simpler.

I don't think that's the suggestion at all. Far from being gold diggers I think SAMHs often get themselves into difficulties by not worrying about money at all.

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C0mfyChairP0se · 24/07/2022 20:00

If they divorce they will have some entitlement to their x's pension(s) or they'll be an adult dependent on their H's state pension.

I think the trouble is where the man just disappears or decides not to pay a cent.

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Topgub · 24/07/2022 20:00

@saraclara

Why do you think men don't choose it?

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Surgarblossom · 24/07/2022 20:02

Topgub · 24/07/2022 19:09

I dont and never have depended on my partner. Financially or otherwise.

This

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PeasOff · 24/07/2022 20:03

@Allmarbleslost Because I can't be arsed to and doubt the threads would be very active now.

@MakkaPakkas Feel free to scroll on if you don't want to engage!

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SaltyCrisp · 24/07/2022 20:05

Would or do you depend on your partner financially?

I wouldn't depend on a partner financially but my husband was the sole earner when DC were small. Wouldn't dream of putting very young children in child care - personal choice before anyone takes offence.

Do you have a backup in place in case of breakup

Yes, a marriage certificate.

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malika3 · 24/07/2022 20:07

YABU.

The SAHMs I know are possibly some of the least financially vulnerable women in the U.K.

If you live in a house worth £2/£3/£5/£10 million, you are hardly financially vulnerable are you? Even if you only get £1m or £500k or £200k, compared to the average woman in the U.K., they are are hardly poor.

So much misunderstanding in MN about SAHMs, but can I please make this clear -

SAHMS DO NOT MAKE THEMSELVES INCOME DEPENDENT. IT IS ABOUT FAMILY WEALTH AND ASSETS. A CERTAIN LEVEL OF WEALTH AND ASSETS MEAN YOU DON'T NEED TWO WORKING PARENTS - AKA YOU CAN AFFORD TO BE A SAHM.

Sorry to shout, but I don't understand why people on MN can't grasp this.

Where are there thousands upon thousands of SAHMs? Not surprisingly, they are highly concentrated in places like Chelsea, Kensington, Notting Hill, Hampstead, Highgate, Chiswick, South West London and out into Richmond and on into places like Esther and Oxshott. That's just.a few areas I know where is very common to be a SAHM. Where I live, it's more common than not. Nobody is financially vulnerable. It's the opposite - and this is precisely why the can be a SAHM! Thousands upon thousands of women. There will be loads of other similar areas in and around London and beyond. This is the reality. None of them need concern on MN, I can assure you of that.

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prepared101 · 24/07/2022 20:09

malika3 · 24/07/2022 20:07

YABU.

The SAHMs I know are possibly some of the least financially vulnerable women in the U.K.

If you live in a house worth £2/£3/£5/£10 million, you are hardly financially vulnerable are you? Even if you only get £1m or £500k or £200k, compared to the average woman in the U.K., they are are hardly poor.

So much misunderstanding in MN about SAHMs, but can I please make this clear -

SAHMS DO NOT MAKE THEMSELVES INCOME DEPENDENT. IT IS ABOUT FAMILY WEALTH AND ASSETS. A CERTAIN LEVEL OF WEALTH AND ASSETS MEAN YOU DON'T NEED TWO WORKING PARENTS - AKA YOU CAN AFFORD TO BE A SAHM.

Sorry to shout, but I don't understand why people on MN can't grasp this.

Where are there thousands upon thousands of SAHMs? Not surprisingly, they are highly concentrated in places like Chelsea, Kensington, Notting Hill, Hampstead, Highgate, Chiswick, South West London and out into Richmond and on into places like Esther and Oxshott. That's just.a few areas I know where is very common to be a SAHM. Where I live, it's more common than not. Nobody is financially vulnerable. It's the opposite - and this is precisely why the can be a SAHM! Thousands upon thousands of women. There will be loads of other similar areas in and around London and beyond. This is the reality. None of them need concern on MN, I can assure you of that.

You are naive if you think marrying a rich man protects you in a divorce.

Very rich men can afford very good lawyers and accountants 59 hide their assets.

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Needmorelego · 24/07/2022 20:09

I could go back to work but who would take care of my daughter who has autism and other health issues? Should I put her in home away from society so I can have my 'own' money and not have to 'live off' my husband?
Many women's lives are in the now - not the future so can't even think about pensions and retirement etc.
It scares me sometimes but what can I do?

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Topgub · 24/07/2022 20:12

@malika3

That's not true.

A lot of sahms aren't sahms by choice.

(Well, if you consider its not a choice its them and not their oh)

They are sahms because they think they can't afford to work.

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saraclara · 24/07/2022 20:12

Topgub · 24/07/2022 20:00

@saraclara

Why do you think men don't choose it?

My husband absolutely would have. He actively wanted to in fact. But I was the one with the boobs, and expressing wasn't a thing back then, outside emergencies.
I did feel bad about that sometimes.

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PeasOff · 24/07/2022 20:13

@malika3 I was a SAHM for 4 years living in SW London so think I might know a little about being a SAHM. Also, new to MN as of today!

Those are the SAHMs you know. What about other SAHMs in less affluent areas or in poorer financial situations - would you not think them financially vulnerable?

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Cleothecat75 · 24/07/2022 20:16

What do you propose I do then? I did work, full time until last year. But I have a disabled dc who currently can no longer attend school or any kind of childcare. Either dh or I had to give up work to care for them. Dh earns far more than me and I am naturally better at the caring responsibilities (not because I am female, but because I am a naturally more caring person). Even if we had both gone part time, we would have been financially worse off as the difference in incomes was so great.
A condition of me finishing work was that we still used family money to pay into my pension each month. We are also married and majority of savings are in my name.
I am curious what you think we should have done in this situation though?

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saraclara · 24/07/2022 20:16

saraclara · 24/07/2022 20:12

My husband absolutely would have. He actively wanted to in fact. But I was the one with the boobs, and expressing wasn't a thing back then, outside emergencies.
I did feel bad about that sometimes.

Genuinely, I don't think that many mothers would be prepared to give up being the primary caregiver though. Some will (and do) of course. But they're probably as rare as the dads like my late husband.

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MrsBwced · 24/07/2022 20:16

It's a risk obviously.
If a family decides a parent is going to give up work they should put as much as possible in place to minimise the risk. Marriage, insurances, financial transparency, joint accounts etc as well as ensuring both parties are completely on board with the situation and expectations of each other

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