Here’s one calculation of the cost of being a SAHM.If a woman making 50k a year leaves the workforce for three years to take care of a child, the lost wages and retirement benefits equal up to about half a million dollars.
Half a million dollars.
For. Three. Years.
What about five years. Ten? What about if you never got a career going at all because you had your first child right out of high school or college?
Now, if you are in a steady marriage where the other person works a super fabulous job, there are Social Security benefits paid to spouses. And you could get some version of an IRA (individual retirement account) up and running.
Yes, go on, set up an IRA with all those unallocated funds you’ve got left over from your 17 dollar an hour job (17 an hour if you’re lucky, which if you are a woman it is likely you aren’t).
So what to do? Stay at home, tend the home fires and hope your partner doesn’t leave you in midlife? And what about women who try to go back to work after their kids are in school? Their time at home is rarely if ever seen as worthy of being put on a resume let alone accepted as genuine work experience.
Having a person stay home and raise kids occupies a strange place in our society. We praise it to the heavens on one hand then do relatively nothing to help make it happen on the other.
Good for you for staying home!
Figure out the financial mess it’s going to make of your life on your own!
It’s like society enjoys the fruits of the SAHM’s labor free of charge.
And just in case you are a working mom, here’s a little nugget for you. I pulled it straight from a PBS article by Kristen Doerer:
It’s worth noting here the pay gap research of Michelle Budig, a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Budig found that among parents who keep working, women were penalized for having a kid — 4 percent for each child they have — while men are rewarded with a pay bump of 6 percent.
The moral of the story? For women, having kids in America makes absolutely zero financial sense. Paul Ryan can take his demand that women make more babies and shove it up his speakership.