Monday, August 19, 2019

America's Dumb Approach to Childcare


America's Dumb Approach to Childcare
Mrs. Done by Forty was offered a new position recently, which means in addition to enjoying the ridiculously unfair tax benefits and the joy that comes from being a two income household, we'll also get to experience what it's like to pay for full time childcare for Baby AF.

We got recommendations on childcare from friends and family. We made calls, asked questions, looked up rankings when possible, and visited about six of the facilities we thought might be the best fit. Finally, we settled on a place we really liked, and where a couple of our friends had sent their children. While the hourly costs were higher, they had a pricing system that allowed us to only pay for the hours we needed and wanted: scaling up or down as needed for vacations, or working fewer hours in the office.

So we'd settled on our choice of daycare.

And then I heard an amazing short podcast on the American approach to childcare from the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty, and why our system is so flawed. So let's talk about that today: our system of caring for children, and how it might be improved.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Two Years Out: Are We on Track for Financial Independence?

Two Years Out: Are We on Track for Financial Independence?
Today's my birthday. I turn thirty nine, one away from the big year where I leave my thirties, turn forty, and run against the number I foolishly set as my goal for reaching financial independence.

Astute readers will note that I'm only one year from turning forty, and wonder why the post says I'm still two years out from the goal.

A while back I decided to give myself a little wiggle room: that if I hit financial independence by the last day I'm still forty years old, I'd call it a success. I used to post net worth updates and budget porn posts, giving readers (and myself) a monthly check in on all the financial details in the Done by Forty household. Somewhere along the line I decided I didn't like doing that, so now you voyeurs just get one chance a year to peek in.

So let's take stock and see where we stand. Are we on track to make the goal in time?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Even Out the Tax Benefits for All Workers Saving for Retirement

Even Out the Tax Benefits for All Workers Saving for Retirement
We are awash in big news these days. Right after reaching the milestone of paying off our mortgage we found out we maybe, technically might have achieved the goal this blogger set out to accomplish way back in 2012: being financially independent according to the 4% rule.

With all that still fresh in the air, last Friday Mrs. Done by Forty accepted a full time post-doc position to begin when we return from a trip abroad. She'll get to work in her field, and locally, too: two things we never thought would be possible at the same time when she entered the PhD program.

Her new job will bring on some changes, which we're going to tackle in our first ever collaborative post in the coming weeks.

But today I wanted to talk about one big change that's going to occur specific to our financial independence plans: Mrs. Done by Forty will have an employer-sponsored retirement account for the first time in over a decade.