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I just ended my paternity leave. It was wonderful getting to know our newest addition and assisting my wife in anyway that I could. Our toddler is sweet but also very rambunctious. In order to help out Mrs. MSM, I spent the majority of my time off with our two-year-old, which was awesome.
He would start each day by waking up at 7am on the dot (not by choice). Our morning routine began by reading through his favorite books. Then, we’d move downstairs for breakfast. Eventually, we’d end up outside on the playground or basketball court. I loved spending all that quality time with him. Although, I don’t know who was more exhausted at the end of the day, he or I.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some additional outside help I received in caring for our toddler during my paternity leave. On Mondays and Fridays, my parents usually helped out a bit. On Wednesdays, my father-in-law stopped by for a couple hours. Finally, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a close family friend came by to play with our toddler. Are we spoiled or what?
Of course, sometimes our family had to cancel, so it wasn’t like we truly had help every single day. However, we were thankful for any and all help that we received. My wife was especially thankful. For those of you who have gone through the sleepless zombie phase with a newborn, you know what I am talking about. Any type of relief is welcome, especially during the first few months.
An Exciting Opportunity
While I was on paternity leave, I thought a lot about the possibility of living overseas for a few years. In a previous blogpost, I wrote about this opportunity. Both my wife and I are excited about the possibility.
My wife loves the idea of free housing so that we can save up even more money for the future. On top of that, we could expose our children to different cultures and customs. We would also be able to travel cheaply around surrounding countries. All these aspects make the thought of living abroad that much more appealing.
Leaving Our Family & Friends
Over lunch one day with my sister, she shared her thoughts on potentially living overseas. She asked me if we were really prepared to lose all the support that we currently have at home. It would leave my wife with basically no breaks at all during the day, unless we hired help, of course.
Admittedly, that gave me some pause.
We love being so close to family. Not just because of help, but because we enjoy their company and having our kids know them so well. I was always very close with my grandparents as I spent a lot of time with them growing up. I still remember the sleepovers and all the fun that I had with them over the years.
On top of that, my wife and I have built up a great community of friends through our church. We also love the worship and preaching there. Additionally, I am starting to see some real traction with the Reaching FIRE course that I recently created.
My Future Pension
Making the decision even harder is that financially, moving overseas will greatly increase the amount of money that I receive from my future pension.
If I spend five years overseas, I can retire at the age of 50 with a pension that will reach 40%. However, if I stay here in the states, I will not be able to retire until I’m 57, with a pension at 33%. That means that I have to work 7 more years for 7% less on my pension. Crazy, right?
A Hard Choice
As you can see, staying stateside could cost me more than $1 million when it comes to my retirement, if I live until 80 years old.
While I could probably retire a lot sooner, with the unknown of healthcare in the future plus a guaranteed pension, it seems like a lot of money to be leaving on the table.
It’s a tough decision when faced with the opportunity to do something totally different at 50 instead of having to work an additional 7 years. On the flipside, we would have to spend 5 years away from family, with little to no visits (unless they came out to visit us). FaceTime and Skype are great, but it’s just not the same as being together.