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Old 12-26-2016, 05:49 PM
 
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As I understand, it's now the norm for both parents to work. You would think that this increases household income and thereby leads to a higher standard of living, but I'm not convinced that it does. One obvious sign is that back during the 1950s a single parent's income could support multiple kids, but now 2 incomes can barely support the same. If 2 working parents have kids they need to pay for daycare and more pre-made foods or restaurants (since they don't have time to cook), to name just a few examples. And since sick kids aren't allowed to be at daycare, the working parents have to use their vacation or sick days to stay home if their kid gets sick. Really, it's an imneficient system. What's worse, a couple will adjust their lifestyle to 2 incomes (e.g. take a mortgage out on the most expensive house that their combined incomes can afford) which screws them over if they get divorced or something like that.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KonaldDuth View Post
As I understand, it's now the norm for both parents to work. You would think that this increases household income and thereby leads to a higher standard of living, but I'm not convinced that it does. One obvious sign is that back during the 1950s a single parent's income could support multiple kids, but now 2 incomes can barely support the same. If 2 working parents have kids they need to pay for daycare and more pre-made foods or restaurants (since they don't have time to cook), to name just a few examples. And since sick kids aren't allowed to be at daycare, the working parents have to use their vacation or sick days to stay home if their kid gets sick. Really, it's an imneficient system. What's worse, a couple will adjust their lifestyle to 2 incomes (e.g. take a mortgage out on the most expensive house that their combined incomes can afford) which screws them over if they get divorced or something like that.
Not better for kids, but then what you going to do? When one spouse can't earn enough to pay for the family, then both have to work.

While wages for working folks have stagnated, those at the top are hauling it in hand over fist.

How'd that happen.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: So Cal
40,466 posts, read 39,980,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
Not better for kids, but then what you going to do? When one spouse can't earn enough to pay for the family, then both have to work.

While wages for working folks have stagnated, those at the top are hauling it in hand over fist.

How'd that happen.
Trickle down economics. I think the trickle forgot to trickle, based on data since the 80's.

In terms of the OP, I think in a perfect world you'd have one spouse at home with the kids. You have daycare but they aren't going to care about your kid as much as the parents.

Sort of sad we've gotten to this place. The 50's had a lot of things jacked up, but being able to live somewhat comfortably on one income was one of the better parts.
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Old 12-26-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: CasaMo
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Look at average size of a home built in 1955 versus today. People went out to eat far less often. Kids shared bedrooms. Most houses had 1 bathroom. 1 car was the norm. 1 tv was the norm. How many families are willing to live 1955 standards today?
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:00 PM
 
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Two incomes sure don't guarantee a higher standard of living, IMO.

I have met two-income couples who merely spend more. But have met couples who save all, or most, of one income for kids' college and/or retirement. Some fall into the trap (my opinion) of eating out, or buying take-out meals. Others have figured out the many ways to prep food with limited time. Some buy toys, others buy stocks or invest in other ways.

There are benefits and risks to either single- or double-income situations.

Then again, I know several single income families. Some do well on what I think is a very limited income and others don't.

The results seem very individualized.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
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One thing that it does do is prepare the female in the event she is suddenly single or widowed. In the past, a lot of stay at home moms had no skills or career, so when they were on their own they had to quickly learn how to enter the workforce.

My own mom was a stay at home wife, and when my dad died she was lost. She finally did find a job, but she had not developed any marketable skills for the most part.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Pa
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Now a days women have job skills. College educated and great computer skills.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:34 PM
 
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It's better for the Social Security Trust Fund when both spouses are working and paying Social Security Taxes. If only 1 spouse works and that 1 spouse only paid Social Security Taxes, then upon retirement, that spouse gets the 'full' social security check but the non-working spouse gets a 2nd Social Security check for 1/2. So that family is getting 1.5 Social Security checks for only 1 worker that paid into the Social Security Trust Fund.

By comparison, if both spouses worked and both paid into Social Security. In this case, when they both retire, the lesser earning spouse can choose to collect the largest of 1) his/her own earnings for Social Security or 2) half of spouse's Social Security check, whichever is largest. However, both spouses would have contributed to Social Security over the years, and most likely this results in a larger overall contribution to the Social Security Trust Fund for this married couple.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Where rhotic consonants are either absent or intrusive
8,903 posts, read 5,237,696 times
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Our lifestyle with one income: 750 square foot apartment, 1 older car, bare minimum entertainment budget, dwindling savings, a few grand in credit card debt (paid off each year with tax returns), no disposable income, not even enough money to pay for a babysitter and dinner out a couple of times per year.,Thank goodness that one income is a union government job, so we didn't have to worry about going even further into debt paying for such incidental luxuries as medical and dental bills.

Our lifestyle with two incomes: 950 square foot apartment, 1 newer car, a respectable amount in savings (with hopes of buying a modest home...eventually), savings for retirement and college, a no frills vacation once every couple of years, no credit card debt, some disposable income for creature comforts.

Which scenario presents far less economic vulnerability, even with childcare costs??
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:43 PM
 
50,633 posts, read 26,718,760 times
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Having a one income household is far better for society than a two income household is by a long shot.

My wife and i have lamented time and time again at how we were better off financially the two years she dropped out of the workforce to go back to college. Like most households with two incomes, we raised our standard of living with the extra money instead of banking a lot more of it.

Still, we were able to put our son through college and grad school without any debt, and our mortgage will be paid off about eight years earlier than we planned. But we could've done a LOT better had we been smarter and not gotten so infatuated with the extra money.
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