Forgoing $1 Million In Lost Income To Be A Stay At Home Parent

Forgoing $1 Million In Salary To Be A Stay At Home Parent

One of my beliefs as a stay at home dad is that I wouldn't trade the time I spent with my son for any amount of money. Given time is way more valuable than money, especially as you get older, this sounds like a logical statement.

But perhaps this statement is a bunch of BS.

Maybe it's just a rationalization to make myself feel better about missing out on what I could have made if I had continued to grind it out in finance. If you spend $500 a head on a meal, of course you're going to say it was the best dinner you ever had unless you want to feel like a fool.

Maybe I'm just making stuff up to mask my shortcomings as someone who hit a glass ceiling and decided to negotiate a severance instead of facing the reality that I simply wasn't good enough to get promoted.

After all, to justify failure is human nature. Some even blame others for their failures instead of looking within.

The Money You Could Have Made

To see if we stay at home parents are delusional in our beliefs, it's always good to do the math. Crystallize the value of money by figuring out what it can buy, otherwise, money doesn't have much meaning.

When I left my finance job in 2012, I had a base salary of $250,000. My bonus ranged from 0% – 200% of base, depending on my performance, the company's performance, and the overall economy.

Let's say I go back to work today at 41 with a similar salary and slightly above average bonus. I'm going to assume my total compensation would be $500,000 a year.

Now let's see what I might have done with the $1,000,000 I forewent given I was a stay at home dad for two years. In reality, I think I would have saved at least 50% of the compensation, but let's have some fun and say I spent it all.

Breaking Down $1,000,000 In Lost Income

The first thing you'll notice about the chart is that $1,000,000 quickly turns to about $620,000 after paying an effective tax rate of 38%. 38% includes California state tax and FICA tax. $380,000 is a lot of taxes to pay any way you cut it.

I really tried to realistically think of all the stuff I could spend the $620,000 on and not feel like a completely wasteful person. The Range Rover is nice to take the family around, but after a year or two, it's just another car.

The 10 years of private school tuition is a great cover if my son doesn't win the SF public school lottery. I shudder to think how much private high school will cost in San Francisco in 12 years. Oh please let him be allowed to go to a public school near our house.

I don't need to remodel my kitchen or bathrooms because they were done not too long ago. But if I bought another fixer in Golden Gate Heights, it would be nice to have a $100,000 budget for such a project.

I definitely wouldn't spend $35,000 on any fancy clothes, shoes, watches, or jewelry. But if you forced me, I might buy a rare Patek Philippe watch for $30,000 as they tend to appreciate over time.

Finally, I would donate to a foster center I volunteer at and to the American Nystagmus Network to help find a cure for this eye condition.

Let's say I spend $220,000 of the $620,000 after tax (65% after-tax savings rate). I would most likely invest $400,000 of the proceeds to build passive retirement income.

Investing The Proceeds For Retirement Income

Below is a chart that shows how much annual retirement income I could earn by percentage return if I invested the entire $620,000 after-tax income.

How much retirement income can be generated from $1,000,000 gross job income

It's probably prudent to choose somewhere around a 4-5% annual percentage return to be realistic and more conservative. With a 4-5% annual return, $1,000,000 of gross income could generate $24,800 – $31,000 in retirement income. Not bad!

$31,000 would leave me just $25,000 short of my ultimate goal of generating $300,000 of retirement income a year to support a family of up to four in expensive San Francisco.

However, given I would have spent $220,000, I would be able to invest only $400,000 of the proceeds. With a 5% return, this could still generate about $20,000 a year in retirement income.

The thing is, making $245,000 a year in retirement income currently versus $265,000 – $275,000 a year in retirement income if I had continued my job and made $1,000,000 in gross salary over two years, wouldn't make a big difference in our lives.

The reason is that, even in San Francisco, we do not spend all of our current $245,000 a year in retirement income. Any extra retirement income would simply be an added financial buffer just in case we have a second kid or need to support my parents and in-laws.

Do The Math Yourself

Ideal work amount, part-time, full-time, or not at all for stay at home moms

After going through this exercise, I reaffirm my belief that I would much rather be a stay at home dad and forego two years worth of income.

It's not like the money I forewent would have been easy to make either. I'd have to put in 10-12 hours a day in the office and then spend another 45 minutes a day commuting. I'd probably also gain weight, lose hair, start grinding my teeth again, and feel way more stressed.

Related: The Health Benefits Of Early Retirement Are Priceless

Conversely, it's been a joy to watch my boy grow up every day since he was born. Every single milestone witnessed feels like a priceless gift. There have definitely been days when being a stay at home parent has been extremely hard, but those days are less frequent than the days I had in the office.

Yes, it'll take me a couple more years longer to achieve my ultimate retirement income target. But in the meantime, I have been able to spend more time with my family, which is what living the good life is all about.

I'd like every parent who is considering being a stay at home parent to do the two exercises above as well. What would you buy and how much retirement income could you generate with the money you earn? Also figure out the income threshold where going to work is no longer worth it and vice versa.

The less you make, the easier it may be to be a stay at home parent so long as the other parent can make enough to provide for the family. Childcare cost is expensive. If you're taking home $35,000 a year after tax, but have to pay $20,000 a year for childcare, is it really worth it? Maybe only if you really love what you do.

Finally, I now know why some families have so many children despite the cost. It's simply because children are a wonderful joy to these parents. Money doesn't even come close. I wish someone had told me this when I was younger.

Related: Career Or Family? You Only Need To Sacrifice At Most 5 Years

If you are a stay at home parent, how much did you forgo in lost income? If you are not a stay at home parent, how much income would you require not to be a stay at home parent and why?

44 thoughts on “Forgoing $1 Million In Lost Income To Be A Stay At Home Parent”

  1. Thanks for posting this financial samurai! I could not agree with your post more of the importance of being there for the kids as they grow up! I grew up in gettho in between prostitudes, gansters and drug dealers! It was a really poor community In Los Angeles CA. One thing that every gangster, drug dealer, n prostitute that had in comment is absent working parents! Im sure there where some that did had stay at home parents but I never met those! For example my mom was disabled and most of the time in bed and I grew up wihout a dad. It was only because of my teachers that I was the only one that graduated from high school, then technical college. At 23, I open up a mini day spa bussines that will generate around$70 to 90k a year after paying of expenses, (I thoug it was decent to be the 1st n 2nd year). I did gave all that up n move to another place when I got married then the kids came. Now Im afraid of trying to start againg because my husband works over time, and there has to be at least one present parent! Husband makes like 80k a year and has like 3 investment accounts that generate like $ 25k a year. We live in a small apt and are careful with our money. I work 4 days a month, go to school part time (planning one one day getting a doctors’s degree on bussiness administration, n then opening up a mega day spa that can eventually run itselft n make money without me eventually being there, I had me tors that have dine that). Living this kind of life style and sacrificing my income has allow me to be there for my kids! I homeschool my daugther from the age of 2 to 5 which save us thousands of dollars and gave her an advance head start when she whent to public school. My son did had private school from age 2 to 7. I also know of a case where the mom and a dad work a lot and the kids did grew up to be functiononing adults, but they mention how alone they felt without their parents being around most of the time. Many times I feel the urge to re-open up my bussines and not let go of that money. But, I know that just as you mention, and as my financial college book have mention, “Time is more important than money because money comes and goes, but once time has pass you by, you can never recuperate that! And how precious is that time with the kids! I know later o when my kids grow up and move out, I will have much free time and I will be abel to open up a way better bussines! I dont ever plan on retiring! The money that i’m not making now , I will make up for it later! To be there for my kids now is so worth it!

  2. My husband and I make a combined $600K per year. He’s 54 and I’m 49. We choose to continue to work because we’re committed to send our kids to college/Med school debt-free. Our older son will start college this Fall (tuition is $75K per year) and our younger one is in a private high school ($25K per year). So, with $100K just for school-related expenses, we do need to keep working. We have a total net worth of $5M, so in theory, we have enough to sustain our basic needs. But, providing our kids with debt-free education is our most important goal in life. So, you design your life with what’s most important to you.

  3. It’s all about balance. I work parttime (4 days a week – 9 hours a day) so that I can spend more time with my kids. Your kids will thank you when you are older for being around. They don’t care about the money.

    I’ve seen it happen in my family. Dad was always working, studying, etc. He was never around. His kids couldn’t care less about the money he made and the luxurious lifestyle they had. It’s very dangerous to let money become an obsession.

    You can always make more money. You cannot make more time. This is even more true as your kids are only young for about 15 years. That’s the timeframe where you can make an impact as a parent! After that your opinion is much less relevant to them until they are 25+ ;)

    Never regret the decision you made for one bit!

  4. Very thought provoking post given our current situation as we just had our first child late last year. I completely agree that it’s impossible to know how you’ll feel until you actually have kids. I use to think that anything above the breakeven cost of childcare was worth it. Now when I have to say goodbye to our son every morning and realize he won’t be with his mother or I for the next 10 hours it is heart-breaking and we are seriously revaluating.

    Everyone’s situation is different and unique and there is no blanket way to feel. You have to figure out what works for you.

    One certainty is I am going to keep working. I’m in my mid 30s and it feels fiscally irresponsible (and frankly unrealistic) to walk away from my income. My wife’s situation isn’t as cut and dry.

    We are in a HCOL city and our marginal tax rate is ~48%.

    After taxes she takes home roughly $55k. $29k of that goes to childcare. Just looking as simplistically as possible- is it worth her working for $26k? Now to be fair the numbers aren’t exactly that given she maxes out her 401k, she get her companies 5% contribution etc. but you get the picture.

    What is hard for us is we have been hyper-savers (largely because of this site) so fundamentally walking away from any sum seems financially “wrong.” Additionally, our expense profile also has recently changed (on top of the childcare expenses- a story for another day) and therefore I don’t want to downplay $26k post tax. It is certainly a lot to think about but kudos to you for writing such stimulating posts

    1. Hi AG – Congrats on your little one!

      If you are paying a marginal tax rate of 48% (I’m assuming you’re adding state tax to that), then you’re making some really good money. And yes, if you are in your mid-30s making that, then don’t walk away.

      I would say your wife working for $26K more is really tough to swallow. She’s got to forecast the future and look back and see if she will have regret not spending as much time for an extra $26K a year.

      If you are bringing home hundreds of thousands of dollars a year after tax, I cannot see how $26K a year will make a big positive difference in your lifestyles.

      As a result, have her take a sabbatical or even just try not working for 3-6 months. Doesn’t have to be a year.

      I have a feeling everything will be all right!

      1. Thank you for your response and your congratulations! A few follow ups:

        -Yes I was including FICA, State and Local (NYC) taxes.

        -We are undoubtedly very fortunate from an income perspective but I still don’t feel like “we made it.” First, you run into that 48% marginal tax rate sooner than one would think in NYC and second this level of income is fairly new (i.e I haven’t had years and years of stashing away $). I know you have taken a lot of grief in the press and on this board about a certain post but let’s just say that one hit very close to home.

        Thanks again.

  5. Everyone’s situation is different and not everything is so black and white. Working full time is not necessarily detrimental for kids. Even if you are breaking even after childcare, working is an investment in your career as your future earnings can increase with experience.

    I’m the kid of hardworking immigrant parents. Watching them work so hard and live frugally day in and day out, instead of catering to my every need, has made me a better person. Sam, I think you must a similar story with your parents?

    We don’t have kids yet, but I’d actually love to stay home and do “Barista FIRE” as you say, and do seasonal work (I’m an accountant). If nothing else, working hard sets a good example for future kids. My husband was raised by a full time SAHM. Sometimes my father-in-law makes infuriating comments like “Working moms are why kids now are so messed up”.

    Studies have shown daughters of working moms tend to earn more, and sons have a more equal view of women. You’ll also be able to provide more in the way of coaching and career advice.

    No need to stress out about your decisions either way!

    1. It’s hard to really know how you feel until you have kids yourself. Nobody can tell you otherwise. You just have to experience for it for yourself and then figure it out afterward.

  6. Given the choice , most parents wanted to stay home until their kids are able to at least navigate the world . If I have at least a million saved , I will do it in a heartbeat, however the reality of common household situation is far from that let alone not have enough for 6 months emergency fund. I work night shift and my husband work days , he dropped our son and I pick him up at 3 pm. Doing the best we can do with current situation . Save for his college and for both our retirement. Re examining decision to work , I’ll take the comfort that he might grow stronger , and be well rounded.

    1. As they say, hardship makes a person stronger. I’m not sure if most parents, at least dad’s, would rather stay at home then go to work. Going to work all day feels like a vacation in comparison. But it might not be as rewarding. Check out one comment below.

      To each their own!

  7. Great article. Your posts related to your son this past year have been really inspiring. I wish you and your family all the best.

    The highest paying W2 job I’ve ever had was less than $50k per year. But that job allowed me to be home with my wife (self employed from home) every day. We wake up together, cook together, build side businesses together, travel the world together, and strengthen our marriage every step of the way. You couldn’t pay me any sum of money to miss out on those memories.

    Now that we have a son (almost 2) and another on the way, I’ve left that W2 job so that I can put even more focus on my family and not be tied to a laptop all day. You’re absolutely right when you say the milestones are priceless.

    I say all of this to shed light on the fact that there are multiple paths to achieving the same goal. You don’t have to make $250k per year before having kids. And you don’t have to have a million dollar portfolio before leaving your job. There will always be ways to make more money if you need it. But there won’t always be time to spend with your kids. Life is too short to “grind it out” during some of the best years of your life.

    1. Good stuff Mike! I am glad that you guys have found a work situation and childcare situation that works for you guys. I deafly want to highlight different people stories and how they make it work. So if you ever want to write a guest post or something, let me know. I’m getting sick of talking about my situation.

  8. I’m not a stay at home parent. But I’ve been able to work myself into a position at my company which provides me with flexibility to be involved with my kids. I think without that flexibility, it would make working a full time corporate job very hard.

    But also on the flip side, I don’t think I can or want to be solely a stay at home dad right now. It is a good balance between work and life (or a good cycle of work and life as balance might infer a compromise) that I seek.

  9. Lots of great comments and I couldn’t agree more. Time is so precious and being able to spend so much of it with your family is priceless. Life accelerates as each year passes and I do agree that life can be elongated with less work stress and a healthier balanced lifestyle.

  10. I was 39 years old when my walkin’ one and only daughter was born. She’s my $2 million dollar baby. We came to parenthood late in life and were unable to have another. She was a high need high touch infant and simply could not be left with anyone, due to non-stop crying and inability to self-soothe until she was a year and a half. I never returned to work after she was born. By the time she was three years old we both knew that we didn’t want to farm her out to school so we did it ourselves and homeschooled through highschool. The first time she went regularly to a brick and mortar school was university. She doesn’t think she missed a thing. The world was her classroom. She’s a successful architect today. Do what feels right, Sam. You’ll never regret it.

  11. Little Seeds of Wealth

    You forgot to mention, Sam, that being a stay-at-home dad enables you to continue being your own boss, managing FS and hanging out with us. To some, that trumps making big bucks in a corporate job. I have always had tremendous admiration for stay-at-home parents because I can’t imagine spending all day worrying about diapers, feeding, cleaning and such :) But who knows maybe it’ll all change when I have kids of my own?

    1. I’m going to make a prediction that if you have a baby, you will absolutely want to spend more time with your baby and less time at work. Some of the most hard-core people went to business school who all said they wanted to work forever stopped working after having a baby. It’s only natural to want to spend time with the thing you love the most.

  12. Momofthree03

    As a stay at home mom to three kids, I think about my lost income all the time. We have investments, but to me it’s not the same as earning money through hard work.
    We had our first child at 26, I became a stay at home mom when the second was born at 28 and stayed mostly at home for the past 13 years.

    I do think there is value in being home, but I also know kids of working parents who have great support and the kids are pretty awesome. We didn’t have family support, I wasn’t making enough at the time to pay for
    Daycare for two kids, and I wanted to be home.

    Thirteen years later and 3 years away from our first kid’s college tuition I wonder if I made the right choice. I will be 44 when she goes to college and 49 when our youngest goes, so I could definitely work in my 50’s, and I think I would like to.

    I worry that my daughters, in particular, have a warped view of career women because I have always been home. And I also worry that they may not be able to afford to do what I have done if they want to be a stay at home parent some day.

    I would love to say that I am 100% confident that my choice was the right one, but I’m just not sure. But, I do love my kids and I love that I am there for them every day when they get home from school.

    If I had it to do again, I think I would have spent a little more time building my career and shoring up our finances before having kids.

    We’ve done the best we can and my husband has a relatively lucrative career that he loves. We are on track to retire by 60 with 5 million saved, which is our goal. But, if I had worked longer, I do think it would have given us more freedom to make other choices.

    1. Christine Minasian

      Your story sounds like mine but I did work 15 years and made some great money before having kids. That helped with their education funds. But having 5M when you retire is awesome! Plus your husband likes what he does…that’s important. You did the right thing staying home…there’s always more “stuff” to buy that just doesn’t matter. I loved being there when my kids got home from school- like you do. I am hoping like you- to go back to work in my early 50’s when the kids are gone. But the question is…what does that look like? Will anyone want to hire us? How do we go and do “work” when we’ve just come out of doing the most important work of all?!?! I’m listening to my friends who have stayed working and they hate it- the hours, the corporate bullcrap, etc. We were lucky I think!

      1. Momofthree03

        I agree. We are very lucky to have the opportunity to stay home. And yes, I think I romanticize what it would be like to work, I forget the travel and stress that comes along with the paycheck.

        I do worry about being able to get back in the working world, it’s one of the reasons that I was thinking about going back sooner than later. Ageism definitely exists, and I think being a 41 year old women going back would be easier than being 51.
        But, with my husband’s travel schedule, I need to be around for the kids because he is gone a lot, so I will be home for the foreseeable future, so I’ll just have to wait and see what opportunities are available when the time comes

  13. After engineering my layoff almost 2 years, I’ve made roughly the same amount of my previous salary in consulting income.

    PROs
    Flexibility of location and time and schedule
    Higher net income going from W2 to LLC

    CONs
    Unpredictable/”lumpy” income takes getting used to – need plenty of cash on hand
    Not feeling part of something bigger or a team

    1. Funny how you ended up making roughly the same as you used to right?

      I think being your own boss is pretty priceless. It just takes more effort to be a part of a larger community.

  14. I’m a stay at home husband, well my wife is also a stay at home wife and our three kids are grown and not living locally. I had to do a similar mental exercise when I was offered over a million a year to go back to the 9 to 5 world last year. But I did it very quickly, in about ten seconds, and told them no. I have enough and when you have enough even a million dollar annual salary is pretty useless to you. I’m not super rich, but living where we do and spending what we do I have way more than enough. Trading time for money, even at a very high rate, no longer appeals to me except on a very part time basis where the work is fun. In that case getting paid, as I do for consulting, is a hobby that happens to pay me, not something I’d consider to be work.

    1. I think the ability to believe you have enough is the most important thing to keep as you rise in earnings and net worth. It doesn’t matter how much you make or have — if you lose that grounding there’s no saving you from yourself.

  15. Children are expensive but definitely worth it. It is hard for a doc to be a stay at home parent because the time delay of earning is already putting you smack dab in the middle of prime child raising years and you are heavily in debt by that point.

    I often marvel at those docs in training who were married and had one or more kids during medical school or residency. It was hard enough going through that as a free single person. Having to pile on top of that family responsibilities could make it truly a Herculean feat.

    Most docs finish residency in their late 20s (a lot in their early 30s) and are looking at $350-400k of debt. I had my only child at the age of 34 and I was too underwater in my financial life to even contemplate staying home.

    Now that she’s 13 I could technically leave my career and live a more lean fire type lifestyle. But all the milestones you speak of as part of the joys of being a stay at home parent are long gone, so it really isn’t worth it to me and I will continue working till I feel like I have entered the Fat FIRE range of net worth.

  16. Sam, I left “early-ish” in my peak earning years, with a comp well into 6 figures. Had I stayed two more years, I would have increased my pension significantly (it’s NOT linear) to it’s maximum (payable for life) and saved 50%+ of my significant salary.

    Rather than looking at what I was giving up, I focused on “When Is Enough, Enough”? I did the math, put in “One More Year” to be safe, and haven’t looked back. I haven’t done the math, but it’s likely close to $1M when you factor in the NPV on the pension and the growth of that 50% additional savings. No worries, I’m happy, and I have “Enough”.

    1. Man, walking away from peak severance payment for life is hard. You’ll have to remind me how many more years of work that would require to get that severance. I don’t know if I could’ve walked away from that if it was within five more years.

      1. It would have taken 2 more years. I put in 33 years, the pension “maxes out” at 35 years (and those last two years are almost vertical on the chart). Since I was already 55, I really, really, really didn’t want to give up my freedom until I was 57. Enough is enough, right?

  17. Sam, from this post and others you have said if you are blessed with another child and I’m here to tell you to keep the faith! My husband and I started late in life on the child rearing phase and after several miscarriages we were told by one fertility doctor that the chances of me having kids (late 30’s) was driving from LA to San Diego on side streets during rush hour and hitting every green light. As we were driving home and contemplating what attempts to take next we held hands and decided not to do any further steps and that our life was really great and if we were blessed with kids or not so be it. We relaxed and I believe after red wine and pilates (ha!) I was pregnant with our first and gave birth at 40. Low and behold after being so happy with our son another arrived 10 days before I turned 43!!! Our boys are the light of our lives (now 11 and 13) and I wish you and your wife all the blessings on your life’s journey. Thank you for the thoughtful post. Money can’t buy time.

      1. To add to Terri’s thoughts, my wife and I went through a similar situation: multiple miscarriages and failed IVF in our late 30s-early 40s. We gave up on IVF after a cycle with 0 eggs retreived and eventually got the point that we were content with whatever was meant to be was meant to be and were blessed with a healthy beautiful son at age 43 and even more shocking, a daughter at 45!

  18. If you are a stay at home parent, how much did you forgo in lost income?

    I was a real estate agent back in the 90s-2008 and left the industry to stay home with my wife and daughter. My wife was making 135k/yr and I was making anywhere from 280k-465k. I think we played our cards right because my income would have dropped off significantly and we had saved up 900k in cash (20 years worth of expenses, had a paid for home and cars) plus 1.1m in the stock market which has continued to grow. I’m happy with the decision. Our cash pile is now closer to 550k but our stock market funds are now over 2 million and spitting off close to 50k/yr in dividends which more than covers our expenses.

  19. I probably missed out on about $1,000,000 over 7 years. But who knows? I probably wouldn’t have lasted 7 years in my old job.
    If I made $500,000/year, I’d be a lot more tempted to stick around for a few more years. That’s a lot of money to give up especially since you live in a very high cost of living area.

  20. I love this post so much. You’re a fantastic writer, love your honesty, i.e. your doubting voice who wonders, was I really just hiding out by retiring?

    May I add something to the plus ledger side of staying home with your son? The time you invest in him will pay off in uncountable ways later: he’ll be well-adjusted, a good citizen of the world, a non grab-handing, nurturer of women, won’t tolerate inequality…maybe even a planet-saver. Because he’s well-adjusted, you won’t be supporting his alcohol rehab stints, paying for his apartment ‘til he gets on his feet,’ (you get the idea).

    You’ll have tussles (that’s life), but he’ll always know you’ve got his back & will have internalized all the love you poured into him – the boy wont be needy or a narcissist (driving his wives either crazy or away) bc he didn’t get daddy-love. What would the world look like with more dads like you? We pay a brutal cost for absent- daddying. I’m so glad you wrote this & that you & your wife are committed to parenting.

    Maybe that doubting voice is not you, but our culture’s voice who lusts after/reveres those who scramble up the next rung of the ladder achieving success at any price.

  21. Dave @ Accidental FIRE

    I’d have to put in 10-12 hours a day in the office and then spend another 45 minutes a day commuting. I’d probably also gain weight, lose hair, start grinding my teeth again, and feel way more stressed.

    That’s the key to this whole thing. Bottom line, because you left to be with your son you are healthier and your son is better off too. It’s a win win.

    Where I work it’s easy to spot the senior executives. They’re the ones who are in their 40’s or 50’s but look like senior citizens. Grey hair, overweight or obese, always look exhausted and stressed. But hey they have nice cars.

  22. Nice article, Sam!

    I think every person wanting to retire early, whether a parent or not, will face the question of how much money they could have made if they had kept working instead. For me, it’s all about reaching my retirement number and getting out.

    I don’t know about others, but I agree with you that the older you get the more and more you appreciate time – the “priceless gift” – over money. There’s a billion ways to make money but no one has ever invented a way to buy time or to get time back.

  23. Hey Sam, seems like you keep writing directly to me! Haha.

    I definitely gave up a sizable chunk of change to stay at home with my family. It’s been nearly 6 years now and had I stayed in a similar position to which I left, I would have been making $150k+ per year, or $900k+ over the 6 years. Assuming I invested a large portion over the course of the last 6 years, there’s a good chance my assets would have grown an additional $100k+, so I think it’s safe to say I gave up 7 figures to be home.

    Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. When I’m on my deathbed, I already know I will cherish the times with my kids as babies, toddlers, and now young children. No amount of money would be worth giving that up and I believe the bond we’ve built these last few years will impact them for the rest of their lives.

    I’m amazed at what you’ve built for yourself, Sam. Not only do you have incredible passive income streams, but you ultimately know what you value… your family. Good on you.

    1. Michael, that’s because I am. With each post I ask myself, what would Michael think and how can this help Michael?

      Now I just need to do this with all the other readers!

      You’re right. There’s no way we will regret spending time with our little ones.

  24. BankerOnFire

    Sam, I’ve been a regular reader for a while and find your blog very informative and inspiring. Thank you for the high quality posts. One reason I find them so relevant is that I’m also in banking (M&A advisory at one of the leading shops) and so I can relate to the stresses of the job – hence the path you’ve taken looks so appealing. I live in London so can relate to the high cost of living as well :)

    Have you ever considered how your journey would change if you started at 31 and not 21? Let’s say you had a regular job out of undergrad and then did IB after the MBA. Then you had a kid at 35. My wife has a good job and I’ve had a few great years so our net worth is snowballing nicely. That being said, childcare and private schools (pretty much a prerequisite here in the U.K.) are taking a significant chunk out and I’m not sure whether your path is achievable on the same timescale if you haven’t built up a nice nest egg prior to having kids.

    1. I never really thought about that. Maybe I’ll do a post about it. I have thought about whether I just had a regular job forever, and I think I would have aggressively pursued entrepreneurship online quicker.

      It is much easier to walk away from a sub $100,000 job versus a job that pays much more. Is the beauty of the Internet and not making too much. There’s less of an opportunity cost.

      I need to head back to London to eat some chicken Shashlik Bhuna off Brick Lane!

  25. As a temporary stay at home parent for the past 2 months, I have to say that I’ve enjoyed every extra minute spent with my toddler. (Taking a nice break before my next gig.)

    There isn’t anything that can replace precious moments with our little ones. Enjoy your time with him!

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