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Biological Clock, is That You?

Time for another post about babies. Babies are everywhere in my life, it seems. Well, not my work life. But my friends back home are having babies (actually, they’re on #2) and my friends out here are on number one. Yesterday I visited a friend’s nine-month old and today I visited another friend’s newborn. Now I see a whole host of them infesting my Facebook wall. They. Are. Everywhere.

Now that I’m 30.5, I’m really seriously thinking about having children. I’ve spent my 20s saving somewhat wisely and at this point life feels all but meaningless without a family. I could definitely see spending the rest of my life barren of children (easier to picture that then it is me as a mother) and it makes me terribly sad. Continue reading

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Top Countries to Be a Mother? USA Ranks #31

As I approach the years when — if it’s going to happen — I will become a mother, I’m thinking a lot about what that means, logistically speaking. Growing up in America we’re taught to think that we live in the world’s greatest nation, or at least one at the top of the chain — powerful, successful, prosperous. But in terms of places where it’s best to be a mother (at least according to an annual Save the Children report) the US is dropping fast in rankings, from top 10 in 2000 to above 30 in 2014.

This report largely focuses on the health, educational, economic and political status of mothers. While the goal of the report is to remind us that there are many countries where being a mother is terribly grim, it isn’t looking so great for America either.

For a country that’s so gung-ho about making abortion illegal, and pundits noting that hell is freezing over (or something like that) now that women earning the majority of income for their families, you would think that at least our conservative nation would support the family values of making it possible to afford being a mother. Not so. In fact, the U.S. is the ONLY western country that doesn’t require paid maternity leave.

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Behind or Ahead, Does it Matter?

Seventeen or so ladies crammed together in a tiny San Francisco space drinking tea and crumpets, celebrating an upcoming birth. At the adorable baby shower I arrived late, and sat in the back with the older friends of my friend’s mother, who commented on how their group of daughter’s were not yet procreating despite being over 30. This woman was the first. They seem stunned when I noted many of my friends and acquaintances from back east were already on their second child.

I sat and ate my crumpets with organic jam, sipped my Darjeeling tea, and soothed a panic attack from claustrophobia and life-o-phobia with pastries and ice water. I texted my boyfriend: let’s have a baby, now, soon, I’m ready. I am ready. And I do want a kid. I really want to have kids. Continue reading

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My Goal: $500k Networth Before Kids

I’m terrified of having children before some sort of financial stability. While $500k networth does not mean financial independence, I think I’ll start to relax a bit once I hit this major life goal (the others are 2 kids, 1 house, + $1M by 40 and $3.5M by 65 all while being able to travel and see the world on occasion.)

This chart assumes that each year I can make an average 5% off my existing networth (figure shown below = the networth at the beginning of the year.) I reduce my monthly savings in 2017, at age 33, assuming some of that money will be going towards my first child!

Year Age interest 401k invest Networth
2014 30 $12500 $17,500 $36,000 $250000
2015 31 $15,800 $17,500 $36,000 $316,000
2016 32 $19,265 $17,500 $36,000 $385,300
2017 33 $22,903 $17,500 $30,000 $458,065
2018 34 $26,423 $17,500 $30,000 $528,468
2019 35 $30,120 $17,500 $30,000 $602,392
2020 36 $34,001 $17,500 $30,000 $680,011
2021 37 $38,076 $17,500 $30,000 $761,512
2022 38 $42,354 $17,500 $30,000 $847,087
2023 39 $46,847 $17,500 $30,000 $936,942
2024 40 $51,564 $17,500 $30,000 $1,031,289

This chart offers the same savings plan but at a better rate of return: 10%. Here I reach my $1M goal early by 38. Continue reading

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Maternity Leave at Startups: Does it Exist?

They call us job hoppers. The average tenure of a millennial employee is just 1.5 years to 3 years, according to various studies. If only there were opportunities to actually move up within our own organizations, we won’t be so tempted to hop. But there often is a great divide between opportunity in one’s current position versus the opportunity outside of it. Leaving becomes the only way to move up.

I’m very committed to my company, so committed that I’ve probably stayed longer than I should have given the opportunities that have presented themselves. I am just hungry for a new challenge, a new topic, a new game to win. I also have, in my deep reflective thought over the past few days, realized that at this point in my career I need to surround myself by positivity and growth, not stagnation or worse.

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