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The rapidly evolving workforce

Roughly 26% of moms stay at home to care for their children, according to Pew Research’s analysis of population surveys. Most Americans might be aware of the challenges that come with giving up employment to raise kids, but the difficulties of going back to work after decades out of the labor market are sometimes overlooked.

The job market is rapidly evolving. Barry said his wife had been focused on the kids for roughly 20 years, which is plenty of time for her prior work experience to be out of sync with the current market.

She might also face some age discrimination. Sixty-four percent of workers aged 40 and older say they have either seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace in recent years, according to a survey by AARP. Barry and his wife are both in their 50s, so this could be another hurdle.

Meanwhile, a survey from job portal Indeed found that 73% of women re-entering the workforce reported encountering biases in the hiring process due to their former status as a stay-at-home mom.

Facing these challenges may have been unavoidable if the couple faced financial pressure, but Barry claimed that isn’t the issue. He earns $125,000 a year, and the couple’s net worth is over $1.6 million. They’ve used Dave Ramsey’s ‘baby steps technique’ to eliminate nearly all their debt. They only have an outstanding mortgage of $80,000 on a house that is worth $700,000.

“We’re doing well,” Barry admitted. “Our lives and our marriage are great.” However, he believes additional income would help them pay off the mortgage sooner and help him retire early.

The co-hosts remained unconvinced.

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Cruze and Coleman’s advice

“If they had two car payments and $15,000 of credit card debt, she has to get back to work,” Cruze said. But the couple clearly isn’t in this position. “[Barry’s wife] worked hard with the kids… he’s doing fine financially… she’s 50-plus years old; she’s enjoying her life.”

Cruze recommended the couple have an honest conversation about their expectations and strike a balance between his desire to retire early and her lifestyle expectations. This would also help the couple resolve any lingering resentment that may be building and harming their marriage.

“If you’re asking us twice… ‘Is she a princess?’” Coleman said to Barry, “that tells me you are feeling some resentment toward her that’s got to get fixed.”

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Vishesh Raisinghani Freelance Writer

Vishesh Raisinghani is a freelance contributor at MoneyWise. He has been writing about financial markets and economics since 2014 - having covered family offices, private equity, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and tech stocks over that period. His work has appeared in Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool Canada, Motley Fool UK, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Post, Financial Post, and Yahoo Canada.

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