The Targo and I started working - outside of a university setting - a little bit later. We'd both been working full-time, but as research assistants/associates, we had no benefits outside of the university's healthcare. Once we left the university for full-time positions elsewhere, we both began contributing to retirement accounts.
This was a whole new world of thinking to me. I had typical blue color Midwestern parents who worked 30+ years and the same job, and in my mom's case, garnered pension. They didn't really plan for retirement. And now, of all the recurring nightmares I have, their living in the poorhouse is the scariest.
The Targo and I live pretty frugally. I know it probably seems otherwise with our trip to Italy and the bajillion baseball games (again with the grad student discount and the 1/2 price nights!). We try not to eat out (which is more challenging in Chicago than you can imagine), and rent way below what we could afford (it's very very small too), and drive an 8 year old car. When Nathan came along, we negotiated with work, friends, and family so that we could go six months without paying childcare, yet still bring home a full-time paycheck (for three months).
My point, it's buried in here somewhere, is that we've been discussing what might happen if we have a second child. Would I be able to work at home? Would work agree? Would it be possible with a toddler and an infant? Or, would I stay at home for a while? Our best case scenario would be for me to stay at home with two kids. That brings up the stressful - OMIGOSH, CAN WE AFFORD IT? I'm mostly worried about my age and our retirement savings.
I hate to even think about it, but what if something happened to The Targo, or our marriage? I think I would need something "just in case", which I know sounds horribly pessimistic. I just don't want to be in the position my parents are in now: working retirement jobs with no benefits because they didn't properly save.
So, question for you stay at home, or possibly going to stay at home moms, did/do you save for retirement separately from your husbands? Did you plan this on your own, or seek help (advisors, etc.)? Heavy thinking on a Monday morning.