As a parent of school age children this is a question I need to answer. Our children are aware that in most households one or both parents go out to work. Until recently this had been the case for us, most of the time, but now mum is ending her part time job to free up some extra time. Here are my thoughts on an answer to this question.
The normal life pattern has been to grow up and be educated, then to go to work, maybe to marry and have a family, and later on, after any children have grown up, to retire from work. School leaving ages of 16 or 18 and state retirement pension ages of 65 to 67 have framed the working period of life. In practice, however, many do not start work until 21 or 22 or later after further studies, whilst some workplaces had a normal retirement age of 60, and some individuals were medically retired or made redundant when over 50.
As older parents the normal retirement ages and the children’s likely student years would be close if not overlapping in any event.
People go out to work to earn a living but also, ideally, to do something with their time, their skills, and their life. It is possible that as a worker you may have “done something” well before age 65! If you have achieved things and feel you have “been there, done that”, then you may wish to leave work if that is financially possible.
If you can earn above average money from your work, if you can manage your money, if you can invest it well, then you can secure enough to live on well before age 65. If you can earn above or well above the average whilst spending below or well below that level of earnings then you can save a significant amount over time. If that is invested in equities (company shares) then you can benefit from compound growth such that after 20, 25 or 30 years you will have sufficient invested such that you can live off your investments.
To achieve this, you ideally need to have the idea, the vision, the plan to do this. You then need to have the commitment and discipline to stick to this plan. You need a contribution from each of higher earnings, lower spending, higher saving, and growing investments and time will then do its work.
The short answer is that not all parents want to or have to go out to work. If you have, as an older parent, already done your work and achieved what you wanted to do, and if you have managed your earnings so that you have enough to live on then not working is an option.