In our book, we ask: "How much would you spend to get the life you want?" It is our standard response to people who ask what an ESP life might cost them in lost wages, retirement savings, and career accolades. There are no simple formulas for piecing together the necessary income and spending habits to satisfy everyone, of course, but I am quite confident that the goal of an ESP lifestyle is not to attain the "low cost" option, even if it happily turns out to be so for a particular family.
There is plenty of evidence that you can score high on the misery index regardless of how much money you make. Increasingly, a well lived life needs to be measured in relation to so many other factors as well - loving relationships, time for recreation, opportunities to contribute to causes beyond oneself, to name a few. With this in mind, I enjoyed a recent piece on CNN Money where it was pointed out that: "The number of workers 65+ who are choosing to keep working has been on the rise for more than two decades." This is apparently true regardless of how much money these Baby Boomers make. In fact, "half of the high net worth respondents over 65 surveyed said they will always be involved in commercial or professional work of some kind."
It seems that folks are realizing that work offers so much more than just a paycheck. Perhaps feeling this way is a good test of whether you are in the right line of work. If money is the only thing you get from your job it might be time to retool and consider alternatives. Perhaps just a change of scenery in the same line of work would refresh your motivations. Even if your new worklife pays less than your old grind.
We all need to bring in a family paycheck (at least before we actually do retire). But we don't need to make the most important decisions in our lives based only on money - whether that be to create an ESP life in our younger years or to keep working in our older years beyond the time we can afford to retire. The goal with equally shared parenting is for both parents to have the chance to create the career path that satisfies them and fits with time for childraising, housework and recreation so they can live balanced lives, well into the golden years.