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Have hunted to no avail on this and other boards for help figuring out how to take a break from work and raise a child or two, so I'm here cadging wisdom from you Foolish retirees.

My hard working husband and my Foolish-before-her-time mother made sure that we have a goodly amount of stock, about $700,000 worth. Our only debt is home and property-related, but we will miss my piddling rural high school English teacher's income of about $27,000 when our first child is born in April. (That's about half our income once we subtract the costs of my husband's fishing business.)

How can I find out if it's even feasible for us to consider a temporary drawing down on our investments so I can stay home for a few years? Of course, I have to do this without ruining our chances to help pay for college and still be able to retire fully later on without relying on the Maine State retirement plan which is truly a joke. Since my husband is a fisherman, his retirement plan is our investments.

I can't help thinking that if I took over from some of the banks and brokers, we could save some of those management fees, but I need much more education in financial planning than I have now. (Though, thanks to all of you, I get more Foolish every day, banking online whenever I can and managing our own smallish online brokerage account.)

Does anyone have any rules of thumb for temporary retirement? The financial planners in this part of the world seem to all have an axe to grind and I can't seem to fully trust them.

I'll take philosophical input, too. The big question for me is, am I asking too much of a modest portfolio?

Many, many thanks,

p.s. I'm 41 so going back to teaching might be interesting for me in my mid-to-late 40s. I've done lots of other kinds of work though, so it doesn't worry me terribly.
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