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Taking care of your loved ones is the most important role you have. From educating your children, moving to a new family home, or holidays that you will treasure for a lifetime, seeing your family protected and prosper is the most intimate part of your personal economy.

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Exploring Personal Economy: Family

Your family's happiness and success motivates this core aspect of your personal economy. Three families share their inspired approach to the various stages of family life.

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The stay-at-home shift

More men are breaking out of traditional gender roles and putting family life before the corporate ladder.

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Finding a way to balance work with raising a young family can inspire a creative solution to suit the career ambitions of both parents. Traditionally, women have been the default stay-at-home parent, but these social norms are beginning to shift.

According to the UK National Statistics, men who stay home to look after the children currently make up nearly 10 per cent of the population. Across the Atlantic, Canadian social trends follow a similar story. The Vanier Institute of the Family, published an in-depth study which estimates that 11% of single earner families had a stay-at-home father, compared to only 1% in 1976.

This trend stems from new attitudes to the paternal role. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of American men aged between 18 and 34 say that being a good parent is one of the most important things in their lives. Another influential trend that supports the increase of stay-at-home fathers is the fact that four in ten U.S. women are the now the main breadwinner in the family.

In the Middle East, a female bread winner in the family is becoming a cultural norm. In an interview with the Financial Times, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said that it used to be considered shameful for women to go out to work because it was seen as a failing on the part of the man to be a good provider. But according to the Prince, this is now an outdated idea and a woman with a job is highly valued in the family unit.

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American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family

Source: Pew Research Center

Weighing in family time.

Creative approaches to a personal economy that says yes to a healthy work life balance.

Global Perspectives

The Dubai High: family-friendly balance in UAE

The UAE is the new hot-spot for young professionals to set-up home and to mould a lifestyle that weaves family life with career development.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks 16th out of 37 countries according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey 2013 The study shows that UAE residents felt it was a good place to bring up children. 72% of those interviewed said their children were growing up in a safe environment.

The popularity of the UAE as a place to nurture young families is in part due to the importance placed on work-life balance in the region. In 2011, the job site bayt.com conducted a study into working life in the Middle East. The research showed that 75% of the UAE workforce said achieving a good work-life balance was important to them. 60% of the respondents said they felt their employer was supportive in helping to achieve this goal.

In Dubai, women are entitled to 9 weeks maternity leave with full pay, providing a full year of service has been completed. In the United States, maternity leave spans 12 weeks of unpaid leave and working mothers in the UK are entitled to six weeks of paid leave at 90% of the average salary.

Furniture retail guru Thomas Lundgren, Founder and CEO of THE One attributes their success to being a family-friendly place to work. The company's head office staff benefit from a flexi-hour policy, giving parents the opportunity to drop their kids at school. "Our extended maternity leave policy allows new moms to work part-time for a year after their maternity leave,” adds Lundgren “We also shortened our working hours as of 1 January 2014 and introduced 2-day weekends every second week for our store staff, in order for them to spend more time with their families.”

The UAE is the new hot-spot for young professionals to set-up home and to mould a lifestyle that weaves family life with career development.

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The different stages of family life require you to look closely at your personal economy. It could be planning your children’s education, upsizing the family home or moving to an empty nest. Whatever your personal economy looks like, we're here to help.