Tag Archives: actuary

A better note

At least SOMETHING good happened today.  Frank found out he passed his Final Assessment!  He now unofficially has his ASA!!  (It’s not really official until the Society of Actuaries puts out their official list of ASA’s and he’s on the list, but that won’t be until June, I think.)

Congrats, honey!  Not that you read this blog, but I am very, very proud of you.

Lest you think this means our days of studying are over… he’s already decided to go for the FSA and has begun studying.

It’s funny though… we initially planned, way back when, that we weren’t going to have kids until he got his ASA.  And then I accidentally got pregnant and all that changed.  I couldn’t even imagine my life today if I didn’t have Lane and Jake around.  Fate does seem to know what’s better for you than you do, sometimes.  I wouldn’t change it for a second.

The return of the family dinner

As mentioned previously, my husband is an actuary.  Worse, he’s still sort of an underling actuary, so he does a lot of work.  And he does a lot of studying.  And he’s a night owl, so he doesn’t get into work until 9:30 or so every day, which means it’s rare for him to walk in the door at night before 8:00.  Often he’s home to help with bedtime, but not often enough.  So more often than not the kids and I eat dinner before he gets home, and he reheats leftovers.

I know part of the issue is that he’s a workhorse and he likes working and not necessarily that he always NEEDS to be there late every day, so I asked him if we could decide on two days where he would try his best to get home by 7:30 or earlier, so that I could plan a dinner to be ready at 7:30 and we could all eat together.  That’s a little later than the kids are used to eating but I figured with a well-timed snack they could manage.  We agreed on Mondays and Wednesdays for our family dinners.

Well, Monday we both forgot.  Oops.

Yesterday, though, I reminded him, and he got home at 7:40.  I’ll take it for now.  We all sat together at the kitchen table and ate baked ziti, and had real conversation and stuff.   And he even did the dishes afterwards!  I’ll definitely take that. Hopefully it’s a practice we can keep up with, and who knows, maybe he’ll find he likes being home with his family and he’ll manage to make it home earlier and more often.

Or maybe we’ll drive him nuts and drive him away.  But I hope not.

A Very Big Wait

Frank finished his final assessment, and he’s feeling cautiously confident. He should hear whether he passed or not in anywhere from 72 hours to six weeks. They say it can say six weeks; one of his coworkers heard in 3 days. So…. I’ll share the news when he gets it but we have little idea when that will be.

For now though, I have my husband back. Even if he is wiped out. 🙂

A Very Big Deal

Frank, as you may or may not recall, is an actuary.

Actuaries go through this whole really hard exam process to get to add little letters to their name.  After like six exams, they can call themselves an “A.S.A.” which stands for Associate of the Society of Actuaries.  Add a couple more exams, and they get to call themselves an “F.S.A.” which stands for a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

In actuarial circles, getting your A.S.A. or F.S.A is a really, really big deal.   Each exam is really hard, and you have to pass six of them to get to the A.S.A. accreditation.

This week, Frank is doing his Final Assessment.  This is basically the sixth exam to get his A.S.A.  It’s not an exam in a traditional sense; it’s more like a super-in-depth case study/homework assignment.  He has 96 hours to do it.  It’s open book, but that’s sort of irrelevant; you really have to know your shit to do well on this thing.

He started it yesterday, which means it’s due on Thursday.  As you can imagine, we’ll be seeing very little of him in the next few days.  I’m not even sure where he is; I think he said he’d be at the library.  But he’s working hard and hopefully kicking butt, because in his world, and therefore our world, this is A Very Big Deal.  Not only is it a true distinction, but the financial rewards just for getting those three little letters are pretty big.  A decent bonus, a substantial pay increase, plus eligibility to hold just about any actuarial job in his firm.  (Only a few distinct positions seem to require the F.S.A., and those are the REALLY nerdy math geek positions, the people that really know this stuff backwards and forwards.)

So, and I don’t ask for this often, but keep your fingers crossed for him!  He’s worked so hard to get to this point, and we’ve done a lot of not seeing him while he studies.  He’s spent family vacations studying giant binders of information and with his nose in his laptop doing modules (the prep work for exams).  Like I said, this is A Very Big Deal.

Actuarial Widowhood

Frank is an actuary.  My father’s girlfriend has come up with the best way to describe this profession — he’s a legit bookie.  He does some sort of magic and figures out how much companies should pay/charge/make their employees pay for their health benefits.  OK, so maybe it really isn’t magic, but I’m not sure what it is.  Something with math.  And Excel.  And something called FAS, I think.

January is to him what March & April is to a tax accountant.  Busy busy busy.  Most companies close their books on December 31, so January means they all need to shuffle last minute for all the stuff they need to really, officially, close their books.  Stuff that only my husband, apparently, has the power to provide.

So, I haven’t seen him much this month, and neither have the kids.  We woke up this morning before Frank left for work and Lane thought it was so weird that Daddy was around in the morning.  (Granted, even when he’s not busy we usually are still asleep when he leaves — not because he leaves so early but because we sleep so late, for which I will make no apologies.)

But, there are plans this weekend.  Plans for his uncle’s birthday party tonight.  Plans to hang out with friends in Connecticut tomorrow.  Plans to eat dinner with his parents on Sunday.  We will see him, and it will be socially unacceptable for him to be on his laptop.  Hurrah!

2007, you were an interesting year

It seems all the rage on blogs to take a moment to reflect on the past year as it draws to a close.  Well, it’s probably more a human quality, and since humans write blogs, well, there you go.

2007 has led me down an interesting path.  At the end of 2006, I was very pregnant, I’d just finished recovering from a broken foot, I was working full time in a promising career at a Fortune 100 company, we owned a large 4 bedroom house in central NJ.

Now, I have a 10 month-old son…. he is by far the biggest thing that happened to me in 2007.  Jake is simply amazing.  He has a curiosity for the world that is already so apparent, it won’t be long before he’s taking apart our DVD player just to see what’s inside.  And he’s happy.  Nearly anything can elicit a giggle or even a hearty laugh from him and it melts my heart every time.  He already has a first word – dog – although that ‘guh’ sound at the end apparently is just too pedestrian for him to bother with.  It’s a fitting first word; we have a golden retriever and he thinks she’s just awesome.  He’s pretty laid-back too, in general, which is good given his sister’s appetite for wrestling with him.

Speaking of his sister, she’s had quite a year too, and it’s been fun (mostly) to watch.  2007 has brought Lane her 3rd birthday, successful potty-training, and the ability to sleep through the night.  Lest you think that has made our jobs as parents easier, don’t you get ahead of yourself.  😉  Lane is – how shall I say this – a complicated child.  The hip way to describe her is ‘spirited’.  She is as intense a person as I have ever met.  There is not an ambivalent bone in her body, and she feels every emotion and shares every opinion with a strength of passion I hope will serve her well in life.  She also may have a birth defect, that being that her body has mastered cold fusion.  This little girl has more energy than anyone I’ve ever seen.  She can go and go and go and go and go.  Sleep is an afterthought for her.  If there is a point where she can burn off so much energy that she will go to bed earlier, we haven’t found it yet.  Please don’t think for a second I’d change any of that.  Lane is awesome fun to have around.  Her joy and verve and exuberance are contagious, and she’s a constant reminder that life is meant to be lived, and be fun, and what use is it to sit around?!?  This year has also brought Lane an exploding vocabulary and the daily joy of having conversations with her.

Anyway, back on track here!  While I started the year as a working, career-minded (though increasingly ambivalent), homeowning mother, I’m ending it, well, I’m still a mother.  We sold our house to move closer to my husband’s parents in downstate NY.  I quit the promising career at the great company, which was at the same time exhilarating and the scariest thing I’ve ever done.  We moved to another state and are renting an apartment while we househunt for a house that, while it should still be sufficiently roomy and nice enough, will not be the house we left in New Jersey. 

2007 has turned me into a stay-at-home mom to two kids, and though I never knew it, it’s exactly what I always wanted.

2008 promises to be a great one for our family, too.  There will be another move when we buy our new house.  My husband is an actuary, and 2008 should be the year he attains his Associate of the Society of Actuaries, which anyone who is or knows an actuary can tell you, that’s a big deal.  Jake will turn a year old, and will reach a ton of milestones this year – talking, walking, maybe even doing our taxes for us.  We’re going to Aruba in April.  It should be a pretty amazing year for our family. 

And here’s wishing that your 2008 is full of discovery and wonder and joy and love.