I'd like to point out to anyone wishing to game any gov't system by not working that for these non-working years...in this case let's assume it's 4 years until the kid graduates...that a big fat ZERO will be computed into your Social Security earnings for each of those years. This will have a big impact on that future S.S. check that you're expecting in your golden years.
True but not necessarily as bad as it seems. I plan to retire early. I have done this calculation in detail.
Your top 35 years of earnings (after adjustment for wage inflation) are used to calculate your SS benefit. For the average college-educated person who starts work at 22, the 35 year period is accumulated by age 57. And the early years end up counting a whole lot more than it would seem. My years right out of college, after applying teh correct wage inflation factor, give me more "credit" than I get in a year now even though I make far more now.
There is also a maximum benefit that many people reach if they have worked most of that 35 years as a professional.
I plan to retire at 52 so I will miss out on several years of earnings credit. But, the impact on my SS payments at age 67 will be $17 a month. Not a big deal and certainly not an incentive to work the extra 15 years. (which is part of the problem with SS!).