One problem we’ve had lately is exactly this dead zone, which you can see as a sharp drop in the 30s before the steadier line upward. You have to click the chart to see a bigger version.
And basically if I do anything other than what I am now and/or work at home/online work as allowed, we then run into daycare issues. If I were on my own, I’d keep what I have for security and bootstrap from it. A part time other job even if I could get nothing full time. Return to being available for unpredictable side computer/support or other gigs. Use any spare time for building more passive but by no means self-constructing income streams. Six months and I could probably be back to “real money” without even relying on a single “full time” thing.
Right now our net effective income is actually down because our income went up, but not enough. A full time job roughly opposite the other full time job would net less than I do now up to hourly rates that start to approach those of a “real job.” It’s a conundrum.
The good thing is the kids are becoming more self-contained, so I’m starting to see clear to being able to do some of the passive side stream and work from home stuff without having to leave for on-site/emergency work of the sort I used to do. Just trying to work out a system where that is organized and balanced against housework…
This is the source and has more, and a second, more impressive chart of how implicit marginal tax rates fluctuate.