DW and I are both in early 40's. Two kids, 8 & 12.
We moved to a town with a so-so school system (Greatschools 4-5) before we had kids in 2004, planning that we would move from our 3BR townhouse in a couple of years. 12 years later we are still here.
1. Both DW and I work 10 mins away in well paying jobs.
2. The townhouse is perfect for our family, right size, wooded area in the back, very safe (only $100K left on the 15y mortgage at 2.9%)
3. Fantastic neighbors and plenty of friends due to kids school and rec/travel sports.
4. Kids are doing great in school, both making Gold Honor roll and in gifted classes.
5. Though we paid $300K and the home is now only about $260K, the taxes at $5800 are far less than many of our friends pay for their McMansions
6. We are able to spend as much time as we need with our kids on after-school activities/clubs since we work so close and our jobs are flexible.
7. Low expenses and thoughtful spending have allowed us to achieve SWAMI status http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/30/weekend-edition-retire-in-your-mind-even-if-you-love-your-job/
1. Many of our friends (kids friends) are moving to neighboring towns with excellent schools, slowly my kids are seeing their closest friends move
2. Not sure if I'm doing the right thing by continuing to stay in the town/school system (I question whether they are receiving the kind of intellectually stimulating learning environment they need currently, also the dwindling circle of friends that can intellectually/academically challenge them is a big concern)
Looking for some advice and pointers on how I should think about this, what would you do? I feel guilty at times that I may be short-changing my kids learning/futures by not moving to a better school district. However that would mean significantly longer commutes for both DW and me. More expensive home (>500K), more traffic, taxes, expenses etc.
Having grown up and studied in India where the educational system was horrible in contrast, I rationalize that the facilities, teachers and attention that my kids are getting even in this less than desirable school district are light years beyond what my DW and I went through. Through luck and a bit of work, we've been able to make a decent living and I think that my kids will be able to do the same.
The mustachian side of me says, "to hell with the herd, we will be fine, the kids will turn out fine"
But the catholic part of me still guilt-ridden, that I'm sacrificing my kids well-being to achieve a relatively comfortable stress-free lifestyle for my DW and me.
I'm looking for advice/suggestions/ways to think about this clearly first world problem.