Author Topic: Big life decision  (Read 1944 times)

Jacob1234098

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Big life decision
« on: October 09, 2017, 04:49:11 AM »
I’m facing a very large life decision. Your input is welcome!

Background: I am a single 31 year old male. I have been working remotely as a software developer (React, Angular, Javascript, Java, Node, etc) for 3 different companies over the past 2 years. These 3 opportunities fell in my lap. I just recently became unemployed. Currently not sure how to acquire more remote work or proceed with this lifestyle.

Option 1: Seek remote work income & live off savings/investments (500k + 500k inheritance in 25+ years)
*Earn location-independent money: investment income, software dev freelancing, sell e-content, etc.
*Eventually settle down in my ideal location, buy a house/rental, localize my income stream

Pros:
*Maintain location flexibility - I love travel/living in new places.
*Learn the pros/cons of settling down in different cities around the globe
   Ex: I love Madrid, Spain. Pros - excellent free healthcare, cheaper COL than US, good time to invest in property

Cons:
*Earning remote income is much harder / less guaranteed


Option 2: Acquire software pre-sales job in the US
*Accept a stable, high-paying job in the US (software pre-sales).

Pros:
*Nature of work more interesting / directly interacting with clients (I am a bit burned out by pure dev jobs right now).
*High pay (110+k) and less time consuming. Can add to nest egg, but feel I sacrifice present experiences for future ones.
*Easier to obtain.

Cons:
*Lose location flexibility

Thank you for any and all input!

UKMustache

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 05:42:11 AM »
Do not rely on an inheritance, ever.

There are a million things that could (and often do) happen between right now and that persons death.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 05:48:49 AM »
Just to state the obvious, how would you get a visa to live in, for example, Madrid, Spain?  Are you just a US citizen or do you also have citizenship in a European (EU) country?  No idea how Spain's visa laws work, but I live in another European country and a US citizen would not be able to just move here without either an employer sponsoring them (very unlikely in a high unemployment country like Spain) or a "retirement visa" which would mean that the US citizen would not be able to work for any kind of income, even remotely from the US.

I assume that you've already looked into this?

2Cent

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 06:17:20 AM »
@Hula Hoop: If you go with a tourist visa you can travel in and out between Europe and other places. I assume OP is not talking about staying for years, but more like roaming around to see places.

But traveling to new places gets old if you do it too often. If you are really looking for a place to settle, you could as well move to some place, get a job there, and then a years or two later move to a different place where you get a job. If you plan to move every few months I expect it will become repetitive soon. Also, the place you settle often has more to do with relationships than with surroundings, so as a single person, think what kind of relationships you are looking for.

Maybe a third option is to get a job where they actually need you to travel. Benefit is that you get more pay and all expenses met and you go to places where you would not think to go yourself. Con is that you are not as free to choose where you go. There is a big shortage of senior people who are willing to travel a lot as most have families. But as a single guy you could do it for a few years and get some nice traveling and nice saving at the same time.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 06:28:15 AM »
@Hula Hoop: If you go with a tourist visa you can travel in and out between Europe and other places. I assume OP is not talking about staying for years, but more like roaming around to see places.


I assumed that since Jacob talked about buying an apartment in Madrid he meant to actually live there.  Yes, as a US citizen you can stay here in the EU for 90 days on a tourist visa. You're not allowed to work in the EU while on a tourist visa but I guess you could probably work remotely from the US. Then you have to leave the EU (actually I think it might be just the Schengen zone not sure) for 90 days before you can re-enter for another 90 days. 

Jacob1234098

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 06:35:52 AM »
I always appreciate the intelligence level of responses on this site. Regarding the visa situation, my general thought process is the following:

*Travel and learn about each location within visa restriction periods (3 months in Schengen zone, etc).
*Eventually decide on where I want to settle down.
*Research residency options regarding desired location. This may include marriage at this point.

2Cent

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 11:01:22 AM »
I always appreciate the intelligence level of responses on this site. Regarding the visa situation, my general thought process is the following:

*Travel and learn about each location within visa restriction periods (3 months in Schengen zone, etc).
*Eventually decide on where I want to settle down.
*Research residency options regarding desired location. This may include marriage at this point.
Your best option might be a German freelancer/artist visa. That actually allows you to stay and work for a few years. I guess you could count webdesign as art. Also some Schengen countries have longer term visas for people with large bank accounts. You're not allowed to work, but remote work should not be a problem as it all happens overseas and is not taking work from locals (in fact you are bringing work by spending some of your money there).

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 01:30:35 PM »
I always appreciate the intelligence level of responses on this site. Regarding the visa situation, my general thought process is the following:

*Travel and learn about each location within visa restriction periods (3 months in Schengen zone, etc).
*Eventually decide on where I want to settle down.
*Research residency options regarding desired location. This may include marriage at this point.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/the-easiest-countries-to-gain-eu-residency/

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2017, 01:33:32 PM »
You’re young, you could do both. Take option #2, build your stash for 5-7 years, combined with your $500k, you’re set. Then, retire and move to Spain—you’ll still be in your 30s, living LCOL, with bank.

RobFIRE

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 01:54:52 PM »
For the two options presented, it seems like the first one is desired lifestyle (travel etc.) plus part time work for several years then FIRE, and the latter is standard lifestyle for a few (fewer) years then FIRE. So I'd say it's your judgement which would be overall more enjoyable. I would probably try the first option as you can always get a permanent job should the freelancing work not materialize as needed or you want a break from travelling.

But there must be more than two options. For example a sales job for a US company from one of their offices based in Europe?

Jacob1234098

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 02:06:02 PM »
I present these as the only 2 options as the former is what I desire to do and the latter is a pre-sales job that has fallen into my lap. If the pre-sales job were not on the table, I would attempt to generate revenue online or freelance while traveling.

I should add that I lack client-facing/sales experience. I have worked exclusively as a software developer in my career. If I don't take this opportunity to transition into a client-facing role, I feel it may be hard to do so when I choose to reenter the US workforce.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 02:11:54 PM by Jacob1234098 »


9patch

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 03:10:28 PM »
In your pre-sales job, would you get to travel internationally for that?

I'm a techie, and post software dev and chip design, I moved into technical sales, and now product management. I've traveled so much for work and it's super awesome. Through Asia, Europe, also been to Brazil.

Jacob1234098

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 03:20:43 PM »
The position I am interviewing for will demand a lot of travel, but exclusively in the Northeast US I believe. The company is international, so I presume at some point in the future I will have the ability to request international roles. This opportunity interests me.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 03:28:15 PM »
I'd take the money, just don't stress about the job.  Do the parts you love, look for the travel opportunities, roll with it.  If 12 to 18 months pass and you don't get the travel options, shop around for job that includes the travel.  You can probably get paid to do it.

Basically I'm thinking the travel jobs are there if you leave time for the transition, and keep your professional momentum.   So doing a job you sort of like for a short time wait/look for a perfect job is just a profitable way of achieving the same travel desire pretty soon. 

Really, though, you can do any variant you want if you put your mind to it.  It's just "how long will it take" and "is it perferct or merely very good" that are the questions.  MMM wrote somewhere that small discomforts are very profitable.  It sounds like that's what you're dealing with.  You can do this - you'll get there.

In your off time from work, actively explore travel options and travel jobs. 

talltexan

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2017, 09:27:27 AM »
Everybody I know who travels extensively for work gets practically zero taste of the places to which they travel. I have one friend who's an airline pilot. He camps out in his hotel in Brasil. I have another friend who does software design, spent two weeks in chicago without leaving the hotel in Rosemont (one train stop from O'Hare).

DeanHedlund

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2017, 12:23:09 PM »
It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive, if you applies time path as a variance. And it doesn't have to be permanent. We adapt and often, you-thought-you-knew-path takes you to some unexpected and wonderful places.

It seems that your heart tells you to go with #1. You can start with #2, see how it goes, and continue to look at #1. Software landscape changes all the time, and you have the highly sough-after skills (React, Angular, etc). Sometimes it is all about being at the right time and the right place.

JLee

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2017, 12:26:13 PM »
Everybody I know who travels extensively for work gets practically zero taste of the places to which they travel. I have one friend who's an airline pilot. He camps out in his hotel in Brasil. I have another friend who does software design, spent two weeks in chicago without leaving the hotel in Rosemont (one train stop from O'Hare).

Is that by choice?  I used to occasionally travel for work and had a client take us out to a food festival in NYC, as well as the 9/11 memorial.

undercover

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 12:46:03 PM »
I don't understand why you can't just do #2 until #1 happens. Since you clearly have the money to support yourself, you could also take six months to a year off and travel while looking for #1. Either way you're fine.
Every solution has a problem

nemesis

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2017, 01:37:07 PM »
Everybody I know who travels extensively for work gets practically zero taste of the places to which they travel. I have one friend who's an airline pilot. He camps out in his hotel in Brasil. I have another friend who does software design, spent two weeks in chicago without leaving the hotel in Rosemont (one train stop from O'Hare).

Is that by choice?  I used to occasionally travel for work and had a client take us out to a food festival in NYC, as well as the 9/11 memorial.
It must be by choice.  Whenever I travel, I have a rental car or take the public transportation system and just drive around town to get to know the place.  I always reserve an afternoon or an extra day to get to know the place a little bit.  I think it must be awful boring to go to a place, and only be stuck in the hotel.  That would be very depressing.

JLee

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Re: Big life decision
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2017, 01:40:57 PM »
Everybody I know who travels extensively for work gets practically zero taste of the places to which they travel. I have one friend who's an airline pilot. He camps out in his hotel in Brasil. I have another friend who does software design, spent two weeks in chicago without leaving the hotel in Rosemont (one train stop from O'Hare).

Is that by choice?  I used to occasionally travel for work and had a client take us out to a food festival in NYC, as well as the 9/11 memorial.
It must be by choice.  Whenever I travel, I have a rental car or take the public transportation system and just drive around town to get to know the place.  I always reserve an afternoon or an extra day to get to know the place a little bit.  I think it must be awful boring to go to a place, and only be stuck in the hotel.  That would be very depressing.

I agree. I only traveled twice with that company, but both times I had plenty of time to go explore or do stuff unrelated to work.  Now, if I was working 16 hour days and didn't have time for it, that'd be different - but that's more a fault of the job than of the travel.