Author Topic: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption  (Read 10836 times)

Sacadoh

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Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« on: July 13, 2014, 05:37:48 PM »
I am 46 and have a non working wife & 3 young kids. I have about 600k in retirement funds and my wife, say 150k. I can't access these funds for another 8 years or so. Current savings rate is c 50%

Income: My job pays well but is to relocate to another town moving a 45 min commute to 2 hours each way. No relocation package is being offered so the choice is keep the job or walk away. There is no chance of finding a similar paying job without moving. If I walk, I will take about 2 years living expenses from the firm and have a stash to cover another three after paying off the mortgage.

I think there is a fair chance either my wife or I will find a job within the 5 years to cover our needs - but perhaps not some of the fancy holidays etc we enjoy now.

I refuse to commute and am not keen on moving the family at my cost to keep the job but might consider buying a cheap place near the jobs' new location to keep in work but this is far from ideal.

Any views on my options:-

1. Move the family at my cost - pulling wife away from social network and kids away from school & friends.
2. Buy a cheap home near the new job and not be around my family Mon to Fri.
3. Take my chances but accept that any new job I find will pay between 25% & 35% of what I am now earning.

mnstachian

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 06:50:41 PM »
That's a tough spot. How much time do you have to decide? Can you look for another job now or delay the move at all?

bugbaby

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 06:56:49 PM »
how about do option 1 & rent a place and move the family and rent out your home?  so if you don't like it you can just come back and do option 3.  either way I wouldn't buy a place near the job... too committing..

without knowing your expenses however, my fave option is straight up #3 - that's one sweet severance package... could make up for the pay cut in a new job..

Prairie Stash

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 07:42:02 PM »
Interesting dilemma. Do you need to save anymore to retire? If not then a 50% pay cut is harmless. Could you do contract work or consulting?

I would take living part off the table pretty quick, it's a very scary situation. The emotional toll is pretty large. I know a lot of people who are divorced from a week on/week off schedule, yours is even harder to maintain. Besides you probably want to watch your kids grow up and not just hear of it over the phone.

I lean toward number 3, without a full knowledge of the numbers.

ltt

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 07:45:36 PM »
You haven't mentioned how much you make or your wife.  Staying away from your wife and kids for the week would be a tough one, but I've known people who've done it.  The parent that is local is typically, for all intents and purposes, a "single" parent. 

Would your wife be willing to go?  I'm not hearing in your original post how she feels about the matter.

Can you still earn enough as a couple if you have to take a tremendous pay cut? 

Are you able to move within the same area you are currently living, but to a less expensive place; therefore, allowing yourself to leave your job?

I wouldn't do a four-hour commute either and, if you are making a fairly decent amount now, but not being offered a relocation package, I definitely wouldn't do it.

Good luck in your decision.

Chrissy

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 09:06:42 PM »
You can access your retirement funds in 8 years.  Your severance will cover 2 years of expenses, your stash will cover another 3 years, which leaves a 3-year gap you need to cover.  However, at a savings rate of 50%, doesn't that mean with an additional 1.5 years of work, you'll have another 1.5 years of expenses saved?  So, you need to work for 1.5 more years from today, and then you're done. 

If this is the case, rent out your house on an 18-month lease.  Get an apartment for you and the family close to work.  Retire in 18 months, and move back to the house.

Timmmy

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 10:20:00 AM »
You can access your retirement funds in 8 years.  Your severance will cover 2 years of expenses, your stash will cover another 3 years, which leaves a 3-year gap you need to cover.  However, at a savings rate of 50%, doesn't that mean with an additional 1.5 years of work, you'll have another 1.5 years of expenses saved?  So, you need to work for 1.5 more years from today, and then you're done. 

If this is the case, rent out your house on an 18-month lease.  Get an apartment for you and the family close to work.  Retire in 18 months, and move back to the house.

I'm guessing he doesn't get both the severance and the job. 

I'd take the severance and find a job locally.  With a current savings rate around 50% you should be able to a big pay cut. 

What's stopping them from doing the same thing in a few years if you do move for the job?  Only move for a job if it's a place you want to be anyway. 

Chrissy

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 10:45:51 AM »
Wouldn't there be severance AFTER the 1.5 years, or is this a one-time-only offer?  My company gives severance to those with 10 years of service, and it scales up with the amount of time you've put in at the company.

Emg03063

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 11:44:25 AM »
Any chance you could negotiate working from home 1 or 2 days (or more)?  You might consider renting a room in someone's house for a 2-4 nights a week near work and commuting back for long weekends.  Have you considered self employment?

Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 04:27:31 PM »
I expect to have to make a decision in the next four weeks or so.

The idea about a temp move to the new city with family is a non starter. The three kids will be in pre-school, primary school and secondary school in August - sorry I don't know the american terminology for this. If the kids move to the new city - it has to be permanent.

I probably don't need more funds in my retirement pot - although I was targeting 1.25m by 55 - I could live with what I have. I could live happily on 30% of my current salary but Mrs S would miss some non-mustashian holidays - the annual skiing trip in particular.

My wife would be willing to go to the new city - but the move would cost c 35k due to property costs and taxes and I would need to take on an additional 150k or debt to find her a house she would be happy with. I'd be vulnerable to the same thing happening again for the next 3 years until the new mortgage was paid down.

If I downsized now I could retire. It would release 100k - 3 years living expenses and reduce tax and energy taxes, meaning my annual overhead would reduce by 10% - but would be a very hard sell to Mrs S.

I could probably tolerate the commute if I could work from home one day a week as I already travel 1 or 2 days a week to London anyway but it does not seem to be available - although I may push hard in this.

I am fairly confident about finding work without moving eventually but my current role is interesting with lots of independence - and quite specialist - most likely the next local job would not be much fun.

Many thanks for the feedback. It is reassuring there is not a consensus!

I love being with my kids each morning and evening and it would not be easy to be away during the week - and the arrangement feels a bit like a marriage separation.

WannabeDone

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 04:31:57 PM »
I love being with my kids each morning and evening and it would not be easy to be away during the week - and the arrangement feels a bit like a marriage separation.

This comment may be quite revealing.  I don't envy your decision.  Best of luck.

magga

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 04:58:01 PM »
I would take the severance package but that's just me. No way would I be willing to relocate for a job at my own expense.

Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2014, 10:36:08 PM »
Thanks for all the comments. I have been trying the commute for a few weeks & it is every bit as hard and disruptive as I expected.

I have advised my employer it won't work and expect to become unemployed - or perhaps semi-retired - next week.

I am having one last gasp attempt to agree some form of flexible working arrangement that would allow me keep some contact with the kids during the week.

Despite having a reasonable stash to fall back on, I am quite petrified about the thought of having five mouths to feed and no income. It felt the right thing to do before I gave my notice - then entirely the wrong thing to do after I had done so.

Eggman111

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2014, 10:52:17 PM »
Reading your story and the other comments here, I think you made the right decision. Time with your family is the most important thing, and you have been saving well so you can afford it. It sounds like you will find something that fits your needs soon enough.

lhamo

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 06:50:18 AM »
The idea about a temp move to the new city with family is a non starter. The three kids will be in pre-school, primary school and secondary school in August - sorry I don't know the american terminology for this. If the kids move to the new city - it has to be permanent.

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding why moving would be so disruptive to your family -- it's a couple of hours, not half a globe away.  Is it inconvenient and will it take everyone some time to adjust?  Sure.  But if you are so anxious about losing your income maybe it is at least worth a shot.

My perspective here is definitely related to what I see as an expat -- lots of mobility, often under much more stressful conditions (lots of people here get transferred out on very short notice) and most people adjust just fine.  Unless there are some underlying issues with your partner or kids I don't really see why a relatively local relocation would necessarily be that traumatic. 

tmac

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2014, 06:58:51 AM »
Have you done the math on whether 2-year severance + 3-year stash + 8 years of salary of lower paying local job = 8 years of current living expenses, without harming your retirement?

Since you've tested the commute, and have removed relocation from the table, it seems like you have two options:

1) Get a lower paying job and make it work.

2) Retire now and make it work.

As a non-working spouse myself, if my husband was facing this situation, I'd give up the fancypants vacations. But I never had them in the first place, so it's easy for me to say. :)

mm1970

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 10:16:51 AM »
The idea about a temp move to the new city with family is a non starter. The three kids will be in pre-school, primary school and secondary school in August - sorry I don't know the american terminology for this. If the kids move to the new city - it has to be permanent.

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding why moving would be so disruptive to your family -- it's a couple of hours, not half a globe away.  Is it inconvenient and will it take everyone some time to adjust?  Sure.  But if you are so anxious about losing your income maybe it is at least worth a shot.

My perspective here is definitely related to what I see as an expat -- lots of mobility, often under much more stressful conditions (lots of people here get transferred out on very short notice) and most people adjust just fine.  Unless there are some underlying issues with your partner or kids I don't really see why a relatively local relocation would necessarily be that traumatic.
I think he was figuring it was temporary?

In this case, most people I know would have the husband rent a room in the new place for a few months, and commute home on the weekend.  It's a LOT of pressure/ stress on the custodial parent. I wouldn't want to do it. But it would be a way to "feel" out the new situation to see if it's worth moving the family.

MrsK

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 10:34:40 AM »
The MMM thing to do is to leave the job and drastically cut your expenses.  Who needs a ski holiday when you can have dad at the breakfast table every morning?

Have you read Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker?  He has a great philosophy on how to live in a way that greatly reduces your spending.  You can't just cut costs unless you really embrace this philosophy or you will feel poor and deprived.  Sort of like why diets don't work.  If you or your family feels like you are missing out on life when you have less money then it won't work and you will be unhappy. 

But if you and your wife both want to simplify and look at living on much less money as an adventure then it seems like you could do with a part-time job near home.  Especially if you can bike or walk to this job.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 02:05:32 PM »
Do not buy the second home. If the plan doesn't work you will most likely lose money on the house. If  the wife agrees, I would relocate the family and rent near the new place of employment. If possible, try to get something close enough that you can walk, bike or take the bus. After one year if it's not working then quit and move back to your original home. I am more comfortable with moving than most. I still keep in touch with my really good friends that I do not get to see that often. I also figure out who are my good friends after moving. The good one's want to keep in touch and the others not so much. You seem to have many options. Good luck!

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2014, 02:22:49 PM »
Do not buy the second home. If the plan doesn't work you will most likely lose money on the house. If  the wife agrees, I would relocate the family and rent near the new place of employment. If possible, try to get something close enough that you can walk, bike or take the bus. After one year if it's not working then quit and move back to your original home. I am more comfortable with moving than most. I still keep in touch with my really good friends that I do not get to see that often. I also figure out who are my good friends after moving. The good one's want to keep in touch and the others not so much. You seem to have many options. Good luck!

+1

it's been my experience that people tend to make WAY too big of a deal out of moving. I guess it would be harder if you have a very introverted or perhaps less resilient personality, but it sounds like both you and your wife would be up for it and the financial bit is the biggest issue.

Cassie

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2014, 02:03:11 PM »
As someone that is older & has moved a lot with kids & also stayed home with kids while hubby rents a room in a house & comes home on weekends I would choose the 2nd choice.  Yes it will be an adjustment but everyone will get used to you not being at home as much.  Also you can keep saving $ until you feel you  have enough to retire & then reunite with your family. This will not be a permanent thing but merely a way of reaching your goals.

Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2014, 07:37:19 PM »
So the flexible working thing didn't pan out either. Ultimately I realized that both the commute and stay away options would have damaged health, happiness and family relationships. A personal thing.

With 3 kids in 3 different schools a temp move was not attractive and frankly the stress, hassle and extra mortgage of a perm move did not appeal without the assistance of the firm, which was not forthcoming.

Assuming no income, I shall be 2 years plus on current lifestyle (minus ski holidays) before severence is used up and I am into my savings. Mrs S has a lead on a job (she was keen to work anyway) that will slow the run-off right down.

So I have pulled the plug and will be getting a taster of the MMM lifestyle for a while from Friday. Pity we are heading into winter in the UK.

Thanks for the contributions.

CommonCents

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2014, 07:52:55 PM »
The idea about a temp move to the new city with family is a non starter. The three kids will be in pre-school, primary school and secondary school in August - sorry I don't know the american terminology for this. If the kids move to the new city - it has to be permanent.

Pre-school, elementary school, middle school.
I know you've made your decision, but I wanted to call out this assumption.  I went to 6 schools between preschool and high school (pre-school, 1-3rd, 4-5th, 6, 7-8, 9-12th) due to my dad's moves for his job.  I survived just fine.  It's doesn't therefore "have to be" permanent.  Particularly the younger kids would take it in stride.

Good luck on the job hunting/testing retirement!

lhamo

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2014, 08:16:16 PM »
Sound like things worked out in a way that works for you/your family.  Hope you wife's job search is successful -- will probably be good for her to get her foot back in the workplace, even if only for a short time.  And maybe some of her salary can cover those ski vacations.  And while I wish you the best with your job search, I also kind of hope you are able to use this time to spend more time with your kids.  My DH and I were watching some old family videos yesterday and man, do they grow up/change quickly.  We went from that to a discussion with DS about his current school situation and plans for the future.  He's 13 going on 37.  DH was very wistful afterwards for the days when they were little. 


Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2014, 05:34:19 PM »
So I am one day unemployed. Filling the tank on my car tonight and for the first time watching the pump registering the reduction in my net wealth with every revolution of the digital readout.

Things have worked out well in the short term. Mrs S starts work in a week through to the end of June at a net salary very similar to my estimated run-off rate. I am thrilled to be a stay at home Dad for a few months without the immediate pressure on income.

Going to set myself an initial target of getting the weekly food shop for the five of us down to 100 (currently well north of 160). My run-off calculation is based on 200 a week - which includes kids school lunches.

My old employers offered me six outplacement sessions, which I plan to start in the New Year. Not going to worry much about how I will return to work until those sessions are complete.

Need to do some research on how to be effective at home!

1967mama

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2014, 05:41:27 PM »
So I am one day unemployed.

Need to do some research on how to be effective at home!

Might I suggest The Goblin Chief's journal here on MMM? He rocks the stay at home dad thing!

All the best to you, Sacadoh, and keep us posted!

GardenFun

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2014, 07:01:51 PM »
So I am one day unemployed. Filling the tank on my car tonight and for the first time watching the pump registering the reduction in my net wealth with every revolution of the digital readout.

Need to do some research on how to be effective at home!

We went from two incomes to one income about 2 years ago.  The first few months, I watched everything like a hawk:  DS1 put too much syrup on the pancakes so that bottle is going to need replacing sooner, I forgot milk and now have to spend an extra $2 on gas to get it.  I stressed over every penny spent.  It was a hard transition, but then it got better.  You will start finding areas to cut costs.  Being able to pack lunches vs. buying school lunch was a $60/mo savings.  Shopping grocery sales was easier, along with time to actually plan and cook meals.  Out to eat was a huge budget buster so learning how to replicate some of those favorite meals was a priority. 

Re-read some of the MMM articles.  With time on your side, many of those articles will give you ideas to implement. 

Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2016, 11:09:20 PM »
Very brief update to my situation.

Wife wanted to go back to work, irrespective of income level. She has & is happy.
I am now loving being a stay at home Dad, and have no plans to return to work, despite my youngest starting school in August.
Kids love the arrangement.
We are living the same lifestyle as before.
Although wealth not increasing beyond investment returns, it is not diminishing either.
Should wife chose to work for 2 more years, working becomes optional.

Overall, not chasing the money and not disrupting all our lives has been a good decision.

NB Not really touched the severance pay & moving a retained bonus into a separate tax year boosted that by c 20k so net wealth really went up like for like by 100k or so from my before scenario - although I have obviously forgone a lot of income since stopping work.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 02:38:51 AM by Sacadoh »

LAL

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2016, 11:38:44 PM »
Great news.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2016, 05:31:34 AM »
Fantastic that this worked out. It's an inspiration to see how your savings rate put you in a position of strength to say "no" to a ridiculous demand from your job.

Dicey

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2016, 08:29:56 AM »
So glad this worked out for you! Please post more when you can. Your example could inspire others to do the same. How cool would that be?

mm1970

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2016, 09:50:45 AM »
Very brief update to my situation.

Wife wanted to go back to work, irrespective of income level. She has & is happy.
I am now loving being a stay at home Dad, and have no plans to return to work, despite my youngest starting school in August.
Kids love the arrangement.
We are living the same lifestyle as before.
Although wealth not increasing beyond investment returns, it is not diminishing either.
Should wife chose to work for 2 more years, working becomes optional.

Overall, not chasing the money and not disrupting all our lives has been a good decision.

NB Not really touched the severance pay & moving a retained bonus into a separate tax year boosted that by c 20k so net wealth really went up like for like by 100k or so from my before scenario - although I have obviously forgone a lot of income since stopping work.
This is fantastic news.  I have to say, at some point that is the right decision.

I am 46 and my husband is 48.  Many years ago (before kid #2) my job was moved across the country, and we agreed that I would look for a new job here.  Commuter family is not for me.

Sometimes I have been job hunting (my job is not terribly stable), but I am picky.  I won't take on a long commute or take a job with long hours.  The thought of climbing the ladder and making more money is great...until it's not.

SwordGuy

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2016, 10:37:52 AM »
It is good for children to move at least once if they are old enough to remember both places.

(If they are not able to do so, it really doesn't matter how often one moves...)

New people, new places, new ideas, new way of doing things.   All wins for kids.

stashgrower

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2016, 05:33:55 AM »
Well done for standing your ground and doing what felt right for health and family. Good conclusion by the sounds of it.

Sacadoh

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Re: Facing Redundancy or Massive Family Disruption
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2016, 02:27:13 PM »
It is good for children to move at least once if they are old enough to remember both places.

(If they are not able to do so, it really doesn't matter how often one moves...)

New people, new places, new ideas, new way of doing things.   All wins for kids.

Thanks for all the replies. I have been doubly lucky rather than clever. A high paid job and starting heavy investing in 2007 to 2014, plus a decent severence package made the decision possible.

Re the quote above, as my kids are French/Scottish and will continue to travel widely I am not too worried about their exposure to new people, new places, new ideas, new way of doing things. They have me & I consider that will be part of my new job! They will have had 6 weeks of holiday in four different locations this summer & I expect lots more to come with European tours in future summers a distinct possibility.

One thing I didn't add as that I did do a 6 week trial at the new job so I know that the commute would have killed me and I really did not like the people I would have been working for. It made the decision not to move easier to live with.

I would have a great deal of empathy for anyone facing a similar decision. There is no right or wrong solution - but having differing ideas and thoughts from friends and family - and here - did help.