Author Topic: Feel Stuck Re: Moving Closer to Work  (Read 2893 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Feel Stuck Re: Moving Closer to Work
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:25:38 AM »
A little back history: After 4 layoffs since 2011, my husband and I decided to "buy our jobs" and purchased a we'll-managed but out-of-date veterinary clinic, including practice and real estate, about 20 miles from our home. At the time, it seemed like a good idea - no other clinics nearby were for sale or profitable, and starting our own closer to home would entail years of no paycheck. I'm the vet, he's a former PhD scientist in biotech. Biotech has essentially left our area over the past decade, so further employment in his previous field would require a move. Therefore, we paid cash for the hubs to complete his MBA. The residential area around our clinic is very expensive due to its proximity to downtown, and a mixed neighborhood with inner city schools. Our small home, 20 miles away, is in the best school district in the state. We have 2 boys, ages 9 & 13. Biking to work is not feasible due to the lack of safe route (interstate), long work days, and short daylight half the year. We should have made a different choice and didn't truly consider our 45-minute-each-way-commute. Worse yet, we don't even commute together because he gets the kids off to school in the morning while I've already left for work, and I (usually) care for them in the afternoon while he remains at work, so we're driving 2 cars 90 minutes each every day -- definitely an F- in mustachian here! Our clinic purchase was a good deal -- our real estate has appreciated 25% already in the 5 years we've owned the clinic and the practice has grown 45% in those same 5 years. On the other hand, we've worked our asses off 18-hour days and don't have the time we'd like together as a family, or an over abundance of financial reward for all the work. I'm open to ideas, because we're fresh out of them, on how to move our mustachian score from an F- to even a C+ (higher than that seems inconceivable to me right now). My thoughts lie drift toward as the clinic grows, hiring more associate vets and working less, but the business has to be there to support that dream, and it's not there yet. It's not as simple as "just hire more vets." Please be kind, I realize we've made some big mistakes here, but our life savings is tied up in this and I need some steps to move forward. Oh, and did I mention that the cost of living here is very high, the traffic sucks, and we have no family within 2400 miles? But it's a beautiful, granola crunchy area we moved to 18 years ago when we didn't intend to have kids (that changed of course). Thank you for your input.

Future Lazy

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Re: Feel Stuck Re: Moving Closer to Work
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 01:55:30 PM »
While your story presents a lot of emotional context, you haven't really presented a lot of actual physical context.

Regarding the commute:

Commute: 90 mins a day per person, or 3 hours per day. 40 miles a day per car, or 80 miles a day all together.

How many days a year do you work? Commuting 5 days a week all year, that's 260 days, but that doesn't account for holidays or vacation. Regardless...

3 hours * 260 days = 780 hours spent driving per year, or 32.5 24hr hour periods. You're literally spending 1 month of time per year just driving.

What do you guys pay yourselves, in an hourly format? Using MMM's baseline of $25/hr, you're losing (780hrs*$25=) $19,500 in time every year you commute this far.

Going more towards the general cost of commuting:

The IRS says it's $0.51/mi to drive. MMM's Ultimate Cheap Driving estimate in the True Cost of Commuting is $0.17/mi.

According to the IRS, it costs you $40.80 per day to make this commute. That's $204 per five day work week. If you're working the above mentioned 260 days a year, that comes out to $10,608 per year.

So far, the grand total of your commute in value of time + actual costs = $30,108

For perspective, that's more than I make in a year. That's about as much as most people plan to FIRE on, yearly, and certainly more than MMM's yearly expenditures.

Over ten years, if invested, that's a whopping $473,139. After 25 years, it's $1,865,577 .

Have you actually researched the mixed neighborhood and inner city schools that are nearby to your clinic? Because the real solution here, as your thread title suggests, is to move closer to work. You might find that mixed neighborhood isn't as bad as you think it is, and you will probably also find that the inner city schools have good programs such as IB or AP.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Feel Stuck Re: Moving Closer to Work
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 04:01:53 PM »
Would it be possible to open up a second clinic closer to your home and work part time at each? Surely some of your current clients live closer to your home than your current clinic and would gladly visit you at the new place instead. You could also find new clients who live closer to your own home to grow your business to the point where you can afford to hire a second vet in a few years. When that happens, you could make the new vet spend most of his/her time at the current location while you transition to spending most of your time at the new one. There's certainly risk involved, but it's something to consider. Every day you work closer to home saves you time and money commuting.


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Re: Feel Stuck Re: Moving Closer to Work
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 04:08:51 PM »
Long hours at your own business = live close.

I would look into a small townhouse close to your clinic.   Have kids bussed to school if possible, or attend the local school (I dont' know if your "inner city" means safe but run down with low achieving students from families that don't have time to care, (that still gives great school for those who stay engaged) or if it means lots of unsafe issues in a drug and gang infected school.) 

Perhaps private school is not too far and not too much money?   Charter school?