Author Topic: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?  (Read 2615 times)

ks135ks

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WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« on: March 03, 2017, 08:25:29 AM »
New poster here... Though I've been reading MMM for a while now.  Struggling with being at the point of FI/ER and looking for advice from the MMM community.  I've been working as a software engineer for 13 years, and have been saving a big portion of my take home pay each year since I started.  To the point now where the last few years have been over 90% with employer 401k contributions.  Recently married, my husband (37) and I (34) are considering of moving from FL to NC (to the point of having an accepted and as of today signed contract on a house).  Between the two of us, I am more of the saver and bringing much more to the table than my husband.  This move would take us within miles of my husband's father & stepmom where he would begin his own business to do handy man work with his dad.  I do not have a job currently in NC.

Some specifics for our scenario:
  • Retirement savings: ~700k combined (650k me, 50k husband)
  • Non retirement savings: ~230k combined (200k me, 5k husband, 25k joint)  <-- about 50% of this is invested in Vanguard; the other 50% is in cash (I know not necessarily best placement ... I'm working on it)
  • House: 230k (I bought and finished mortgage before meeting my husband and own outright)
  • Debt: Husbands car ~3k & his school loan ~9k for a total of roughly 12k
  • Income in FL: 125k me, 60k husband (both with full benefits)
  • Current expenses in FL: ~30k including debt payments
  • Potential incoming in NC: -k me, 30k husband first year, no benefits  (I am looking for potential other incoming sources for me in NC)
  • Potential expenses in NC: ~25-30k
  • Potential house in NC: offer at 160k (would leverage cash position/HELOC to pay in cash)
  • Total Net Worth: ~1.1M

My husband and I are a team that works really well together.  We've both been excited about the prospect of moving and being closer to family.  This move, while getting my husband within miles of his, also puts me closer to my family (7 hour drive versus 21 hours; 1-2 hour flight versus 3).  Cost of living is less in NC.  NC house has more land, no HOA or community amenities, possible to bike to grocery, schools, library, in-laws.  FL house in HOA community with pool playground & trails, is biking distance to grocery and library and a school.  I am not happy at my current job, my husband is frustrated with his company too, but is excited with the prospect of working for himself.  My saving as I have, is what is affording us this opportunity right now.  At a 4% SWR, our passive income could cover expenses.  We both want kids and to be there to raise our kids.

My family is not happy with this move.  Both parents and sister question me wanting to do this and disrupt the status quo.   They didn't really approve of my moving 8.5 yrs ago to FL from PA either though.  Sorry for the length of this post, but here are my questions: if you were in my situation, would you take this leap to partial retirement in a new state?  If taking this leap, would you sell the FL house or rent it?  It feels a lot like giving over control, how would you handle that? 

Thanks for reading and hope to hear any advice you might have,

Leery of the leap


RichMoose

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2017, 09:27:41 AM »
Some specifics for our scenario:
  • Retirement savings: ~700k combined (650k me, 50k husband)
  • Non retirement savings: ~230k combined (200k me, 5k husband, 25k joint)  <-- about 50% of this is invested in Vanguard; the other 50% is in cash (I know not necessarily best placement ... I'm working on it)
  • House: 230k (I bought and finished mortgage before meeting my husband and own outright)
  • Debt: Husbands car ~3k & his school loan ~9k for a total of roughly 12k
  • Income in FL: 125k me, 60k husband (both with full benefits)
  • Current expenses in FL: ~30k including debt payments
  • Potential incoming in NC: -k me, 30k husband first year, no benefits  (I am looking for potential other incoming sources for me in NC)
  • Potential expenses in NC: ~25-30k
  • Potential house in NC: offer at 160k (would leverage cash position/HELOC to pay in cash)
  • Total Net Worth: ~1.1M

My husband and I are a team that works really well together.

Sorry for the length of this post, but here are my questions: if you were in my situation, would you take this leap to partial retirement in a new state?  If taking this leap, would you sell the FL house or rent it?  It feels a lot like giving over control, how would you handle that? 

Thanks for reading and hope to hear any advice you might have,

Leery of the leap

You're already FI at your current expenses and you are both unhappy where you are at. In my view, TAKE THE LEAP! That's what being FI is all about. It sounds like your husband will be able to earn enough to cover living expenses in NC, so you can take your time moving back into employment.

I personally would probably sell FL, especially if you have little intention of going back. To me it just wouldn't be worth the hassle to manage from a distance. Take the money and reinvest instead. I would guess the rental margins in NC are likely higher than FL if property management is something you would consider.

You and your husband are a team; giving over control is part of a balanced relationship. :)

Oh and don't worry about what your family thinks. To me they sound like anti-change kind of folks.

ks135ks

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2017, 10:48:41 AM »
Thank you both for replying. 

The move would put us close to the Raleigh/Durham area.  Your suggestions of meetups and local groups are definitely good things to investigate.  Thanks!

I'm certain the worry my parents have is over me not being employed.  This to them looks like a ultra risky move in the wrong direction, especially since to them I've made all the right money moves so far.  "Why would I want to throw that all away?"




waltworks

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2017, 12:22:27 PM »
You're FI, for sure.

Sounds like the RE part is the question. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Work some? Travel? Volunteer? Go back to school?

At the cost of the NC house, might as well just try it out for a year or two. If you hate it, move somewhere else.

-W

LAGuy

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2017, 12:36:27 PM »
Sounds to me like you've done really awesome so far. Your own instincts have guided you well. I'd consider the advice of your family, but trust in your own decision making skills that have seen you to a very good situation to be in.

As an aside, I'll surmise that your family probably isn't terribly well educated in FIRE concepts. People that aren't, I've found, tend to be very focused on the short term. Paycheck to paycheck if you will (even if they have a basic level of financial security). If you tell them you make 100k a year and are retiring on 1 million dollars they do the math like this: 1 million divided by 100,000 equals 10. Ergo, you'll be bankrupt in 10 years. Once you start getting to your level, you start seeing the forest despite the trees...they haven't really acquired that skill and probably never will.

mxt0133

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2017, 01:21:52 PM »
Number wise you and your husband are good to go.  Check out this blog about someone who retired early with a family in NC.

http://rootofgood.com/

The thing that stand out to me about your post is how you break up your assets in his and mine categories.  If you really are a team and are married then technically it both of your assets.  Your husband can spend it all and vice versa.  I maybe reading too much into it but from experience when people separate out their finances this way conflicts can arise depending on who is doing the spending and earning.

I say go for it, start a family if that is what you really want enjoy the time being with your young children, and if it doesn't suit you go back to work or move back to Florida.  Software engineering jobs aren't going away anytime in the next decade or two.

I would acknowledge what your family is saying but not put too much weight on their opinions, they are just naturally concerned about your future, which means they care.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 06:46:07 AM »
I've lived in FL.  I would move to NC in a heartbeat.  Sell the house in FL!!

startingsmall

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 07:51:50 PM »
I've lived in FL.  I would move to NC in a heartbeat.  Sell the house in FL!!

I grew up in Florida, currently live in NC, and would move back to FL in a heartbeat!

So much probably depends on where in FL and where in NC... I grew up in Sarasota, which is a great place. If I had grown up in Miami or Orlando, I'm sure my opinion would differ. Likewise, I currently live in a small town in the NC foothills, where education levels are low and poverty levels are high. If I lived in the Raleigh/Durham area, I'm sure my opinion would differ.

Did your husband grow up in the area of NC that you're considering? Have you spent enough time there to feel comfortable with the decision? My first few years in NC were wonderful, due to the novelty of having seasons, being able to take daytrips to the mountain, and everyone calling me "sweetie" and "honey." After ten years, though, the novelty of my particular area has definitely worn off. Make sure you're okay with the culture of the area you're considering.

ks135ks

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 06:47:33 AM »
Quote
The thing that stand out to me about your post is how you break up your assets in his and mine categories.

This wasn't meant to be something that I intended to be taken as a disjoint for us, but I can easily see reading it back how it could come across that way.  It was more to highlight that my husband and I had different paths to get to this point.  Also, the numbers in the "my" category, I've been intimately familiar with for many, many years; may be a bit hard to break that habit.

Quote
So much probably depends on where in FL and where in NC

This perhaps may be one of the biggest worries.  We currently live in the Sarasota area.  It's beautiful; it's changed quite a bit over the years that I've been here - not all for the worse, and not all for the better.  The elementary and middle schools near the house in SRQ are very good; the high school is a different story being rated pretty low, though a new one is slated to be built in the next few years.  We seem only to travel to the beaches when company is in town; so we aren't capitalizing on that aspect of what Sarasota offers. 

In NC, we'll be just north of Raleigh in an area that is more blue collar.  The schools are all rated lower than the ones where we currently live.  Neither my husband nor I have spent lots of time here, so it very much will be a new culture for both of us from where we are now.  That said, we miss seasons and being near lakes and hills and having space between houses; all things that aren't here in Sarasota.

Again, thanks all for the replies.  I appreciate all of the feedback.

startingsmall

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 08:36:53 AM »
A large part of my desire to move home to Sarasota is the schools. I went to Pine View, so obviously I have a skewed perspective.... but I know there are places we could live in Sarasota that would give us good district schools even if our daughter couldn't/didn't go the PV route. Here in our small town in NC, we specifically moved for the "best" school - but even so, while test scores are good (in terms of competency), the school has no diversity (95% white), few students take AP classes, middle school students have no homework, the kids don't have textbooks to take home, per-student spending is only about 60% of that in Sarasota, etc. The focus is more on sports and cheerleading than academics. It's a different world.

I know people who have moved from FL to NC and love it. I did, for the first few years. Now, though, I just want to move home to SRQ! I want my child to have a different perspective.... People who are born in this town don't typically get out, Confederate flags are the norm, etc. Maybe the area you're considering is different, but I would investigate closely before making a decision.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 09:01:45 AM by startingsmall »

DTaggart

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 01:02:54 PM »
I'm certain the worry my parents have is over me not being employed.  This to them looks like a ultra risky move in the wrong direction, especially since to them I've made all the right money moves so far.  "Why would I want to throw that all away?"

So, this might not be something you're comfortable doing, but have you considered the option of just not telling your family you won't be employed? Maybe tell them you worked out a remote working arrangement with your current employer? I know a lot of people aren't comfortable with deception, especially where family is involved, but I'm just throwing it out there as a possibility.

I'm pretty confident my parents would freak out if I informed them I was going to quit my comfy, high-paying job and not get another one, especially since one of my brothers has mostly failed at adulthood and they've had to bail him out repeatedly. I'm the responsible child, and my dad has some really uninformed ideas about how much you need to retire and is probably the most risk-averse person I've ever met. So, my plan is just not to tell them, at least for as long as I can get away with it (or until dad dies... mom would probably have enough trust that I know what I'm doing). Our long term plans involve some serious travel, so I may have to come clean eventually, or come up with a better cover story that allows for travel. Maybe my blog income will "skyrocket" :)

But basically, if I'm paying my bills its not really their concern how I'm doing it, and I don't feel inclined to try and explain the 4% rule, etc, to them, so I don't intend to.

ChpBstrd

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 01:59:46 PM »
Definitely sell the FL money pit.

Your NW can support your expenses, but much of it is not invested (i.e. cash or home equity) so it is not actually spinning off cash you can live on. Easy fix.

Personally, I'd put my $1M all to work. Then I'd strongly consider working one more year (I know, I know). In another year of saving, that $1M could easily become $1.2M which should buy you a lot of safety against, say, a few years of high inflation or low returns. Plus, starting a new job will be exciting - for up to a year or so.

One question is whether you can retire while your husband works his tail off for a few years. Would he resent you while he toils? Better get this figured out before picking a path. A few counseling sessions would cost virtually nothing, but might help y'all avoid a landmine here.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2017, 01:00:07 PM »
I've lived in FL.  I would move to NC in a heartbeat.  Sell the house in FL!!

I grew up in Florida, currently live in NC, and would move back to FL in a heartbeat!

So much probably depends on where in FL and where in NC... I grew up in Sarasota, which is a great place. If I had grown up in Miami or Orlando, I'm sure my opinion would differ. Likewise, I currently live in a small town in the NC foothills, where education levels are low and poverty levels are high. If I lived in the Raleigh/Durham area, I'm sure my opinion would differ.


Yes, fair enough.  I do vacay in FL quite a bit so I don't dislike the state.  And there are some crummy places in NC, as you've stated.

Lucky Girl

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 01:37:04 PM »
One question is whether you can retire while your husband works his tail off for a few years. Would he resent you while he toils? Better get this figured out before picking a path. A few counseling sessions would cost virtually nothing, but might help y'all avoid a landmine here.

I disagree on this one ChpBstrd, its hard to imagine how OP's spouse could be resentful given that she has built up their net worth to this point.  Looks like OP has done all the heavy lifting--time for a break!  Let your DH work for a while--if he is earning 30K you should be mostly covered on spend, and need to draw down from your stache very minimally. 

I would say you should be cautious to keep up your work credentials and experience if you are considering kids.  While most mustachians would say kids don't cost much, they do cost something!  Increase in groceries at least.  And you will need to think about how you may want to help with college expenses.

ks135ks

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 10:26:20 AM »
Sorry for bringing this old thread to new, but just wanted to post an update for any who might be interested:

We have decided not to move to NC.  After another visit to the area, the decision kind of made itself (at least for me).  Talking with my FIL's neighbors, the general theme was that there isn't much to do in the nearest proximity aside from boating and fishing on the lake and that they don't know if they would (still) be there if they didn't have the neighbors that they did.  The house we had the contract on also wasn't really meeting our expectations - lots of little things adding up to bigger things to fix.  Yes we could have managed all of them, but not on top of all the other cultural/area concerns.

To be honest, now though, my husband and I are a bit deflated.  Adding to that is extra stressors at our respective jobs.  Mine has more key people leaving the program or retiring (YAY for all of them) and for him, lack of support from his boss/upper management and thorn-in-the-side coworker that has told him directly that she doesn't respect him and does whatever she can to undermine him.  Anyways, we'll get over that.  He's got a lunch interview today.  Fingers crossed everything goes well and he can get out of a bad situation before it gets worse.  I still have the option of going part time or picking up more hours doing personal training at a private gym in town or new job or a mix of any of the above.  Any option likely leads to a pay cut for me, but it would be worth it to have my sanity and balance back. 

Again, thanks to all who responded and offered their thoughts.  Appreciate it all.

spokey doke

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Re: WWYD: ER maybe here? and a move?
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2017, 07:13:47 AM »
Bummer it didn't work out better...but especially since you are FI, there is a whole world out there.  I'm sure you have your reasons, but I'm not sure why one house/neighborhood/region not working out would derail plans to get out of a situation you don't like.  Good luck on the next steps...