Author Topic: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job  (Read 22829 times)

Jonah0021

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UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« on: September 23, 2019, 08:34:11 AM »
I got terminated from my high paying job over a bunch of bs I won't get into. Curious to get some advice on what my options are, if I can't get another job.

Here's my situation. I am 49 years old married with a wife and 2 kids -ages 7 and 4. My ex-employer has agreed to pay my severance for a year starting on Sept 27th. Its around $220k, so that will go until Sept 2020.  I have around $400k in retirement funds (IRA and 401k) which I would rather wait not touch until 59, but who knows - If I get desperate enough.

I have some rental property as well.
Duplex - paid off. (worth about 850k) - makes about $58k every year
Rental house #1 (worth about $700k - loan $250k) makes about $6k/yr after PITI
Rental house #2 (worth about $700k - loan $240k) makes about $13k yr after PITI

Here's the monster. My current house is worth about $2.5 mill - owe about 1.2 on it.
Mortgage is $7250 a month. (make about $0 a year on it because I haven't figured out a way to charge the kids rent :)  I just finished the renovation and moved in 3 months ago - so timing really couldn't be worse. Ive technically owned it a little over 2 years.

Other than that I have a loan for $44k to my 401k Fidelity fund (helping to finish the house). So I will be paying $900 month to myself or I incur fees, etc. That loan is for another four years.

Savings
$10k

Expenses
* car paid off
* gas $120/mo
* utils - normal
* no cable
* no student loans
* cheap phone plans $45 for both
* Groceries about $600/mo.

I could list off a bunch of other little things but it's not really the point. I understand most people would see this and say - hey dummy -sell the main house! And thats the easy answer & may be the only option. I put this on here because my family loves our home and the neighborhood.. Its one of the safest for the places in the city. I just wanted to hear other people's ideas if I try and keep the house.

One thought I had was that when the money from the severance starts running out in a year, our littlest one will be going into Kindergarten. My wife has always wanted to try the real estate thing, so that's an option. Then she could list one of the rental properties we have to save 3% on the commission. Idk - just an idea I had while writing this.

I guess with a 2.5 million dollar house I cant say that I'm mustachian like I used too - but I do love reading all the articles and the community has always been great helping each other and I admire that. thank you for listening - this has helped just writing it. It's been pretty hard.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 11:45:21 AM by Jonah0021 »

Malkynn

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 08:46:06 AM »
There isn't really an answer here until you know if you can get another job.

You can love the house all you want, but if it comes down to not being able to afford it, you're going to love it a lot less.
You're in a great position with a lot of lead time to figure out what your options are. Look for work if you want to continue working. If you get another great, high paying job, none of this is even an issue.

What *is* important to reflect on though, is what kind of work or how low pay are you willing to ultimately do in order to keep loving the house? Just how much value does it have for your family in terms of sacrifices you are willing to make to keep it?



caracarn

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 09:03:27 AM »
You have a bit of time without financial pressure, but as someone who has had high paying jobs, do not succumb to the lure of waiting to begin your search, as finding another high paying job typically take a long time, so wasting two to three months because it is the end of the year, people are not hiring, etc. could turn out to be something you will greatly regret.  The danger with a large severance is the false sense of security if creates because you have the same amount of money coming in so you can always start looking for work tomorrow.  I have found the traditional advice of about a month of searching for every $10K in pay to be accurate.  When I was looking for other mid-$100K jobs, it typically took over a year for something to come along that resulted in an offer.  My guess is with your expense level your income was substantially higher than that.  You and I both know there are not a lot of those jobs around, especially if you are not willing to relocate, which your house input indicates you are not considering that.  Begin your job search in earnest now, and keep working on the rest as you go.

I just voluntarily (it was at the time, but given another year I'd likely be in your situation, out of a job because of bs) left a job paying $180K and decided to take something paying $115K because I was done with the high paying job stress, bs and other things that were making me miserable.  My surrounding finances look nothing like your picture however, so I was able to do this with zero impact to my family's day to day other than our savings rate as we had been living well below our means.  Your mortgage is nearly our entire monthly spend so your situation is vastly different.  Your rental properties are providing $77K a year, which is just a bit short of covering your mortgage, so that may be an angle to look at which may offer you the freedom, if you are so inclined, to look for lower paying work so and then figure out what would be needed to cover your family's other expenses and have the rental properties pay for most of your house.  Lower pay will give you more job opportunities, which increase your chances of finding something in a small geographic area (again, keeping your house means you cannot relocate and expand your search). 

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 09:41:38 AM »
Ive been reading MMM for about a year and a half now and it has changed my life.  I am 43, live in Seattle with my wife (33), 2 year old son and a baby girl on the way in October. My goal is to spend as much time with them as possible coming up and of course I believe to best way to do that is to retire early.

I have worked in the Seattle for over 15 years.  My job makes me about 140k/year, but long hours and lots of stress have me wanting to leave it all in about 3-4 years.  That's why I would love to hear advice from any of you on the forum.  I'm not sure what would be the best move for myself and my family.

This was 5 years ago. Did this goal change? Even if you can find another high pay, high stress job, do you want to?

If your wife wants to get into real estate, she should start immediately. Then you'll still have the severance if you need another option. If you don't go back to a six figure job, and real estate doesn't work, then yeah, sell the house. And even if you do go back, I would keep in mind how that high mortgage keeps you reliant on your employer.

Whatever you do with work and your primary residence, rentals 1&2 seem like bad deals.

Bernard

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 09:50:13 AM »
Quick math tells me that you have $1,3M + $850K + $450K + $460K + $400K + $10K = $3,470,000 to your name.
In addition, you'll be getting $220K now for the next year.

If I were you, I'd sell the McMansion and move to a LowerCOL area, buy a nice home, and enjoy life. The missus can get into real estate or you can grow organic bread if you like. You are a multi-millionaire.

Congratulations.

ysette9

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2019, 10:00:37 AM »
Iíd look into selling some of the rental properties. Iím not good at these evaluations so please, someone else chine in, but they donít seem to be producing much income for the amount of equity you have. $6k/yr? You could get that putting the equity in a savings account. Or you could sell the paid-off rental and come close to killing the mortgage on your clown house.

You have options here. You need to look at deploying your assets more wisely.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2019, 10:10:01 AM »
My understanding is that 401(k) loans are due immediately upon termination.  I am sure a smarter, tax-wise Mustachian can chime in for clarification and I hope I am incorrect. 

If this happened to me I would take 90 days to see if I can gain similar employment while my network is alive and I am highly motivated.  If it is clear I can't, I would take advantage of the screaming hot Seattle real estate market and liquidate the rentals and get out from under that spendypants mortgage and regain control of my life.  For me this would be the reckoning that would make me realize the enormous value of pursuing financial independence-- perhaps you agree. 

For whatever reason you found MMM back in 2014 and felt some energy around it but then proceeded to go in the opposite direction.  This is a bit of a face-punch but life happens and you have a huge gift of one year to get your shit together and figure out how to recover.  Shore up your reserves and get the spending down.  Sure, the missus can do the real estate thing and see if it is a viable career, but daycare may increase (you can obviously handle that while not working though).

If you have to take a role for less make sure your life fits into that new envelope, and build again from a position of strength.  In other words, don't ever allow the bastards to do this to you again and make sure you have a shit ton big pile of FU money as you walk into a clearer future. 

Best of luck.     

affordablehousing

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2019, 10:31:48 AM »
Yeah, a nicely renovated home is only great until you..... have the nicely renovated home taken away. I'm assuming you'll just get a new job similar to what you had before. I would double down and start looking for a new employer immediately. Best to transition when you're still known in the industry. It becomes more to explain when you've been waiting for a year. If you're wife doesn't work now, getting a broker's license could be useful for her to sell your houses but to make it a reliable career she'd want to move aggressively making contacts. It's a pretty choked field given the low barrier to entry. That said, with the potential for a big real estate slowdown, it could be interesting timing for her to help you de-lever.

I think the question is how much change are you willing to entertain to speed-up retiring now versus getting back on the horse and riding to the more cushioned retirement you were planning. I think it would be worth it with your lifestyle to keep working for awhile.

dandarc

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 10:34:17 AM »
I'd sell all of the real estate and FIRE immediately to somewhere else. Many, many, many places you can buy a nice house with the proceeds and still have about $3 million remaining.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 10:36:33 AM by dandarc »

former player

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2019, 10:48:02 AM »
The thing that occurred to me in your figures is the disparity between a house worth $2.5m and only $10k in accessible savings and investments together with a debt of $44k to your retirement fund.  I guess that's explained by you spending everything you have other than the remainder of the retirement funds and rental property equity on the house renovation?  But still, that's an awfully small amount of backup to have to your income.  What will kill you if you don't get another job is not the house you live in or the rbentals but the lack of "working capital" to fund your lifestyle and deal with unexpected expenses.

All is not yet lost because you've got about a quarter of a million coming in over the next year (I'm deducting some of the rental income to cover maintenance etc on the rentals).  How much of that can you save?  The answer to that, together with whatever you can earn in a new job, will be the answer to how long you can stay in your current home.


Archipelago

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2019, 11:08:22 AM »
Immediately sell any rental that you've lived in for 2 out of the last 5 years.

You most likely should sell the other rentals too. Post more numbers.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 11:18:05 AM »
I live in a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood in Seattle, feeding into a very nice set of public schools. It is worth much less than $2.5 million. You could trade in your house for one worth "only" the $1.3 million in home equity you currently have and use the rental income to retire right now if you wanted.

Is the fancy house worth the stress of needing to find a new job at your old salary and working an extra few years to pay the mortgage? That's a question only you can answer, but it does seem to be the salient question here.

Laura33

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 11:19:49 AM »
You, my friend, are what is known as "cash-poor."  You have a massive net worth, but it is all tied up in tax-deferred and illiquid vehicles.  You are so enmeshed in large debt and large expenses that despite your very large salary, you had to take out a mid-five-figure 401(k) loan to cover everything you wanted.  So now that you have a cash crunch, you are up shit's creek.

Your saving grace is that you have a year to unwind this whole mess.  So, first things first:

1.  Read the fine print on your 401(k) loan.  Most of those are immediately due upon termination.  If that is your plan, your first priority is scraping together the $44K you need to pay that off ASAP.

2.  Rental houses 1 and 2 appear to be crap investments.  Ergo, they are your first target for long-term rebalancing.  Sell them.  Even with realtor commissions, that gets you around $800K cash.  If you can find better investment properties, that's great, do a Starker exchange to defer taxes.  But even if you have to pay taxes on the gains, you're in a better position with a mid-six-figure accessible 'stache.

3.  If you get the loan paid off and the houses sold, now you have the headspace to breathe and think, because you have enough cash to cover even your ridiculous mortgage for several years.  This is what you need to focus on rather than making huge life-changing decisions in a panic.

4.  Under no circumstances are you to cash in any part of your 401(k) or fail to pay back that loan on time.  It is a huge triple-whammy:  you pay taxes at your current (high) income tax rate on whatever you withdraw; you pay an additional 10% penalty for early withdrawal; and you lose having both that money and the next several decades of compounding of that money available for retirement.  You have a NW over $3M.  There are many many other ways to cover (or decrease) your bills.

FWIW, it looks as though you have decided that you want to grow your wealth through a RE strategy, which is fine.  But you're doing it wrong.  You have WAY too much equity wrapped up in those homes, particularly given today's mortgage rates.  Those homes are going to increase in value the exact same amount whether you have 1% equity or 100%, so why lock up cash that could be going to another investment instead?  And you aren't getting nearly a good enough return to justify the amount of money you have in them:  a good RE investment will clear you a decent profit after PITI and maintenance/upkeep/vacancy costs (not even counting the "paper" benefits of the tax deductions for the interest and upkeep costs); if they increase in value over time, that's just an added bonus.  So if you want to continue on your RE strategy, use your time off to do some significant reading up on how the real RE businesspeople do business. 

I am sorry this has happened to you, but if you manage it well, you could end up a year from now both happier and wealthier.  We went through something similar and made a bunch of mistakes, and I never ever want to deal with that kind of stress again.  But in retrospect, it was a fantastic lesson for my spendypants DH, who never really understood my fixation on living on one salary until 1.5 of the salaries went away.  It sucked for a couple of years, but those lessons set us up to do massively better over the next 15 years.

Tl;dr:  you have built a financial strategy that was based around you maintaining your high income level for many more years, until (presumably) you have the various rentals paid off and can live on the income.  You have just discovered that life often doesn't go as planned.  So use your free year and $200K to revise your strategy to protect against this kind of downside risk.

MoneyizHere

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 01:02:13 PM »
you seem to be highly leveraged,  the next steps depends on your appetite for risk.
With an EF savings of only $10k for 4 properties - I think you're a risk taker - I'd build it up 4x's as much...

Like another poster said you're house rich cash poor - but you probably anticipated working for what 5-10 more years?. 
Long term wise - it would definitely make sense to get out of the high-cost home that you bought and consider moving to a lower cost of living area.
Seems like the rents on your rentals are pretty high as well - so with the duplex income - I'd imagine you could figure out how to live nicely just on that. 

You could sell all and move to a lower cost of living area and be done for life if you live frugally enough.  Yet - if you must hold onto the current way of living - then of course-  you'll need to gain more income.

But you're not in dire of straights - again depends on your priorities -for some inspiration on your priorities go back to when you were in 2014 on your original post in which you were looking to be done around this time anyway - so where did the new house come into play to your priorities then to now?   

In the same situation and not wanting to move - I'd do the following.

1.  Definitely file for unemployment benefits as well - as you'll likely get something from that as well.
2.  Obviously you've been stressed a great deal from this ordeal - so I'd take a breather with the family (I'd personally go on an affordable vacation for 1 week to destress and remember your priorities in life).  Perhaps to a lower cost of living location that you always wondered if you should move to... hint hint nudge nudge...
Priorities being - do you really love working that much more to support your high living expenses or should you be satisfied with a job well done and de-leverage/cash out?
3.  Definitely have wife go into real estate - better if she could get the license to do so before step #4 (which is to sell the rentals that are not paid off).
4.  Have your new realtor wife sell the two investment properties to de-leverage a bit and possibly then recast your current home mortgage if you're currently a 15 year mortgage - to extend to 30 years, and pay off that 401k loan pronto
5.  btw - i believe 401k loan usually due upon leaving leaving the company as others have mentioned (in this case - hopefully your severance arrangement allows for payback longer and through this 1 year of severance $).  Also - being that its severance - you're likely to be taxed even more than you've been before since not sure if you're allowed to stock it away into a deferred tax account (but seems like you need the cash flow anyway - so moot point).
6.  Reduce your expenses further in the meantime -  you never mentioned what your annual expenses are and I imagine the insurance/taxes are included in your primary mortgage payment.  If possible - I'd try to get out of escrowing for those two items - as cash - flow wise it buys you some more time perhaps - establishing more a cushion. 
7.  Look for work that pays what about 1/2 of what you currently make - that's already enough to allow you to just keep things afloat - you're not in a horrible situation - but in such a situation - I personally would not like to be so leveraged myself, while requiring such a large cash outpouring without sufficient cash savings .  I think you have enough assets to probably thank your former employer for the nudge to leave - but thats really your decision if you want to keep working to fund your freshly remodeled home.  by my estimates and not knowing your true annual out-lay of cash - i think you just need a $30k job to keep things going.  But - if you knock out the leverage and cash out - you're likely to not need to work anymore - whats more important is up to you.  I'll still keep looking for jobs that pay more obviously if the idea is to keep on working - but you'll be fine with any ol' job out there that has benefits for your family. 

Just be a bit more cautious w/ you real estate portfolio in case there's a bubble in there...cash will help you survive, but seems like you've got enough equity. 
If you're still on 15 year loans - recast/refinance to 30 year loans (loan rates are pretty good and you have good equity in there).  When the income is flowing large like it was before the job incident - pay at the 15 year repayment plan...if its scarce as it may seem after a year with no change- then stretch it out.  You've already said you prefer Real estate to stock market - so do what you intended to do. 

You're in good position either way - just be smart on how you play with house money. 



« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 01:19:19 PM by MoneyizHere »

oldtoyota

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 02:09:46 PM »
I would map out all of the expenses and income on a spreadsheet and see what you are left with both with and without the $220K.

That may help you see how urgent it is to find your next job.

It will answer whether you can keep your main residence or if you need to sell it.

Sorry that happened with the job loss. And good luck with whatever you decide.

Villanelle

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2019, 02:24:23 PM »
Im sorry about the job loss and the stress.  It's a huge shock and such an emotional thing.  And unfortunately, your situation as-is means you are less able to weather the storm than you might be,  but that very nice severance can be a saving grace.  But don't let it make you complacent.  You are in a bit of an emergency.  It's a recoverable one, but an emergency none the less, and you can't really afford to sit around and fritter away the time that your severance could buy you. 

I'd for sure list rentals 1&2 immediately.  (Like, I'd be calling a realtor tomorrow, unless the wife is VERY close to being licensed herself.  And I'd negotiate the commission based on the fact that I was giving them two listing.)  Even just selling rental one will net you about $400k, for the "cost" of $6k/yr.  That buys you a couple more years of living expenses.  This would be an emergency for me because if the market drops, you are a kind of screwed. 

I won't touch your ridiculous house, because you know what their is to be said about it and you will either decide to listen, or not.  Everyone values different things, If you and your family value living in a house that you kind of can't afford at the moment more than you do financial security (but do ask yourself which is actually a bigger gift to your kids, even if they  don't realize it in the moment...), then you make that your sacred cow, but that means accepting the tradeoffs for that.

File for unemployment, although I believe that some severance packages can interfere with that.  But look in to it. 

Also, I'd be ditching any pride and looking for nearly any job.  For 2-3 months, I might limit myself to ones paying ~~60-70% or more of my old salary.  After that?  Well if the rentals hadn't sold and I was keeping the family castle, then I'd be apply at the local coffee shop and Target and whatever wold have me, just to get SOME income, and I'd hope my spouse would be doing the same. 

And one more thought.  If keeping that house is your #1 priority, consider hosting exchange students through one of the programs that pays you or finding other ways to monetize all of the space you are paying so dearly to own.  I'm guessing that with little ones in the house you don't want a roommate (though plenty of people do it), but there are ways to make that house earn some of its keep fr the short to medium term, until you find another high paying job.

Jonah0021

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2019, 03:00:31 PM »
Wow -thanks to everyone for the response. Some real talk here -that's what I need.

As for the 401k loan - I called Fidelity last week to ask and it turns out I have the option to pay it back in monthly installments -so $900/mo.

One response asked if I had lived in one of the rental two out of the last five years and the answer is yes.
So maybe I should look to sell that one first? That may help with the capital gains situation. 

Its funny to see my old post from 2014 and think about where I was at that time with life.  The reality of my job situation is that there is no way I would probably ever make that much money in my field ever again. I got real lucky with something I worked on and it took off. Now the company wants to keep what I did and continue to make money off of it without paying me. And they can legally do that.  So -if and when I work again, it's going to be a long time. (if it's in this same field). After the year of them paying me not to work, I have another 3 months of a non-compete -so my value will be low at that point. I wont be able to compete against them until Jan 2021.     

Villanelle

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2019, 04:31:09 PM »
Wow -thanks to everyone for the response. Some real talk here -that's what I need.

As for the 401k loan - I called Fidelity last week to ask and it turns out I have the option to pay it back in monthly installments -so $900/mo.

One response asked if I had lived in one of the rental two out of the last five years and the answer is yes.
So maybe I should look to sell that one first? That may help with the capital gains situation. 

Its funny to see my old post from 2014 and think about where I was at that time with life.  The reality of my job situation is that there is no way I would probably ever make that much money in my field ever again. I got real lucky with something I worked on and it took off. Now the company wants to keep what I did and continue to make money off of it without paying me. And they can legally do that.  So -if and when I work again, it's going to be a long time. (if it's in this same field). After the year of them paying me not to work, I have another 3 months of a non-compete -so my value will be low at that point. I wont be able to compete against them until Jan 2021.   


Wait, does this mean you are planning not to work for a year or maybe ever again?  I'm not sure how to read the bolded, but I certainly hope you aren't considering staying out of the work force for more than a short decompression period, if that.  (Starting a job takes time, so even if you started applying tomorrow, you'd surely have at least a few weeks off, is the lay off starts immediately.)  You can't afford that.  You spent nearly all of your income while you had it, so you don't really have the funds to decide not to work.  And if the r/e market tanks, things look pretty bad for you pretty quickly.

You can't compete (though as an FYI, my understanding is that many non-competes aren't legal, but that requires fighting it legally...) but that doesn't mean you can't work.  Hard to say without knowing exactly what you do, but there are always jobs outside of whatever industry one is leaving.  Find one of those, and stay in it.  In November 2020, start looking for another/better job as necessary, when your NCA is about to expire. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2019, 04:35:51 PM »
Hey OP, that sucks that happened to you. Fortunately you have lots of assets to play with. Laura and others have given you great advice. Those two rentals donít seem worth it to keep. Itís a bit tough to give you more advice without your expenses. Your duplex is generating quite a bit, how much of your expenses does that cover?  Personally the 2.5m house seems so extreme but I can imagine how hard that would be to admit. How sustainable is that mortgage?

As for work, you could teach. Iím sure thereís lots of colleges or universities that would love to have you. It might be fun for you to explore other potential ways to make money if thatís what you want?

If it were me, Iíd sell the rentals, sell the house and move to something more affordable in a good area. Take away the mortgage and let the duplex cover your expenses and youíre fine.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 04:35:32 AM »
I was basically your age (50) when I walked away from my own High paying job , my own business and with 4 kids because of many many reasons and mostly burnout. First thing I did was figure out how much I really needed to live a good life without my kids suffering and so on. Once I figure out that and added about 20% to it for just in case things I downsized and sold a bunch of things and ended up being Fire'd. Kids will adapt so just cuz they love this house doesnt mean they wont love the next house. You  do have alot of assets you can sell and be fire'd based on your 5 year old post or you just need to just be realistic about what you want your life to look like and what you can live on and find a job that most likely pays a lesser amount. The biggest thing is you dont have to be in a panic mode BUT get started on several paths and eventually the right one will appear as long as you keep looking into options.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2019, 06:25:28 AM »
My biggest fear in your shoes would be this: What happens if the next recession hits, and the hot real estate market goes bust? And you still don't have a high-enough paying job by then to sustain that mortgage? If you find yourself then having to sell the house, you'd get a lot less for it, even if you could unload it at all. How would it affect your life if you could only sell it for half?

I'd get rid of it while the getting is good and you can still get your money out of it. There are always other houses, but if you end up stuck with that albatross in bad times, you could be royally screwed. I'm just not risk tolerant enough to carry such an uncertain burden. YMMV.

Also, just in general your plan/money is too tied up in real estate. The big house, the rentals, your wife going to work in real estate... All of this would be very much in danger/a problem if the real estate market tanks. I'd work hard on diversifying in some way.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 06:44:36 AM by DragonSlayer »

terran

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2019, 06:43:45 AM »
Quick math tells me that you have $1,3M + $850K + $450K + $460K + $400K + $10K = $3,470,000 to your name.
In addition, you'll be getting $220K now for the next year.

If I were you, I'd sell the McMansion and move to a LowerCOL area, buy a nice home, and enjoy life. The missus can get into real estate or you can grow organic bread if you like. You are a multi-millionaire.

Congratulations.

Yeah, no kidding! If you're not ready to sell all the real estate and call it quits then you're on the wrong forum. I got more like just under $3M plus another year at of $220k salary after applying 10% transaction costs on the real estate, but either way you have more than enough to live a fantastic life while working at anything or nothing. Spend the next year selling the real estate, figuring out where you want to live and what you want to do, and dialing in your budget based on your desired withdrawal rate.

mistymoney

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2019, 06:44:23 AM »
If you don't get a similarly salaried job, you need to sell that primary residence asap.

Do you want to go that route?

Or do you want to downsize immediately to what you can currently afford?

You have the means to be FI right now, but not at your current standard of living.

Making that decision is your first step.

SwordGuy

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2019, 07:36:21 AM »
Quick math tells me that you have $1,3M + $850K + $450K + $460K + $400K + $10K = $3,470,000 to your name.
In addition, you'll be getting $220K now for the next year.

If I were you, I'd sell the McMansion and move to a LowerCOL area, buy a nice home, and enjoy life. The missus can get into real estate or you can grow organic bread if you like. You are a multi-millionaire.

Congratulations.

This. ^

It really is this simple.   You can buy a nice house for $250k to $500k in a nice town.   You can have an income of $120,000 a year with a paid off home and no debts and no jobs.

And if you wanted more income with no stress, there would be jobs out there for talented people that you could just walk away from if management or co-workers started being toxic.

Damn, but you've won.    Go collect.

Back in 2000 I bought into a small consultancy as a junior partner for a discounted investment of $55,000.  The other partners had purchased downtown DC real estate in a separate partnership that the business rented from.   

2001 came along and business dried up.   As the existing contracts ran out we weren't able to replace them with new contracts.  In 2005 I sold my share of the business back for $1 and walked away.

I saw that we weren't going to make it so it was better to quit while we were still ahead.

My former partners couldn't let go.  They continued to run the business until it had major debts.    Had they just walked away the profits from all that real estate would have been VERY substantial.   Instead, they lost it all.

You're in a similar position.   You've got everything you need, right now, to become wealthy and free.  You could blow it and lose it all by hanging on to all your stuff (and not getting a replacement job at such a high salary) instead of cashing it in. 



There

MoneyizHere

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2019, 08:00:43 AM »
My biggest fear in your shoes would be this: What happens if the next recession hits, and the hot real estate market goes bust? And you still don't have a high-enough paying job by then to sustain that mortgage? If you find yourself then having to sell the house, you'd get a lot less for it, even if you could unload it at all. How would it affect your life if you could only sell it for half?

I'd get rid of it while the getting is good and you can still get your money out of it. There are always other houses, but if you end up stuck with that albatross in bad times, you could be royally screwed. I'm just not risk tolerant enough to carry such an uncertain burden. YMMV.

Also, just in general your plan/money is too tied up in real estate. The big house, the rentals, your wife going to work in real estate... All of this would be very much in danger/a problem if the real estate market tanks. I'd work hard on diversifying in some way.

Yea - I think you're too concentrated in your portfolio in the PNW real estate.  As with all investments - its wise to be more diversified, therefore its a good time to rebalance and divest a portion of your portfolio out of that real estate market.  And really consider if its worth the extra effort.

OP - you have already exceeded your original plan of 4 more years - no need to run another term - you're done.  Time to enjoy your fresh bread.  See if you could milk them for more severance (since this was your project that you created).  But otherwise - why bother with the stress that you've mentioned before - enjoy the ride.  Enjoy the kids and the time that you now have. You'll figure something out - but I think the pricey house is going to be in the way of your original goals. 

Nick_Miller

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2019, 08:18:12 AM »
OP, do you know how many dads your age with young children would LOVE to be able to say, "Okay, I'm done with the rat race. I've earned my ticket out. I can focus on my wife, my kids, my hobbies, my health, and my friends."?

Okay, I don't know the exact answer but it's something like "A LOT!

ysette9

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2019, 10:17:04 AM »
I see a lot of people here advocating moving to a LCOL area. As someone who also loves in a HCOL area (even more so than Seattle) I get it that those comments wonít likely land well. There are reasons we choose to live in these areas and it is because they offer more in terms of quality of life for what we value.

So I am not going to advocate for that. But I will still advocate for reducing your living expenses. You can still live in a very nice place in the Seattle area for $1M. Or hell, even $1.5M. My house isnít even that much and Iím on the peninsula in the bay area. But in any case, you can still live in a fabulous city in a nice house and be totally financially independent and able to do whatever the hell you want in life. All you need to do is sell some underperforming rentals and do some soul searching on your utterly ridiculous house.

Good luck. Success is in your hands. You just need to play your cards right.

SwordGuy

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2019, 11:01:20 AM »
No kidding, with homes like this for $599,000, I don't know why anyone would want to spend $2+ million for a house.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/19221-Normandy-Park-Dr-SW-Normandy-Park-WA-98166/48982690_zpid/?

Plenty of other nice looking homes for $1M or less.


Jonah0021

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2019, 11:44:49 AM »
OP, do you know how many dads your age with young children would LOVE to be able to say, "Okay, I'm done with the rat race. I've earned my ticket out. I can focus on my wife, my kids, my hobbies, my health, and my friends."?

Okay, I don't know the exact answer but it's something like "A LOT!

I know. It's true. I am very grateful to be in a situation where I have choices.   

After reading through everything and considering it all, I know I need to at least have a plan and start quickly.  Here's the idea:

1a) Pay off the 401k loan with severance
1b) Wife gets real estate license
2) Sell rental 1
3) Start Vanguard taxable fund with proceeds - begin dividend and 8% withdrawal rate to pay for utterly ridiculous clown house
4) Sell Rental 2
5) Put proceeds of that sale into Vanguard - should be close to 800k total after both sales.
6) Get a new job that pays whatever with less stress and hopefully less morons.
Or just focus on life - hobbies, friends, etc - what Nick said.
7) 10 years later - tap 401k/IRA stash

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 11:47:09 AM by Jonah0021 »

ontheway2

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2019, 12:54:25 PM »
How long is your mortgage for on the primary? Do you intend to work that long? Basically, what is your out/end goal there?

I think your plan sounds good for now; selling those two rentals will really help your situation as the cash flow just isn't there for/from them.

Villanelle

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2019, 01:45:47 PM »
OP, do you know how many dads your age with young children would LOVE to be able to say, "Okay, I'm done with the rat race. I've earned my ticket out. I can focus on my wife, my kids, my hobbies, my health, and my friends."?

Okay, I don't know the exact answer but it's something like "A LOT!

I know. It's true. I am very grateful to be in a situation where I have choices.   

After reading through everything and considering it all, I know I need to at least have a plan and start quickly.  Here's the idea:

1a) Pay off the 401k loan with severance
1b) Wife gets real estate license
2) Sell rental 1
3) Start Vanguard taxable fund with proceeds - begin dividend and 8% withdrawal rate to pay for utterly ridiculous clown house
4) Sell Rental 2
5) Put proceeds of that sale into Vanguard - should be close to 800k total after both sales.
6) Get a new job that pays whatever with less stress and hopefully less morons.
Or just focus on life - hobbies, friends, etc - what Nick said.
7) 10 years later - tap 401k/IRA stash

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

Re: #s 3 and 5, if you are planning to live off those funds, I wouldn't put them all in to the market.  If it tanks, you are screwed especially because that may well coincide with an RE crash as well.  Unless/until you find another job (or at the very least, get both rentals sold), I would hold back a decent amount of that money so you have it to cover your spending, especially the giant mortgage. 

And do you have a timeline for your wife getting her license? 

cloudsail

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2019, 02:30:06 PM »
OP, I live about ten minutes drive from downtown Seattle. My house is around 2000 sq ft and I can see the Space Needle from my backyard. It's maybe worth just barely $1M. You don't need to live in a $2.5M house in Seattle.

Btw, earlier this year we saw a 3000 sq ft lakeside house with a dock and everything in Tacoma for $800k. You really have more options than you think.

ysette9

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2019, 02:38:12 PM »
Why do you need to work another ten years? If you sell the two worst performing rentals and put that $900k either to work invested in the market or paying down most of your mortgage on the huge house then your expenses will drop significantly. If you really are netting $58k/yr from the paid off rental, then that brings you pretty close to what I would expect your spending needs are. Am I missing something? Better yet, you could sell all three rentals, invest the proceeds/pay off your mortgage, and then be done.

What are your expenses? Why do you think you need to work for so much longer?

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2019, 02:41:03 PM »
OP, do you know how many dads your age with young children would LOVE to be able to say, "Okay, I'm done with the rat race. I've earned my ticket out. I can focus on my wife, my kids, my hobbies, my health, and my friends."?

Okay, I don't know the exact answer but it's something like "A LOT!

I know. It's true. I am very grateful to be in a situation where I have choices.   

After reading through everything and considering it all, I know I need to at least have a plan and start quickly.  Here's the idea:

1a) Pay off the 401k loan with severance
1b) Wife gets real estate license
2) Sell rental 1
3) Start Vanguard taxable fund with proceeds - begin dividend and 8% withdrawal rate to pay for utterly ridiculous clown house
4) Sell Rental 2
5) Put proceeds of that sale into Vanguard - should be close to 800k total after both sales.
6) Get a new job that pays whatever with less stress and hopefully less morons.
Or just focus on life - hobbies, friends, etc - what Nick said.
7) 10 years later - tap 401k/IRA stash

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

All great progress and a great plan, except of course, the main house. Look, we get it of course, letís be honest though, youíre valuing the emotion more than the practicality of the situation. When you say the family loves it, you mean you and your wife. The kids are too young, theyíll love anything. Youíre tying the bulk of your money up in a thing that youíve been with for 3 months, which doesnít love you back. And now your itís slave. Despite all of your success and planning, you canít be free, canít enjoy those young kids on your terms because you have to work to feed a beast, solely because you and your wife are choosing to not admit that itís too much, and for safety, security and sanity, itís time to move on. We get how confronting and terrifying that may seem. Hereís the thing: youíre still young and youíre both not dead. Your wife can design other things. Find a home you can afford and build the kids a playhouse in the back yard. Hell, take the equity and buy land and build something else within budget. Itís a thing. Thatís all it is. Donít let it determine the course of your life or make the decision for you and your familyís happiness. Your life wonít be diminished by selling that house, while staying forces you to compromise in ways that will only devour more time and money. You get one life. Just one.

DadJokes

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Re: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2019, 02:45:57 PM »
...

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

Nah, I live in a house larger and more expensive than I would like to keep my wife happy. Keeping your family happy is usually worth spending a little money on, as long as it isn't creating problems financially.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 02:47:40 PM by DadJokes »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2019, 02:55:22 PM »
...

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

Nah, I live in a house larger and more expensive than I would like to keep my wife happy. Keeping your family happy is usually worth spending a little money on, as long as it isn't creating problems financially.

It is creating financial problems in this case. And an extra 1.5 mil is more than a little extra money.

DadJokes

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2019, 03:02:31 PM »
...

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

Nah, I live in a house larger and more expensive than I would like to keep my wife happy. Keeping your family happy is usually worth spending a little money on, as long as it isn't creating problems financially.

It is creating financial problems in this case. And an extra 1.5 mil is more than a little extra money.

If he sells the two rentals that have minimal cash flow, he nets about $800k. He can pay off his 401(k) loan, keep a hefty bit in cash reserves, and invest the rest. He's in pretty good shape after that. He will still have to work, at least until his primary mortgage is paid off, but if that's a trade-off he's willing to make, I don't see a problem with it.

cloudsail

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2019, 03:14:49 PM »
Here's the thing. A lot of posters come on here with something in their life that is "non-negotiable". I get this, because I had this too. For us, it was schooling and support services for our autistic son. But over the last few years, I've come to realize that even THAT is not non-negotiable. Sure, we have a great school situation now, and ideally we would like to stay here until 2025, when he graduates middle school. But if unforeseen circumstances happened before then where moving would make more sense for our family, I wouldn't let the school thing stop us. Granted, we might hesitate to move to a backwater hick town with no special needs support, but there are lots of options for our family that I'd be willing to explore. I've come to realize that life rarely plays out the way you fear or expect. Humans are incredibly adaptable.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2019, 03:29:53 PM »
...

Reasons why I want to sacrfice everything to keep the main house.
(I wrote a bunch of stuff then deleted it - I think the community thinks whatever reasons I have for keeping it would be absurd - but my family loves it, wife designed it, so yeah. I have to try).

Nah, I live in a house larger and more expensive than I would like to keep my wife happy. Keeping your family happy is usually worth spending a little money on, as long as it isn't creating problems financially.

It is creating financial problems in this case. And an extra 1.5 mil is more than a little extra money.

If he sells the two rentals that have minimal cash flow, he nets about $800k. He can pay off his 401(k) loan, keep a hefty bit in cash reserves, and invest the rest. He's in pretty good shape after that. He will still have to work, at least until his primary mortgage is paid off, but if that's a trade-off he's willing to make, I don't see a problem with it.

One problem is that he no longer has a job, and he said it's very unlikely he'll find that high of a salary again. We don't know what their non mortgage expenses look like or how much money he and his wife will need to generate.

People can still be happy in million dollar houses. Even happier when that cheaper home means you're free from a high stress job and have more time to spend with your family.

Cassie

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2019, 05:07:30 PM »
Everything in life is negotiable.  If you hang onto the really expensive house it may cost you big time. The real estate market could drop and the hardest to sell are the most expensive homes.  Don't be a casualty of the sunk cost fallacy.  We have had to make some hard financial choices and move when we didn't want too.  You need to do what's best long term for your family.

SwordGuy

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2019, 06:49:59 AM »
Everything in life is negotiable.  If you hang onto the really expensive house it may cost you big time. The real estate market could drop and the hardest to sell are the most expensive homes.  Don't be a casualty of the sunk cost fallacy.  We have had to make some hard financial choices and move when we didn't want too.  You need to do what's best long term for your family.

If you are going to stay in place (which personally I think is foolish):

Job #1:  Your new FULL TIME JOB for you AND your spouse are to find employment that will support you in this house.
Job #2:  Put those underperforming rentals on the market asap.
Job #3:  Get your house READY FOR SALE now.   Yes, even if you want to stay.

If you fail at getting a new job before March, your house goes on the market.  Spring is when you'll get the best prices.   Fall and winter is when you get the lowest prices.

Come February 20th, if you don't have a job offer that will cover your expenses, it's no longer about what you WANT, it's about WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO.

Only you and your spouse have the power to turn yourselves from multi-millionaires into plain old middle class working stiffs, which is what you'll be if you can't get another job quickly enough or don't sell and walk away from the house.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2019, 06:56:03 AM by SwordGuy »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2019, 07:12:33 AM »
Congratulations, you could easily never work again and maintain an upper middle class lifestyle, so long as you face reality and change your living situation and mindset.

Laura33

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2019, 07:19:25 AM »
If you are going to keep the main house, I'd suggest doing some serious math instead of just hypothesizing what the next decade will look like, because I think your plan has some assumptions in there that may not play out.  For example:  if you plan to FIRE in 10 years, you will still have that giant mortgage.  So will the growth in your 401(k)/IRA be sufficient to cover those big expenses?  You certainly can't count on the Vanguard account growing; with an 8% withdrawal rate to cover your living expenses, you're going to be spending it down.

My biggest concern, though, is conceptual: you have worked and invested for years to build up equity in your rental houses.  And now you are choosing to cash in that equity to fund massive, unnecessary consumption.  I want to be very clear about this:  your house is a consumption choice, not an "investment."  You could barely afford it if you kept your $200K salary until it was paid off (seriously:  we made more than you when we bought our place, and our mortgage is less than half of yours -- and that felt like a lot).  Now you are choosing to liquidate and drain investments that you made for your future to sustain your current unaffordable level of consumption.  That is precisely the reverse of Mustachian.

So let me say this very directly:  when I suggested selling the two rentals, it was not so you could use the profits to sustain your current unsustainable lifestyle.  It was to provide a cash cushion and lower bills to provide your family some security while you are planning the next step.  But I was always assuming that that "next step" would be sustainable on its own, without draining your current assets.  So IMO, that means that you only get to keep the house if you can find a new job that pays you enough to at least cover your ongoing expenses, including mortgage, living expenses, vacations, college funding, etc., without dipping into your existing investments.  And that you are willing and able to keep that job until your passive investments grow to the point that they cover all of those expenses on their own. 

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2019, 07:52:01 AM »
Just curious - what are the property taxes on your current house?

MissNancyPryor

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2019, 08:00:35 AM »
Jonah, you seem to be indicating that the younger wife must be made happy with the trappings of the house and the desire to keep things the same so she does not completely freak out with the enormous life change and kick in the groin you have received.  (Admittedly, "happy wife, happy life" has never been a thing for me so I simply don't get it and can't imagine anyone doing that for me.  Ever.) 

With two little kids this is probably a really scary time for her especially, but it could be a huge opportunity for you to work together and decide if you are FIRE people or treadmill people.  You have been given a gift of having to make serious decisions and re-set things and it will be a turning point.     

   

beltim

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2019, 08:29:24 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but why does everyone think the rental houses are so much worse than the duplex?  If the duplex had a mortgage on it, it looks like it would be clearing about the same amount after mortgage payments as the houses on a percentage basis. 

Laura33

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2019, 08:56:03 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but why does everyone think the rental houses are so much worse than the duplex?  If the duplex had a mortgage on it, it looks like it would be clearing about the same amount after mortgage payments as the houses on a percentage basis.

Triage.  Right now, he needs (1) a cash cushion to cover expenses when the severance runs out, and (2) lower expenses.  Getting rid of the two rental houses helps on both fronts, because they don't generate much profit and require ongoing mortgage payments. 

The duplex may well be a crappy investment too in the long run.  But for right now, it is at least generating good cash flow and does not require ongoing debt payments.  So while it may not be the optimum long-term use for his money, he can afford to postpone that decision while he figures out the bigger issues.

JestJes

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2019, 09:31:56 AM »
Everything in life is negotiable.  If you hang onto the really expensive house it may cost you big time. The real estate market could drop and the hardest to sell are the most expensive homes.  Don't be a casualty of the sunk cost fallacy.  We have had to make some hard financial choices and move when we didn't want too.  You need to do what's best long term for your family.

I so agree with this. I've always thought my dog was non-negotiable but I've watched my parents who don't have the means to support themselves INSIST on keeping two dogs that they also can't take care of. Watching them struggle because they are to stubborn to admit they can't manage it is so frustrating but it really made it clear in my mind, that If I was ever in a situation where I was facing homelessness, I would give up my pup. I think you'll have to have a similar come to Jesus moment.

When you are 70 would you and your wife rather have left your babies at home to work to fund a mortgage you can't afford, or would you rather have had that time with them? If you are unsure, why not talk to some older people? I've yet to talk to someone in retirement who wished that they saw they kids less and worked more.

SwordGuy

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2019, 12:55:11 PM »
When you are 70 would you and your wife rather have left your babies at home to work to fund a mortgage you can't afford, or would you rather have had that time with them? If you are unsure, why not talk to some older people? I've yet to talk to someone in retirement who wished that they saw they kids less and worked more.

I'm old and I can tell you, the fancy car and house, etc., are worthless compared to the freedom to spend time with your kids.

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2019, 01:06:14 PM »
When you are 70 would you and your wife rather have left your babies at home to work to fund a mortgage you can't afford, or would you rather have had that time with them? If you are unsure, why not talk to some older people? I've yet to talk to someone in retirement who wished that they saw they kids less and worked more.

I'm old and I can tell you, the fancy car and house, etc., are worthless compared to the freedom to spend time with your kids.
I am even older and I can assure you SwordGuy and JestJes are right. IMO, there's nothing sadder than people who end up with nothing because they refused to make lifestyle adjustments along the way. I think you should give yourself and your family a hard time limit on keeping the house. No job paying over X by this date, and we're going on the market. Assuming the market holds, of course.

Come to think of it, the paid-for house I'm living in came about because the owner/builder turned down what he thought was a lowball offer just before the market tanked in 2008. He and his family decided to move into it. Five years later, he had to short sell the house. He basically lost everything. They are now divorced and he's estranged from them. Very sad.