Author Topic: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job  (Read 22784 times)

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #100 on: September 29, 2019, 11:50:00 AM »
For context, a quick redfin search:
https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/3409-13th-Ave-W-98119/home/129449?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link

This is in Queen Anne, right in the heart of the city. It's almost 3000 sq ft. It has water views. It's completely updated on the inside. School district is awesome. If you can't be happy in a house like this, I don't think anybody can help you.

Now imagine what kind of house the OP is living in that is worth $2.5M.
That's a nice house, but far from completely updated. I'd take it in a heartbeat, don't get me wrong, but I'm willing to bet that OP's $2.5M home has a driveway, a two or three car garage with additional storage, a top of the line kitchen with modern surfaces, such as indestructible quartz countertops and fireproof backsplashes(!). You're right that they can live quite well on less, but I suspect they're living far higher on the look-how-successful-we-are food chain and perhaps lack the self-confidence to give it up just yet. IMO, this is understandable, given what they have surely been through in the building process. Hopefully they will find their footing before the consequences become dire.

ysette9

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #101 on: September 29, 2019, 11:52:36 AM »
For context, a quick redfin search:
https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/3409-13th-Ave-W-98119/home/129449?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link

This is in Queen Anne, right in the heart of the city. It's almost 3000 sq ft. It has water views. It's completely updated on the inside. School district is awesome. If you can't be happy in a house like this, I don't think anybody can help you.

Now imagine what kind of house the OP is living in that is worth $2.5M.
~sigh~
That is gorgeous

seattlecyclone

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #102 on: September 29, 2019, 12:33:53 PM »
Okay, no need to imagine, here's one for just under $2.5M:
https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/715-W-Prospect-St-98119/home/133516?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link

Wow, I think this is the kind of house I might buy if I won the lottery.

Oh man, that one has a faucet over the stove. Every time they use it they can think of how lucky they are not to be in the lower classes that need to carry a pot of water all the way from the sink in order to make pasta.

Villanelle

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #103 on: September 29, 2019, 06:31:56 PM »
I often wonder if the "just move" chorus members have ever up and moved a significant distance.  It's fucking hard.  I'm sure some of that depends on one's personality type.  I don't like new people and making new friends is the nth circle of hell for me.  If I had to--if my family's survival (metaphorically) depended on it, of course I'd do it.  I've done it many times and I do it again.  But I'd consider a LOT of things before that. 

Presumably these people have friends and routines.  Their kids have friends and probably activities. Is that all addressable?  Sure.  But I can understand avoiding it when there are alternatives readily available that address the issue and don't require that. 

And that's before we even address what his community might have to offer (for him, based on his values and priorities) that wouldn't be found in Omaha or Bismark.    Sometimes it isn't even about HCOL vs L/MCOL.  It's about where you already have community, vs where you don't.  The OP has more than enough money to live a high fat FIRE in his current area if that's his priority. 

cloudsail

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #104 on: September 29, 2019, 10:11:23 PM »
Unless your best friend is Bill Gates and you insist on living beside him, there is no neighborhood in Seattle where you wouldn't be able to get a very nice house for $1.3M.

Seattle is not the Bay Area (thank God).

FR2000EE

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #105 on: September 29, 2019, 11:29:15 PM »
It seems to me that the real problem here is the plan for the family. I suspect you and your wife are not on the same page.

It appears from your previous post, if the decision was 100% yours, you would sell the house and live your dream of FIRE.

Your wife appears to want the house and you seek to please her, thus you are in conflict. It doesn't appear she wants give up anything and the expectation is you will find a way to pay for it.

I wonder what your wife's decision would be, if she had the family assets and you couldn't work, but it was her decision. Do you think she would go to work to pay for the big house dream? I bet in this case, she would sell and downsize and see the wonderful situation you have created. You guys have tremendous assets and choices, and individually both might decide to downsize and live within your means, but "doing it all for the family" has added an element of expectations that are causing the family not to know what it wants.

I suggest the family get on the same page. Then decide what to do.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #106 on: September 30, 2019, 12:13:32 AM »
I often wonder if the "just move" chorus members have ever up and moved a significant distance.

I have. FIRE would've been harder in NYC. I moved to a cheaper city on the other side of the country. Before that, I downsized my housing while I still lived in NYC. Luckily, OP doesn't need to switch states. They can downsize and remain in Seattle.

former player

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #107 on: September 30, 2019, 02:10:19 AM »
I often wonder if the "just move" chorus members have ever up and moved a significant distance.  It's fucking hard.  I'm sure some of that depends on one's personality type.  I don't like new people and making new friends is the nth circle of hell for me.  If I had to--if my family's survival (metaphorically) depended on it, of course I'd do it.  I've done it many times and I do it again.  But I'd consider a LOT of things before that. 

Presumably these people have friends and routines.  Their kids have friends and probably activities. Is that all addressable?  Sure.  But I can understand avoiding it when there are alternatives readily available that address the issue and don't require that. 

And that's before we even address what his community might have to offer (for him, based on his values and priorities) that wouldn't be found in Omaha or Bismark.    Sometimes it isn't even about HCOL vs L/MCOL.  It's about where you already have community, vs where you don't.  The OP has more than enough money to live a high fat FIRE in his current area if that's his priority.
Yes.  Spreadsheets don't put in numbers the value of personal capital.  If you don't have money having friends and family near by means you can all help each other through difficulties - it might be something lifesaving or it might be something as simple as looking after pets for a day or two to save the cost of kennels, but it all helps you through life when you can't throw money at the problem.  And even if you do have money, you realise that there are some things money can't buy but friends and family and having a familiar network of support and knowledge around can give you.  Moving costs, and it costs more than money.  There needs to be a big potential upside before the cost is worth it.

In the case of this family, there is no upside to leaving town, other than the wife leaving behind the house they've spent all their cash on to make it what she wants only for her to have to go through the same level of work to potentially make a house she wants in a place she and the family probably don't want.

KBecks

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #108 on: September 30, 2019, 07:37:33 AM »
So what happens when the other shoe drops in your life?  Sometimes families get hit with more than one hardship. What happens if one of your family members gets very sick?  What happens if your real estate market crashes?  What happens if the job searches take too long?  What happens if the economy tanks?  What happens if your marriage crumbles?

You need a strong foundation.  Find out how to add some stability to your life.  I agree with the idea that you need to job hunt immediately and get the big house ready for sale now, in case Plan A does not come together within X timeframe.

As for your wife and real estate. Real estate is a business.  New agents are going to be sold a lot of stuff to get their businesses off the ground.  I don't think this is a great strategy to shore up your life.  I think it works as a secondary income, but do not count on it.  You need to keep business-starting expenses very low if she goes that route.  You are the established earner, so don't go and take a nap on your job search. You have to get new work.

KBecks

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #109 on: September 30, 2019, 07:39:53 AM »
I didn't see anyone speculate on anything of the kind. the post originally made on this just said "lifestyle" - and then others made assumptions on that and started defending against an imagined insult.

When someone mentions the lifestyle of a HCOL area not available in LCOL areas what I think is access to world-class museums, galleries, opera, symphony, ballet, theatre, enormous diversity in restaurants, comedy venues, professional sport teams for every sport, stadiums attracting the biggest and best bands, rappers, and singer, with easy walking or public transit to everything listed.

I have literally been to every single one of those items in your list within an hour of my house in a LCOL area. There's even an MLS team. I am vaguely amused by your Hail Mary of "oh and, you have to walk or take public transportation to them." Like you predicted I was going to say it, and you came equipped with "Oh but, you had to drive a car to hit ALL of them."

Look - there are legit reasons to stay in a HCOL area. For one, it's nearly impossible as an adult to recreate long-term friends and local family connections, so if that's an important part of person's life, it may be priceless.

But "culture?" That's BS. I have a friend who flew to New York to watch Hamilton and then watched it three more times locally. Her house is worth $150,000. She used Uber to get there all four times.

hail mary? I wasn't predicting anything - I was describing my area. I honestly don't get this offense to HCOL people not being willing to give up where they live. It's like you have a pre-thought argument, and let me reiterate - I've never really considered what you have or don't have or how long you drive there. I'm just not interested in what it is, whatever that may be.

but to parse it out a bit more, first you say you have all those, and then you say "There's even an MLS team." Just one? I had stated there was one for every sport - not just one random team.

And - I'd really counter with you "have" all those on the other. I did stipulate "world class", perhaps it wasn't clear that that was meant to modify the entirety of the list presented for orchestras, opera, ballet, theatre, museums, galleries, etc.

Many smaller cities do have many of these, and they can frequently be quite good. But they aren't world class. They may have 1 -2 performers that could be at that level, and choose to live in a LCOL area for spouse or family or other reasons. But for the most part, artists will strive to get to the highest prestige performing group they can. And for a world class orchestra, for example, every single musicians is spectacular, the soloists are usually extraordinary, with some of them for the history books.


https://www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-features/best-orchestras-worlds-greatest-top-10/

Do you realize how snotty it sounds to feel like you must have a world-class everything in your city to be happy or civilized?  It's ridiculousness.

ysette9

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #110 on: September 30, 2019, 10:12:17 AM »
Maybe museums or symphony isnít necessary and I can see how that could come across as snobby. But how about valuing being in a community that speaks your language? Grocery stores that sell the ingredients so you can make your favorite recipes? Bars or events where you can mingle with singles of your sexual orientation? Schools where your kid wonít stand out as the token *whatever* or wonít feel out of place for speaking multiple languages or being mixed race or having two daddies? Large population centers offer a lot that is valuable that is not just a frivolous luxury.

GreenEggs

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #111 on: September 30, 2019, 10:32:01 AM »
I haven't read all the posts, but many folks that have chimed in recommend selling the house for the obvious financial reasons.  Another thing you really need to consider is what that fancy house lifestyle will do to your kids.  If you spend enough to keep up with the neighbors they'll most likely become spoiled, and if you don't spend enough to keep up with the neighbors they'll likely be resentful.  They'll need more and more $$ to be "happy" or to pay for the therapy because they aren't happy.  You really aren't doing yourselves or your kids any favors by choosing to live the fancy lifestyle.  They need to learn to be happy without getting caught up in the consumerism that America preaches.  You should see this as an opportunity to make changes for the better, for yourself and your family.


Just my 2 cents.

Villanelle

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #112 on: September 30, 2019, 11:29:17 AM »
I often wonder if the "just move" chorus members have ever up and moved a significant distance.

I have. FIRE would've been harder in NYC. I moved to a cheaper city on the other side of the country. Before that, I downsized my housing while I still lived in NYC. Luckily, OP doesn't need to switch states. They can downsize and remain in Seattle.

Yes.  Downsizing in Seattle seems to make much more sense (because I get the sense they like Seattle and their life their) than the suggestions to move to a M/LCOL area, presumably in another state or at least far enough away from their current location that they'd be removed from their regular social connections.   

I've moved intercity, interstate, and internationally.  The further you go, the more massive the disruption. 

And this family most definitely has the finances to stay in their current area, without even a massive lifestyle overhaul.  So the suggestions to move to a [presumably far-flug] LCOL area seem a bit flippant and unnecessary.  That's a hard thing.  Why would one do it unless it was somewhat necessary?  And in this case, if leaving the house is a hard sell for the family, then it's ridiculousness to think that suggesting they move to Omaha** would likely be well-received. 

**I use Omaha as my example because it's fairly inexpensive, if maybe not what many would consider downright "L"COL.  About a year ago, I thought we were moving to Omaha and initially, the news felt pretty awful, but the more research I did, the more I realized that it actually has a great deal going for it, and I actually got somewhat excited about the prospect.  In addition to the museums and culture so often brought up in this discussion, I got the sense it was more liberal than I'd feared, which helped me get on board. So I think it could be a pretty decent place for me to live, based on what I value.  But I wouldn't willingly uproot myself to go there to save money I didn't really need to save in order to find a kick-ass lifestyle.

Jonah0021

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #113 on: September 30, 2019, 12:52:54 PM »
Another thing you really need to consider is what that fancy house lifestyle will do to your kids.  If you spend enough to keep up with the neighbors they'll most likely become spoiled, and if you don't spend enough to keep up with the neighbors they'll likely be resentful.  They'll need more and more $$ to be "happy" or to pay for the therapy because they aren't happy.  You really aren't doing yourselves or your kids any favors by choosing to live the fancy lifestyle. 

Ok, now I need to save for my children's therapy!? Had no idea that would be a future expense. (ha!)
And just because I have an expensive fancy house, doesn't mean my lifestyle is expensive. A lot of assumptions. 

For the others that took time to write constructively about my situation, thank you. It has shaped the way I plan on approaching this next chapter in life.  Wife is already studying for the RE exam and I agree with KBecks. It's probably more of a secondary income. I will have to figure out what type of job I can do in order to keep the house.

I have some difficult decisions to work through and desire to make the best choices for my family going forward.  Many of you have helped me with that and I am forever grateful.  Stay positive.

KBecks

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #114 on: September 30, 2019, 03:30:31 PM »
I have a kid that is in therapy ($130-$260/month) and takes meds (was $200+ a month, now more like $30/month after switching medications).  And he's at a piano lesson ($30/half hour) while I type this because music study will help his brain.  And we are darn fortunate that our children are otherwise healthy and doing well. We are also entering beast mode for future college -- it goes by fast! 

Best of luck with everything and I hope it works out so you can keep the house and have a solid foundation.

Malkynn

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #115 on: October 01, 2019, 04:54:10 AM »

Do you realize how snotty it sounds to feel like you must have a world-class everything in your city to be happy or civilized?  It's ridiculousness.

I don't have a dog in this fight, and I don't really care where other people need to live to be happy, but I absolutely need to live in a very large, very dense, multi ethnic city with world class resources and culture in order to be happy.

I live in a 1 bedroom apartment in a sketchy neighbourhood in order to be able to afford to easily because those cultural factors matter more to me than any house/yard/garden/whatever normal priorities people have.

Everyone has their priorities and everyone needs to make trade offs in order to obtain those priorities.

I really don't consider myself snotty because culture happens to sit higher up on my priority list for where I live above all other factors that I'm willing to compromise on.

ysette9

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #116 on: October 01, 2019, 10:29:20 AM »

Do you realize how snotty it sounds to feel like you must have a world-class everything in your city to be happy or civilized?  It's ridiculousness.

I don't have a dog in this fight, and I don't really care where other people need to live to be happy, but I absolutely need to live in a very large, very dense, multi ethnic city with world class resources and culture in order to be happy.

I live in a 1 bedroom apartment in a sketchy neighbourhood in order to be able to afford to easily because those cultural factors matter more to me than any house/yard/garden/whatever normal priorities people have.

Everyone has their priorities and everyone needs to make trade offs in order to obtain those priorities.

I really don't consider myself snotty because culture happens to sit higher up on my priority list for where I live above all other factors that I'm willing to compromise on.
Nicely said. The point of all of this is to cut where it doesnít matter and spend on the things we care about. We are going to care about different things. That is fine because we are all different.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #117 on: October 01, 2019, 11:45:56 AM »
For the others that took time to write constructively about my situation, thank you. It has shaped the way I plan on approaching this next chapter in life.  Wife is already studying for the RE exam and I agree with KBecks. It's probably more of a secondary income. I will have to figure out what type of job I can do in order to keep the house.

I have some difficult decisions to work through and desire to make the best choices for my family going forward.  Many of you have helped me with that and I am forever grateful.  Stay positive.

Good luck! I hope you and your family find a solution that works for everyone. Please let us know how things turn out.

ericrugiero

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #118 on: October 01, 2019, 01:39:07 PM »
OP - You are in a situation that's stressful because of major decisions needing to be made but you really have lots of great options. 

You have enough net worth that you could retire almost anywhere in the world and live very well (including in Seattle)

You need to do some things to lower your risk and increase your flexibility as well as diversify from having almost all your net worth in real estate in one city. 
-  Sell at least one (preferably all 3) rental(s).  Selling the rental that you lived in while you still meet the 2 of the last 5 year rule is a big deal to avoid capital gains taxes.  None of them are a great investment based on the % you make each year but if you think real estate in that area is going to continue to rise you could keep one property.  It's just not smart to have nearly all your net worth invested in that.     
-  Use the money to pay off 401K loan, increase emergency fund, and invest the rest. 

Next, you need to decide your priorities.

Do you want to retire now?  Sell the house and buy something cheaper. 
Do you want to keep the house?  You need a job making decent money but you don't need to make what you did before.  You still have $1.5 million invested in real estate or mutual funds that will throw off a decent income. 

The main thing for me would be to avoid doing anything to shrink the nest egg.  If you want to keep the house then some additional form of income needs to be coming in pretty soon.  Just maintaining the nest egg for the next 10 years while letting the 401K grow isn't a bad plan. 

mistymoney

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #119 on: October 02, 2019, 07:12:08 AM »
I didn't see anyone speculate on anything of the kind. the post originally made on this just said "lifestyle" - and then others made assumptions on that and started defending against an imagined insult.

When someone mentions the lifestyle of a HCOL area not available in LCOL areas what I think is access to world-class museums, galleries, opera, symphony, ballet, theatre, enormous diversity in restaurants, comedy venues, professional sport teams for every sport, stadiums attracting the biggest and best bands, rappers, and singer, with easy walking or public transit to everything listed.

I have literally been to every single one of those items in your list within an hour of my house in a LCOL area. There's even an MLS team. I am vaguely amused by your Hail Mary of "oh and, you have to walk or take public transportation to them." Like you predicted I was going to say it, and you came equipped with "Oh but, you had to drive a car to hit ALL of them."

Look - there are legit reasons to stay in a HCOL area. For one, it's nearly impossible as an adult to recreate long-term friends and local family connections, so if that's an important part of person's life, it may be priceless.

But "culture?" That's BS. I have a friend who flew to New York to watch Hamilton and then watched it three more times locally. Her house is worth $150,000. She used Uber to get there all four times.

hail mary? I wasn't predicting anything - I was describing my area. I honestly don't get this offense to HCOL people not being willing to give up where they live. It's like you have a pre-thought argument, and let me reiterate - I've never really considered what you have or don't have or how long you drive there. I'm just not interested in what it is, whatever that may be.

but to parse it out a bit more, first you say you have all those, and then you say "There's even an MLS team." Just one? I had stated there was one for every sport - not just one random team.

And - I'd really counter with you "have" all those on the other. I did stipulate "world class", perhaps it wasn't clear that that was meant to modify the entirety of the list presented for orchestras, opera, ballet, theatre, museums, galleries, etc.

Many smaller cities do have many of these, and they can frequently be quite good. But they aren't world class. They may have 1 -2 performers that could be at that level, and choose to live in a LCOL area for spouse or family or other reasons. But for the most part, artists will strive to get to the highest prestige performing group they can. And for a world class orchestra, for example, every single musicians is spectacular, the soloists are usually extraordinary, with some of them for the history books.


https://www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-features/best-orchestras-worlds-greatest-top-10/

Do you realize how snotty it sounds to feel like you must have a world-class everything in your city to be happy or civilized?  It's ridiculousness.

whoa! I am pointing out the differences - which other posters keep saying there is no difference, and I am just saying - yes - there is a difference! there is a difference in quantity and quality and HCOL is not the same as LCOL areas.

Now I am snotty?

Because I was correct?

ok?

Goldielocks

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #120 on: October 02, 2019, 12:15:59 PM »
There is definitely a difference in HCOL versus LCOL...

Mountains + Water (views) + job market with many jobs over $100k = HCOL
That is pretty much it.... or something particularly attractive, in the absence of mountains, like Manhattan's  long time "scene", or London's "prestige" in core areas, or DC's access to government, etc.

----------------------------------------
OP -- what a gracious post, after all the off thread / picking apart of your (previous) housing choice which made sense for you at that time (and can still be a reality).

One thing that strikes me as I review this thread-- how / where we live is tied up tightly with our identity.   

For your wife, she is having a hard time unraveling identity from home / location / lifestyle, which is understandable this soon after the change.  You personally seem to have a good understanding of family and who you are; that your job is not your identity, which can be horribly challenging to come to  realize after a lay off.   Frankly, I am impressed that you seem to have gotten your head around this so quickly and I have a lot of compassion for your wife, right now, too.   With the RE license, I think she is actively making the changes to shape a new identity, which is a great sign of a healthy family, regardless of whether you keep the house as you main goal, or something else.



DoNorth

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #121 on: October 03, 2019, 02:15:27 AM »
I wouldn't necessarily agree with the assumption that the further you go, the more disruptive it is to your family.  We FIREd in 2015 at our home in the upper midwest (kids were 7 and 4 at the time).  About 1.5 years ago, we moved to Europe for a temporary job.  New school, language, and all new people here and after just one year, both my kids are fluent in the local language, love the school and have made lots of friends and are doing activities they would never do in the US.  We bike and walk everywhere and spend lots of time together travelling.  Sure, they miss family and friends from the US, but they stay in touch and know we're returning next summer so the move and experience has been wonderful.

I often wonder if the "just move" chorus members have ever up and moved a significant distance.

I have. FIRE would've been harder in NYC. I moved to a cheaper city on the other side of the country. Before that, I downsized my housing while I still lived in NYC. Luckily, OP doesn't need to switch states. They can downsize and remain in Seattle.

Yes.  Downsizing in Seattle seems to make much more sense (because I get the sense they like Seattle and their life their) than the suggestions to move to a M/LCOL area, presumably in another state or at least far enough away from their current location that they'd be removed from their regular social connections.   

I've moved intercity, interstate, and internationally.  The further you go, the more massive the disruption. 

And this family most definitely has the finances to stay in their current area, without even a massive lifestyle overhaul.  So the suggestions to move to a [presumably far-flug] LCOL area seem a bit flippant and unnecessary.  That's a hard thing.  Why would one do it unless it was somewhat necessary?  And in this case, if leaving the house is a hard sell for the family, then it's ridiculousness to think that suggesting they move to Omaha** would likely be well-received. 

**I use Omaha as my example because it's fairly inexpensive, if maybe not what many would consider downright "L"COL.  About a year ago, I thought we were moving to Omaha and initially, the news felt pretty awful, but the more research I did, the more I realized that it actually has a great deal going for it, and I actually got somewhat excited about the prospect.  In addition to the museums and culture so often brought up in this discussion, I got the sense it was more liberal than I'd feared, which helped me get on board. So I think it could be a pretty decent place for me to live, based on what I value.  But I wouldn't willingly uproot myself to go there to save money I didn't really need to save in order to find a kick-ass lifestyle.

Montecarlo

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #122 on: October 03, 2019, 05:30:17 AM »
Since the priority is to keep the house, I would get another job ASAP.  Iím pretty conservative, so when selling the rentals I would put that cash right into the existing mortgage reduce what you owe to 400k.  If you put it into the market and a recession hits, youíll be screwed and may be forced to sell the house.

So owning 400k on primary home.  That puts your payments under 3k a month.  Sock your entire severance in the market and live off new income.

 58k from duplex, and assuming 25k from your wife with real estate and 70k from you in new career = 150k.  More than enough to service a 3k mortgage and save for retirement.

Youíre still a ways from retirement, but with a little deleveraging youíll be fine.

Mako52

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #123 on: October 09, 2019, 06:16:19 AM »
OP, I can empathize with your situation because I'm near your same age but with older kids.  I also know what it's like to live well and then face the prospects of a life change. 

 If you're getting a $220k severance it sounds like that was your total annual comp.   $84k in mortgage payments is a very high percentage of that. 

If you're afraid of letting your wife and kids down by quickly selling your dream home, go see a marriage counselor.  One that can explain how the stress of that kind of sword hanging over your head will create a toxic atmosphere for very young children to grow up in.

Swallow your pride.  Sell all 3 homes.  Move to a more affordable suburb (even if it's an hour commute away) if you insist on staying in the area. 

Good luck with everything, and I say that sincerely. 

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #124 on: October 09, 2019, 07:00:34 AM »
Since the priority is to keep the house, I would get another job ASAP.  Iím pretty conservative, so when selling the rentals I would put that cash right into the existing mortgage reduce what you owe to 400k.  If you put it into the market and a recession hits, youíll be screwed and may be forced to sell the house.

So owning 400k on primary home.  That puts your payments under 3k a month.  Sock your entire severance in the market and live off new income.

 58k from duplex, and assuming 25k from your wife with real estate and 70k from you in new career = 150k.  More than enough to service a 3k mortgage and save for retirement.

Youíre still a ways from retirement, but with a little deleveraging youíll be fine.
@Montecarlo I'm going to guess you don't live in the US. Mortgages don't work that way here. For a fixed rate mortgage, the payment is the payment is the payment until you refinance or pay it off. Doing as you suggest would put the OP in a more precarious position, not less. A US mortgage is a promise to pay. If you miss payments, the bank will forecoise. They don't care how much you are "ahead", or as you suggest, "deleveraged". The safest position is enough money in the bank to make lots and lots of payments, plus taxes, plus maintenance, plus life.

In most cases in the US, it is safest to buy only as much house as one can comfortably afford, put 20% down, get a cheap, fixed-rate mortgage and don't prepay. Put every extra dollar into your own investment accounts and let it grow. Eventually, you will have enough to pay the mortgage off in one payment, if you still desire to do so. Until then, all that extra money at your disposal is working for you, not the bank, and gives you a powerful sense of security against life's gotchas.

Maverick1

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #125 on: October 09, 2019, 01:38:04 PM »
If I were in this situation, I'd sell all of the existing real estate and buy a modest house in a smallish mountain town.  I'd live out my days raising my kids, skiing in the winter and golfing in the summer.

dandarc

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #126 on: October 09, 2019, 01:56:29 PM »
In most cases in the US, it is safest to buy only as much house as one can comfortably afford, put 20% down, get a cheap, fixed-rate mortgage and don't prepay. Put every extra dollar into your own investment accounts and let it grow. Eventually, you will have enough to pay the mortgage off in one payment, if you still desire to do so. Until then, all that extra money at your disposal is working for you, not the bank, and gives you a powerful sense of security against life's gotchas.
This is exactly right, as is always the case with Dicey and that's also really where OP went wrong here - even with the high-paying job, it seems like the house is more than they could comfortably afford.

Ditto on the investment real estate - already too extended on the primary residence, so you can't afford to make illiquid speculative investments. Which all 3 of the rental properties are - even the paid off one is not cash-flowing all that well for what they've got in it. Need significant appreciation in value or inflation in rents to make any of them look like good investments, and they don't have the necessary liquidity to wait for that to play out.

The job loss just makes it obvious, but they needed quite a bit more income and liquid assets to own all this real estate even without that having happened.

Suppose another option would be to leverage back up - even with increased payments, $1 to 1.5 million in liquid assets would buy them quite a bit of time. If they can get a bank to write the loan with the major source of income gone. That's a pretty big if. Assuming that can't be done, selling the real estate is the answer. At the very least sell the rentals. Severance gives them some time to get that done, but they need to be sold or a better paying job found before that runs out or things will get rough very quickly.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 03:26:49 PM by dandarc »

Cpa Cat

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #127 on: October 09, 2019, 02:41:32 PM »

whoa! I am pointing out the differences - which other posters keep saying there is no difference, and I am just saying - yes - there is a difference! there is a difference in quantity and quality and HCOL is not the same as LCOL areas.

Now I am snotty?

Because I was correct?

ok?

The New York Philharmonic String Quartet played here in May. I'm sure it was only the four suckiest players though. The good ones likely don't travel. I thought the performance of Sleeping Beauty by the Russian National Ballet was great - but that's just my uncultured self talking. I'm sure it was a lot better when they performed it in New York.

Yes. It came across as snotty. But I'm glad that you love your city. It's important. It makes the sacrifices worth it. That's the point that many people have tried to make here: What is important to the OP and his wife and are the sacrifices/financial insecurity worth it? Because if they aren't worth it, then the OP has options, and those options are pretty great.

FR2000EE

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #128 on: October 09, 2019, 11:13:35 PM »
OP, I am very curious, what are your current thoughts after reading everyone's comments about keeping your house? Are you ready to share yet?

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #129 on: October 10, 2019, 01:55:16 AM »
FWIW, here's what 1.3-4 mill buys in my Seattle 'hood -- I wouldn't call it slumming!

https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/13733-42nd-Ave-NE-98125/home/8185152

Actually prices have been dropping up here, so you could probably get that for 1.2-3 or maybe even less.

We paid less than that, cash, 2.5 years ago and have a really awesome FIREd lifestyle with 2 adults, 2 teens on about 60-70k spending a year, which includes a generous travel budget, (half of family lives overseas), regular meals out (typically 2-3 times a month at $80-120/meal), good healthy food, splurges on stuff we value (stuff from REI, updated electronics every couple of years, etc).

Suggest that you try living the work-optional lifestyle for the next 6-12 months and see how you both like it.  You may find that your DW values that particular house less once she sees how much easier it is to live a happy, less-stressed family life when you aren't juggling two busy jobs.  Maybe her RE career will take off and you can afford to keep the house.  Maybe you'll sell one or two of the rentals to extend your runway and the lifestyle experiment a little further.  STRONGLY urge you to go to some MMM/ Camp FI gatherings in the greater Seattle area to meet some FIRE-oriented or already FIREd people -- it is much easier to step off the treadmill when you have people in your social circle who are already living a high quality life on less.
@lhamo, wow, nice house!  I looked at the price history on Zillow because RF was incomplete. Any idea why it was such a roller coaster?

Montecarlo

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #130 on: October 10, 2019, 10:04:25 AM »
Since the priority is to keep the house, I would get another job ASAP.  Iím pretty conservative, so when selling the rentals I would put that cash right into the existing mortgage reduce what you owe to 400k.  If you put it into the market and a recession hits, youíll be screwed and may be forced to sell the house.

So owning 400k on primary home.  That puts your payments under 3k a month.  Sock your entire severance in the market and live off new income.

 58k from duplex, and assuming 25k from your wife with real estate and 70k from you in new career = 150k.  More than enough to service a 3k mortgage and save for retirement.

Youíre still a ways from retirement, but with a little deleveraging youíll be fine.
@Montecarlo I'm going to guess you don't live in the US. Mortgages don't work that way here. For a fixed rate mortgage, the payment is the payment is the payment until you refinance or pay it off. Doing as you suggest would put the OP in a more precarious position, not less. A US mortgage is a promise to pay. If you miss payments, the bank will forecoise. They don't care how much you are "ahead", or as you suggest, "deleveraged". The safest position is enough money in the bank to make lots and lots of payments, plus taxes, plus maintenance, plus life.

In most cases in the US, it is safest to buy only as much house as one can comfortably afford, put 20% down, get a cheap, fixed-rate mortgage and don't prepay. Put every extra dollar into your own investment accounts and let it grow. Eventually, you will have enough to pay the mortgage off in one payment, if you still desire to do so. Until then, all that extra money at your disposal is working for you, not the bank, and gives you a powerful sense of security against life's gotchas.

Whoops yes.  But canít OP refinance?

dandarc

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #131 on: October 10, 2019, 10:37:21 AM »
Since the priority is to keep the house, I would get another job ASAP.  Iím pretty conservative, so when selling the rentals I would put that cash right into the existing mortgage reduce what you owe to 400k.  If you put it into the market and a recession hits, youíll be screwed and may be forced to sell the house.

So owning 400k on primary home.  That puts your payments under 3k a month.  Sock your entire severance in the market and live off new income.

 58k from duplex, and assuming 25k from your wife with real estate and 70k from you in new career = 150k.  More than enough to service a 3k mortgage and save for retirement.

Youíre still a ways from retirement, but with a little deleveraging youíll be fine.
@Montecarlo I'm going to guess you don't live in the US. Mortgages don't work that way here. For a fixed rate mortgage, the payment is the payment is the payment until you refinance or pay it off. Doing as you suggest would put the OP in a more precarious position, not less. A US mortgage is a promise to pay. If you miss payments, the bank will forecoise. They don't care how much you are "ahead", or as you suggest, "deleveraged". The safest position is enough money in the bank to make lots and lots of payments, plus taxes, plus maintenance, plus life.

In most cases in the US, it is safest to buy only as much house as one can comfortably afford, put 20% down, get a cheap, fixed-rate mortgage and don't prepay. Put every extra dollar into your own investment accounts and let it grow. Eventually, you will have enough to pay the mortgage off in one payment, if you still desire to do so. Until then, all that extra money at your disposal is working for you, not the bank, and gives you a powerful sense of security against life's gotchas.

Whoops yes.  But canít OP refinance?
They could, and probably should try that, but it can be very difficult if you just lost your job. They do have the cash flow from the rental, and having a pile of money would help give them time so the right bank might do it, but this isn't going to be a run of the mill underwriting process for them.

DaMa

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #132 on: February 06, 2020, 07:33:19 PM »
A few people have mention the potential impact on the children, but I want to try to say it another way.

When you live in a spendy area, your children will spend time with other spendy people.  If they can't do or have the spendy things, it will make them stand out in ways that may have a negative impact on them.

Maybe you are in a very diverse area, and this doesn't apply.  But I think this was what the therapy comment was about.

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #133 on: February 06, 2020, 09:31:39 PM »
Huh -- looks like whoever bought it in 2011  paid too much (that was a very high price for the neighborhood at that time), and then had to sell relatively quickly.  Most likely job loss or divorce or both. I thought the bottom of the last Seattle market dip was in 2011-12, but this neighborhood might have lagged a bit.
Hey @lhamo, I just noticed that this house didn't sell and has been re-listed. Any thoughts on why it hasn't sold? The school ratings do seem kind of middling for that price point. Interestingly, they only dropped the price $20k when it went back on 17 days ago.

norajean

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #134 on: February 07, 2020, 04:48:32 AM »
I would NOT make any attempt at returning to work. Sell all the real estate and move. You have a year to find your dream home with a max budget of $1 million. Avoid high property tax places. Get a 30 year 80% mortgage. Invest everything else in stocks. Withdraw $100k per year for expenses. Relax and enjoy life.

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #135 on: February 07, 2020, 11:38:26 AM »
Huh -- looks like whoever bought it in 2011  paid too much (that was a very high price for the neighborhood at that time), and then had to sell relatively quickly.  Most likely job loss or divorce or both. I thought the bottom of the last Seattle market dip was in 2011-12, but this neighborhood might have lagged a bit.
Hey @lhamo, I just noticed that this house didn't sell and has been re-listed. Any thoughts on why it hasn't sold? The school ratings do seem kind of middling for that price point. Interestingly, they only dropped the price $20k when it went back on 17 days ago.

I think they listed too high -- it is a nice house, but that price point is a bit high for the neighborhood.  As I said earlier, I think it will probably sell in the 1.2-1.3 range.

Schools may be an issue.  The elementary school up the hill just reopened a couple of years ago and while I think it is doing fine it is small and there  may not be much buzz about it yet.  Also, we are one of the most diverse zipcodes/census tracts in the city -- we have tons of immigrants and second language learners as the areas around the freeway-like strip that bisects the zip code has a lot of low and lower-income housing, while the parts of the hood that overlook the lake are $$$$.  So school test scores tend to be a bit lower than average in the city, which scares some people.  My DD goes to the zoned high school that has a rep for being anti-gifted (they have minimal AP offerings compared to other high schools around us), but as I predicted she is flourishing there -- medium sized fish in a smaller pond kind of deal.  She will be able to do Running start as a junior, and probably will get an AA degree along with her high school diploma.
Good insight, per usual, @lhamo. It also seems slightly "dated". Not to me, but to a younger buyer perhaps. Egads, the counters are granite, not quartz, dear! (LOLZ)

zee dot

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #136 on: March 07, 2020, 06:36:03 AM »
I feel tricked! I saw update in the title and thought @Jonah0021 was back to fill us in on what's happened since October.  Well????

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #137 on: March 07, 2020, 07:13:35 AM »
I'd be more concerned with the time it takes to get out of that anti-Mustachian house than the time to find a new job.  For me personally there is no amount of enjoyment I could get from a house that would offset the risks from not having the prerequisite income.  Your NW is impressive, but it can go down very rapidly if not fiercely protected.

partgypsy

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #138 on: March 24, 2020, 07:28:04 AM »
Since everyone is putting their two cents in, might as well too. As other have said, you won. Cash in your chips. I understand that may be hard to do. I live in a relatively low cost area that is rapidly gentrifying. Not as bad as Seattle but I get the love of nice houses in even nicer neighborhoods. You have some soul searching to do. I would separate out the quality of life benefits of, the specific house you live in, versus the neighborhood, versus the city or town. I understand not wanting to sell the house. It was a labor of love, and just fixed up. I can think of at least 2 houses like that in my town. One the wife pushed for a huge remodel on two middle class salaries. She got the house she wanted, but the husband with pressure of huge mortgage and the feeling of being a doormat said enough. They split up and divorced, had to sell house bc neither could afford it. 2nd story, husband and wife built their dream home where he worked and she didnt. Until he lost his job. They didn't want to sell the house so they went into debt to try to hold onto the house, until forced to sell. because they waited so long (and he developed health conditions) they literally have nothing and rent modest housing. But at least they are still together and while it took their entire net worth, finally learned the lesson of what is important in life (loved ones and health). I guess what I'm saying, I don't see holding onto the house ending well. I don't know if any cases like that, unless you or your wife are able to make a steady 100k income relatively quickly. Is your wife willing to work a 100k job to keep the house? Because being 50 (ageism) and the non-compete and hence not having access to a similar job for a year, means you may not be able to replace your income. I'm being realistic. I think you can have most of what you want. You can stay in the neighborhood (or a similar stellar neighborhood, your kids are young enough to make new friends), same city by selling your primary house and right-sizing for your current life. Keep the paid off duplex. If you sell the other two rentals use that money to either pay off work, or for income replacement such as in stocks. Do not use for immediate consumption or to fund a non sustainable lifestyle. You will still need to work, but you won't have the pressure of 20, 30 years of a 1.2 Mill mortgage.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 07:36:19 AM by partgypsy »

Dicey

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #139 on: March 24, 2020, 08:13:38 AM »
For context, a quick redfin search:
https://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/3409-13th-Ave-W-98119/home/129449?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link

This is in Queen Anne, right in the heart of the city. It's almost 3000 sq ft. It has water views. It's completely updated on the inside. School district is awesome. If you can't be happy in a house like this, I don't think anybody can help you.

Now imagine what kind of house the OP is living in that is worth $2.5M.
~sigh~
That is gorgeous
Random update: it sold for $1.27M on Dec. 31, 2019. It would be nice if OP would post an update, but I do what I can ;-)

dandarc

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Re: UPDATE: Well - it happened. 49 yo male loses high paying job
« Reply #140 on: March 24, 2020, 09:32:10 AM »
OP may have waited too long - hope they got the "cash in the lottery ticket" on the real estate done.