Author Topic: advice requested - just starting out  (Read 987 times)

youngscholarsearcher

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
advice requested - just starting out
« on: June 05, 2016, 11:45:17 AM »
When I learned about this community, it seemed like it has the right spirit for me.  I need some advice and hope this is the right place to ask.

After a very, very long PhD, I'm finally employed, climbing a career ladder. The major thing is that I want to get off this ladder altogether in the not-too-distant future and pursue projects meaningful to me that also help the less fortunate - and may have little or no 'standard' job-related income at that point.

So I want to leverage my current good fortune wisely. My salary is $100K in NYC, and I'm up for a promotion soon; I think I will likely go up to $115K or so; perhaps the ceiling within 5 years is ~130K. Through careful savings and an inheritance, I've got $75K in a Roth IRA (should leave it alone, right?) and ~$375K in investments (stocks and bonds) and cash.
Right now, I am living month-to-month in a 'short-term' shared 2-bedroom and I am ready to move. So living/real estate is the major decision for me to make.

I could buy a nice 2-bed/1-bath in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood for ~350K plus $1200/month maintenance right now (I'm thinking with a 30-year mortgage). Or I could hold out for something larger (example something with 2 bathrooms for ~400K) or even a multifamily home for 500-600K, and rent out a portion as an investment.
Part of me thinks we're in a real estate / economic bubble and I should rent for a while to see what happens; the other part wants to just get on with my life already and stop speculating/worrying.

It would be nice to imagine that I'll find a life partner and may have a child or adopt/foster one.

As I mentioned, my goal would be to become financially self-sufficient as soon as possible so I can quit my stressful job and do things I find very meaningful that will have a positive impact on my community and hopefully the world.

In any case, THANK YOU for any advice and wisdom you can offer.

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4337
  • Location: CT
Re: advice requested - just starting out
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2016, 12:57:50 PM »
So what is/are the question(s)?

Choices

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
    • ChooseBetterLife
Re: advice requested - just starting out
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 01:01:19 PM »
If you're trying to save money and be financially independent and are anticipating big life changes, DON'T BUY!

Rent as cheaply as possible for now while you figure out your game plan. Figure out your core values and where you want to be in five years. It might not happen because life can surprise you in good and bad ways, but it's something to work toward. Save money like nobody's business. It will give you options and freedom later.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9973
  • Location: Seattle
Re: advice requested - just starting out
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 02:22:27 PM »
If you can find a suitable 2br/2ba in reasonable commuting distance to your school, and if you are willing to share living space, that would be a good option -- try to find something with lower common charges, though (our 3br/2ba co-op in Jackson Heights had no underlying mortgage so the common charges were under $500 back in the early 2000s -- I think they are closer to $700 now). 

Gentrification can be great for property values.  When we bought in JH in 2000, we paid just under $120k for our place.  We sold in early 2003 for $260k.  The people who bought from us sold about two years later for over $400k.