Author Topic: Case study-should we move?  (Read 1122 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 38
  • Location: Minnesota
Case study-should we move?
« on: June 27, 2016, 04:32:35 PM »
Life situation: Married early 30ís no kids, but we are trying (with no luckÖ) We are in rural MN. We live 10+ miles from everything. I have started us biking the 10 miles to the closest library on Tuesdays and I attend a Bible study in the same town so I can go to both (and rest) before I head home.
Husband is retired Navy and receives a monthly check, free health insurance (tricare) and MN has a homeowner policy that pays for the taxes on the first $100,000 worth of the house for veterans.(No matter where we live, as long as itís in MN)
 I tried to do the best I could getting these numbers. The tax numbers and AGI were taken from last years tax returns. Some of the information is averaged over a few months. Such as pets, we might have a vet visit in March and then nothing again until November. Please donít tell me to get rid of my pets, we adopted them and are responsible for them until they die. And they provide us with more than just their monetary value.
We live out in the rural area so we can have chickens, ducks, and rabbits. I wanted to get a goat for raw milk since itís illegal to sell it in MN there is no way to get it, but now Iím not sure about it.
I know that a lot of people wonít understand that I am on a path of no chemicals or hormones in our food. Iím already not allowed to eat soy(per my Dr.) because it messes with my hormones. I need to garden and I canít give up my chickens for the nutritious eggs. I have been thinking of this for awhile and I feel kind of bad that we live way out here, but we both love it. I am the reason we are out here, my husband wanted to live in town and we couldnít find anything there in our price range when we were looking. Being from another state I didnít know that this area would be so much better than where I came from(-Iím not telling in case you are from thereÖ)

Gross Salary: $121.891.00  Income from work goes up from overtime worked every 2 years(and randomly as well)  and will continue to rise with more experience in the work place. Some months he does more overtime so we will save more. (These are last years numbers)

Pre tax deductions: FSA-$5,000 IRA-$11,000 Insurances(dental,vision, AD&D, and sup insurances- $792.21 TOTAL-16,792.21

After tax deductions- ROTH 401k- $18,000 (With 4% of base pay employee match and 5% auto base pay)

Other ordinary income $21000 from Navy retirement. This will never end for all of OUR lives. Minor children will receive something as well, but since we donít have any we havenít looked into it yet. (only about $500 of this is taxable)

Qualified dividends and long term capital gains- $16

Adjusted gross income- $123,816 (give or take some pennies) This doesnít add up correctly, because itís the VA isnít taxable and part of the navy stuff is and then there was overtime which changes the tax owed so it is all oddÖsorry.

Taxes- Federal-$15,606 State-$6,573 FICA-7,347 Medicare-1,767.43

Expenses- Some of these are approximates or averages from the year previous.
Gym membership- $541
Clothing-$100 (MaybeÖHusband gets a clothing allowance of $300 every year from work)
Car registrations-$84 for truck and $80 for prius= $164
Totals-$1105/12=92.08 monthly average


Mortgage- We send $1600 but the total payment- $1,203.10
(Principle- $744.97 Interest $331.32) Escrow-$126.81 (T&I)
Gas- $100 (lately, this has been more like $80 with all the biking Iím doing.)
Auto Insurance-50
Personal-$210 (105 each) Yeah I knowÖ
Restaurants-$200 (we are working on eating out less. Iím a company-pants since I do all the cooking.)
Pets-$ 200 (includes vet visits) We have 2 dogs and 2 cats, no we arenít getting rid of them. The cats are 10+ and we have already discussed not having more cats.
Farm expenses-$200
House supplies/maintenance-$250 (I need to take a closer look at thisÖI think itís turned into my miscellaneous category. Iíd love some tips on this.)
yearly broken down into month costs-$92.01

Total- 4432.08 (This is pretty close to an average month. We never go over $5000)

We were buying more junk last year, but have since scaled down and are continuing to do so. (No face punch needed here!)
Also we are minimizing our stuff to concentrate on what matters in life.

Writing all this out makes me feel like I have a lot of work to do still. If we moved into the town that my husband works in he could bike to work. [5miles] (unless it was a blizzard or too much ice on the roads.) I could bike to the store and practically everywhere. [4 miles] I could make monthly trips to a larger town for bulk supplies on a monthly basis (which I do now.) But, I donít think that this would take a lot of our money from our budget. We donít spend a huge amount on gas, but we are paying for a gym membership.(almost $600 a year! I feel like punching myself in the face over that one.) Which we wouldnít need, we would need a weight lifting set though. (Iím sure I could find a nice one for less than $600 though) Although, I think we are both in agreement that this year is the last year we are doing a yearly membership to the gym.

I actually found a nice house that is $225K thatís 5 miles from his work and less than 10 to shopping centers. With a nice garden area outside and still has 2+ acres! He doesít want to moveÖ Says that it will cost more in closing costs and associated fees. How should I approach this? I love our house too. I mean Iím the one who's painted all the rooms, decorated each space and coordinated the carpet being ripped up and he did help me lay the new wood floors. I put in the new tile in the bathroom and keep up with most (he helps a lot) of the cleaning.
(Iím not saying he does nothing, quite the contrary, he does a lot. Iím just highlighting what Iíve done to the house to make a point on how I love it too.)

We have discussed if we moved then we might have to move again to retire away from town. Not sure though.

Assets- House-$216,000, Nisan Titan-$13,126 Toyota Prius- $11,834 Karman Ghia-$4000 1970s trek mens road bike-$250, 2014 mongoose womenís mountain bike- $80 (Iím looking and comparing for a new road bike for me.)

Liabilities- Mortgage balance- $103,000. We are debt free. 

Eventually we want to be able to live off the $20,000 retirement money and other retirement incomes.


  • Stubble
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  • Location: Northern Virginia/Washington DC Area
Re: Case study-should we move?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2016, 09:30:48 AM »
I'm sure some more experienced members might be able to dissect your numbers to give you a better black and white answer from that point of view, but I will give you my thoughts after reading your post.

-How far away from FI are you?  With that income on top of the military retirement and the amount you are investing, you should be able to get to FI in the not too distant future.  After you become FI, and your husband chooses to leave his job, where do you want to live?  If your husband has to work for another 10 years or more, then moving might be a good choice.  If you will be FI in a couple of years and would rather be in your current house after FI, then moving might not be in your best interest.
-Given that it seems your diet and the ability to be self sustaining is pretty important to you, could you do everything that you are currently doing, and would want to do in the future at the potential new house?
-If the only reason for moving would be to reduce your husband's commute, are there other options for commuting?  While I live well beyond a bike commute, I either bike, drive, or walk a short distance to get to work by using ride sharing, busses, and metro.  In rural MN, this might not be an option, but could be if some coworkers live close by.

Best of luck