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Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 06:32 PM   #1
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Help me I must get out

I have been visiting this forum for so time. How enjoyable and informative! I've decided to post and be a part of this forum because I've been so inspired by it. Here's my story and please give me your advice.

I am a 38 year old mother of two and the main bread winner in the family. We've decided that my husband would stay home when our first daughter was born since financially that made sense. My husband has worked part-time, generate a very small income. I earn about about $110K which provides me with a decent living but not lavish in the part of the country I live. However, I feel very unfulfilled.

I was never cut out to be in the corporate world. In fact, my first degree is in the social science. I came to business by mere chance so needless to say I have a tough time dealing with the politics and the shenanigans that go on in the corporate world. So little of what you actually do counts; political connections and kissing up is the a surer way to get to the top. Of course, you need some smarts as well. Although, I have an MBA and CPA and fairly intelligent, I never made it pass the supervisor level and quite frankly I have no interest in doing so because of the extra demands and politics.

I am at the point where I want out. The job is not too stressful but the politics is unbearable and I can't stand some of the people I work with - mostly because of the ruthlessness to get to the top and the back stabbing. In addition to that, I've always wanted to live life on my own terms, to set my own hours, spend time with my children and work for the causes I feel strongly about.

Here's the financial picture:

401K $200K
Mutual funds $25K
Cash $250K
Equity in Home: $100K
Equity in Investment Real Estate $300K
Rental Income $14K/yr

Plan:

Invest in real estate to generate an additional $10K/yr (plan already underway)
Pay off the balance of $210K on mortgage
Get a job in non-profit or government probably paying less than half of what I make to provide medical benefits. It's virtually impossible to replace my salary because similar jobs in the area are paying much less.

Alternative plan:

Move to Canada since I can legally reside there and would be entitled to medical coverage. This way, I can live on my modest rental income, get a part-time job and spend more time with my children.

In case you are wondering, my husband has limited work experience due mostly to part-time job and did only 3 years of college which means he can't contribute much income. I would prefer if he works only part-time since we enjoy spending time together and I would like us to both FIRE at the same time.

Concerns:

This could potentially make us unable to pay for our children's education and they may be saddled with debt.

We may die broke thus leaving nothing for our children.

Please help me! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.


ADJ
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 06:49 PM   #2
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Re: Help me I must get out

ADJ,

A couple of questions:
How much do you need to spend each month to have the lifestyle you/your family would be comfortable with? Does this include your mortgage payment?
The "invest in real estate to generate an additional $10K per year"--how much will you need to invest to make this happen?
You've said what you'd like your husband to do. What does your husband want to do?

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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Help me I must get out

Lots of kids work out their own education costs.

On the financial side, when I mention what we should leave for our son when we pass on, she usually replies "if he isnt wealthy on his own already".

As long as you've taken the time and effort to raise your kids right and they've gotten your best, I dont know if the money matters much.

If I had a choice of working at something I didnt like, sending him to college and leaving him a bunch of money, or spending all my time with him...I'd take the latter. I'm sure that 20 years from now he'll agree.

And then ask "exactly how much money would we have been talking about"?
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:13 PM   #4
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Re: Help me I must get out

"How much do you need to spend each month to have the lifestyle you/your family would be comfortable with? * *Does this include your mortgage payment?"

$3,600 including mortgage, taxes and insurance of $1,500.* * *

"The "invest in real estate to generate an additional $10K per year"--how much will you need to invest to make this happen?"

$54K

"You've said what you'd like your husband to do. *What does your husband want to do?"

He would like quit his part-time job and work on maintaining our rental properties and acquiring more. *

By the way how to I do the highlight I see people do on here to highlight a quote?

ADJ

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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: Help me I must get out

If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program or has mental health services in your health insurance find someone who can help you sort out your issues. *Every group of humans has 'politics', even families. *

If you can find a way to deliver value to your employer on your terms just sit back and watch the lemmings go over the cliff. *

Another option is to find another org that doesn't have the culture you find a problem. * My SIL is a CPA who was in just such a org. *He changed employers. *My DD is also a CPA, she is in a very positive org. The partners have taken her to lunch just to tell her how much they value her work.

DD's employer found her through networking, she wasn't looking for a job.* You can softly network externally by talking about the corporate culture you would love to find (don't dirty your current situation) and ask if anyone has seen such a situation.*

One of the ways employees vet employers (and visa-versa) is to work for a temp firm. *Tell them that you are looking for a perm position with an up-beat corporate culture. *CPAs are hard to fill slots today, you really can find a better situation and when you do the temp firm will get a nice finder's fee.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJ


By the way how to I do the highlight I see people do on here to highlight a quote?

ADJ
In the lower right corner of each posted message you will see a "quote" button next to "reply". Clicking the quote button will bring up the reply page along with with the message you are quoting. Place your cursor below the [(backslash)quote] at the end, and type your reply.

Preview a couple of times to get the hang of it...


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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:40 PM   #7
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Re: Help me I must get out

You mean UPPER right?

Too busy giving me the business to know your up from your down?
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:43 PM   #8
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Re: Help me I must get out

Thank you guys for your replies so far. They're sure helping me to put things in perspective.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
You mean UPPER right?

Too busy giving me the business to know your up from your down?
That would depend on how you are viewing the post. If you are looking at it in the individual thread, then you are (once again), absolutely positively correct. The quote button is located upper right.

If, however, you are viewing the posts via the "view the 50 most recent posts on the forum" option, the button is in the lower right.

ADJ, the message to you is "look for the quote button".


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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 08:07 PM   #10
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Re: Help me I must get out

Dont you hate it when i'm right?

I know I do.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-26-2006, 10:01 PM   #11
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJ
"How much do you need to spend each month to have the lifestyle you/your family would be comfortable with? * *Does this include your mortgage payment?"

$3,600 including mortgage, taxes and insurance of $1,500.* * *
How daring are you (or put another way how badly do you want to RE)?* Since it appears you are comfortable with residential income real estate some post from another thread sprung to mind.* The first couple were mine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_fire
PortlandDiehard, well said!* In NM a 2 BR apt can rent for less than $500 and that is your main cost driver.*

Before I retired I noticed that the debt to income ratio for banks to provide a loan was in the 33% range.* If this is a true estimate of what the amount of debt service a person can live with is then couldn't someone live debt free on twice what their equivalent "home" payment is, provided they didn't have to make an equivalent "home" payment?* So if someone wanted to retire couldn't they retire (if they were debt free) by buying a 4 unit apartment building outright and living in one unit.* With 25% of the projected rents (1 unit's rent) for building expenses (including vacancy factor) that would make their equivalent "home" payment 33% of the remaining rental income, which is exactly the banks qualification debt/income ratio.* And in NM you can easily get a 4-plex with 2 BR units for $200k so it should be very doable to retire on $600k.* All you need to do is find a 4-plex in an area and with the apartment size that you are willing to live in.
and

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw_fire
Well then how about buying 2 adjacent 4-plexes for the $200k each, live in 1 apt, use the rent from 2 apts for expenses (including a vacancy factor), pay for a property manager with the rent from 1 apt, leaving you the income from 4 apts to live on.* Would that qualify as retirement?
and the last was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bearkeley
Well here is a real world example of this from some properties we just looked at in suburban Atlanta.

2 condo style 4plexes @ 300 k each

Rents 700 per unit

Gross operating income $64,000
total operating expenses $20,000

Net operating income $44,000

This includes among other expenses

Repairs 3000
Management Fee 6945.1
Landscaping 1830
5% vacancy.

So if you managed the property and did the lawns and some maintenance yourself you coulld increase your income.* Of course if you lived in one unit you would lose $8400 in income but then you could have your pick of the units.* Also much of your income would be protected from taxes because of the depreciation.

So can you live on $44k a year in Marietta?*

I would think you could live quite well and* as costs go up rents go up. The units are 2 bed 2 bath 1350 sqft with a screened porch surrounded by woods in a reasonably nice quiet residential neighborhood.

It is not Wysteria Lane but those people don't seem all that happy anyway.

So based on that I think if you were okay with living in a condo and living a simple life you would be fine.
So given your assets (outside tyour 401ks) and real estate prices/cap rates in whatever area you choose to live this may provide an alternative (or at leate the starting point).
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-27-2006, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: Help me I must get out

Welcome ADJ. Have you considered teaching business classes at the college level? That would provide a less stressful environment, more time off with your family, and decent benefits including possibly a small pension after 5 or 10 years. And it's certainly compatible with managing rentals--you could even teach about that.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-27-2006, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
Welcome ADJ. Have you considered teaching business classes at the college level? That would provide a less stressful environment, more time off with your family, and decent benefits including possibly a small pension after 5 or 10 years. And it's certainly compatible with managing rentals--you could even teach about that.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have considered but was a bit concerned about the health insurance benefits since my children are still quite young. I live in a college town so I will start looking into that possibility.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-27-2006, 09:00 AM   #14
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Re: Help me I must get out

Oh, I forget to say one thing. I am quite impressed with the generosity I see expressed on this forum and people's willingness to give sound advice and to share their life and experiences. It's truly a great forum.

ADJ
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-27-2006, 09:44 AM   #15
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Re: Help me I must get out

There are lots of thoughtful folks who frequent this board, they have helped me think through life's options too.

Back to your problem, and my comments.* There is nothing wrong with stepping off the corporate treadmill but I suggest you do that on your own terms when you have all your ducks in a row - not as an escape from a bad situation.*

There are a couple good reads out there, the one that comes to mind first is "How to Work for a Jerk".* *

Corporate culture is determined by it's leadership.* It won't change unless management forces the issue.* There is a recent article about how the new CEO changed the culture of Home Depot - it wasn't bad but it needed to change to adapt to competition.

It isn't your fault, or even the fault of those who are trying to fight their way up in our org, that they must claw their way to achieve their goals.* Your selecting managers are rewarding that behavior.

Recently I listened to a sweet middle-aged executive describe his situation.. conference calls starting at 1 am, then off to the office where he usually could leave by 6 pm, six days a week.* Foul-mouthed communication up and down the line.* There is nothing he can do to change that, he needs to provide for his own survival.* So... it can be worse!
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-28-2006, 03:03 PM   #16
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJ
We may die broke thus leaving nothing for our children.
ADJ, one way to think about this one -- if it were your parents making the choice, would you rather they be happy and leave you nothing, or live unhappily to accumulate your inheritance. Your kids probably have the same values you do.

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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-28-2006, 05:24 PM   #17
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach
ADJ, one way to think about this one -- if it were your parents making the choice, would you rather they be happy and leave you nothing, or live unhappily to accumulate your inheritance. Your kids probably have the same values you do.
Our commitment to our kids is to love the heck out of them, give them a solid foundation for life based on reality, and a good college education. Their graduation gifts will be a nice set of luggage.
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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-28-2006, 07:25 PM   #18
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJ


I was never cut out to be in the corporate world....*
I have a tough time dealing with the politics and the shenanigans that go on in the corporate world.* So little of what you actually do counts; political connections and kissing up is the a surer way to get to the top.* Of course, you need some smarts as well.* Although, I have an MBA and CPA and fairly intelligent, I never made it pass the supervisor level and quite frankly I have no interest in doing so because of the extra demands and politics.


ADJ
Hello ADJ,

You sound like someone who has a heart. Don't sell it short.
I know, I know... easier said than done, but here's the thing: there's help from totally unexpected sources that comes to those who ask. Ask sincerely... and then just listen inside...

Throughout my life I've made countless plans... and then something completely unforseen happened that forced me to go into a different direction. Shocking sometimes, but in the end often better than I could ever even hope for with all my formidable logic and hard-headed practical thinking* !

If you stay true to your heart and treat others like you want to be treated yourself, I guarantee you that amazing Grace will come for you -- especially when you no longer even expect it.

My 0.2 cents (nominal)

Kaleko

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Re: Help me I must get out
Old 05-29-2006, 11:30 AM   #19
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Re: Help me I must get out

Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Kaleko

If you stay true to your heart and treat others like you want to be treated yourself, I guarantee you that amazing Grace will come for you -- especially when you no longer even expect it.




Thank you.* I am trying to believe that more and more everyday.
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