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Lurking, but open to ideas....
Old 12-11-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Lurking, but open to ideas....

It's been a year since I actually created my account, but Ha (rightfully) gave me some grief that my first post included some travel recommendations that the paranoid in me would suspect looks commercial. Since that's not at all the impression I'm looking to create, I guess he successfully guilted me into contributing a bit more. *sheepish grin*

That said, I am not all that comfortable sharing too many details on a public forum, so this won't be a very exciting "Hi, I am..." thread.

General situation is that my spouse and I are married, average out to mid-30s, and no kids although that may change. We are currently on a solid pace towards financial independence, at which point we may re-evaluate our priorities and work more for a cause than for a paycheck.

The wrinkle (and there is always a wrinkle, isn't there?) is that I work remotely for a large corporation out of state. I travel regularly and the routine separation, plus the stress of the job is starting to take it's toll. Since where I work is a much higher COL area than where I live, my salary goes much farther here. Some days I love that we may be able to pull the plug earlier and really do something that matters. Other days, I find myself perusing local job listings and dreaming of a lower stress life without the travel (or money). Sometimes I wonder why I haven't addressed the issue yet and chosen quality of life over compensation; other times, I think that I have it pretty good and this is just my particular version of a mid-life crisis.

There is an obvious solution to this, which we are trying our darndest to accomplish: grow the family. If that happens, my decision is already made, as I will not be an absentee parent. However, until that happens, I continue to work towards financial independence and have an even share of good and bad days at a job I no longer love.

After lurking this long, I'm pretty sure I already know what advice people will give, and it's pretty much the same advice I'd give myself were I reading this. However, knowing the right thing to do is far easier than actually going out and doing it sometimes.

So, that's about it, for now at least. Thanks for providing a great source of advice and community!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard, Lurking.

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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There is an obvious solution to this, which we are trying our darndest to accomplish: grow the family. If that happens, my decision is already made, as I will not be an absentee parent.
You'd still ahve a decison to make, right? Move the family to where your present job is, or find work where you live now. You didn't mention whether your spouse works or wants to move, that will factor into your decisionmaking, too, I'm sure.

Don't make a decision without looking at all the alternatives. Sometimes there are ways to reduce COL even in high cost areas if you are willing, as a family, to live a little simpler for the sake of more free time (then or later).
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Welcome to the board Lurking.

Quote:
The wrinkle (and there is always a wrinkle, isn't there?) is that I work remotely for a large corporation out of state. I travel regularly and the routine separation, plus the stress of the job is starting to take it's toll. Since where I work is a much higher COL area than where I live, my salary goes much farther here.
DW and I lived with the same "wrinkle" for almost 8 years (DW was the one doing all the travel back and forth to HQ). Financially, it was a great arrangement which allowed us to make great progress towards FI. But the constant travel and separation did take a human toll. Earlier this year, we moved closer to DW's employer (a 10-minute walk as opposed to a 5-hour flight). Our expenses have doubled but we are FI so we don't care at this point. DW and I are able to spend more time together even though she still has to travel sometimes. We're loving it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurking View Post
It's been a year since I actually created my account, but Ha (rightfully) gave me some grief that my first post included some travel recommendations that the paranoid in me would suspect looks commercial. Since that's not at all the impression I'm looking to create, I guess he successfully guilted me into contributing a bit more. *sheepish grin*
Well I am sure busted. Welcome!

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:32 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:34 PM   #7
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lurking View Post
...knowing the right thing to do is far easier than actually going out and doing it sometimes.
Welcome and +1 to the above.
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Lurking, but open to ideas... (update)
Old 07-09-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
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Lurking, but open to ideas... (update)

It's been quite a while since I introduced myself, but just recently there have been a lot of new developments so I figured I would provide a quick update. To make a long story short, as pb4uski observed, things have a way of working out.

I've continued working remotely with regular travel and it really hasn't improved very much. It's been great financially, but personally it is getting harder. I've been working daily with our team in India, and so the hours are getting longer. Nothing like a 12 1/2 hour time difference to make coordination fun! It's even involved some travel to India to train the folks there -- fascinating travel, but just about the worst jet lag possible!

The project itself is seeing its challenges and only yesterday we found out that our largest customer is unlikely to renew. Much of engineering is likely to be redeployed within the company before too much longer, but as a remote employee, that option is unlikely for me. So the most likely outcome for me is a layoff with some sort of severance. I guess I'm not going to be one of those that suffer from OMY syndrome!

Just last week, my parents had their offer on a house here in town accepted, so they will be moving across the country in August. Because I'm here in town and they aren't, I've been helping out where I can. Later this summer I'll be helping them drive across the country (with probably some packing/unpacking thrown in for good measure). I'm not excited about all the manual labor, but it's going to be *so* nice having them 10 miles away rather than 3000. When I was younger, I wanted to be far away so that I could "make it on my own", but as I've aged, I think I appreciate my parents more and more. I'm really looking forward to having them a regular part of my life again, rather than seeing them every six months or so.

Finally, and most importantly, my wife is due in January... with twins! As mentioned in my initial post, we've been trying for quite a while so we're both extremely excited! I've been ready for years to leave this position once children are part of the picture, and now the timing seems to all be working out for the best!

If it were just the two of us, I think my wife and I are pretty much financially independent at this time. But we have no good estimate (yet) of what costs are going to look like with two kids, so "retirement" probably isn't in the cards just yet. We've had some good discussions and agreed that it makes the most sense for her to continue working for a while and for me to stay home with the kids. She has a great job that is extremely flexible, so she can reduce her hours in the future as we better understand what our costs look like. That's the current plan at least -- it will surely change over time.

Anyway, that's the update! It has been pretty unreal -- it feels like more "life" has happened in the last three months than in the previous 5 years. Given everything that is coming, I think I'll need to get used to "living" rather than "existing" -- Jack London would be proud.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:17 PM   #10
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I am new but just wanted to say congratulations - twins!! I am in a somewhat similar situation. Probably just about FI without kids (and OH definitely is), but just had our first baby and no idea what expenses will look like from here! I am planning on going back to work in November, and planning to do lots of thinking between now and then. Not sure I'm ready emotionally to give up work altogether, but my current job can be crazy hours sometimes so not sure whether I can make it work with a family.

Exciting times for both of us! Will be particularly nice to have your folks close by when the babies arrive!

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Old 07-13-2014, 05:21 PM   #11
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:27 PM   #12
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Congrats on the twins and thanks for the update.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:56 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the well-wishes!

Congratulations LightTripper! I hope that you are enjoying it as much as I hope to, and I'm sure that whatever you decide will be best for you and yours!

Lurking...
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:23 AM   #14
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Hi Lurking. Thanks for the update. How exciting !! It will be great for the twins to have dad at home full time with grandparents just 10 miles away. My fondest early childhood memories revolve around my grandparents and I wish the same for your children.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:06 PM   #15
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:55 PM   #16
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If the two of your ages averages the mid-thirties, that makes me think you married quite the youngster.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:32 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the support! I continue to be amazed at the positivity and encouragement of the forum here.

In terms of ages, I like to joke with my wife that I didn't rob the cradle -- she robbed the grave! But really, it's only a four year age difference so I don't think it is so bad. One of our typical back-and-forths might involve something like "Oooh! This song reminds me so much of Freshman year!" and we can both agree -- even if we are picturing totally different things.

Of course, it's been a year and a half since I wrote my initial introduction, so our mid-30s average has quickly turned into a late-30s average. Naturally, I have aged three years in that time and my wife hasn't aged a day. I do what I can to keep the average correct.

Lurking
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:08 AM   #18
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Lurking,
I wish you well. There is so much opportunity for those in the middle stages of career. As you found out things can change rather quickly. Look for a company that is flexible, so that you will have time available to spend with the kids. Having parents nearby for the twins is also going to be spectacular. Now you just need to transition to the next phase.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lurking View Post
Thanks for all the support! I continue to be amazed at the positivity and encouragement of the forum here.

In terms of ages, I like to joke with my wife that I didn't rob the cradle -- she robbed the grave! But really, it's only a four year age difference so I don't think it is so bad. One of our typical back-and-forths might involve something like "Oooh! This song reminds me so much of Freshman year!" and we can both agree -- even if we are picturing totally different things.

Of course, it's been a year and a half since I wrote my initial introduction, so our mid-30s average has quickly turned into a late-30s average. Naturally, I have aged three years in that time and my wife hasn't aged a day. I do what I can to keep the average correct.

Lurking
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:46 PM   #20
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Congratulations & welcome since I missed your initial post !
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