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Back after a 2 year hiatus and no chance of ER
Old 09-29-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
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Back after a 2 year hiatus and no chance of ER

So I haven't posted here in about 2 years. During that time I've gotten married, had a kid, sold a house, bought another house, and in the process completely given up on my ER dream.

The main culprit was the house. Our old house was fun, funky, hip, urban, and generally cool. And very affordable. But it wasn't a satisfactory for our new family for a bunch of reasons (neighborhood, layout, etc.). So we bought a new house with the intention of getting into the best school district, having a big yard for the kid to play in, never having to remodel again, etc. All of that costs a lot of money, so we got the biggest mortgage we possibly could (at least we put down 20%) and bought a ridiculously big, luxurious house on one of the city's most prestigious streets.

So even though I knew better, we are now the classic high-income-yet-cash-strapped young family. Our hope is that our incomes will rise over the years and that we'll "grow into" our new house.

There are lots of stories of young dreamers well on their way to ER success, unfortunately this isn't one of them. But at least we've got an awesome house!!

Just thought I'd share. Good luck to everyone else.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:22 PM   #2
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SLC, good luck on your pursuit of the American dream. Don't abandon all hope of ER - some of us managed to achieve eR (not-quite-so-early retirement) and that's not a bad thing.

I sincerely hope everything works out for you.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Welcome back. Congratulations on the marriage, baby, house!!! Sounds like you have a very lovely home for your family to enjoy.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:40 PM   #4
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Welcome back. Well, it sounds like you probably didn't buy the house at the top of the market, and in 15-20 years maybe it will be worth a lot of money and you can downsize your way to ER. Regardless, best of luck, and thanks for checking in.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:14 PM   #5
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It sounds like you have a wonderful life. People who love you and a lovely home. I'm certain many people would love to trade places with you.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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I think this scenario fits a lot of the 20 or 30 somethings that dream of ER. A little bit of life comes along and their dreams change. Nothing wrong with that. I suspect for 98% it makes a lot more sense for young folks to focus on finding rewarding work - or at least work that isn't toxic - rather than focus all of their efforts on getting out. But SLC, now is the time to take a deep breath and start evaluating how you can return to a LBYM lifestyle in the new house. Another 10-20 years down the road and your dreams may shift back around and you will value a reasonable exit plan. Don't accept your opening statement: "no chance of ER."
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #7
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Ah yes, the old Fork in the road. Everyone needs to make these decisions.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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Don't despair. If inflation soars for a while, you'll be paying back a fixed mortgage with inflated dollars and maybe that will give you some breathing room to save. Also, if housing prices rebound years down the road you can right-size and free up some cash.

So shoot for retirement at a conventional age, stay the course and you might be surprised.

Meantime, count your blessings - worth a lot more than just money.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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You were smart to buy into a good school district and buy a new home that doesn't need a lot of remodeling.

Everyone has to make the financial choice best for their own families.

It sounds like you have no regrets on the house so you made the decision that was right for you.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor View Post
...never having to remodel again...
Now, that's funny, right there! If you do that, in 30 or 40 years it will look like those old harvest gold / avocado green kitchens and bathrooms look now.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:02 AM   #11
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Congrats.

I bet, in the long run, you'll think it was worth working a few extra years in order to have a few things you wanted to enhance the years you did work. Why scrimp, save, do without and then die?
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:57 AM   #12
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As you can see, it isn't all about not working.

Hope you are enjoying your job and family. I can't believe that it has been two years since you stopped by.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:28 AM   #13
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Thanks very much for sharing your "road less (or more) traveled" story with us. A good reminder that everything we do is a choice.
Good luck and best wishes with the new family.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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SLC, some of us are Nesters, and that's just how we are. If you know you can afford your house, that's all that matters.

Congratulations on all the wonderful things you and your spouse have achieved, and certainly don't give up on ER, just keep planning and saving as much as you can and retire as soon as makes sense.

Be sure to put aside lots of emergency $$ for the house as it ages. As you surely are aware, big, expensive houses cost much more to fix when they break. Repair people take one look at expensive neighborhoods, and double their estimates just because they think you have money.

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Old 09-30-2010, 04:54 PM   #15
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Let's see...

Good:
*Wife
*Kid
*Nice Home
*Nice Income

Bad:
*ER not in sight.

So 4 for 5 ain't bad in life, baseball, three point shooting, and many other things.

You are looking good!!
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:41 PM   #16
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Hey, thanks for all the nice supportive comments, folks! I had forgotten what a great forum this is. Makes me want to hang around here and start contributing again!
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:23 AM   #17
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The Full Catasrophe

In my own life the words of Zorba the Greek keep intermittently coming to mind.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:26 AM   #18
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Not that I completely agree with Zorba, but it always gives a chuckle!
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:49 PM   #19
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You will probably do okay. Interest rates are very supportive of trading up right now. Also a lot of the froth has been blown off of prices.

If you don't mind me asking, what multiple of income did you pay? We bought our house at 1.5 times our income. Through the magic of inflation that same price is now 0.75 times our income.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:16 PM   #20
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You will probably do okay. Interest rates are very supportive of trading up right now. Also a lot of the froth has been blown off of prices.

If you don't mind me asking, what multiple of income did you pay? We bought our house at 1.5 times our income. Through the magic of inflation that same price is now 0.75 times our income.
About 3.2, unfortunately. Believe me, I am praying for rampant inflation. Unfortunately it doesn't look likely to pick up any time soon.
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