our family has an opportunity for startling change – and links

hazy, hot, and humid

The last week has brought about a sudden and startling change for our family. Prompted by the general state of the union, the specific situation in New York City and my own changing career path, we decided to list our house.  Our neighborhood is suffering from the strain of the Wall Street meltdown.  With almost everyone I know employed or associated with the financial services sector, you can imagine what’s going on.  I’ve made reference to it in past posts, but homes are going on the market and people are moving away.

So we had an offer made on our house, and we counteroffered. That may or may not result in a sale, but we went a step further in our thinking:  if we do sell, since neither of us are employed and our two kids are still (about) 3 and 1, we are prime candidates to be location independent.  We are planning to flee the northeast altogether and move to Florida, to readjust our lifestyles to a warmer climate and a lower cost of living.  What that means for my career (or Bubelah’s) is unclear – I may also take this time to make a career shift, or just give up on traditional employment altogether if I can make that work for a while.  Who knows?  But interesting times are ahead.  I will write about the process as it goes on…

On to a few links:

The Paradox of Thrift:  Saving money, ironically, will hurt the economy and reduce the value of saving money – or will it?

Riches — Or Just a Competence?:  JD reprints an article that demonstrates how the secret to getting rich hasn’t changed that much since – well – ever.

More Adult Children Moving Back Home:  I know people who have adult kids (30s) living at home – and these are kids with good, professional, white collar jobs.  In the NYC area it’s simply becoming a dreadful proposition to buy a starter home, even with the crisis raging.  That may change, but prices ran a loooong way up before they started falling.  (See “Florida, considering move to” above!)

Our Buy vs. Rent Situation:  And speaking of moving, we’ll definitely be renters for the time being – at least until we see how the year goes.  I suspect that the stock market, the real estate market and the job market still have some room to go down.

Take a Free Economics Course From Yale on Financial Markets by Robert Shiller:  I wonder how much longer a diploma’s going to matter for real technical competence to be proven.  College will always be useful for networking and learning to work in groups, but for many liberal arts (economics, math, literature, etc.) surely knowledge will be easy and free to acquire from the best minds without attending the school.

What Will the Recession Mean for My Kids?:   The last 29 years of successive blows to our national debt (supply-side economics, the Cold War arms race, the Iraq war and Bush’s spend-and-taxcut regime) will certainly narrow choices for our children and their children.  Then again, the dot-com boom came out of nowhere to revitalize the US in the late 90s, so who knows?  Maybe we should start speculating in tulips.

Yours, Mine, and Ours – Deciding Who Pays the Bills:  I can’t imagine not pooling money and paying bills from the pooled money.  I just don’t see how it works in a marriage if you don’t share income and bills – especially once the kids come.  You’d go crazy otherwise.

Make Money with Multi-Level Marketing:  I haven’t tried it, but hey – I guess it works for some people if you have the skills for it.

Stress at Work Getting You Down? How To Manage Job Burnout:  At least this is one thing I don’t have to deal with anymore; my ‘work’ these days isn’t that stressful.  It doesn’t pay that well, but the perks (short commute, doing something I enjoy) have reduced stress to nearly zero.

The Ultimate Tax Resource Guide:  Stop reminding me!  Seriously – a comprehensive list of resources for preparing your contribution to Uncle Sam.

Job Site Allows Seekers To Bid On Low Pay:  The internet was supposed to help people find the perfect job.  Well, no it will help you find it by being the lower bidder on salary or hourly rate.  I suppose this is just an extension of the type of process you see if you’re a contractor (bidding down your rate) but it would be a grim thing to know that you were the one who bid the lowest and “won” the job.

ServiceLive.com: Name Your Price and Get Repair Jobs Done:  And on a similar note, here’s an interesting new site for getting repair services done.  I’ve had some sucess with other sites, but this one is slightly different and might be worth a try.

5 Emerging trends from the recession:  Cost-conciousness will be a new ‘hot thing’ for obvious reasons.  I think, however, that it’s going to be more that people will go “cheap” rather than “frugal” – i.e. they’ll buy the cheapest they can get rather than thinking long term about buying durable and needed goods.

photo credit: joiseyshowaa