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

12 comments

  • Wow, good luck with this Brip! Sounds like exciting times are ahead of you. I hope it all works out for what you guys want!

  • Florida? I'm sorry, that's about the 43rd state I would choose (and I would likely choose several other countries ahead of it). You know that schools are awful, don't you? Still, in an era where it seems that Americans are far less mobile than they have been in the past, I applaud your thinking in general.

    Steve, for your purposes I would recommend a location near an international airport (my such airport is Logan). I think that you could easily make the transition to the kind of person who would work at home, except when your international clients call.

    In any case, good luck!

    • @Curmudgeon: We've done a bit of research and visited our target location(s) a couple of times (there are two, although one is far, far higher on our list than the other). I agree that the schools in general are bad, but we've identified areas with highly rated schools. We certainly wouldn't go somewhere without the option of decent schools. And there is an international airport in both locations we've considered, too.

      But an overwhelming factor for all of us is climate. My children and I all have very sensitive skin that really, really suffers from a cold climate, and being a southerner by birth I miss the mild winters and don't think I'd miss the snow (and if I did, I'll come visit NYC in January!).

  • Wow, what an exciting change on your horizon! I'd argue that while on a whole, Florida doesn't fare all that well for schools, there are certainly areas that have quite impressive public schools. Good luck with everything!

  • I envy your situation. Hopefully we'll be in the same situation in a few years. I have to get out of Michigan because the winters are killing me. Hopefully in a year or two my career will give me the flexibility to move and we can move and settle down somewhere better before it's time for our daughter to start school.

  • What a great opportunity! Location independence is something that I'm striving for, too. I don't know what part of the state you plan on moving to, but I'm sure you can find some decent schools in Florida.

  • Yikes! That sounds like quite an adventure, I hope it works out for you!

  • Best wishes to you and your family!

  • Good luck being independent _ I am sure you have read “the 4 hour work week”, but if you haven't, please do yourself a big favor and buy it. its all about lifestyle design.

  • Seems that some very interesting times are ahead for the BB family. If being location independent is something that you want to explore, SE Asia may be worth checking out.

    I know you will be welcome here.

    Regards

  • Wow–what a wonderful opportunity. Even better is that when you decide to list your house, you get an offer! Going location independant is something I am looking forward to in the future as well. Good luck!

  • Wow–what a wonderful opportunity. Even better is that when you decide to list your house, you get an offer! Going location independant is something I am looking forward to in the future as well. Good luck!