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Adam and Emily Job Update

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Thanks for staying tuned through our personal and financial updates. There are just a couple more topics we wanted to cover to catch you all up on since we’ve been away.

Job Details
After getting forced out of my job in October 2013, I was extremely lucky to land an even better job in town at a company I had worked with before. This job even came with a pay upgrade so now I’m making about 20% more than I was at the job I lost. This company has been a blessing in every way. My manager is one of the best I’ve ever had. I am good at my job and the work environment and expectations are well suited for my style. I have been nominated for promotion in the upcoming review cycle, which should add another 5-7% to my paycheck. Additionally, my new company has a generous stock compensation program that provides a nice boost each year – I am transferring my stock compensation shares into index funds and putting this money straight into savings for retirement – not touching any of it.

When I started this job, I told myself I’d stay here for 5-7 years, since my last two jobs were a total of 3 years. Working in the high technology industry, there is always the feeling of a vortex or a vacuum sucking people in to Silicon Valley / SF Bay Area from all across the country. I said I would never move there because the culture was so different and the cost of living is ridiculous. I was satisfied to work for a technology company with Bay Area perks while enjoying the many benefits of living in Texas. Workers in my industry are contacted by recruiters fairly regularly, and I have become quite adept at thanking them for their interest but politely declining their opportunities to leave Austin.

But in January this year, I was contacted out of the blue by a recruiter from a prestigious Silicon Valley tech company that is highly regarded as a great place to work, with excellent pay and benefits, and a highly selective hiring process. I told the recruiter that although I was happy where I was, I would be willing to listen to what they had to say. (Although you might have some guesses at this company, I humbly request that you don’t mention the name here so that the search engines don’t make an association that might identify me).

At each stage of the recruiting/interview process, I was convinced a had made enough mistakes to end my candidacy. But after 3 rounds of interviews, they made me an offer! Even though it is an awesome opportunity, it was a very difficult decision since we are currently in such a good spot from a job/life/finances perspective. But eventually I was convinced by their offer and I will be joining them this summer. The Bay Area vortex finally sucked me in and we will be moving soon. Even though taxes and cost of living in the area are much, much higher than in Texas, a million revisions of a spreadsheet I put together show that this move will ultimately help us get to our goals (debt free and retirement savings) about 2 years faster than staying at my current company would. This is why it has been so important for Emily and me to have clarified our life goals and vision for the future in recent months. This job decision did not come down to a decision on Bay Area vs. Austin, or because of some career goal I have in the technology industry. It became crystal clear that this move would help me build some skills, as well as the financial foundation, to do more fulfilling and impactful work in the future.

This job news actually changes a few things I said in the two previous posts (a bit misleading, I admit, sorry about that). Even with a decent raise, due to the effect of taxes, the new job will not be very much different in take-home pay. But, it will be much, much better in retirement contributions and stock compensation. Our costs of living will skyrocket and our standard of living will almost certainly decrease in the near term. I expect that we will have to put the brakes on the student loan payoff for a year or so, which is very disappointing. (Essentially, a lot of the extra money we are paying toward that last loan will now become rent money). But the net result will actually be a much higher savings rate and acceleration of our plan. A good tradeoff in my book.

The company offered a signing bonus and relocation assistance, as well as up to 3 months of corporate housing while we find a place to live. So even though costs will be going up, I am hopeful we can spend the next few months hoarding cash and come out with a big boost to the savings account by the end of the year that we could then use to finally knock out the student loan, or maybe look at a down payment on a house in California (yikes).  There is some money coming in, but I am holding on to it like an old scrooge until we get through the transition and see where we stand.

By the way, we are planning at the moment to rent out our current house, which will hopefully net us about $800 in additional cashflow per month (which we will plan to save for maintenance purposes).

It was a tough decision but the opportunity ahead is very exciting and should work out profitably for our family. Wish us luck as we transition!

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14 Comments

  • Reply Felicity |

    All of your long-distance landlord situations make me nervous, but congratulations on the new Job. Sounds like a great opportunity.

    • Reply Adam |

      it makes me nervous too but at the moment it seems to be going well.

  • Reply Brooke |

    Could you pay off your loans if you sold the house in Texas? While I know you like rental property as an investment, you could pay off the student loans AND get started on down payment for a new place in California without your previous debt hanging over you. Plus then you’d have rentals in 2 states instead of 3 states. A bonus in terms of logistics.

    • Reply Adam |

      Interesting thought. We could probably do well enough to just pay off the loan. I’m going to have to think this through some more.

  • Reply AJ |

    Good luck with your new job and the relocation! I know Austin is a hot real estate market, so I’m curious why you’d rather risk going the way of a rental instead of just selling the property? We’ve been looking at properties in Austin for awhile, primarily fixer uppers, the bidding wars can be crazy!

    • Reply Adam |

      AJ- truth is we have only had the house two years. So if we sell now, even with a bidding war we’d probably not profit much yet. If we hang on a few more years we’ll do much better.

  • Reply Rachel |

    Wow! Congrats on the new job (and all the other great stuff going on)! Thank you for sharing all the in-depth updates. You must have put considerable effort and time into writing them. It’s very kind of you to share when you are under no obligation. I was sad to see you two leave the blog and am enjoying reading from you again and happy you’re doing so well!

  • Reply Walnut |

    Do you feel you would have been in a position to take this opportunity if you hadn’t started focusing intensely on debt several years ago? One of my motivations for paying off debt and remaining debt free has been to be certain that I am able to take advantage of opportunities life offers.

    • Reply Adam |

      Great question. 3-4 years ago it would have been really tough to do this when our minimum debt payments were almost $1800. Great point on this being an example of financial freedom!

  • Reply Alexandria |

    Good Luck! I am actually from the Bay Area and the vast majority of (non-tech) implants, that I worked with, never lasted very long. The resounding feedback was, “I never imagined it would be THIS expensive!” We managed buy buying a condo (cheaper than renting) and about 2 years out of college gave up and moved somewhere else. You know, if we ever wanted to own a HOUSE and retire… BUT. The whole reason I ended up there is my dad is in tech and moved from small town Kansas and it was an excellent move for him. You won’t know until you try. My kids have those engineering genes and I can see it being a worthwhile place for them to live. Regardless if it works out or not, it is going to be a huge adjustment. You would have never made it before. Being on better financial footing will help.

  • Reply Ashley |

    So exciting!!! I echo some of the comments regarding being a long-distance landlord versus simply selling, though I’m sure you’ve thought it through and at least you guys have experience in that regard. Many congrats on the new job!

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    Wow! Congratulations!

    My boyfriend’s younger brother also got sucked into the Silicon Valley Vortex. The big irony, IMO, is that he and his wife are big time New Englanders and actually MISSED THE SNOW! We think they’re a little crazy 😉

    But. yes, it is much more expensive out there, and they have a little one so they had to get a 2 BR, increasing their costs. However, to have this job on his resume will be a big boost to his future career prospects. One possibility you could consider if you haven’t already is to work in NoCal for a few years and then see if you can transfer to an office in a cheaper part of the country, if they have offices around the US. You can also simply move back to Austin after you’ve positioned yourself for a higher level job.

    Oh, and two nice perks about moving out there: In N Out!!! Tasty burgers! And, depending on where you find an apartment you could ride a bike to work year round, saving on gas and getting a nice workout in.

    • Reply Adam |

      We’ve already considered transferring down the road 🙂 You’re right that this will be s big resume boost.

So, what do you think ?