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Posts tagged with: flooded area

So Much to Consider

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As you have seen from my Tough Decisions and Selling the House posts and the comments, the way forward is not so cut and dry as looking at the numbers. I sincerely appreciate all the constructive feedback and ideas. The BAD community has given me lots to think about.

And I will think about all of it, I promise.

cheers

The girls and I enjoyed quiet Thanksgiving Day together. And used our Christmas decorations to shoot some social media images for a client of mine. Work and food.

Here are a Couple of Actions Planned for December

  1. Creating a variety of versions of my resume with a concentration on several roles. I have been advised to use an AI tool to help with this. Thoughts?
  2. Continuing to drop in on local businesses a few couple days of week with a flyer regarding my contract services.
  3. I’ve been collecting business cards at local festivals and holiday shows and plan on emailing/contacting small business owners after a cursory review of their digital business to see if I can’t drum up some website and/or social media work.
  4. It’s time for me to concentrate on being more social. Which I hate. But the saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” holds a lot of weight, so I need to share my need and reconnect with people from my past.
  5. I am also going to work on creating some digital products to explore selling them online. Little to no cost, and frankly I will enjoy the work during my down time. I have WAY too much time on my hands these days.
  6. Making a list of everything that will need to be done to the house if I decided to: 1) sell it, 2) rent out a room, or 3) rent out 2 rooms and move out myself. (This third option both scares and excites me at the same time, I appreciate the commentor who brought it up.)

Not Giving Up

I do have to say that one commentor said “give up your dreams” and that started a fire in me. I will never give up my dreams. Even though I’m not quite sure what my dreams are right now. But giving up on them, once I figure them out is not going to happen.

I realize I need to focus on my more practical decisions right now. But giving up on my dreams…nope. I will never do that and I would never say that to anyone. Is life really worth living without a dream, a purpose, something to strive for? I think not.

 

Soliciting Advice: Setting Financial Goals

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As of last month, my only remaining debts are for my student loans and my mortgage. I’ve written before about how I’ve decided to put the student loans on the backburner – paying only the minimum payment each month. They’re set to be forgiven through PSLF in approximately 2 more years. That brings us to the mortgage…

Current Mortgage Status

When my husband and I bought our home together in 2020, one of our goals was to have it paid off by the time my husband retires. He’s set to retire in under 9 years. We have a current loan balance in the mid-$200s. Since we bought it, we’ve made a double payment twice each year, and every month we round up our payment, so an extra $105 goes to the principal each month (on top of the portion allocated toward the principal from the mortgage payment, itself). We locked in an unbelievable interest rate – a fixed 2.625%, and our payment is reasonable for our budget, $1695/month.

At our current rate of payment, we will not have the home paid off by the time my husband retires, but our plan was to ramp up payments as incomes increase (with raises) and debts decrease (paying off my car and when my student loans are forgiven). I know it will take some making up on the back end, but the goal has remained constant:  to have the house paid in full by retirement time.

As an aside just for context – my husband will retire in 9 years from his current position, but he will only be 50 years old at that time. He fully intends to find another job and continue working, but my hope is it could be a more flexible, maybe part-time or remote position. His income will definitely decrease in retirement, but it won’t be zero. He has a pension and healthy retirement account, plus plans for continued work on some level.

Mortgage Repayment Options 

Recently, a neighbor who works in real estate was chatting with my husband and I about his plans for investing and building long-term income. He mentioned how one of his big financial mistakes with his wife was sinking all their money into their first home together. They’d put 35% down to get a low mortgage payment, but then the 2012 recession hit. Although their family was fine, he regretted putting all his money into his home. He wished he’d had liquid assets available to purchase a second property that could be used to generate rental revenue. The best time to buy, of course, is when prices bottom out!

The conversation got me thinking – is it really wise to put all this money into our home? What if, instead, we put those extra payments into savings with the goal to use it to buy a second property at some point that could be used to generate rental income? I think we all feel like the housing market is extra inflated right now. Although I hope the U.S. finances strengthen (I’d never hope for a recession!), another housing market bubble pop feels inevitable at some point.

Return on Investment

Paying off our house early would be great since it would be lovely to have no mortgage payments! But with our super low-interest rate, it doesn’t save us as much money as we could potentially stand to earn by putting that same money into another investment vehicle (property or stock market, etc.). All that said, my husband and I are both pretty financially conservative. And the thought of having a paid-off home just feels nice. Having a second property certainly comes with some risk – having two mortgages to cover, requisite repairs to be done, etc., etc. But property also tends to be a great investment. Please chime in if you’re an expert in this area, but I believe that over my lifetime the ROI for property has been higher than what the stock market has produced. At least in my areas.

I’m soliciting advice! What are your thoughts or opinions on paying off one’s home versus putting that money elsewhere? Would you suggest investing in real estate versus investing in the stock market (or something else entirely)? What would you do if you were in my position?

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