I decided I’m quitting my job….
Ready or not, there will never be a perfect time. The time is now. That’s right, 6 years before I’m eligible for my pension, I’m leaving my career with the military behind. After 14 years of full time service with with Royal Canadian Air Force, it’s time to put family first. I still love the military but it just doesn’t fit in with my priorities at the moment. Time with my family is number one for me right now. Was I planning on leaving this year? Was our family 100% ready to make the jump? Nope. Not at all.
Here’s the story
As you all know, my road to self reliance was getting our family closer and closer to financial independence so that one day I could “semi retire”. My definition of semi retirement is to work doing the things you want to do, when you want to do them, not because you have to do them. My main issue with my current career was our Geographical posting. Being in the military, you don’t always decide where you will live. After 4 years of trying to move closer to family, we were still a 17 hour drive away from what we consider home. So even though we wanted to leave, financialy we couldn’t do it. This led to a crushing feeling of imprisonment. It’s this lack of freedom that fuelled my purpose for seeking self reliance.
With all our debt repayment and investing over the last 4 years, we where on track to be able to “semi retire” in about 5 years. But deep down I wasn’t happy with that. All I could think about was how I was somewhere I didn’t want to be and how old my kids would be by then. I wanted them to grow up with their grandparents, not show up at 8 and 10. I just wasn’t happy. All we could do was keep saving and investing.
Opportunity that changed everything
Longing to move back to our home town, I was always looking at the real estate listings back home. Just something to do to kill time and daydream. Well one day I recognized one of the homes that was two doors down from my parents house. It was listed at 130k and actually looked half decent. I sent the link to my wife and she actually liked it. We talked about the house for a bit, then just kind of dropped it since we where not moving home. But we both kept going back to it. Kept talking about how nice it would be. The location was perfect and the price was right… But we weren’t ready to “semi retire” yet… So what to do.
Just for fun, I calculated how much the mortgage and property tax would be if we bought it with a 20% downpayment… only $520 a month… That was only about a quarter of what we where putting aside for investments. We could easily buy it and rent it out until we would be ready to move home. Perfect, lets do it!
We bought the house while on vacation. Did some renos to fix it up a bit. Found someone to rent it out. Fell in love with the place. Really didn’t want to go back….
Number Crunching Time
Here’s where the decision gets easy. As I started crunching the numbers…. it didn’t make sense for us to not take the plunge.
Here’s what I mean.
Current rent for military housing for 800 square feet with no basement $976
Mortgage for our new 1100 square foot house with a basement including property taxes $520
Heat / Electric bill for our rental $300 a month on average
New house has a wood stove, equalized monthly bill is under $150, even in the winter.
Car insurance is $400 less a year back home, per vehicle.
New house has 1 acre of land, so more room for gardens.
It’s 10 minutes away from my family’s combined 100 acre wooded land. So unlimited fire wood as long as we put the work into it. This will be some good time spent with my dad.
So already, that’s $640 less a month in expenses. That’s after tax money I wouldn’t have to make anymore if we moved. Now think of all the other savings;
Traveling home twice a year costs us around $2000 for extra expenses. Family fun would now be family BBQ’s, going to our camp, fun with the grandparents, pool parties or going to the beach… all low cost activities.
Thing is, we were also investing a crazy amount of money to try and build passive income to retire. If we don’t need that passive income until later, we can cut back our investments and let compound interest do the rest. We were investing almost 2k a month. If we stop now and let it grow, we can actually fully stop working at 55. So more money we don’t need to make.
Our current expenses including investments: $5500
Our expenses after the move: $2550
So like I’ve said before, Saving is Making.
The Big Decision
I could go on and on. It’s just that in the end, this is what it comes down to.
Stay where I am and work insane hours to pay for my crappy housing in a place I don’t want to be.
Or move home, have less expenses, work less and spend more time with my family.
Less expenses, higher quality of life. Easy choice to make.
I choose family.
A special thanks goes out to Mr.MoneyMustache for teaching me that you can live a better life on less. If you don’t follow his blog, you need to get over there and read it like a book. It’ll change your life.
My wife is a Nurse and has been working part time since we’ve had children. No change there. Income will be slightly lower, but not by much.
She went to the hospital while we where on vacation, interviewed and got a job. I’ve applied for a few jobs I could do part time, I’ll eventually find something. Not too worried about it. In the mean time I’ll concentrate on establishing my photography business and working on this blog. Who knows, maybe I won’t even need a job.
All the money I’ve contributed into my government pension plan will be returned to me. Half will go into a Locked In Retirement Account(LIRA) that I can control and invest until I turn 55. The rest will be taxed and paid to me in cash. We plan on topping up both our RRSP’s to minimize the tax hit. With what’s left we will pay off our last debt, a Line of credit. We’ll even have some leftover for a few renovations, a second vehicle(5k Corolla or Civic) and some investments.
The most important things we will gain from me quitting my job are Freedom and time. Time to be together as a family.
Wish us luck, cause we’re jumping in with both feet!by