Last week I wrote about my skip a level meeting where I was told I was going to be recommended for the next geoscience leadership position. It was exciting news and I am happy to be recognized for that recommendation, but I’m not the only one in the house with upcoming career decisions. Last Fall Mrs. SSC saw a job posting at a large University that, on paper, looks like it would be a great fit for her and our lifestyle. She didn’t think that she would be a strong candidate, but like the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play, so she turned in her application. Months go by, and she gets a call that she has made the short list of applicants! Currently, she passed that round of interviews and has moved on as one of the finalists! Congrats to Mrs. SSC!!
The only real issue is that this new career move would drastically alter our current Canyon Lake plan, as the position is in a different state. Yep, if everything turns out roses and rainbows, such as Mrs. SSC gets an offer, likes the University, and more importantly the job and time requirements of the position, we could potentially be relocating as early as this Fall. Yipe! There are still a lot of things to consider if everything aligns in that way, and here’s what we think could be the good and bad of that position.
Goodbye Canyon Lake?
First of all, as I mentioned, there are a LOT of moving pieces to this that could cause it to be a non-issue in a couple of months, but if those align we would be relocating out of state. This would mean that we would have to halt the building process for our house at Canyon Lake. Sure, we could still follow through with building it and maintain 2 homes, but with the change in income, it doesn’t seem feasible. Plus, we wouldn’t be able to get to it nearly enough to make it worth having a “vacation house” in another state. Our current thought is that we finish the design and “cash out” with our builder. We’ll have the full blueprints of the plan and can use them when we decide to build in the future, but it won’t be happening in the next 5 years.
Further From Family
This new position would be out of state, so we would no longer be driving distance to the in-laws. Okay, we would still be within driving distance, but not “pop in for a quick weekend” driving distance. It would be a bonafide road trip to get there or them to get to us. This would be a bummer because it has been nice having them closer the last 5 years and we were excited about being within an hour of them when we moved to Canyon Lake. I don’t see them relocating near us either, so we would be back to having a long drive between us. That’s something to consider as well.
Loss of Income
Loss of income is another area that would take a ‘UUUGE hit! Like another 6 figure salary reduction. Eesh! I would be leaving my job with its’ nice salary, good bonuses, Long Term Incentive monies, and potential raise this year if I got a new position. While the new position would still be a good salary when compared to most of American’s salaries, it would be dramatically lower than what we have been experiencing the last decade. On paper, it should be fine and we could still cover our expenses with a little cushion, but there wouldn’t be any more money going into our “pre-60” funds. Mrs. SSC would have a retirement plan she could put money into, but for the most part, we would be “done saving” if we took this position.
In a way, that’s fine, because our 401(k)’s are large enough that once we hit 59.5 we will be golden! That is even using the conservative assumption of 3% growth with 2.5% inflation, so that’s good. Our “pre-60” fund is fairly sizeable right now, especially if we’re not tapping a portion of it to build the Canyon Lake house. It would sit and grow until whatever time we would need to access it which is fine too. Plus, any years spent working by Mrs. SSC would be years we’re not tapping into any of our nest egg, while also reducing the number of years we would need it to bridge us to that golden 59.5 number. While we wouldn’t be putting anymore into it, I still think that this would be okay.
I Could Retire!
If this move came to fruition, I could let work know that I wouldn’t be around come July/August and I wouldn’t be available for a leadership position. Of course I wouldn’t actually be retired, I’d just be transitioning to a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) role, a full time blogger role, and then attempt to consult as a geoscientist. Sure, I could write the “I retired at 40!” post, but the truth is, my life would end up being dramatically busier than it currently is. Running a house and dealing with kids is way more work than I currently deal with. I still think it could fun, and I am sure I could get into a good schedule balancing running a household and whatever my activities become.
There are many ways that this could end up not happening for us, and that’s okay. If it isn’t a right fit, the department doesn’t feel like a good fit, the hours expected to work would be too much, the town is an armpit devoid of anything stimulating, or a myriad of other factors end up not fitting our lifestyle, that’s fine with us. Similar to my work situation, I feel that even making it to the finalist round is great recognition for Mrs. SSC’s work and academic capabilities. I’m really proud of her for getting to that stage, however it shakes out.
This year seems to be the “year of the career” around our house, so we’re excited with whichever opportunity presents itself as the best one for our family. Being in the position to choose which one would work best for our family is a great feeling, if we’re given the opportunity to make that choice. While it would shake up our “retirement” plans with our Canyon Lake property, it would still allow us to make another potentially great Lifestyle Change for our family. Until we know if we’ll get to make that choice, it’s just a waiting game to see how it pans out.
What about you, have you had any similar opportunities arise in your career? Have you gotten a job offer but had to turn it down because it didn’t seem to be a right fit once you investigated it fully? Do you agree that a full time stay at home parent will be much harder for me than a typical 9-5 job? I’d love to hear about it!