I subscribe to a few career and a few minimalism blogs. On both, they view being downsized as the freedom to start doing a job/business you’ve always wanted to. In theory, this sounds like a wonderful thing.
The reality is, not many people who have mortgages can do this. Not in today’s economy with the current real estate downfall. That changes everything for homeowners.
Until we purchased the beach house, we had always qualified for our mortgage with just one salary. We lived pretty well below our means housing wise. It left us money to save and money to travel. Life was good.
Enter the decision to buy our retirement home early. Three and a half years ago, it seemed like a great idea. We could afford it, even though it would take both incomes. We were both steadily employed and it seemed we would stay employed. The economy hadn’t reached rock bottom, but housing prices were falling.
Then we adopted our puppy. That, in and of itself, was very inexpensive. At 6 months old, when she got ill with a chronic disease, it started to get expensive. We were lucky we had saved money as it has covered the majority of her medical bills. But, it decimated our savings.
She is now stable and has been for about 8 months, but her medical costs are still higher than a healthy dog – $400 blood tests every 3 months, $150 a month for medicine, titers tests because she can’t have live vaccines, and visits to her internist every other month.
Now that the layoff looms closer and closer, we think about the choices we have made. It is our own fault that we will really have to cut back if I can’t find another job soon. But, know what? We are still happy with the choices we made.
We love our beach house. We love the village where it is located. If we are forced to give up a house, it will be the one here in Richmond.
We’ve had that house longer and the housing prices here haven’t dropped nearly as bad as they have at the beach, so there is more of a chance that we would not have to do a short sale.
As for Willow, at first we had wished that we had gotten medical insurance for her, but after looking at the plans (both dog and cat) when we adopted Pockets, it really would not have saved us money at all. Most of the types of tests she has/had to undergo aren’t covered by any insurance company and the maximum amount they pay out per year, if they consider the disease one that they cover, is very low.
No, I won’t be starting my own business or working at a job I absolutely love but pays very little, unless it’s the only job I can find.
It is said that hindsight is 20/20. It is. Although we didn’t foresee being in this position, we are still happy with the choices we made. Yes, it’s our own fault and we’re more than fine with that!
What are the choices you have made in your life, that have made it more difficult but, that you are happy you made?
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