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February 21st, 2018 at 06:10 am

I know more on the work front, though not much. The business is being sold. As is, job/salary will remain. Will I still want the job, is another question. I always presumed NO. But as MH is still figuring out his next phase, it might be worth sticking around and seeing what happens. The latest means that we can probably stick with initial 18-month timeline for MH to figure out his job situation. Phew! I am not holding my breath about anything, for now. Sale has to go through first. Things will probably remain relatively unchanged for the next year or so, if it does go through. The goal is a very slow transition. Would probably stay at the same location for a year (I believe they are signing a one year lease). The location is a dream as to commute but otherwise is HORRIBLE. So I have mixed feelings about that. I'd be happy if the first change was a new location, but I also realize that even if most any change would be closer to my home (less miles) it would also most likely be a worse/nightmare commute. This is just one of my infinite concerns and why I don't see high odds of sticking around.

The only thing I've gleamed is that the new company does not pay OT. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. They have a different bonus structure. (No idea what that bonus structure is, for now). On the flip side, our hours are literally in the bottom 1% of the industry. So I expect nothing but more hours. & if I am not getting paid for those hours... Will see.

{I did ask about OT specifically, pre-sale, because last year was CRAZED. For completely non-related reasons. & so I'd usually not have much OT racked up at this point in the year, but I was owed a lot. I inquired and employer already paid me OT through February 1. Unfortunately, in the meantime we have been asked to take on tons of extra work and I know I am no longer being paid for my time. But I also expect new company to have a lot of incentive to keep existing employees, so am just waiting to see what happens. I don't mind the job security in the interim. Tax season is already halfway over. So just another 2 months of craziness. Things should normalize after that. I don't generally work any OT May through November}.

There is still huge crap show potential, beyond anything I mentioned. I have not ruled out quitting in frustration in the interim. I think it's probably most wise to stick it out and see what happens. But I have to survive the atomic bomb that's been dropped in my office in the interim.

In the meantime, MH prefers to look for work while he can be very choosy and doesn't have tons of pressure being put on him. I don't know that he's looked much in the past couple of weeks, but my work is so crazed. I think it's more sensible to wait until April or May to more seriously pound the pavement. (I want to seriously consider all my options, but can't realistically look for any work until May. So my job searching is on hold for now).

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Financially...

We have enough reserves to have no income for 12 months. So I don't have any short-term concerns. If I have to quit tomorrow for my sanity, I would quit. Honestly, I appreciate being the type of person who would pause and feels like we don't have enough reserves. I can recognize that having too much FU money isn't ideal in a situation like this. I am conservative enough I want to see it through and realize I can survive a few months of temporary insanity. If MH had a job, I think I would just quit, and I don't know if that is really the best long-term solution. So I am appreciating my financial motivations to stay.

I have been hoarding cash ~ we are up $5,000 since January 1. Will be another $5k-ish by May now that MH is back at work (his current very part time job).

On the job search front, I'd like to talk to recruiters and get real offers in hand. My first impression of the job market is that I am *feeling* our lower cost move. When we moved here, and cut our housing expenses by 70%, I never took a pay cut (2001). In fact, my compensation increased. I guess being in a similar job market is promising, and I am sure there are some employers willing to pay more (and those are the employers I want). But as is, I feel like I am looking at a 20% pay cut. Just looking at what is out there. Which is giving me more motivation to stay put and not to sweat the loss of overtime.

If that's what we have to work with, it is what it is. We currently live on 60% of my gross salary. I'd still be able to save 20% if I took that kind of a pay cut. But I would prefer not to entertain these type of pay cuts until MH was back to work full-time. If he gets a $30k per year job, then I can take the pay cut and we'd have more income in the end. All of the above is thanks to living far below our means. $30k is more lower end/entry level. I know he could get a $50k job tomorrow if we were more desperate. (Which would increase our household income significantly, even if I took a 20% pay cut).

{To be clear, this is more "ideal" job type stuff, like my current job. This doesn't mean I couldn't make same or more if income was my bigger motivation. & maybe if I take a year to consider my options, I can probably find a lower stress job with higher pay. Just speaking to my initial impression and surprise by low salaries for comparable jobs}.

So I guess that's the long and the short of it. These are all things we have thought about, but I mostly have no answers. I just have to wait to get more answers on current job, and I have to wait to have any time whatsoever to job search and see what kind of offers I can get (considering the entire compensation package).

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Well, the bar keeps moving on the work front. *sigh* I really was looking forward to 2/28 (huge deadline) and being done with the crazy workload of the past year or so. But the bar has been moved. Now I have to survive until April 15th. If I am MIA, I am just tired of staring at a computer screen all day and I lack the down time that I usually have.

In other randomness, MH did a focus group for $300 last week. That's helped with our cash hoarding.

The Next Phase

January 27th, 2018 at 12:43 pm

We did end up eating lunch at the culinary school.

$30 for all that (salmon, shrimp, and steak sandwich), plus dessert.



I was surprised they were open (so early in the semester). Any other time we've gone is just like any restaurant. But it was so obviously their first day for this group of students. They all looked like deer in headlights. The second appetizer we tried to order was burned so they couldn't serve it. It added some layer of fun/amusement to the whole thing, but the food was still GREAT! We were the only ones there. Ha! I would absolutely go back on their first day, though it's all a little more smooth after that. (In the past it's been hard to get reservations; it does fill up).

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Well, it's time for me to figure out the next phase. Things at work aren't good and the writing is on the wall. My employer is *amazing* but I always knew this day would come because is a small employer of retirement age.

While I am planning for the worst case, I did initially feel like I may have some more months of job security. MH and I had decided to take our time and to be choosy. We will both be looking for work. In an ideal world, we would have had one more year! Until MM(14) is driving and the kids are more independent. (At that point MH was going to look for full-time work anyway). But I honestly never expected to have this job for so long. I am thankful that I did have it for this long, because this was really the ideal job as to raising kids. I was paid a full-time/high level salary to really work what is considered more part-time hours in my industry. At this point my kids are mostly grown. (At the least, daycare is no longer a concern at all).

I initially thought I would have more time and we decided to take this time to be choosy. Was expecting some measure of job stability through April. As of Friday, feeling more turmoil about the whole thing. I am hoping to have more clarity soon. But I have already reached out to a recruiter and identified a "dream job" of sorts that I doubt will pay very well but otherwise fits all my bullet points. I like the idea of interviewing for such an exciting job opportunity while I am in a strong negotiating position. It would be more of a stepping stone. I think we both kind of have nowhere to go but up. For MH in particular. But for me, if I step down a bit, it would be thinking to more long-term opportunities and growth.

The local economy has been pretty horrible most the years we have lived here. I am happy to say I have NEVER seen so many jobs. It's completely absurd. So though I feel some amount of post traumatic stress from MH's last layoff (2001) and MH's long-term unemployment, I do recognize that this is a completely different situation. The job outlook is good for both of us.

Financially I feel surprisingly *shrugs* about this. I suppose this is our WHY. We don't live below our means just because we like to feel deprived or whatever. Wink The way we dealt with MH's unemployment was absolutely priceless. We did not sweat at all the first 3+ years. We *shrugged* and ended up being some of the best times of our life. MH was home with me during my maternity leaves; those are some of my fondest memories. We are in a similar position now, except with substantially more assets. Money worries aren't on my mind whatsoever at this moment in time.

The only non-negotiable I have is that I want to get DL(12) through high school here (5.5 more years). That's it. His school is phenomenal. While the economy was down, I always knew I could mega commute to the Bay Area (more jobs with higher pay). Or we could sell our home and live off the proceeds for several years. Neither of these options were ideal, but it helped me to sleep well at night. I guess having my pick of jobs that may pay slightly less sounds kind of like a dream in comparison. & I am not set on that route. I am open to anything. Just to be clear. I may push myself to secure a higher paying/higher stress job with the idea that I only need to do this until MH gets some better career footing.

Financially I am *shrugs* but emotionally I am a bit of a wreck. I am mourning the loss of my job. It's been such a big part of my life for so long. Most the employees have been there longer than I have. Plus, what else in my life have I ever done for 16 years?? Holy cow! I am actually somewhat excited about the next phase and future opportunities, but I just notice it feels like dealing with a death. I am sure that part will take some time to work through.

Current plan:

This weekend I am getting a haircut (is overdue), do our taxes (while I have access to work software), updating my resume, etc.

We turned off MH's 401k contributions and will be hoarding cash like crazy.

If I go MIA for a bit, my work is CRAZED and I have a list of chores a mile long re: job searching.

Interesting Article Today...

March 29th, 2010 at 03:34 pm

Tears and taxes: Meet my therapist, the accountant
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/03/29/...

We always joke in my CPA office, that the truth is better than any soap opera. I can certainly relate to the article.

BUT, what is the one thing I have learned from my line of work? Get your affairs in order, and don't be cheap about it. By far and above, greedy loved ones is the number one drama we face. It's a given. Every family has someone salivating and ready to start trouble, when it comes to an inheritance. (Lesson learned - a good lawyer is worth their weight in gold).

I haven't personally dealt with a lot of divorces, BUT, one of my youngest/wealthiest clients just filed for divorce last week. Ugh. It's going to be a MESSY one.

I also agree that most people are more scared of the IRS than they need to be. I've got some stories there. BUT, I have not experienced any audits. My boss has a good track record and so his clients rarely get audited. I've worked here 8 years and we have had a handful of audits - none of my clients. Something else I am sure I will get more experience with, with time.