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Big Picture Updates

December 18th, 2023 at 12:37 am

**Retirement balance is back up to $500K+, or where it was 2 years prior.   

New retirement goal is still on pause.  Should probably circle back now that we have college sorted out.  Still feeling somewhat "meh" about it re: too many future unknowns.

**I noticed last week that our net worth was up $60K for the year.  This was before stock market spike this week.  (Now up $70K).  ~$50K is my general goal and I am happy with where we are at, but very much at the whim of the stock market.  Will see how it all lands on 12/31.

Edited to add:  I just noticed that our net worth today is at the same place it was end of 2021.  

**We paid a large chunk to the mortgage down end of 2022 and I knew we were cutting it a little close on cash.  After that, it was a crazy expensive year!  Had a lot of home repairs and car repairs, in addition to funding MH's movie, etc.

I just calculated and I kid you not I have exactly a 6 month emergency fund left at 12/31.  What???  How the heck did that happen?  I am estimating MH's income for the month (will all go to savings), but looks like we will squeak by.

I was wise to give up on investing MH's income.  I think I invested $0 of his income in 2024, after setting a goal to invest everything above $1K per month?  

We actually have a little bit of cash buffer.  DL's college owes me $2,000.  So technically we have $2K cash in addition to emergency reserves. 

**I did ask for a bigger raise and received a bigger raise.  Was going to be a 3% COLA raise year.   After bumping my pay up 20% from prior job, I would not expect anything more in the future.  (Topped out very early on at prior job and came in 'at the top' to this job.)  But...  Had a crazy health insurance increase year.  A 12% increase this year.  Have certainly had many years of worse % increases, but our health insurance is so high the dollar amount is insane.  In the "it never hurts to ask" vein, I got 6% just for asking.  (I most definitely played up the '2 in college' thing also, when I asked.)

I probably won't work out 2024 goals until January.  A big chunk of the raise will be going to taxes.  Taxes and health insurance.  So I need to dial in taxes before I work on the budget.   I have in mind what I am hoping to work out, after taxes.  Hopefully I can add $100/month to short term savings.  I will have to decrease investments (re: losing temp ortho tax break).  

I am hitting a crazy tax cliff and it could all go to taxes.  I might err on putting my bonus to 401K next year.  Things to figure out...

If I do lower investment goal (from my salary) then I may commit some of MH's income to taxable investments.  But I might wait and see how the movie stuff sorts out first.  Expecting it to be a big travel year re: movie production and film festivals. At least the weeks he is planning to go to Ohio, that will be early in the year.  We can see how we are feeling re: cash after that and what else pops up.  & of course, we can always pull money from investments if I over-invest.  But my preference is to view investments as "untouchable."  In addition to it just being silly to invest money that we need in 2024.  But if I can't hit X dollars with my salary (because of taxes) then I will commit some portion of MH's income to investments.  Probably even just $100/month would make me happy.  

**DL(18) had his last final on Thursday.  We are both in disbelief that he's aready done with his first college semester.  It was over in a blink.   I expected a more rough adjustment for DL, but it's all gone as well as could be.  & he's more of the personality of my relatives who didn't attend college, so I don't have any expectations.  As of right now, I think he might actually do this college thing?  I just wasn't so sure before, but he seems very happy.  He'd also admit this semester was over in a blink so he can probably suck it up for 4 years.

**MM(20) is off working 24/7 on the Rose parade float in LA.  He refused to fly down for Christmas and wants to spend days on the road.  🙄  That gives him one day? to be home?  I think he's aiming to be home for 2 days.  Then he's going off camping (after New Years) and won't come home again during the winter break.  Or more of what I expected during these college years.  One nice thing about not having campus housing is he can go back on his own time, and is probably a lot of why he doesn't have to come home.  

I don't know how the girlfriend is doing.  Will hear more during Christmas break.  Talked to MM last weekend and she seemed to be doing better.  Clearly he isn't that concerned. 

Sick Pay

September 14th, 2023 at 03:58 am

MH just told me that his sick pay was bumped up to 80 hours annually.   Which is pretty nice for a job that is only ~20 hours per week.

The timing is good because he wants to take two weeks off to work on this movie.  They always let him use his sick time for any time off because part-time employees don't have any vacation time.

He was just telling me they don't have any COVID policies at this point but I guess his location is being conservative.  & just instituting the sick pay (probably company wide) so that people can just stay home when they are sick.  Which applies to more than just COVID.  No one wants your germs.

I just wanted to jot this down because I know that I will never remember.  

That Was Unexpected

March 2nd, 2022 at 03:12 pm

I received a 5% raise this year, in addition to an extra week of vacation (putting my vacation time back to what I was used to at my last job).  I was more than happy with all of the above.  Certainly better than the usual 3% COLA raise.

After 20 years of January 1 raises (across multiple jobs), I certainly didn't expect a pay bump again until January.

But my boss was being silly and for whatever reason was looking at things and felt like he should have bumped me up to the next big round number.  (He felt bad about this).  ❓  So I got a $2K raise!  Woohoo!  Retroactive to January 1.

How's that for random!?

This is turning in to a "have my cake and eat it too" year.   I made the very unusual decision to lower our savings amounts and to increase our spending this year.  Increasing spending is not something we do, nor is decreasing savings.  I guess both were weird, but we lost a big tax credit this year, so I wasn't able to even add $100/month to our spending budget without decreasing savings goals.  

I'll be able to bump up savings by $100/month (with raise) and will start reflecting that in my March numbers.

Another 5 Years

October 31st, 2021 at 01:25 pm

Blogaversary post from 5 years ago (well, some bits and pieces from that post):

We just happen to be on track to hit $1 Mil when our kids should be finishing up college. I am not comfortable dropping down from full-time work until I have a really clear picture of college plans. So I think it works out that those two goals will be hit around the same time. ($1 Mil will be plenty for us to retire on).

I expect that by 50 we will be financially independent. At that point we will just have to regroup. I am not planning to shift to part-time work the day I turn 50 or on the day my kid graduates college. But I think that is just the point in time where we will be running the retirement numbers and fine tuning the final plan. Retirement has been our only substantial financial goal since our kids were born, but in our 20s it was just so far away and nebulous. I think we are allowing that at age 50 it should be a lot more clear and turning into a much shorter term goal.

We also have to decide where on earth we want to live. We know we want to downsize and move. That's all we know. I suppose it depends where our kids and parents are at that time. It's important for us to be near family. I expect the "where" to impact our working/retirement plans in our 50s. 

Other than trying to save up as much as possible, the next 10 years seem pretty nebulous. I don't know that I know much of anything. I expect a lot of change. We've been really boring and stable since having kids, but when I look beyond their high school years we are pretty much open to anything. We don't know where we are going to live. Our kids aren't on any set college path yet. My job is very finite. MH still has no idea what he wants to do when he grows up. I have *no idea* where we will be in 10 years. I'd just like to be on very solid financial ground, and if we achieve that then the rest doesn't matter. The rest is whatever we want it to be.

Things have progressed pretty steadily.  I posted recently that we hit our "financial independence" number (or would likely hit the number this year), but it is kind of useless at this point with the real estate market.  We will need to revise our number upwards as real estate just gets more expensive.  The overall goal is $1 Mil + a paid-for home.   We can achieve this in the next 5 years.

The biggest thing that happened these past 5 years is that my job ended.  I hadn't searched for a job in 17 years and felt a lot of stress about it (I knew I would never stay once my employer retired).  But I knew my job was too good to leave early.  Hindsight 20/20, glad I held on to the bitter end.   I mean, until a reasonable bitter end.  It was difficult to find work/life balance I had become accustomed to and also was difficult to find anything near what I had been paid before.  But it ended up all falling into place.

With the job change, I was just very open to anything.  Mostly wanted to dip my toes to see if the grass was greener.  The grass is *way* greener.  I no longer work in tax, so I no longer work OT hours whatsoever.  I really wouldn't have been surprised if I went for a higher power higher paying job for a few years to get my kids through college (though otherwise so NOT me).  But I was able to find a much easier job with less hours, and I am happy with that shift at this point in my life.  The grass is *way* greener.  Overall compensation ended up the same, but hours/responsibilities decreased.  

We also figured out one half of the college equation.  MM(18) ended up going an extremely practical route, choosing a very low-cost public in-state college that will open up a lot of doors for him.  

DL(16), I have absolutely no clarity on that and will have to let that sort out over the next few years.  

I think the one surprise and big question mark at this point is the health of my family.  Not only is my parents' health declining rapidly (which is a possibility I hadn't thought much about, that they'd need so much help at this point in my life, as I expected in the short run that one could take care of the other).  Not only is that quickly changing, but my BIL has some mystery illness now.  I never expected my sister to still be alive, but with everyone else not doing well, it is for the first time crossing my mind that I might need to eventually be a caregiver for my sister.  I don't know the odds of that, but was nothing that had ever crossed my mind before.  I expect this "last 6 years of getting our kids through college and reaching financial independence" to become more challenging on this family/health front.  I don't know if I might have to take some time off work before crossing that finish line or how things will play out.

Raise Achieved

December 22nd, 2019 at 03:06 pm

I did get my raise (two months ago). I received a 10% raise. I did some financial/tax planning and revised the budget. I've just been muddling through in the meantime, keeping our savings goals as our #1 priority. We've had enough side income to make do. Unfortunately, raise is all going to the budget. I increased grocery budget by about $200/month which is more realistic. +$200/month for significant tax increase next year, due to tax law changes (maybe not by dollars, but very significant increase by percentage). $150/month for a couple of years of health insurance increases. I also added +$100/month to short-term savings AKA "non-monthly bills" (a lot of small increases for various bills).

That's about it, except I added $100/month to our mortgage. Last I ran refi numbers, it actually didn't make sense to lose another 1% of interest. Is because we only plan to be in our home another 5-ish years. The savings has always been significant with 1% drop, on a 30-year mortgage. But not on a "5-year" mortgage. Anyway, we have never felt comfortable with a 15-year mortgage in current city with the economic uncertainty, and also because our health insurance is so expensive (far more than our mortgage). But we've paid down enough that a 15-year mortgage will now only add $100/month to our current mortgage payment. That, I can do. Is not a long-term commitment or an extra $400/month, which is what it was in the past. So we will just make an informal commitment to pay down our mortgage in 15 years. While well employed. I am relieved to be able to skip the red tape of another refi.

Even though I had initially lost $1,000/month (salary) with this job, it wasn't apples to apples. I lost $1,000 net salary every month but I gained +$600/month retirement benefit. Which was more what I had posted before, that I only had about $4,000 per year to make up. This raise puts me at -$600/month cash but +$700/month retirement benefit (compared to my salary at prior job). So I am up $100/month and am happy with that. I really did not expect to get up to my old compensation so quickly. My new job is significantly easier than my last job. It feels very win-win.

We will have to fund our IRAs with MH's income. That puts us way too "retirement heavy" or "retirement poor", but makes more sense than adding to taxable investments. I only feel comfortable doing this because we can access ROTHs any time. More win-win.

Since it's so relevant to this post, here is where my 2020 goals will end up. I am pretty much back to where I was in 2017 or 2018. The funding details are just re-arranged a bit (I used to fund IRAs with my salary, but I didn't have a work retirement plan).

2020 Goals

[ ]$7,000 to savings
...($0 @ 1/1/20)
...$550/month, plus interest.
...Topping off with snowballs

[ ]$1,500 to investments
...($0 @ 1/1/20)
...Funded with snowflakes

[ ]$1,200 to mortgage
...($0 @ 1/1/20)
...It was cheaper to just add $100/month (15-year payoff) than to refi down another 1%. We will just commit to the extra $100/month pay off while well-employed. Our plan is otherwise to just pay off when we sell in a few years.
STRETCH GOAL: $3,000 to mortgage
...I am moving 2018 mortgage goal here, to make up in 2020. Will see how I feel in 2020, but right now I feel is doable. It will also depend how college choices start to shake out end of 2020. Definitely a 12/31 kind of decision.

[/]9% of my full-time income to work retirement plan
...This is the minimum for the match; I'd otherwise rather fund IRAs.

[ ]$12,000 to IRAs 2019 (MAX)
...($0 @ 1/1/20)
...Will fund with MH's income

This puts our overall savings rate at 32%; 30%+ is generally what we aim for.

Edited to add: I changed the mortgage goal after cash (bonus/gifts) settled end of 2019. I added the stretch goal.

Old Employer Updates

December 2nd, 2018 at 02:49 pm

I was doing a post and it was getting really long, so am separating out the "old work" part.

MM(15) did not get his paycheck timely from my old/forever employer. I think payday was a Friday and he went in Monday (Thanksgiving week) to work because he had the week off of school. His paycheck was not there, but I didn't think too much about it. The rumor (whatever they told MH?) was that they had run out of checks. I didn't think too much about that either.

The latest is that old/forever employer took back the business and told "fake employer" to go to hell, basically. I have *no idea* where they are in the legal process of that and infinite monies owed to them, but "fake employer" is not fighting them on giving them back the business. They never really did anything to begin with, so there isn't much to it. They had taken over payroll, and that's about it. They have officially given that back.

Anyway, I didn't think too much about checks having to be ordered with this sudden turn of events. & I mean, I just would totally understand if that slipped through the cracks in the chaos.

Then maybe Tuesday or Wednesday "awesome admin" (who has gone back full-time, temporarily, and is the only reason MM is working there) called me. {MM is there to help her out and to work for her. If she's gone, then he's gone}. Anyway, she called me with an earful. I guess in the end they still had checks (I should have realized because I had been paid already the first of the month) and "awesome admin" knew they had to order more, but old/forever employer disagreed. He is sick and has no idea. I guess it was just a whole thing. Plus they hired some new employees, so how is that for a first impression!? (Probably the least of their problems, as far as first impression. Ugh). Plus, okay, so you don't have checks, so figure it out. There is just no one there capable of "figuring it out." I mean, I am sure "Awesome admin" could figure it out, but she is the lowest person on the totem pole, and employer is probably embarrassed and just unwilling to deal with it.

Anyway, MM had the week off and they really needed the help. I know 100% they will pay him. I told him in no other situation would he ever show back up at work again, but that *I* would guarantee his paycheck. & Wednesday, when he still didn't have his check, I pulled him aside and told him, "And that's it. You don't need to go back until you get paid". You know, just willing to make an exception for the holiday week everyone wanted to take advantage of, but beyond that, whatevs. Figure out your crap!

Yeah, I don't know how long "awesome admin" is going to last, at this rate. What a MESS! I mean, this is just like 0.01% of the business, right? Having checks to pay bills? I don't even want to know what else is going on over there.

Before I quit, old/forever employer's wife pulled me aside with the "great news" they were "hoping to" take back the firm. I was pretty blunt with her. & how does that help me? Back to square one. They still have to sell. Let's just say it didn't appeal to me at all. I told her that I support my family and needed a better long-term plan.

Then... When everyone was going back to help (because old/forever employer was AMAZING, and we are all willing to help in any reasonable way), MH was concerned about it. He just sees everyone is going back and is worried I will to. HA! I told him I couldn't imagine anything less appealing.

So, fast forwarding to last week when my teenager wasn't paid for like 8 days and "awesome admin" is telling me what a nightmare it is over there. I said to MH, "Yeah, because no one could see that coming." Things may be worse without "fake employer", which is hard to imagine in some regards, but not surprising given the situation. Old/forever employer has much better intentions, but you need more than good intentions.

**MM(15) did eventually get paid. Was just delayed a bit longer with the holiday weekend.

Thankfully, my experience was the polar opposite. I did side work for about 4 clients, plus some very highly-paid work for old/forever employer. Everyone was so grateful for the help that they all paid me immediately. I think old/forever employer paid me before I even got around to invoicing them.

I am trying to wean off my old clients and get them transferred over to new accountants. I never did and still don't want the work. I was open to the opportunity when I had no idea what my work situation might be, but it will be *awesome* to get all this work out of my hair.

Work for old/forever employer (side work) is the "best of both worlds" at this point, and I am fine with that longer term. But I've said I am not holding my breath. If it all goes to hell tomorrow, I am totally fine with walking away. I feel pretty removed from the situation. They are desperate and have agreed to my crazy one-sided terms.

Got the Job!

September 11th, 2018 at 03:58 am

Today was so totally crazy, because that's the theme this year!

I missed the call because new employer totally faked me out (said they were interviewing people tomorrow, though I *knew* I got the job). So I didn't look at my phone and missed the acceptance by several hours. DOH! Will finalize details tomorrow.

Anyway, I think I squeaked by. Technically today was my last day at old job (though I only stopped by for like an hour). & I got a new job before I was unemployed.

More details tomorrow (I like wrote a book, but I am kind of delirious from lack of sleep, so will post later with more details). Yeah, not only did I get the job, but I probably couldn't have been more of a wreck for that interview today. I just could not sleep last night, which was very frustrating for someone who never has any problem sleeping, no matter how stressed. I think it's just my stress level was at 11 and/or this virus we all have in my house now. Okay, so clearly I was not a wreck, but I felt like it on the inside, for sure.

So, two of the most stressful experiences of my entire life (job from hell/trying to escape from job from hell + job searching, which has always been easy for me, in the end, but is also very hard/painful because I am way too hard on myself)... Well, those are two stressors I don't have any more. It's going to take some time to process, but I was pretty ecstatic to get the news. & I am also ecstatic that I have a few weeks off without any "job search" stress.

Anyone who has had to suffer me this year (including you) has gotten the news. HA!

I turned in my keys today at old job. I have been mourning the loss of this job all year. I broke down a bit last week. It is going to be really weird and an adjustment. Not sure how I will handle emotionally. I am hoping though that most of the mourning has been done. But I also know the reality hasn't totally set in. I am not a dweller and I never look back, so it may honestly be I never really think about it again. Is just how I am wired. But I also think it will probably feel very weird and will be an adjustment period for such a big life change.

One more thing I have to share. "Twin's" new job is down the street from me. !!! (1/2 mile, to be exact. So crazy random). Maybe we will do weekly lunches for a while to help us adjust. I just have to be careful because she is going to be in major recruiting mode. Her job sounds like pure crap compared to the one I landed. HA! (I would have totally visited her pre-interview to de-stress, but she is off on some tropical vacation).

Edited to add: Night 2 on no sleep. UGH! Canceled my appointment today, but will try to get this "old employer" lunch over it. Will cancel if it's too unsafe to drive. I think it's this virus. No one in my house got any sleep the night before. Part of my "book" post I will get to later is our car broke and I have to drive everyone around today. Like every 2 hours or so I have to drive someone somewhere, which sounds like torture at this point because I just want to get some sleep. Anyway, if I am MIA, I am trying to get over this. Will share more details when I have them and when I have some decent sleep behind me.

& Another One...

September 2nd, 2018 at 09:37 pm

Another *crazy* week... Accidents, hospitals, cancer, biopsies, blahblahblah. It's too much to process. I gave my one-week notice to my "fake employer" on Friday. It's clear (now) that they have no intention whatsoever to keep this office going. So I started calling them my "fake employer". I don't have any answers. I would prefer to just walk out (next Friday). But I didn't want to give them any fuel whatsoever. Like, "Monkey Mama didn't give us any notice so that's why we didn't hire anyone." HA! (For reference, we are down from 6 to 1 employee, once I walk out). Anyway, on the offchance they will hire someone, wanted to give them *some* notice. I otherwise stalled because I was waiting for a reimbursement (that it was pretty clear they never intended to pay). & more to the point, wanted to secure my paycheck through the 31st. They are crazy and unpredictable so the thought occurred to me they may kick me out. (Very unlikely, but who knows at this point). I ended up submitting my resignation pretty late Friday (by e-mail), so only *crickets* so far, which is all I really expect at this point. Next week will be fun! HA! I don't know if I will be subject to some BS where they pretend they don't know why I am quitting. (UGH!) & then there's the clients... I may be avoiding because I don't know what to say really, and I know I will never get any work done once that starts. It's going to be one very bad final bridge to cross. I am mostly of the mind that I won't find a new job until I get a little time and space from current work situation. & I do want to take some time off. That said, I have been perusing jobs all year. Last Monday was particularly bad and frustrating. Several jobs had popped up over the weekend. But when I sat down to apply, they weren't in my pay range. One was a municipality and wasn't really a job posting as much as creating an eligibility pool. Plus, their application ended up being very extensive. It was late, I was exhausted, I don't have time for this! & I had a really awkward call with a recruiter earlier in the day that had also burst my bubble. So yeah, that's my Monday. MH told me to let it go and stop looking for jobs for like 3 more weeks or something. (Finish up work AND then take at least a week off). Or at least let it go for the week. I was way too stressed with work situation (& everything else going on in my life right now). Then Tuesday the Universe laughed at me and my phone was ringing off the hook (Recruiters). I saw several good jobs that I applied for during the week. (None of the applications were particularly stressful or time consuming). One recruiter called me about a very short commute job. The pay and location were both very good. Some of the other jobs were only 4 days per week (but decent pay). Anyway, there was some jobs close to my current pay range, some with significantly reduced hours and responsibilities. Many with decent commutes. Also, a high paying government job that was easy to apply for (compared to other government jobs). It was a good mix this week. For the first time, I feel like I have a lot of options. & I really needed that this week. Phew! MH said something like I am obviously putting more effort on this front. HA! No. Not at all. It's just my stars aligned this week. Actually, all this happened after I decided to take the workweek off from job hunting. (But I will say that my salary expectations have been more realistic this past month. Regional salaries are just much lower than I had realized). Oh, the other thing that lightened my mood last week is that I applied at a tech startup Tuesday a.m. and they called me back within a couple of hours. (Wow!) They are really moving fast on this one. My feelings earlier last week were that I was skeptical and really wished I had more opportunities to compare. But as of Friday, I am starting to get a little more excited about this job. If I do get a job offer in the next week or two, not sure I can turn it down. Will see how the next interview goes. In general, I don't tend to view decisions like this as particularly permanent. Was just discussing that with MH. I feel like most people over stress big life decisions. I am kind of just, whatever. This is a risk and something very different, BUT, what's the worst that happens? I hate it and I look for another job? *shrugs* It probably also helps that I am viewing the next 9-12 months as somewhat experimental. Want to see what else is out there. Don't have to worry about finances in this time period. In another year I might have to make some more tough decisions. I will deal with whatever. I would be very happy with more time off between jobs. So if that's the worst that happens, it's not bad. I will do a separate financial post later. The short version is: I have no money worries for September and October. Bills (for those months) will be paid with my final paychecks.

Just Another Crazy Week

August 22nd, 2018 at 07:07 pm

I thought I had a bit of a reprieve yesterday. I got final medical results back and everything looks pretty good. Putting a pin in that, at least. No follow up for another 6 months. I wouldn't have been surprised if I needed surgery. It's just been that kind of a year. So it's a huge relief to know that surgery is not a consideration at this point. Phew! So, I had a few hours of relative peace and calm? We then got the news last night that a close relative of MH's had been in a horrible accident. No one told us Monday, I think because they weren't even sure if he would make it. They told us last night. It sounds like he is doing a lot better. I have very few details. This year just won't let up! I think we were just in shock. MH was re-arranging his schedule to be available this weekend. I told him this morning that if he needs to go, I can cover for him (kids/household). I do have a 3:00 appointment today, and so we agreed to just discuss it more tonight. Maybe we can get more info in the meantime. The work front is another post for another day. But I did already mostly clean out my office (16+ years of crap, took all day Saturday). Trying to decide if I even bother giving notice to my "fake employer" ~ the one who does absolutely nothing but pays my paycheck. & it's an absolute miracle that our new receptionist remains. Any sane person would have walked out by now. I actually texted "awesome admin" today and she is absolutely blowing up my phone. No one's talked to her since her last day? I am kind of like, "Okay, so it's not just me? My life is totally insane right now?!" Because I think I left out about 95% of what has happened, and we are only talking what's happened in the office since she left. I am meeting her for dinner tomorrow. I met "twin" for lunch last week. I think that is part of my current ZEN with things. "Twin" absolutely loves her new job. The job is not my first choice, but it is a solid backup plan (for me). I would value her opinion much more after she's been there for more than a week. It feels good to have a backup plan, but I am also a little skeptical.

The Year I Aged 10 Years

August 17th, 2018 at 01:04 am

Yesterday a car blew a tire and careened across like 5 lanes of freeway, right in front of me. By some miracle no cars were hit and they managed to keep control and steer the car to the shoulder. This is like the third time I've seen a car do this during this year. I remember like -0- times ever before that.

This year is going to be the death of me!

Heart Attack #2 was when MM(15) Was at gymnastics and MH called me sounding panicked and asking about the emergency room. I am just waiting for him to break his head, so I had a little heart attack. In the end, he broke his toe before class really started. He said he just jumped up onto the tumble track, hit his toe on some ledge, and broke it. You don't know how relieved I was to hear it was just his toe. In the end, no one was in the emergency room and they took him right away.

He did actually need it reset, and I think this probably worked out for the best that we rushed him to ER. It would have been easy to presume he could wait until morning. Or maybe another Doctor wouldn't have felt an X-ray was necessary. We've already maxed out our deductible, so I feel *shrugs* about it financially. I had kept my crutches specifically for him.

This is my complete daredevil child. He is also completely charmed and this is his first bone break. I can't believe he wasn't even tumbling when he got hurt. Phew!

About 5 minutes after that my parents called me because they were worried about family friend. He fell and wasn't found for several days. This was a couple of months ago. He just got home from rehab on Saturday and we got him settled; he lives an hour away from all of us (half way between my parents and us). Anyway, no one had heard from him for a couple of days and my parents were feeling all sorts of guilt about things they didn't do to help him. (They didn't charge his phone and remembered they should have left it more within his reach. Stuff like that). In the end, he was okay. Phew!! But my nerves were pretty shot by this point.

It's not any one thing this year. It's the constant emotional roller coaster and barrage of bad news. The work situation wouldn't be half as bad if everyone was actually healthy and well and not all out on bereavement and everything. It's just so heavy and emotionally exhausting.


On the work front...

**deleted due to pending legal actions**

For context, post deletions, I will add that "useless employee" was diagnosed with cancer and is out on medical leave. The way that "fake employer" handled this is what made my decision to leave. To the point I could not even wait to find another job first. I gave a few weeks notice to "workaholic" and "old employer" (who are trying to salvage the business). At the time, I was unaware of pending legal issues. The ship was already in the process of a deep dive, but I just didn't know. 3 weeks later, I feel I am not getting out soon enough! But, thankfully I am out.

(Mostly, I knew I would be left covering admin duties on top of doubling my workload already. But I was also appalled by the way they treated cancer employee and how they delayed a good hire so long she couldn't train them. & I mean they "hired" new employee and said, nevermind they didn't really hire her, and then asked her to come back a week later, the day before the surgery. What are the odds she would even accept the job at this point? In the end, no one knows how to do her job, there is no one to train her, and it's totally insane. Things have devolved pretty quickly from this point).

Where I was at when "twin" gave her notice in late July, was just, "I am not going to stick around for tax season." It was not anything so crazy and dire at that point. I really thought I could take a few months to find another job.

The Next Phase

January 27th, 2018 at 08:43 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).


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 10:34 pm

Tears and taxes: Meet my therapist, the accountant

Text is and Link is

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.