Since my last post three months ago, we’ve hit a bit of a bump, but at the end of the day, it will get us to FI sooner.
At the end of July, I knew I would be out of a job in 30 days. Not really ideal, but also not an ideal job. It was the kick I needed to high tail my job search, seeking a change in industry and location for the reasons listed below. After many applications and even more interviews, I got an amazing job offer just six days after leaving my job. This provided a 4-week, unpaid break in which I was able to knock out a lot of the household “To Do” items, but was a little financially tough.
This career change was necessary for my mental health, but was also FI-driven:
- Geoarbitrage 1: Change from working in the city to the ‘burbs = save 3.5456% in city wage tax
- Geoarbitrage 2: Change commute from daily $10/day train or $10/day parking to 25-minute drive with free parking = save $200/month ($2400 annual savings)
- Job Arbitrage: 8.9% salary increase with signing bonus, annual bonus and employee stock purchase option
This is all pretty awesome and we’re in the process of adjusting our finances to ensure we take advantage of and max out our pre-tax contributions. And, more exciting, updating our spreadsheets and FI timeline.
Another financial advantage of this change was our shift to my husbands insurance. We were pre-FI when we chose our insurance with my old employer. Being on the path, we’re scrutinizing the details. We chose to stay on a high-deductible plan, but switched to his employer for these added benefits:
- Employer adds $2,000 per year to our HSA (free money!)
- Chose your own HSA bank = we chose Health Savings Administrators for the VTSAX investment option
- And our FRUGAL WIN: receive a $900 annual health insurance discount when you get a physical (just my husband had to); done and done!
NEXT: I feel like the list of actions we need to take keeps growing. Here are the top three:
- College Savings: We still need to firm up our plan on target goal and savings vehicles. We’re debating all 529 vs. 529 + Investment Account. I need to revisit ChooseFI and get a crystal ball to see into the unknown (kids are 10+ years from college).
- 2018 Planning: With the new paycheck, comes more math, i.e., maxing out 401k, Dependent Spending Account (DSA), Roth IRA, etc. I’m going to follow the basic hierarchy as laid out in the Simple Path to Wealth. Know the rules and keep it simple. Which leads me to this easy one …
- Transferring my old 401K to Vanguard. It’s currently with Fidelity at an expense ratio lower than Vanguard, but charges $12/quarter in book keeping fees.
Changing jobs (and changing industries) is hard and it’s a lot of work, but because we’ve made some less-than-financially-ideal decisions in our past, we have to keep working for now. I love my new job and the financial rewards; the path to FI is getting clearer!