I'm keeping the house. At the end of the day, it was the math that convinced me. After running numbers, with expenses (estimated on the high side), my return on my original investment (down payment of $30K), has been roughly 16% a year since it's been rented. If I calculate based on the overall value when I bought the house, it's roughly 3.5%; based on current market value it's 2.5%. If I base it on my estimated equity, it's over 5% a year. Not huge... but not bad. If I sell, I'd most likely just shove the money in a savings account or a money market anyway for a while. So I had to ask myself: would I be happy with the money in a savings account earning 5%? Well, hell yeah. Would I be happy with an investment that's earned 16% a year? Hell yeah. Sure, there's other considerations: it's not as liquid as stocks, but then again, it's probably not quite as volatile, either, and I can borrow against it or sell it later if I have to. So decision made. I will continue to rent it out for now.
In other ruminations....
I had a business lunch this week with several people from my company and some "young guns" from a local agency that we are trying to develop as producers. The guys (yes,all guys. The industry remains VERY male-dominated) range in age from about 25 to 32 or so. It was mostly a meet and greet, so we didn't talk a lot of business, but through the course of the lunch the class differences became really obvious between us company schlubs and the young guns. In our company group, we had a couple people in their early 30s and me and an alter kocker in his 60's. The young guns are all sons of the principals in their company, essentially being groomed to be handed the keys of this VERY, VERY lucrative business. All three guys are nice looking, extremely polite, and very personable. All three of them ran into people they knew at this high end restaurant (the kind of place where business people go, but also catering to the wealthy "ladies who lunch" set). During the course of discussion, it came out that all three were graduates of expensive private high schools in the city, and graduates of the right colleges for local business--in other words, not elite schools, but the kind of schools where local business people often go to make the right connections. (Football schools where people bond over... football). We company schlubs were all products of public schools, frankly better colleges for academics, and I know for a fact that all of us worked through school (the young guns did not). We company people make good money, way better than the majority of people in the country--and yet, these young guns are already making way, way more than we are and are poised to literally make millions. It was just interesting, because in various boards around here we've been talking about class and income inequality, etc. I think a lot about the folks that have a lot less than me, and the opportunities they might not have, but after that lunch this week, I was thinking about the differences in opportunities and stuff that these guys have had compared to me (no, I don't resent it, for many reasons--I'm good with my life), and how much income inequality there is between me (and my fellow company schlubs) and them. I know for a fact that all 4 of us company people were the first in our families to go to college, and we all went to pretty high tier (academic) schools. Just.... interesting.
In other thoughts. I've been looking harder at my spending, and I really have a lot of opportunity to rein it in. I've gone back to my bad habit (never gone, but for a while I was doing better) of eating out too much and buying too many convenience foods. I'm really working on cleaning out my stores, so to speak, and in the last two weeks have spent only about $50 on groceries, which included making 3 dinners at my mom's (though it did NOT include taking her out for dinner after a doctor appointment). It's getting harder and harder for my mom to cook, and sometimes I just don't feel like cooking (which is when the eating out/bringing over take out takes place), and I need to start making more "double up" meals where I make one for us to eat and one for her to have in the freezer for later. I may invest in some small casserole dishes to help with this goal. One issue is that my mom tends to be really picky, and my brother is also picky... and they don't like/hate the same things. I really need to pick their brains and find out stuff they really like/will eat and start prepping better.
Along those lines, with my mom in general I need to start getting things together better. This recent health issue that she's had has been hard on her... but it's also been hard on me. I've used up almost all of my vacation time this year on her stuff, and she's currently having to go to this wound care doctor once a week. Given the doctor's location, her location, my location, and availability of appointments, it's a half day for me to take her, and I have to take a half day of vacation each time. And...I'm almost out of time. I'd tried to apply for FMLA a couple years ago, and her PCP is an idiot and didn't/wouldn't take into account all the specialists she sees for her various ailments. "I'm only treating her for her arthritis," he told me, and wrote on the form that it's 2 days a year. I need to revisit it--my HR/FMLA only wants one form from one doc (PCP makes sense, right??) but this wound care guy seems to have a good understanding of the big picture, so I think I'm going to talk to him when we go next week. I don't care so much about not getting paid for the time I have to take, though I do worry about the work load at work--all this time off has taken a toll on that. A bit. I have a lot of conference calls and meetings, and it's hard to schedule those when I'm out a lot. That's really the only big issue. That and I hate having multiple calls/meetings day after day after day.
And given all that, I think it's becoming clear that my mom is going to need assisted living sooner rather than later. I think she's starting to realize it, too, though she will fight it tooth and nail, I think. We've talked AROUND the issue, and talked about it enough to know that she's made it clear that she doesn't want to go to assisted living, but lately I think it's on her mind, given her recent health stuff. We were watching TV this weekend, and every time an ad for "A Place for Mom" came on, she made a comment that all the places are terrible and dirty, and people's families just stick them in there... Sigh. She's probably right about the ones that she'll have to go to as being terrible, since there's no money and she'll have to go in as a Medicaid patient. Anyway.... one thing at a time. I still need to make an appointment with an atty and get the living will stuff done, etc. I did tell her that with the loss of my vacation time, I may have to arrange other transport to the doctor for her. She's not happy about that (my brother, also, is out of vacation time). I think the next step is probably going to be a caregiver of some sort coming in for a few hours a day. We tried a version of this before and it wasn't great. But we'll get through this.
Last edited by EdithKeeler
on Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.