Posted in Events General Update Internal Thoughts

Update 1 – Burial Plots

Yesterday went well, got to see my dad and help take care of him a little. My sister and brother are really working hard at helping them as well.

We purchased the burial plots. Honestly they are really nice and in the older part of the cemetery near a lot of the large maple trees. I will post photos after I go up next.

The plots ran $3,428. It was expected and worked out fine. I had enough on my credit card to pay for it for now. The one thing I was not expecting is you can bury 5 cremations on top of the casket so each grave could hold up to 10 people if 8 of them wanted to be cremated (which funny enough is what my spouse and I would prefer). It means though that I can take care of any family, friends or others that want to be cremated.

I am trying to avoid pulling any money from here until he passes. The grave liner and opening/closing the grave fee is about $1,600 in addition to the burial plots (and the funeral services will probably be close to $4k) and I am hoping to not have to withdraw the donations until that point in time.

I don’t think I can thank people enough. The outpouring of not only financial but emotional support has been huge. I don’t even know what to say about it except we are touched.

Thank you for everything. I have attached the picture of the purchase. I think it is incredibly important that people see exactly where the money went and what it was for. I realize most people do not do this (and it probably isn’t needed) but I always want to make sure people know what is exactly happening when they have been this kind to us.

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Overwhelmed with support

Lovely husband's magic egg!

I don’t know how to thank everyone. The response has been overwhelming. I know that the GoFundMe page posted an update, but I will post it separately as well just to thank all of you!

We got up this morning and were overwhelmed with the help. None of us really know what to say except thank you. Anything helps, and just the outpouring of support has made this easier. I am going up today to visit with my father and to take my mother to Bayview Cemetery to look at plots. I will come back and post what we looked at and what we got.

On a humorous note concerning my father (is there really anything humorous right now, I guess only a Bradley finds it funny). My sister was in the apartment watching over him.

She was in the living room and he was in the bedroom and she heard a thump. She was worried he fell out of bed and went into the bedroom to find him standing there (he has been bed ridden since Friday before (4 days before). She shrieked and evidently he burst out laughing, thinking it was the funniest thing he saw that she screamed and was worried about a zombie for a few seconds. He spent the rest of the day in the living room, eating a couple pieces of candy corn and having a cup of coffee.

It doesn’t change what is happening, and I don’t know if he is conscious this morning, but in my dad’s typical style he never does anything the easy way. Even as he is dying, he is still doing it on his own terms.

When I pull any funds out I will share exactly where they went. I believe I owe everyone here so much, the least I can do is be exact on where the generosity I am seeing here goes.

I don’t know if I could ever explain exactly how overwhelmed (in a positive way) that we feel with the love exhibited by friends, family and future friends/family (no one who helps is truly a stranger).

Thank you.

https://www.gofundme.com/9jnpq2xj

Posted in Internal Thoughts Opinion

Why the hate?

This morning I was reading an article about the idea of reducing the work week from 45+ hours a week down to 30. The idea is it would be healthier for employees and allow for a more well balanced work/life experience.

This is all stuff that is fairly straight forward and has been proven in many many studies. Stress and work anxiety is a huge reason for health issues (including cancer), it is also responsible for incredibly stress between partners and family members, almost as much as money is a problem.

All of this seems pretty logical to me. Personally once we get our credit cards paid off when Jello graduates, this might be a great thing to do. We could easily live off 30 hours each and still have a savings.

What caught me off guard was the vitriol that the commenters went on about. How it was only for lazy people, how it would destroy business, etc. Not even addressing the fact that there are countries where this is the norm and it hasn’t destroyed them. I keep wondering why the anger and taking it personally? It just seems weird that people would be so vitriolic.

Do they feel it invalidates the whole idea of consumerism? Does it put to question our desire to chain ourselves to more than a quarter of a million dollars of debt for something we don’t actually own until we pay it off? I have rants about those as well, but honestly I won’t go into that here, they deserve their own posts.

Then again, I know I get push back from possible employers because I don’t want to work 55 hour weeks as a norm (or even 45 hours). I personally would rather get paid less and work a max of 40 hours a week (and honestly once Jello is out of school I would be down for 32).

Does this make me lazy? No I don’t think so, but it does make me different then most of the commenters evidently.

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Anxiety

Woke up early today (but not nearly as early as the rest of the week) a little anxious about the work situation. We are fine with the unemployment, even still have a little in savings, but the string of interviews that haven’t gone anywhere just bugs me.

Now, I completely realize that mid level government jobs are harder to get into, and the fact that I have a 60% interviewing rate with them does reassure me I am not horrible in the eyes of employers. However, I am not used to it. Before getting into this profession I would have a job within two weeks of being unemployed (not necessarily a job I really want, but something). The problem is professional jobs, and more especially government jobs are slow to get, and with the shutdown/budget crises it is fairly hard to get a job. I will eventually get on, but until then I am starting my look at other options.

I have started putting apps out at other non-governmental businesses. I suspect I will get interviews fairly quick. I am going down to the local Robert Half office on Friday. They want me to come in and work for Robert Half (basically a head hunter/placement service/ temp service for accounting professionals). They offer benefits, medical, etc and the person signs up for contracts that are generally between six months and a year between jobs. So it is definitely an option and I think I need to look at it.

I am not sure this is the direction I will permanently want to go, but the timing is sort of good. Wolsey graduates in June (or August if classes don’t work like we hope), that gives me 9-11 months before he is out working. If I am temping like this, he can get whatever job he wants, wherever he wants. This means we can move down to Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, anywhere since I don’t have a job I would consider permanent. So maybe its the perfect setup.

Overall, I think today I am just whining that I am not working at the moment. We are doing well financially considering the situation. I have a great wife, family and overall things are doing well. So maybe I should wrap this up with a “Hell Ya!” 🙂

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Rough

Today is a bit rough. I got a call back from the job I was waiting on and unfortunately I was passed by them. They were very gracious and they want me to apply for the next open position (and it felt like they meant it), but for now I have to surrender over to the person with more experience.

Honestly I am ok with it in a lot of aspects. I wasn’t looking forward to being gone for two months for training during the week (I would have to stay in a hotel). Ok, that was the only negative :).

I do have some even better prospects in the line, but they are for the Feds, and with the shutdown and fighting over money I am not sure when that might come up. This unfortunately leaves me with a few options that don’t make me happy.

  1. Possibly get back in with my old employer, the Auditor’s Office. I liked the job, and the only reason I left was to try out what seemed to be a more lucrative accounting position. The good part is I discovered I am an auditor not an accountant. The disadvantage to this is the first position that “may” open up is December. I would definitely go for this (and would probably do it as my primary target) but the positions are rare to come up, and there is always drama with old employers isn’t there? 🙂
  2. Unemployment Office as an Underground Economics Specialist (looking for people who are avoiding paying taxes). I don’t mind that kind of work, but the quota thing worries me. I was offered the position but the pay was about half of what I was getting paid at the County, there is no way I can swing that. The manager did say she could try and get me up another 25%, still way under what I was making, but we could tread water until Jello graduates. The only other disadvantage is this is a federally funded job through the state. With the shutdown they are not running at all (this also begs the question why is the pay so extremely low when its federally funded, how many “management” do they have in the department that has to split the money they get)?
  3. L&I Auditor position is still possible. They contacted me yesterday and should have an answer for me next week. The problem with them is even less pay then the Unemployment Office (but the team seems positive), not sure if they can even get close to something I can live on (it has to meet the same pay as my unemployment plus $300 after insurance). This is because my student loans will come out of deferment as soon as I start working again.
  4. Temp work, this is possible but unreliable. One of the local accounting temp services contacts me regularly asking if I want to work. The problem is no benefits (which is fine, I can live with no benefits for a few months, try some ACA) but the jobs aren’t permanent and can be changed around with a week’s notice (ok that is also good because I can get out of a job I hate that way). The big worry is pay is all over the board and I can’t be sure how much I will make.

Now, we are good for at least three more months. I have unemployment into January and we could go a couple more with no money if needed. I am trying to avoid that option (and would definitely work as many part time low wage jobs to avoid it).

So I am just a little anxious today. I didn’t expect I would get the OIC job, but it is a disappointment. I will put off Unemployment Office until next week and see what L&I says. Although that wouldn’t matter since the UE job is federally funded and probably put back a few weeks due to the shutdown anyways.

So the world isn’t over, I still have about half my time with unemployment left and we can get by on it (this is without any extensions). I just wanted to bitch and whine to any who would listen.

 

Posted in Internal Thoughts Opinion

Counterpoint to buying a house

I suggest everyone go to this website http://www.salemfive.com/cobrand/CALCULATORS/index.html, they have a great set of calculators for different financing things (we are using it in my finance class up at WWU). I by no means am an expert, however, there were a few little facts I have learned recently in my accounting degree that have indicated buying a house is not as valuable as investing free money.

Here are two fairly common (and I am sure wiggles can verify the numbers aren’t that out of line) house loans.

APR: 6.900 %
Payment Term: 360 Months (30 years)
Total amount financed: $250,000.00
Monthly Payments: $1,646.50
Total payments: $592,740.60
Finance charge* $342,740.60
Amortization method: Normal

This is for a fairly standard 250,000 house. So in the end you are paying over 150% worth of the house’s value in interest alone. This is only for a 30 year loan.

Now, you want to make it a little cheaper, go for the 40 year loan:

APR: 6.900 %
Payment Term: 480 Months (40 years)
Total amount financed: $250,000.00
Monthly Payments: $1,535.45
Total payments: $737,022.67
Finance charge* $487,022.67
Amortization method: Normal

So in the end for a 250,000 house (which seems low to average for Whatcom County) you are paying almost 3/4 of a million dollars, you are saving 130 a month, but paying 165,000 dollars in interest extra to save you that 130 a month. YOU ARE PAYING ALMOST 3 TIMES THE VALUE OF THE HOUSE.

Now, if you were to invest this money, say 1,000 a month, and then spend the other 600 for rent (which apartments run in the market) you can earn this by investing that supposed house payment into real things like stocks/bonds/etc. Here is what you can earn.

APR: 6.90%
this is pretty average return, stocks can go as high as 10% which increases the amount you earn alot
Monthly Payment $1,000
Payment Term 360 Months (30 years)
Amount of Return of Investment: $1,196,170.35
Amount this will have Grown to in 30 years with that return:

Now lets do this for 40 years.

APR: 6.90%
this is pretty average return, stocks can go as high as 10% which increases the amount you earn alot
Monthly Payment $1,000
Payment Term 480 Months (40 years)
Amount of Return of Investment: $2,552,250.79
Amount this will have Grown to in 40 years with that return:

So what we are saying is either A: you can pay 592,740 for 30 years to own a house (or 737,022 for 40 year mortgage). and have a house not worth to even close that.

Or you can invest that money in stocks/bonds/mutual funds/ cd’s get the 6.9% fairly easy and make after thirty years 1,196,170.35 in the bank (at $1,000 a month) or after fourty years make 2,552,250.79 at 1,000 a month investment.

Sorry, houses are only good for people that can buy, and then turn around and sell them for a profit in a relatively short time.

None of this takes into account the bubble bursting, which there are signs of in New York and Boston. One of the ways the realty people are getting around the bubble bursting now is by offering 50 year loans back east.

In addition, that monthly house payment of 1600 DOES NOT INCLUDE INSURANCE OR TAXES which are pretty hefty in themselves, there is an additional 500 a month at least that could be added to your investing (which more then 150% bonus to investment  with the way returns work) or can get you an $1100 apartment which is pretty nice.

Seriously, whats a better investment, pay for a house, that you have to worry about paying off for 30 or 40 years (or if your really stupid 50) and have to repair out of your own pocket, or rent an apartment, and invest that money to get 1.1 or 2.5 million in the bank.