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Why I Quit My $200K Job and Moved to Nashville

Nashville Road Trip 2018-07 Tennessee state line
Nashville Road Trip 2018-07 Tennessee state lineOn the Tennessee state line.


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Quitting a job isn’t straightforward. It’s even more durable whenever you’ve been there for greater than a decade and are making actually good cash. However, typically it’s time to transfer on. Right here is the story of why I give up my $200,000 a yr job, moved to Nashville, and began freelance writing full time. Though my state of affairs is totally different than yours, the teachings I discovered alongside the best way might show worthwhile to you when its time to depart your present job.

Lee & Jim October 2007My Dad handed away in 2012. I marvel what he would say…

Working in Finance for a Financial institution

At the beginning modified, I was working for a regional financial institution based mostly in Los Angeles. My finance job was targeted on budgeting, forecasting, technique, and monetary evaluation.

It was a great job, however the lengthy hours, excessive stress, and Three-hour spherical journey commute took a toll on my bodily and psychological well being. Common again spasms, fixed eye twitches, and stressed nights have been the norm. If I hadn’t already shaved my head, I’m fairly positive I would have misplaced loads of hair.

A co-worker in the identical place as me had a mini-stroke throughout a very aggravating time of the yr. It might have been something, however we’re each satisfied it was the stress that brought on it.

However, I was getting paid rather well, so no one needed to hear me complain.

The 10-Yr Plan

I’ve been attending FinCon, a private finance convention, for years. And one of many largest developments has been the FIRE Motion – which stands for “financial independence, retire early.”

My spouse and I take pleasure in good issues, however we’re each fairly frugal by nature. We like the thought of retiring early, however we didn’t need to go overboard with FIRE. You understand the kinds… they do issues like make their very own toothpaste, cancel cable TV, and share one automotive within the household. Kudos to them for making these sacrifices. That isn’t us.

One of many podcasts I pay attention to is Radical Private Finance. In a single episode, Joshua Sheets talks about having a 10-year plan that basically resonated with me. Ten years looks like the right time horizon. It’s not too brief that the trail is inconceivable. But, it additionally isn’t so lengthy that it looks like that day won’t ever come.

I began operating the numbers to see what 10-years might appear to be for us. I had simply paid off my automotive mortgage (6 years at zero% curiosity). Then I started accelerating the payoff of my scholar loans.

Quickly, I had paid off my automotive mortgage, scholar loans, two rental property mortgages, and Anna’s automotive mortgage. We have been rockin’ and rollin’! As quickly as one stability was paid off, we snowballed the cost in the direction of the subsequent debt on our record.

My 10-year plan targeted on paying off all of our debt whereas persevering with to spend money on my retirement and funding accounts. If every little thing labored out nicely, I would have reached monetary independence by age 52.

In fact, paying off debt is simpler when you’ve an enormous wage and good bonuses annually. However dwelling in California could be actually costly. The median residence worth in Orange County is $720,000. State revenue taxes are a few of the highest within the nation. And daycare, personal faculty, and after-school look after our two youngsters was virtually $Three,000 per thirty days. Regardless of how a lot you make, it could go fairly shortly within the OC.

As soon as our money owed have been paid off, would I have stored working? I’m unsure. Nevertheless it positive can be good to have the choice.

Sunglass Warehouse Lee at Huntington BeachDay by day now virtually looks like I’m on trip.

Planting seeds by way of networking

If there’s something it is best to have discovered through the Nice Recession is that there’s no such factor as job safety. Even in case you are the perfect worker, corporations can fail. Whole departments are shuttered or outsourced. Or you would merely fall out of favor together with your boss.

I keep in mind very vividly listening to Wing Lam, founding father of Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, give sage recommendation at a younger professionals convention. He stated that you simply want to plan the seeds of networking years earlier than you harvest them. This was a few of the greatest profession recommendation I’ve ever acquired.

Attending FinCon has been extra of a trip than a working convention for me the previous few years. I had a very good job and my weblog was extra of a pastime than something. Though there have been wonderful shows and priceless info, I primarily attended to hang around and meet like-minded individuals.

When it got here time to depart my job, these friendships have been essential in serving to me launch my full-time profession as a contract author. As a result of I was already their pal, they have been snug placing their identify on the road when referring me. They’re all nice individuals, but when I had simply met them and was asking for recommendation, referrals, and suggestions, they wouldn’t have been as helpful of a useful resource.

Constructing a number of streams of revenue

Except for operating my BaldThoughts.com weblog since 2012, I’ve been constructing different passive revenue streams. Having a number of streams of revenue diversifies your danger and protects you in case of job loss or whenever you lose an enormous shopper.

I purchased my first rental properties in 2006 and have been lucky sufficient to pay each of them off within the final couple of years. I didn’t cease there. With a associate, I’ve continued to discover rental properties to spend money on yr after yr. We now personal a handful of rental properties which are constructive money stream and assist pay the payments.

Okay, I want that I was a baller and might afford to sink $25,000 or extra into every considered one of these rental properties. That’s not how we do it. As an alternative, we use a little-known technique that permits us to use the identical cash over and over to hold shopping for distressed properties, rehab them, discover a tenant, then refinance to pull our money again out. It’s a complete game-changer!

Lee Huffman work peace im out May 2018Peace, I’m out!

When it’s time to go

There’s a saying that could be very applicable to my state of affairs. “Man plans and God laughs.”

I had my 10-year plan. Money owed have been being knocked off one-by-one. And I was slowly rising my weblog and constructing passive revenue with my rental properties.

My profession was shifting alongside nice. Throughout annual evaluations, I all the time acquired above common or higher evaluations. Each time an issue arose, my boss often tapped me as a “fixer.”

All the things was going in accordance to plan. However then, abruptly, I went from being a hero to a zero. I gained’t go into specifics, however I’ll simply say that it was made clear to me that it was time to depart.

If you would like to hear extra of the story, I was just lately on the Stacking Benjamins Podcast speaking about how to depart your job – Kicking the 9-5 To The Curb (with Lee Huffman).

Stacking Benjamins podcast recording with Joe and Lee in Orlando September 2018Recording with Joe of Stacking Benjamins at FinCon 18 in Orlando.

Let’s transfer to Nashville

Okay, now it was time to work out what to do subsequent. My spouse and I had all the time questioned about dwelling someplace outdoors Southern California. As we journey, we consider the cities we go to to gauge whether or not or not we might see ourselves dwelling there.

I informed Anna that I might fairly simply discover one other company finance gig in LA or Orange County. However, our youngsters are younger and we all the time lament how they’re rising up so quick. They’re already 7 and Three years previous. The place has the time gone?

Oh, that’s proper. We’ve been spending all of our time on the workplace and on the freeways commuting to work.

If we didn’t do one thing totally different, the youngsters can be 17 and 13 within the blink of an eye fixed. We might have missed their childhood whereas chasing the subsequent increase or promotion.

At that second, we determined to promote our residence and purchase a home in Nashville. I would freelance write full time to be across the youngsters extra. And this may free Anna of most of the shared parenting duties so she might give attention to constructing her profession. (She’s a superb position mannequin for our youngsters as a mom that may stability work, household, and enjoyable.)

Nashville Road Trip 2018-07 Tennessee state lineOn the Tennessee state line.

Why Nashville?

When evaluating potential locations to stay, we needed the next:

  • Robust financial system
  • Decrease value of dwelling
  • Welcoming group
  • Good climate
  • Good airport

The cities that match this invoice have been Seattle, Portland, Denver, Dallas, Austin, and Nashville. As we dove deeper into the choices, it actually boiled down to Austin and Nashville. Nashville gained out as a result of it was nearer to our households in North Carolina and Georgia. We will simply drive there for weekend visits, which is essential as a result of we would like our youngsters to develop up spending time with their household.

Controlling your bills

Okay, the one approach this transfer would work is that if we managed our bills. As I talked about earlier, Anna and I are fairly frugal by nature already. When I paid off my auto mortgage, as an alternative of leaping again into one other auto mortgage, I began financial savings the month-to-month funds and will experience this automotive into the bottom. A flowery new automotive can be superior, however working from house and spending extra time with the household is even higher.

Shifting to Nashville helped tremendously in slicing our bills:

  • There are not any state revenue taxes.
  • We bought our house in California and purchased one for half the worth in Tennessee.
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority produces low cost electrical energy for the state.
  • Automotive registration is simply $65 per yr.
  • Auto insurance coverage dropped from $950 to $550 each six months.
  • Fuel costs are $1 to $1.50 cheaper per gallon in contrast to California.

The large reductions in spending additionally included eliminating personal faculty and daycare for the youngsters and the distinction within the previous vs. new mortgage funds. I misplaced numerous revenue with the transfer, however we’ve come shut to offsetting the misplaced revenue by decreasing our bills fairly considerably with a transfer out of high-tax and high-cost California.

The best way ahead

As we get settled into our new house, issues are going rather well. It’s an incredible feeling having the ability to spend extra time with the youngsters… even once they get on my nerves with their sibling rivalry. I love having the ability to help Anna and her profession. And we solely have a number of extra bins to unpack.

I’ve been writing about some actually fascinating subjects at RewardExpert, ChooseFI, SuperMoney, and JohnnyJet. Check out let me know what you assume.

I lately launched the We Journey There podcast. It’s a 30-minute present the place I interview native specialists from all over the world to uncover the perfect issues to do of their metropolis from an area’s perspective. A number of the hottest episodes have been Nashville, Austin, Vancouver, and Hong Kong. It’s on all the main podcast platforms. We’ve got some superb cities arising, so subscribe and be a part of us once we journey there.

I’ll proceed to diversify my revenue by promoting eCourses and eBooks. A few programs I’ve been engaged on will train individuals how to use journey rewards and construct their credit score. And the eBook concepts which were floating in my head will lastly get the eye they deserve.

The Bald Ideas

General, I’m nonetheless a bit of unhappy how issues transpired. I loved my work and the cash was nice. I wasn’t prepared to depart when I did, however no job lasts endlessly.

We miss our associates and household again in California and take into consideration them regularly. Airline miles and lodge factors will make visiting them reasonably priced. Within the meantime, Facetime and Skype work wonders.

Even in any case of that, we’re a lot better off right here in Nashville. Our residence is gorgeous (and 30% greater). The neighborhood is superb, and we’ve made some superior pals. Each youngsters are adjusting nicely to life in “the South” and neither have stated y’all (but).

This transfer wouldn’t have been potential if I hadn’t been on the trail to monetary independence and networked earlier than I wanted to. I encourage you to develop your debt payoff plan to get rid of debt and create alternatives for your self. Begin constructing your community now. Attend business conferences, community by way of LinkedIn, and by no means eat alone.

Have you ever ever considered leaving your job and shifting someplace else? For those who made the transfer, how did it end up for you? What would you’ve gotten executed in another way? Please share your story within the remark part under.

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