So one of the more interesting things, now that we have a daughter bound for college, is that we are entering a new life phase. Not just watching them all fly off - which will happen (one way or the other) over the next decade. It is also the realization that with that and other situations, our life will change somewhat dramatically.
The question is, how do we manage that change?
If you are wondering what the plan is (so glad you asked), I am working on a number of assumptions which may or may not be true (but frankly, I cannot plan for the End of Civilization War that may or may not start tomorrow or next week or never):
1) The locale in which we are currently living will rapidly price us out of the market to live here. Just on the property tax assessment alone will mean at 45% increase (if the average holds true). Add to that all the other costs of living in an urban area and suddenly "long term" becomes a meaningless phrase
(The Ravishing Mrs. TB and I were talking about this the other night. We are both ready to move: She because of the traffic and crowdedness, I because of the traffic and cost and people. Frankly, I am not 24 anymore: paying for the privilege of living in "A Cool City" is not really attractive).
2) This leaves us with two choices: either to relocate to another large urban area (because that is where the jobs in my industry are) or figure out a way to make do on a vastly reduced income.
That is a hard truth, but it is truth. Or it could happen a third way: laid off again with no job to be found. I am starting to reach the point where, due to my oncoming age, this is a real possibility.
(It has happened to The Ravishing Mrs. TB's manager's husband: 20 years with a company, laid off, and now cannot find a job in the high tech industry. He is battling an age barrier (mine or almost there) and the fact that he does not have a college degree in IT because he started before there was such a thing. His only job offer was a job paying half of what he previously earned. Sobering stuff.)
So hard and true - but this can be planned for and managed.
3) The world will be very different. I am not sure how (even I cannot pierce that veil) but sincerely doubt it will not be for the better. If the trends I wrote of yesterday are any indication, even just getting by could be infinitely harder.
4) Interests and desires will change - for example, it is more than likely that Na Clann will all live somewhere than where we currently reside. I am sure someone (The Ravishing Mrs. TB) would like to go travel to see them.
4) All of that said, what skills, attributes and (frankly) assets does 10 year older TB have to have to be ready for that moment?
That, of course, is something that I am working through and on. But I have a couple of thoughts:
- He is not going to want a house payment - or really debt of any kind.
- He is likely to do some of the things he does now but perhaps not all of them.
- There is going to need to be a higher level of self reliance.
- He will have to plan for a life without the current career of his choice (which may not be all bad).
Still a work in progress, of course. But there is a transition occurring as I write. I have missed some of the ones that happened before. I cannot afford to miss this one.