Home > Archive: September, 2020

Archive for September, 2020

What good luck, what bad luck

September 2nd, 2020 at 03:25 pm

Have you read that kids' book? I think it has another title too. Basically the character has very good luck and very bad luck every other page. I think about that book a lot lately because that's how 2020 feels. Every time something good happens, something terrible cuts short any sense of celebration.

Some of them are smaller things, but some are bigger. I never feel like I can relax for long.

Our youngest kid has had to get two COVID tests, once for a fever and once for a possible exposure at her summer camp. She tested negative both times, thank goodness. (Of course both negative results were shortly followed by some terrible news or event, but they're all starting to run together so I can't remember which they were.)

One really bad piece of news is that NT was laid off from his job last week. Very unexpectedly; it seemed like business was picking up. They'd already given everyone a temporary 20% paycut so it seemed like they were doing what they needed, but apparently they needed to do more. Several other people were laid off too.

He'd been with the company for 13 years, nearly as long as he'd been eligible to work in the U.S. The layoff itself was cold and awful, conducted via Zoom. But at least he's getting 13 weeks of severance pay, which should come in a couple weeks. So we'll be good through the end of the year. Even if I get laid off (which we all thought was much more likely), I'll get the same, so we'll still be good through December.

He's taking some time to clear his mind, do some stuff around the house, and help AS with her business. He isn't actively looking for a job yet but he does have a lead on one from a former coworker, so he's following up on that one.

Although it was obviously VERY unwelcome news, one silver lining is that it didn't happen while we were going through the refi! I'd been holding my breath hoping not to get laid off during it; it never occurred to me to be worried about his job.

So one piece of very good news is that the refi went through, and it ended up being much more beneficial financially to our actual budget than predicted. Here's the real budget impact:

Appraisal (478.00)
Estimated closing costs + wire fee (11,789.72)
Refund after closing costs ended up being much less: $9626.06
No Sept mortgage payment: $3254.50
Escrow refund: $5766.82

So overall, the refi had an immediate benefit to our budget of $6379.66!

Now when it seemed closing costs were ballooning to $16K due to insurance & tax stuff, I had them roll $5K into our new mortgage. If we hadn't done that, the real budget benefit would have been $1379.66. Still pretty great!

And our new mortgage, which we start paying in October, is about $300 less per month than our old one, so the benefit to our budget will continue. We got a 25-year loan, so it doesn't add any time to our payoff schedule either.

Many other good and bad things have happened in our lives and in our community, but those are the biggies in terms of actual impact to our day-to-day life. I'm sure 2020 has many more surprises, nasty and nice, waiting for us.

September 2020 debt payments

September 2nd, 2020 at 03:05 pm

I don't have a US mortgage payment this month, in fact added nearly $5k to my principal due to the refi. (More on that in a separate post.) But our UK mortgage payments went through:
UK1: $192
UK2: $42
UK3: $43

So just $277 went toward principal this month.

August 2020 net worth update

September 2nd, 2020 at 02:42 pm

NT's UK pensions:
AV: 22,397 pounds ($27,996)
SW: 29,047 pounds ($36,309)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $96,078
NT's Roth IRA: $49,313
AS's trad. IRA: $23,169
AS's Roth IRA: $72,591
AS's SEP IRA: $50,695
CJ's 401(k): $172,906
CJ's Roth IRA: $54,182
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $592,200 ($630,000 value -6%)
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,396,017

US Mortgage $375,000
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $27,738
UK Mortgage 2 $5,848
UK Mortgage 3 $6,158
TOTAL DEBT $423,744

Current Estimated Net Worth: $972,273

July 2020 estimate: $952,110

Change in net worth: +$20,163

Summary: Jeez, even with adding almost $5K in debt due to the refinance, our net worth jumped again this month. I think we've gained $40K in retirement value over two months, which is, yeah, not going to be a lasting gain. I wonder if we'll reach a million in net worth before the bubble bursts?

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are usually approximate. UK pension values updated about once a year. UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.25 for every British pound.