I was just looking over my income and expenses, doing some tallying, and I realized something – taking out the cost of my mortgage (the principal payment), I now actually bring in enough from other outside sources of income on a monthly basis to cover the rest of our expenses.
We don’t live extravagantly but we don’t really live frugally either. At this point my wife and I cherish our date nights and eating out once in awhile, or taking a couple vacations a year with the kids. It’s nice to know we’re at this point even with our current lifestyle.
So, it looks like at this point the only thing seemingly standing between me and financial independence is the house payment. Yes, that's always a huge hurdle, but here's where I'm at.
The House Payment Hurdle
We bought our house at the beginning of 2012 and have seen its value rise significantly over that time. It helps that we bought in an area that was still developing and has now really matured into a place where young professionals and families want to be. In fact, we could sell it for more than double the value we bought it at.
So naturally I thought… is there a way to get rid of this house payment? Well, the answer is simple… move. If I could sell my home, walk away with the equity and use that cash to purchase another home outright without needing a loan, then I’m there… total financial independence from medicine!
Geographic Arbitrage and the New Life
I've seen this also referred to as geographic arbitrage by Physician on Fire. Drop your cost of living and perhaps increase your physician pay, all by moving. Double bonus!
That means I’d never have to take another call or shift again if I wanted. It means I could take a six-month trip around the world with my family. It means I could make sure I never miss another Christmas school recital.
So, Where Should I Go?
That thought motivated me quite a bit, so I started to look around online. Where could I buy a home to fit our family that might unlock this freedom?
My wife and I are city folk for the most part, so I limited the search to at least medium-size cities and the surrounding areas. Here are some cities I found that might work:
Las Vegas, NV
Salt Lake City, UT
Not a bad selection of cities.
So What’s Keeping Me From Doing It?
Well, there are nice things about where I live – the ability to golf year-round, sunshine most of the time, walks on the beach whenever we want, or we can even drive to go skiing. However, the thing most keeping us from packing up right now is that most of our friends and family are here.
The whole point of financial freedom is to spend more time with friends and family. There’s really no point if we lose our community.
Yes, I guess we could always form a new community wherever we go. Many people are forced to move for their jobs and they make it work. However, there’s really no substitute for being close to family.
So for now, I’ll just keep waiting for these passive income streams to grow and continue to nurture them to the point where I'm financially independent where I live now. I may not be where I want to be yet, but I can say I'm enjoying the journey.
Think I’m being smart or not about this? Would you move or have you moved for financial independence?