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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am stuck in a slump and I am pondering a few options, but I am not quote sure about any of them. I am not overly happy with my job, I want to get into the more creative side of things, but I don't really see that happening anytime in the near future where I am. I have had a few heartbreaks, and lost a few good friends and I think this city may be trying to destroy me.

Anyway, since I bought my place, it has gone up about $150k in value. I am thinking of selling it, and taking off for a bit doing some traveling to Rome, Pompei, Amsterdam and Australia (Possibly staying at the last for awhile and getting a job). I was thinking I could use $25k of the profits to pay off my debts, put $25k on my RRSP and possibly invest another $25k. That would leave me with around $75k as 'whatever' money.

On one hand, I would be out of debt, have a decent size RRSP deposit/Investment and I can go travel a bit. On the other hand, I would be getting out of the lucritive Calgary housing market and end up having to re-purchase when I get back.

I am 28 years old, I have been to Mexico (Neuvo Vallarta), went to Disneyland/world when I was little, and a few small states in my early teens, so no real traveling. What are peoples thoughts on cashing in and flyin the coop?
 

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I'm of the "you only live once, so go for it" school of thought... particularly as I was far too fogeyish in my 20s.

However....

You have other options beyond selling the place, particularly since you intend to return to it. You could re-finance and get some of your equity out, go travelling, and rent the place out in the meantime. Perhaps not as much to play with, but a fair bit. In the meantime, your renter pays your mortgage for you.

When you are ready to return home, you can.

Mind you, when you said the city is destroying you, I thought you were going to ask about moving out of Calgary...
 

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Fly the coop. Have fun. Get out while you can - you have relatively little invested, yet so much to lose if you don't 'act out' what's driving you. You can always settle down afterwards - but right now, why not go for the gusto and leave your present circumstances?

It sounds like you already have much of this planned out, so perhaps all you are doing now is seeking permission. Live the adventure!
 

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Other than what is said, do not invest in RSP's. In the end you pay far too much tax on them and you end up with less than you originally thought. Go see a smart investor. They can point you in the right direction for some lower taxed investments that will make you more than any RSP.

As far as traveling, I went to Amsterdam with a buddy of mine in '97 (one of seven countries in a month) and it truly is one of the craziest cities you will ever go to. Sin city is a good description. But it can be as crazy or as laid back as you want it to be. If you do go, do yourself a favour and go do the Heinekin Brewery Tour. Get there early to get tickets. You do the tour of the brewery (big deal) and afterward they serve you all the beer you can consume in a half an hour. Let's just say I stumbled out of there.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
 

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I'd take a long sober look at this, especially if you plan to come back to Calgary when you are done.

I bought my house here 10 years ago and have watched it increase in value while hearing horror stories about the housing situation many newcomers are facing. I have relatives who are in specially rigged mortgages because paying them off in 25 years is no longer realistic for the average family to do.

I have a neighbor two houses down from me who got an equity loan on his house, I don't know the specifics but from the sounds of it he got a lot. They bought a new truck, a new minivan, a big camping trailer and consolidated the rest of their debt. They will now being paying off that mortgage until they are 65 and these vehicles will probably wear out in 5 - 7 years. My mortgage will likely be paid by the time I am 41.

I am at a stressful time in my life right now, my wife stopped her business as we are expecting our second son on July 24. Right now, I am the only one bringing an income in and work has been more challenging than usual. My wife is having a c-section which will take her out of commission for at least two months after July 24. Lots more expenses with a lot less cash for the next 3 - 4 months.

So I've been doing a lot of lying awake at night thinking about life, the universe and everything, and how this whole enterprise is riding on my shoulders and one failure on my part will bring the whole thing down on my wife and kids.

It is at that point that I realize the worst possible scenario I could face...moving to Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

Because while I lie awake wondering if I am going to make it in this life, it dawns on me, because my house is worth so much more than what I still owe on it, if this city spits me out, I would land in a bigger house with no mortgage and fewer worries in another province.

That is the freeing power of having a lot of unused equity in your house. The Calgary housing market underwent a necessary adjustment over the last two years, things have levelled off since then and I don't expect our houses will jump up like that again.

If you sell your house now and spend a good chunk of the money you make from it on something temporary, you won't have that option again and you will have it tougher when you get back.
 

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I would say take out an equity loan of whatever your current debts are at a rate hopefully lower than your current debts, then plus whatever money you think you'll need to travel, rent the place out and use that income to pay back the loan. If you're planning to travel from country to country then you'll need more money obviously but when I was in Tokyo I was able to get by pretty well on $2200/mo for rent food transit and having fun, just to give you an idea.

You don't have a mortgage? Lucky bum. :p Heheh.
 

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Flying the coop is overrated, but time off is not. Whether by unpaid leave of absence or just quitting and traveling for some months, I'm not sure what would work best for you.

If you stand to net $150k out of your house (if you choose to sell), don't blow $75k finding yourself. You'll just find out that you were being silly. Pay off debts, put a bunch in an RRSP and, if that's maxed out, some other savings vehicle. $25k should be plenty to travel around and think things through; maybe $40k if you like nicer hotels and plan on thinking slowly. At some point, however, it's just avoiding life and not particularly fruitful.

Do a little planning where the payoff is large (e.g. booking international airline tickets) but, other than that, you may find that it's not where you go that matters. Maybe a couple weeks on the Rock, gazing at nature's stark beauty is all you need. Who knows, but don't assume that the stereotypical world traveller approach means a thing.

What do you feel like doing and seeing that is different than you would just do for a vacation?
 

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Beware overheated housing markets! There are places in this country where people are paying mortgages higher than the value of the house because the bubble has burst. I say get your $150k out and let the next guy take the hit.

And when you are ready, go some where cheaper. If careful, you can live a long time on $150k.

What I found when I became debt free was an amazing feeling of freedom. You can do anything.

Finding about yourself isn't a matter of looking outward (travel) - it is more a matter of looking in at one's true self (which is a lot easier to see when unburdened (imho).

Whatever you do decide, do not - repeat do not - take out an equity loan. It only ties you deeper into a situation you are already unhappy about.
 

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I'm 27 and I would give the world to be debt free.

Personally, I would sell, take a small vacation and look at all of the prospects from there. Take a good hard look at what you want to do and where you want to be when you get back.

I've moved to another province in search for a better income/lifestyle. So far, it's working out okay.. but I'm not that far ahead (yet). The bright side is that I absolutely love the place I picked to move. Ottawa was a wonderful choice for my girlfriend and I, we absolutely love it. Staying here for a while isn't going to be hard.

That said.. the cost of living is much higher here than it is where we're from. (Sydney, Nova Scotia) And, getting situated here cost a lot of money. This is where the accumulation of our debt has come from. We're okay with it however and we're on track to getting out of it pretty easily.

Only you can decide for yourself what the right thing for you to do is. If you need that time to travel, go for it. It may likely be the only chance in your lifetime to do it.. if that's the case, it's worth the money many times over.

Anyway, I'm going to stop now. :)

Good Luck!
 

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Hey MacDaddy!

Yep, you are definitely going through your Saturn return = big change!

When I was 27 / 28, I quit my job (not before getting major dental work done), opting not to buy that 2 bedroom condo for $145,000 in central Calgary, paid off my debts and went traveling for 4 months, then moved to Montreal! I wasn't happy in my job and was having problems with harassment from my landlord, so was going to quit my job and move, and thought : "The hell with it! I'm outta here!"

So, with a thousand bucks in my pocket, I busked my way through western Europe and then spent my 28th birthday climbing Mount Sinai after a scuba dive in the Red Sea, experiences I wouldn't change for the world.

My only regret? Not buying the condo. I realised if I had only hung on another month and then rented out the condo while I was gone... Well, it just would have been better for me in the long run.

My suggestion would be to hang on to your place while your gone and rent it. You don't know where your head is going to be after an experience like the one you're wanting to take on. Only then will you know if you will want to stay in Calgary or not, and frankly, I wouldn't want to pay for a new place what people are paying for now. Besides, it could be a way to make money while your away, as the value of your property will only stand to increase.
 

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Remember if you rent it out, you'll need to find a friend to collect rent and maybe deal with fixing stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't really want to deal with having to rent out my place while I am gone. The main reason I want to sell is to get myself out of debt and have some sort of financial stability. I don't know if I will come back to Calgary or not or go somewhere else entirely. The reality is though, I want a house, not a townhouse, and those prices are not going to go down either, so I would have to sell eventually to get a bigger place. Of course, I won't do that until I have a better half.

My plan is not really a plan, but a possibility. I am meeting with my realtor tonight to discuss what would need to be done and what costs are associated with selling. I am just getting to stressed out and can't deal with it anymore. I need something to change.
 

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GO GO GO! I can't imagine why anyone in his twenties would have a mortgage. Travel while you still can. You're young, single, no kids and have money in your pocket. The world is your proverbial oyster. Just go!
 

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GO GO GO! I can't imagine why anyone in his twenties would have a mortgage. Travel while you still can. You're young, single, no kids and have money in your pocket. The world is your proverbial oyster. Just go!
wholeheartedly agree !!

you could do a lot of traveling on even 25K
and get some good investment advice from several professionals
i also think the housing market is in for a negative adjustment

you're single, have money in pocket and lots for reserve / nest egg
who knows you may want to live somewhere more exotic after you do some traveling and remember always true credo; "cash is king"

besides why have a house if you find a partner to live with?
you may just well end up with 1/2 a house
:D
 

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Must be a 28 year old thing.

When I was 28, I left my husband, sold the house and made my 4th and largest career change, threw all my money into the new business and rented while I figured the rest out.

Follow your heart and screw the details. You have over 30 years of working life to fix whatever you do now--at this point in your life, there are very few financial problems you can create for yourself that you can't fix later.
 

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I don't really want to deal with having to rent out my place while I am gone. The main reason I want to sell is to get myself out of debt and have some sort of financial stability. I don't know if I will come back to Calgary or not or go somewhere else entirely. The reality is though, I want a house, not a townhouse, and those prices are not going to go down either, so I would have to sell eventually to get a bigger place. Of course, I won't do that until I have a better half.

My plan is not really a plan, but a possibility. I am meeting with my realtor tonight to discuss what would need to be done and what costs are associated with selling. I am just getting to stressed out and can't deal with it anymore. I need something to change.
Sounds as though ou already know what you want to do.... Have fun! ;)
 

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Is this all part of some North American puritanism? Feeling guilty about having fun (what - no mortgage!!)? We're all going to die in 2012 anyway, so you might as well enjoy yourself in the meantime.
 
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