Refinance the mortgage or get rid of the nanny? FINAL DECISION POST #135 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need help figuring out a long-term financial plan. Here are the key points:

1. Mortgage - We Have a high monthly mortgage payment.

2. Other Bills and Expenses

3. DH's business - It was slow last year and may be again this year.

4. My business - I have a small business that is growing

5. In order to continue building up my business, we have a nanny.

Soooo.... the numbers don't add up.

So - what to do?

The only two options I see are to:

(1) Refinance the mortgage and get a lower monthly payment
(2) Get rid of the nanny and put the youngest in daycare/preschool.

Now - let me tell you my thoughts about the nanny. We like having a nanny - for many, many reasons. There are a lot of pros and the only con is the expense. About daycare/preschool - well, there aren't any decent daycare options within a decent driving distance from our house. And there are preschool options - but I'm not thrilled about them, either.

So, you might say - well - work at night after the kids are in bed and on weekends. I WAH, and I've tried that - and it stinks. Ask any WAHP and they will tell you the same.

I really, really, really want to keep the nanny and refinance the mortgage for a lower monthly payment. My DH is resisting. I'm trying to be open-minded, so tell me what you think.

TIA!
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#2 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 08:06 AM
 
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Personally, I would keep the nanny and try to refi the mortgage. I would be reluctant to get rid of her if she is good with your children. Also, check and see if you can deduct childcare from your taxes. I'm pretty sure you can put that on your income tax, as well as other expenses from your WAH business.

I would also shop around for insurance on your car, see if there are insurance companies that can consolidate your home and car insurance (or other insurances you may have) with a discount.

If you're feeling brave, you could post your budget here and we can help you.

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#3 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 08:27 AM
 
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I just saw a Suzie Orman Show with a point about this. What are you expecting in refinancing? You already have a really low interest rate, with the cost of closing on a refinance, it's not going to save you any money! That's what she said lol. So I would look into it and crunch the numbers, it may not be worth it afterall.

What is it you do exactly? Is it something that you could pick up again after the kids are in school? Every considered being a SAHM?

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#4 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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what is your WAH work? I run my own business from home, and yes, working after the kids go to sleep sucks, but you do what you have to do, yk?

$30K for a nanny is a LOT of money, and with your income, it's not something you can afford. You wrote that you have the nanny in order to build up your business, but currently, you are wiping out all your business income (and 5K of DH's income) for the nanny - putting your business completely in the red. Literally, you'll work an entire year and not make $1. You wrote that within 5 years, you anticipate boosting the business income to $50K - which still brings you to just a $20K profit (not counting any other business expenses that aren't factored in) after paying the nanny. Is it really worth busting your tush on your business essentially only to pay the nanny (who you wouldn't need if you weren't running the business?)

If I were in your shoes, I'd get rid of the nanny, and find a mom's co-op that you could trade mornings, so that you'd get kid-free time at much less cost.
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#5 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 09:14 AM
 
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Why don't you refinance first, then see if you can still afford the nanny? That's a brutal mortgage payment.

Or you could get a part time nanny, save some money on that and spend a bit of evening and weekend time working.
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#6 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lovebeingamomma View Post
I just saw a Suzie Orman Show with a point about this. What are you expecting in refinancing? You already have a really low interest rate, with the cost of closing on a refinance, it's not going to save you any money! That's what she said lol. So I would look into it and crunch the numbers, it may not be worth it afterall.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but going from a $400,000 15 year to a $200,000 20 or 30 year will drastically drop her payments to about $1500 a month.
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#7 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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oh duh yeah I wasn't thinking that it was a 15 going to a 30 But still worth researching before deciding on it.

Christian SAHM & birth doula.
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#8 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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I don't know what the mortgages are like in the U.S but I just refinanced mine here in Canada. It had 21 years left on it and I refinanced a year early. The interest rate was around 6% and we refinanced for 4%. We paid no fees because the bank we had our mortgage with didn't want to lose our business so they ultimately refinanced at the lower rate a competitor offered us except without the fee.

We ended up keeping the same mortgage payment but cut 5 years off our mortgage. Our mortgage is only $78k so nothing big but still...
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#9 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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Here are some things to remember. If you have a 15 year mortgage and a 30 year mortgage at the same interest rate and you paid the 15 year payment on the 30 year mortgage, you would pay them off in the same time. Generally 15 year mortgages have lower interest rates though, however a 30 year mortgage with a .5% higher interest rate would only take 9 months longer to pay off than at a 15 year mortgage, if you made the 15 year mortgage's payments. So you can look at it this way - you can refinance into a 30 year mortgage now, while you are trying to grow your business and need extra cash flow, but when things get rocking, go back to paying it like it was a 15 year mortgage, you won't have lost that much ground.

Since the nanny is a temporary expense, you won't be paying her forever - eventually the kids will enter school right? You could go into it with the plan to go back to your higher payment once you are done with the nanny.

It's difficult to say what you should do, because I can't weigh the benefit of working on your business now - you have to decide whether the benefit of working now (and having the nanny) is worthwhile to the cost vs getting rid of the nanny and not working (and therefore not growing the business as much).

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#10 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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Here are some things to remember. If you have a 15 year mortgage and a 30 year mortgage at the same interest rate and you paid the 15 year payment on the 30 year mortgage, you would pay them off in the same time. Generally 15 year mortgages have lower interest rates though, however a 30 year mortgage with a .5% higher interest rate would only take 9 months longer to pay off than at a 15 year mortgage, if you made the 15 year mortgage's payments. So you can look at it this way - you can refinance into a 30 year mortgage now, while you are trying to grow your business and need extra cash flow, but when things get rocking, go back to paying it like it was a 15 year mortgage, you won't have lost that much ground.
We're planning on getting a 20 or 30 year mortgage for this reason, even though we could cover the payments on a 15 year (or pay it off in 8 years if we were super frugal and disciplined and saved nothing). We'll make extra payments to the principal, but we will have a cushion when we have lean months, in that we'll only be obliged to pay a relatively small amount.
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#11 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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Can you look into a "nanny sharing" situation? Have one more kid of the same age at your house, and the kid's parents pay half the cost.

My next suggestion - look into ways to cut living expenses - such as reducing electric usage, reducing eating out, etc.
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#12 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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#13 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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I think I'd be tempted to put my career on the back burner until my little ones were in school. You'd be up 5K right away, not to mention all the other added expense with working out of the home. You are only looking at - at most - 3 years wait. I'd give that up in a heartbeat. I did.

Or I'd work from home and lose the nanny.

I work from home - right now I am 4 kids deep and working becasue of Spring Break but normally it's me and our 3 (almost 4) year old - and while it's do-able, I do a lot after they sleep, before they wake and while DS naps - I feel like it's the best decision for us because we decided to raise 4 kids kwim? It may not work for you - but that would be my suggestion.

And yeah, it does stink some days. Some days it is insane. 99% of the time I love it. It lets me stay current in my industry as well as make money which is helpful, and it allows me to be with my kids, cook meals, and do practices, games, events, be at the kids' school some days, be home over spring break like now, and the like. We enjoy it and I am not sure I ever want to go back to the grind of working in an office.

I do have a housekeeper who comes every 2 weeks to do the deep clean, and I have MIL who watches DS for me in a pinch - but that has only been once this year. We don't have a baby sitter at all. I don't even know one.

Jennifer
Valrico, FL
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#14 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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I would try to reduce the 75K. Do you have a lot of debt? I don't see how else you could have $75k expenses outside of your mortgage?

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#15 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I'd probably just SAH and get rid of the nanny since she's making more than you are.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#16 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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Can I just point out that work isn't always about money?
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#17 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, check and see if you can deduct childcare from your taxes. I'm pretty sure you can put that on your income tax, as well as other expenses from your WAH business.
Thanks for responding! Just a quick comment, so I can respond to the others - we already deduct her and my business expenses.
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#18 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are you expecting in refinancing?

What is it you do exactly? Is it something that you could pick up again after the kids are in school? Every considered being a SAHM?
Thanks for the response!

I am expecting a lower monthly mortgage payment.

I'd rather not say what I do for privacy's sake, but I could pick it up again after kids are in school. However, I would rather not be a SAHM.
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#19 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or you could get a part time nanny, save some money on that and spend a bit of evening and weekend time working.
Our nanny is already part-time. I am already working some evenings and weekends as it is.
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#20 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but going from a $400,000 15 year to a $200,000 20 or 30 year will drastically drop her payments to about $1500 a month.
I was thinking of going to another 15 year - that is the only way I can get my DH to even *think* about this. He would never consider a 30 year.
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#21 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So you can look at it this way - you can refinance into a 30 year mortgage now, while you are trying to grow your business and need extra cash flow, but when things get rocking, go back to paying it like it was a 15 year mortgage, you won't have lost that much ground.
This is exactly how I see it - but I can't get DH to wrap his head around the idea.

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Since the nanny is a temporary expense, you won't be paying her forever - eventually the kids will enter school right? You could go into it with the plan to go back to your higher payment once you are done with the nanny.
We have one DC in school now, and one who will start school in the Fall of 2010. So, yes, I am hoping that by then we won't need a nanny anymore. There will still be days when there is no school, summers, breaks, etc., but I'm hoping to find temporary childcare, or something.


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It's difficult to say what you should do, because I can't weigh the benefit of working on your business now - you have to decide whether the benefit of working now (and having the nanny) is worthwhile to the cost vs getting rid of the nanny and not working (and therefore not growing the business as much).
The benefit to me working now is that it saves my sanity of being a SAHM. I have a special needs child who is REALLY a challenge. Even though she is in school now, I still like having the after-school nanny helping us out. And quite honestly, so does DH.
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#22 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you look into a "nanny sharing" situation? Have one more kid of the same age at your house, and the kid's parents pay half the cost.
I have looked into it - and the thing is I have a special needs child who really needs the attention of the adult in charge. It is hard enough juggling her and my other child. But putting her and her sister into a nanny share with 1-2 other children would be difficult.

My next suggestion - look into ways to cut living expenses - such as reducing electric usage, reducing eating out, etc.[/QUOTE]

Working on that.
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#23 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i think i'd be tempted to put my career on the back burner until my little ones were in school. You'd be up 5k right away, not to mention all the other added expense with working out of the home.
Thanks, I already work at home.
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#24 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would try to reduce the 75K. Do you have a lot of debt? I don't see how else you could have $75k expenses outside of your mortgage?
No debt.

I have to run - but later today I'll try and tally up the $75,000 so you all can see what I'm talking about.
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#25 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Refinancing sounds reasonable in this situation, since it sounds like:

1) It's important to you to continue working, because you don't like being a SAHM, and because your long-term financial security will be enhanced by building up your business.
2) You don't particularly want to put your kid in daycare/preschool.
3) Because you and your husband are both self-employed, you have more fluctuation in income than people with salaried jobs.
4) You don't feel that it's possible to reduce your other expenses.

I can certainly see your husband's point of view, though -- we have 9 years left on our mortgage, and are REALLY looking forward to it being paid off. Increasing the amount of time it will take to pay off our house would definitely feel like taking a financial step backward.

What does he want to do? Put the youngest child in daycare/preschool? Have you scale back your business for a while so no childcare would be needed?

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#26 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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I would try to reduce the 75K. Do you have a lot of debt? I don't see how else you could have $75k expenses outside of your mortgage?
Oh, I can see it. She and her husband probably have expenses along the lines of:

Property Taxes - $600/month
Income Taxes - $2000/month
Self-Employment Taxes - $600/month
Private Health Insurance Premiums - $1000/month
Life Insurance - $200/month
Retirement Savings - $1000/month

Plus your usual utilities, food, clothing, homeowner's insurance, etc.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#27 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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I was thinking of going to another 15 year - that is the only way I can get my DH to even *think* about this. He would never consider a 30 year.

We are halfway done with our current 15 year, so we can go another 7.5 years at $4500/month or refinance and go another 15 years at $3100/month.
What is his objection, specifically? Have you sat down with him and a spreadsheet and shown him how it works? I use this one http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Mort...icrosoft-Excel

Sit down and put in the obligatory payment on a 30 year and then see what happens when you make extra payments to principle so that you're paying every cent you can. You can pay the low amount for the next 12 months until your youngest is in school and your business is making more, then pay more than if you had a 15 year, and you'll have it paid off in less than 15 years. As a PP said, the term of the loan isn't set in stone. Maybe if you actually show him the numbers he'll understand that you're not actually signing up for 15 or 20 or 30 more years of debt, but only an extra 12 months (with low payments).

he needs to see that you can't afford your current mortgage.
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#28 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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My personal thoughts on business are a business should be cash flow positive. I have a problem with the business expenses being more than your income (and I consider the nanny a business expense since you would not be employing her otherwise). I know that you are thinking that things will be positive in a few years but it could go the other way and stay negative just as easy.

If you want to refi the house to save money for a few years to have a nest egg to start up the business, that is something that I would consider. Use the mean time to get some more input on your business plan and see where you can improve it. In the end, I would personally have to get that business cash flow positive before I spent through the nest egg or that would be time to close up shop b/c the business was not a "go".
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#29 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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You've probably already thought about this, but is your nanny willing to work part time if she can find another part time family? Could you consolidate your work hours to make that work? Or could you nanny share with another family in the neighborhood full time?

If you could decrease the cost of the nanny and cut back wherever else you can, perhaps you could keep the nanny without having to refinance.
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#30 of 139 Old 04-08-2009, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My personal thoughts on business are a business should be cash flow positive. I have a problem with the business expenses being more than your income (and I consider the nanny a business expense since you would not be employing her otherwise).
I'm not sure I agree that a business *has* to be a cash flow positive when starting.

Also, I don't necessarily feel that having a nanny is totally tied to *my* income potential. Yes, I said that we have a nanny so I can get my business up and running. But we also have a nanny so DH doesn't have to help with childcare as much. Having a nanny benefits him as well.

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If you want to refi the house to save money for a few years to have a nest egg to start up the business, that is something that I would consider.
I don't need any money to start up my business. I have all the equipment and my skills. I hung out my shingle and started making money right away. I've never been in the red, unless you count the nanny - which - as I said - I'm not completely convinced that she is totally MY business expense.

I see childcare as a shared expense.
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