All Topics / Help Needed! / High price to pay

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 33 total)
  • Profile photo of DazzlingDazzling
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,150

    Hi folks,

    Wondering if I could lean on y’all for a few suggestions. For over a year now I’ve been struggling with my personal dilemma of time with family vs accumulating wealth.

    Working overseas on an even rotation, I spend 57% of my life away from my wife and 3 lovely girls (9, 7 & 4). The 43% of the time I spend with them is usually pretty high quality time, although a sizeable chunk of that during the day is managing our property portfolio. I probably see more of the kids than doing the 9 to 5 thing, but not being there at all for large chunks of time is pretty tough. Not to mention the 57% of the time when I’m working…to put it bluntly…sucks big chocky rocks. Talk about scratching days off on the wall like in prison.

    The girls are absolutely fantastic to be with at the moment, and completely missing out on 57% of their formative years is cutting me deeply. I know I’m paying a very high price to keep our portfolio going.

    The only thing holding me back is the money side of things. We are shovelling over $ 1,300 a day to the bank, which they are gleefully receiving…and obviously wish it to continue ad infinitum.

    The equivalent after tax Ozzy dollars I earn is about 3.5 times what I could earn doing the same thing living and working full time in Perth. The option of working in Oz and keeping the portfolio is not there.

    We’ve paid cumulatively over 500K in b/s Govt and bank fees to acquire our portfolio, so we are very reluctant to sell down any of our props. The market at the moment is still going great where we have purchased. The expected growth on the portfolio in one year is double what I can physically earn where I am currently, seven times what i could earn in Oz. These are the things holding me in my current position.

    My ambition is to be a full time property investor and developer but I feel like I need a bit of a push.

    I went through this hand wringing about 8 years ago when I made the leap from “comfy staff position” to “dayrate consultant oilfield whore”. Looking back it was the best thing I ever did and in the end it wasn’t scary at all…it’s just the unknown that gets you I suppose. Now I want to make the next leap from “hired help” to “running my own show”.

    Some people might say we have it good, and should stop whinging, but I still feel I’m paying a high price to miss the majority of my family’s life.

    I feel like I’m baking a nice cake but I’m not at the table to eat it ??

    Any opinions on ways to solve my dilemma or what you consider reasonable to sacrifice to ‘get ahead’ ??



    “No point having a cake if you can’t eat it.”

    Profile photo of ANUBISANUBIS
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 559

    Get yourself an exit plan. You sound like you can’t emotionally keep doing what you are now long term, so that sets the scene.

    How long can you (& family) keep doing what you are doing? 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years?

    When you decide that it should make the following decisions easier as you will be working towards an exit date. What will you need to sell (if anything) to keep yourself afloat by the end date?

    May take longer to achieve goals but you seem to have a good platform already.

    Profile photo of giddogiddo
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 152

    Sounds like you are not doing all that badly financially and okay on the home front as well. This is a very difficult one.
    My daughter is now 15 and I know that if I hadn’t made the effort to CONNECT before she had reached about 12 it woulddn’t have happened.To connect before they are teens is absolutely imperative I think.
    I sympathise with your dilemmna.
    I think a lot depends on your whole relationship thing with your wife and daughters and it really is a personal call, albeit a v tough one.
    As far as investments go you are obviously streets ahead (pun) of me so it would be presumptuous of me to advise. Maybe you could some how work out how to eat just a little more cake!

    Profile photo of springchickenspringchicken
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 5

    Hi Dazzling,

    I’m not going to say “choose family over money” or vice versa. Obviously your dillemma exists because you want both but you’re finding that the two are mutually exclusive.

    You’ve said your ambition is to become a fulltime property investor/developer. This would be ideal since it would allow you to be your own boss, pull in the big money AND work from home and spend time with your daughters.

    The question then, is: do you have a concrete plan in place to become a fulltime property guy? Do you know what you need in cashflow/equity terms and how long it will take you to achieve this? If you’re only a couple of years away, then slog it out at work. This might mean two years of missing out on quality time with the kids, but then give you heaps of quality time with them well before they all become obnoxious teenagers.

    If the timeframe is more like ten years, then perhaps it is worth holding off serious money-making until your daughters reach the unpleasant teenage years.

    Of course, I WAS a teenager just a couple of years back, so my advice isn’t exactly based on any life experience!

    Profile photo of MTRMTR
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 663

    Hi Dazzling,

    I would start investigating ways in which you could pursue your dream of becoming a full time property investor now.

    Springchicken’s suggestion is spot on – draw up a business plan, discuss it with your mentor and people who can assist you. Find out whether this is possible now and how you could achieve this.

    All the best

    Profile photo of kpkp
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 509

    Sounds like you are offshore currently, and got the blues…

    Seems like the portfolio is dependent on your job income to maintain it..
    Have you considered sourcing other streams of income that are more inline with your property investing experience?

    eg…you can organise syndicates for other investors and take a success/management fee.
    you could do some developing and sell the finished product to take the profit as income ( to replace your current oilfield income)

    I think its just a matter of going outside your comfort zone ( like you did all those yrs ago), and that the current generous income is just too easily had. Its a trap in itself..


    Profile photo of grossrealisationgrossrealisation
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,031

    hi dazzling
    I will add my 2 penny worth.
    I think the idea of a list and a ten year plan is a very good idea.
    I have a 17,15,12.and a 7 year old, to get to where I am.
    I closed off my involvement with 4 separate companies I work from home, I have kept two companies(the most profitable)and tommorow I’m off to my youngest sons rugby game.
    I rearrange my meetings to fit in with my requirements.
    I don’t give any financial advice any longer and I have multiple income from different areas.
    You are at a point that every owner of a medium to large business gets to and you then have to decide what your move is.
    Everyone’s different and each person’s choices are different.
    I made mine 3 years ago.
    If you are interested in syndicates email me at [email protected]

    here to help

    Profile photo of Jenny1Jenny1
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 269

    Hi my mate Dazzling

    I have read your posts and replies to others questions. You know your stuff and how to strut it.[cigar]

    How long did you give yourself being “dayrate consultant oilfield whore”? Is there a chance to move your family over with you for however long it takes to move to the next level?

    It is a big ask of your wife/kids to be away for the long stretches of time.

    How about using the big bucks to have an accountant look after your investments while you are away, this will save you having to slave over the books and give you more time with your precious family.

    I know why you are doing this and those commercial deals will pay dividents down the track. Keep focused, look at other ways to do things differently, have a plan to start to work for yourself sooner rather than later.

    You would be an excellent developer, you might even think of working with your wife (she is in real estate if I remeber rightly).

    Chin up, keep strong and get to the table to enjoy that cake![biggrin]

    Take care


    Profile photo of kay henrykay henry
    Join Date: 2003
    Post Count: 2,737


    I reckon it isn’t hard to get carried away with the whol RE game and then be trapped into it, ie we do what we have to do to purchase and buy more, but then we have to stay doing what we are doing to maintain. Hence, a lot of people are “downshifting” and simplifying. I guess it depends on if you can maintain your income- from whatever sources- to sustain what you have.

    Investing massively can be a great thing, but psychology is also a major factor in what we do. As for me, I know sometimes I feel comfortable and at times, I want simplicity. I am paying down debt so that, if I feel like not doing what I’m doing now, I can still be financially “safe”.

    Perhaps you are just feeling a little burned out? Would a holiday help?

    kay henry

    Profile photo of TerrywTerryw
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 16,213


    Just do it. If it doesn’t work can’t you always go back to what you are doing now?

    Discover Home Loans
    North Sydney
    [email protected]

    Terryw | Structuring Lawyers Pty Ltd / Loan Structuring Pty Ltd
    Email Me

    Lawyer, Mortgage Broker and Tax Advisor (Sydney based but advising Aust wide)

    Profile photo of DazzlingDazzling
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,150

    Thanks for all of the great responses. This facility is marvellous as a sounding board for like minded souls.

    Most of your inciteful responses have struck a chord. What I really needed was a good kick up the bum and that’s exactly what you have all collectively given me. It gets a bit ‘bluesy’ sometimes here where I live for 57% of the time.

    It’s higher up here than the tip of Mt Kosiousko so perhaps the lack of oxygen is getting to me.[blink]

    Yep – we’ve set a date for the ‘ambition’ – 28 April 2007…so that ones nailed down. What exactly are the definitive steps in which to realise the goal by that date…no, that hasn’t been nailed down. Maybe a big session with the mentor, the wife and the banker / acctnt is in order when I am next in Oz. Must get out the trusty pencil and calculator as ol Uncle Noel used to say.

    Tried doing the “drag the wife and kids with me” scenario…but never saw the family at all. Left for work before the kids got up and woke them up at night when I got home just to kiss them goodnight. We thought we’d improved dramatically going from that gig to the current one. Plus, living next door to the bin Ladens on one side and the CIA on the other side watching them here in Sana’a is one thing…having the wife and kids exposed to all of that nonsense with AK47’s, RPG’s and tanks everywhere is not on.

    A holiday – now there’s a novel idea, we had planned to book ourselves onto a lazy cruise for a week or two when our ‘distressed’ property we bought was all fixed up and fully tenanted. Might have to accelerate that reward I think. It’s been since ’99 since we had a holiday…time to just pack up and go probably.

    Pulling the plug on the current gig is definitely a big ask. The money and conditions are indeed a big trap. Everyone I work with have son’s older than me here…so it’s easy to slip into the ‘cruisy’ mode for a decade or three if you let it. Chatting with all of them, there’s not a single one that wouldn’t turn the clock back to spend more time with their families when their children were growing up. Great monetary providers all of them, but you can see the pain it causes them when they think back. I don’t want to go down the same path.

    Anyway, the chin is now up and actively looking to flesh out this master plan over the next 20 months to unshackle the developer beast from within.

    Anyone just happen to have a master plan blueprint handy that I can copy and paste ?? [biggrin]

    I can feel that cake getting closer already.



    “No point having a cake if you can’t eat it.”

    Profile photo of RegrowRegrow
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 77

    Hi Dazzling

    I know what you are going through although I only work away 50% of the time. It can be really hard on yourself being away from those you love and vise versa. It is so easy to fall into the trap of the job…Good money and time off but it is also hard on my better half with me being away for 6 months a year. Have no children yet but can only imagine missing out on the little things like seeing them walk for the first time, their first word etc.

    This is the main reason I have given myself a time limit of 2-5 years and will pull the plug on the job and try full time investing.

    Sounds like you have made a decision in your heart but just need a little push to get going.

    Hope it all works out for you.



    You are a fool for 5 seconds if you ask a question, but a fool for life if you don’t.

    Profile photo of neo25x5neo25x5
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 166

    Dazzling, personally my work life is no where near as extravagent or financially rewarding as yours appears to be. But I’ve figured out that really in the greater scheme of things this means squat. I pretty much see the kids for 1/2 hr or so mon-fri. hardly what i would call quality time. And to be frank this tears me up [wail], thanks mainly to Sydney’s fantastic road system. Buts thats another story.

    What you need is it has been suggested is an exit plan, built around a career or occupation that gives you more time to spend with the family. I guess its all about getting your priorities right. Mine is to enjoy and have more fun with my family. I plan to achieve this within a 5 year time frame by finding ways to better leverage MY time.

    At the end of the day, it would be a shame to look back at your life, as in the case of your collegues and have regrets about not seeing the kids.

    Youre savvy and switched on. I’m sure you will make the right decision!


    Profile photo of hmackayhmackay
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 197

    Hi Dazz,

    Thanks for sharing your delima with us.

    Kids I have two , son 21 and a daughter 18.

    My son is all that I could expect: he follows my advice and he is my buddy.I am extremenly gratefull to have him.

    Tha daughter on the other hand is a lot different. Up to the age of 11 I would always look forward to arriving home and she would immediately sit on Dad’s lap and want a cuddle.Since then she has become quite different in that she doesn’t sit on Dad’s lap anymore and the kisses and cuddles have gone.It’s amasing how you miss these little things in life but don’t realise till much later.

    The best man at my wedding and a very lomg time friend works in the oil industry. About 6-8 years back he went consulting for the big bucks. When he was with Esso in Bass straight his shifts were two weeks on two weeks off and he commuted from Sale to Melbourne so he spent almost 50% of time at home.

    He has accumulated sufficient savings to retire now but he does not seem to have any plans to scale down or stop. He and his wife have three boys: 21,19 and 16. Unfortuantely he is very distant from his kids, they hardly know him.

    Like your peers at work who say that they would prefers to spend more time at home, I would do the same. I would very much like to wind back the clock to when my daughter was 10……… amount of money could compensate this situation.

    You daughters are at an age where they may alienate you if your not close. Enjoy the formative years of your kids.

    Money is essentail for life but how much do we need???? You are in a comfortable position financially.You can alway go back to money fields at any time in the future, but all the money in the world can not windback the clock.

    Whats my advice: “Don’t pay the high price”. Down scale, do less days, less shifts, or take a year or two off, enjoy the cake !!!!


    Profile photo of WylieWylie
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 346

    Hi Dazzling,

    I am with with camp that says enjoy your kids. My hubby has had two recent opportunities for promotion (one he is considering as I write this). Last time we chose “no” and we will probably choose “no” this time because the extra dollars will mean he cannot come home at 2.30 or 4.00 to kick a ball with the boys. I suppose the promotion would mean maybe $10K extra (haven’t looked into the money as yet) but the job means more time at work. He is in a great position now where he works hard and sometimes late when required and other times I pick him up early for a play or a coffee with me on the verandah. Our life is great at present.

    My brother six months ago resigned his $100K pa (roughly) job because all he could see down the track was a heart attack. He has five kids (14 down to 7) and he left before they got up and didn’t see much of them at night. He didn’t do it lightly and he is happy as a pig in mud. He has been doing renos and fix up jobs for our parents’ houses and has just started working for a guy doing landscaping. He’s loving it. The pay is much, much less, but he is much, much more content and happy.

    I see him smiling now, something he didn’t do much of for quite a few years.

    I say if you are comfortable and can afford it, do it (or at least work towards doing it soon). Like someone else said, you can always go back to the big dollars later.

    Good luck with your plans.

    Regards, Wylie.

    Profile photo of oshenoshen
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 112

    Hi Dazz
    Sounds like you’re getting it figured out. It might be a good idea to look at exactly where you are now and then where you want to be in April 2007 to help clarify what steps you need to take next.

    I think the past is not so relevant. For example, deciding not to sell properties because in the past you spent 500k setting up the structure, is probably not a good strategy. Also comparisons about what you could earn in Perth and what you earn now are probably not helpful. Especially now that you’ve decided to leave that highly paid job. Focus on the reality of the present moment.

    What an exciting time you’re in for. Remember to have fun.

    Profile photo of RikkyRikky
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 313


    Your story brings a tear to my eye.
    Be careful on sticking to a plan women are different to men.Once you have set your gaol keep to it, dont go changing your mind to do an extra year or so to make it easyier.I have worked with people that lose there family because of the effort they put into there work ,if they just put that same effort into ther family they would be a lot happier people .
    Cheers Rick

    Monopoly, my favourite game

    Profile photo of Bris4171Bris4171
    Join Date: 2002
    Post Count: 29

    When my son was 9 yrs old I was too busy to play a game of chess with him ( I still remember clearly his disappointed face when he kept “pestering” me to play with him, but I had 1001 other things to do (including wealth creation) and hence said “no”…).

    He is now a young adult and HE DOES NOT HAVE TIME to play a game of chess with me when asked. I have offered to take him to a long round the world trip with us, now that I can afford it, BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE TIME to go or if he did, he would want to go with his mates, not with the parents..

    Guess sometimes after I died , my son may re-think and wish he did play chess and did go to the round-the-world trip with me…just like I do now, so wish I had played chess with him more often , taken him to the local park more than I did…. Such as life….

    You are lucky that you still have time , you kids are still young, even till 2007.
    Look like you could also eat your cake while having it…

    All the bests.

    Profile photo of grossrealisationgrossrealisation
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 1,031

    hi dazzling
    we didn’t get to the semi’s or the grand final but my youngest did score a try.
    The parents were asking the same as you,but from the other side of the question and that is how and why I go to these games they are there with there gator aid and I’m there with 2 phones 2 laptops and a man made table talking on the phone between games.
    My answer to them is simple I’m trying the best I can.
    At the end of the day I’m not sure of you but I’m a business man My main claim to fame is I make money ( I’m also the coach of my sons soccer and now physio Rugby league trainer) if you read my posts I like the asian way of sayings and there is one that I will give you.
    lot of people have said as they were dying I wish I had done this or that but nobody has ever said I wish I had worked more or developed more.
    working is good and recommend it to everyone.
    but enjoying what you have done is alot better.
    I maybe different from other developers but the first person to move into each of my developments gets a bottle of wine with enjoy my development and your home.
    One of the unit in the current development is going to be the foremans home.
    (chinese saying)enjoy what you do because you are not long here to do it.

    here to help

    Profile photo of ScarlettScarlett
    Join Date: 2005
    Post Count: 5

    Hi Dazzling

    I’m new here and am learning a lot about PIs – thanks to you lot. I’m a mum to two girls 11 and 13 and IMHO I think your girls (and wife) would much prefer having you around than making big bucks. I think you’d all be a lot happier together. You are smart so you’ll probably achieve in whatever you choose to do. I think all the responses you’ve had are great and people really do care. I’m happy to have stumbled across this forum.

    Just had a thought – I met a kiwi girl in 1980 travelling in India and we kept in touch. She went to work in Saudi as a nurse and said she’d give it 6-12 months. The money was great and tax-free and she got free travel/holidays and a few other perks, but most of the time she wasn’t very happy. Last I heard (2 years ago) she’s still there!

    Good luck to you Dazzling, Mrs Dazzling + Dizzylings

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