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Old 08-28-2009, 05:19 PM
 
102 posts, read 280,367 times
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I recently moved to Howard County and my wife has to stay home to take care of my two kids. My salary of $180k is just adequate. No money left for my hobbies.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:53 PM
 
512 posts, read 1,474,780 times
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I would agree with a previous poster in staying in Charles County. Right now new house are going in the low 300,000. Existing houses are going for 250,000 + for a single family house.

Waldorf, White Plains, Bryans Road are nice communities. Commutes are around 45 mins to and hour. The have Keller buses which transports you to the Metro or downtown DC. The schools are good and it is a family friendly community. Frederick and Howard Counties are pretty far. Plus driving to work is unbearable. I don't know how people do it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:28 PM
 
789 posts, read 2,332,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayman1981 View Post
I would agree with a previous poster in staying in Charles County. Right now new house are going in the low 300,000. Existing houses are going for 250,000 + for a single family house.

Waldorf, White Plains, Bryans Road are nice communities. Commutes are around 45 mins to and hour. The have Keller buses which transports you to the Metro or downtown DC. The schools are good and it is a family friendly community. Frederick and Howard Counties are pretty far. Plus driving to work is unbearable. I don't know how people do it.
Howard to DC is not too bad, but from Frederick it's terrible. Unless you're able to work AWS or TC some, then it would help. Like the other poster said, the commute from southern MD is way better and a WHOLE lot stressful. Look into Fort Washington also....or further up 210.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
553 posts, read 1,548,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris-Kim View Post
I recently moved to Howard County and my wife has to stay home to take care of my two kids. My salary of $180k is just adequate. No money left for my hobbies.
Couldn't say it better.

Sometimes I look at my paycheck and think I'm blessed for what I earn. Other times, I look at my generally frugal lifestyle and scratch my head wondering why it doesn't go far in DC metro when you have a wife and 2 kids.

It leads me to believe a lot of people are living way beyond their means because everyone can't be a 2 lawyer household, and if you're married with 2 kids, you need your spouse to earn at least 60-70k to even justify work after daycare/work/additional taxes/commuting costs.

OP - if you can support a family of 4 on 80k, please PM me once you move and get settled because I'd like a few pointers.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:43 AM
 
102 posts, read 280,367 times
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Quote:
It leads me to believe a lot of people are living way beyond their means because everyone can't be a 2 lawyer household, and if you're married with 2 kids, you need your spouse to earn at least 60-70k to even justify work after daycare/work/additional taxes/commuting costs.
Well said. My wife has an MS degree in Information Science from a top research university and stays home to take care of my 2 sons. She could perhaps make $60-70k. But after all the costs, it's not worth her commute/work stress/whatever.

I spend about $100 a week for me nowadays. I had more money for me when I was a graduate student!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:09 AM
 
789 posts, read 2,332,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris-Kim View Post
Well said. My wife has an MS degree in Information Science from a top research university and stays home to take care of my 2 sons. She could perhaps make $60-70k. But after all the costs, it's not worth her commute/work stress/whatever.

I spend about $100 a week for me nowadays. I had more money for me when I was a graduate student!
She would probably be making more, my wife quit an IT job paying 85k in 1999 to take care of our two kids. So in 2009 it should be more than 60k.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:12 AM
 
3,576 posts, read 6,226,560 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris-Kim View Post
I recently moved to Howard County and my wife has to stay home to take care of my two kids. My salary of $180k is just adequate. No money left for my hobbies.
Sounds about right. My sisters (who are both married and have two income familes), making over 500-700K a year still complain about Howard County living.

One sister has lived in the same home for 8 years (purchased in 2001) and the other sister lived in same home for 6 years. They lived within their means (one purchased one home in 2001 for 500K and the other for 900k).

While they aren't struggling, they aren't saving as much as they want to. They are still paying school loans, helping out parents. Paying for child care. They send their kids to public school.

Add to that, the AMT (which hits almost every Maryland household making over 150K); AMT disallows property tax and state income tax deduction....you basically end up paying an extra 10-15K on taxes ON TOP of the regular income taxes you already pay.

Sure there are cheaper portions of Howard County to live in, but it's just expensive living in that county.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
553 posts, read 1,548,910 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyc View Post
She would probably be making more, my wife quit an IT job paying 85k in 1999 to take care of our two kids. So in 2009 it should be more than 60k.
A lot depends on what you do and where you do it. In my experience, after the tech bubble burst, salaries never really recovered. So depending on what your expertise is, that 85k job in 99 could be an 85k job going in to 2010.

There seems to be a hard ceiling on non-executive, non commission IT/tech jobs around 175k regardless of you skills education and experience.

I remember all my friends just out of undergrad making anywhere from 100-300k before fringe benefits and stock grants between 98-01. Those were some crazy times.

Sigh.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:29 PM
 
1,067 posts, read 1,825,042 times
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After 20 years of fighting traffic and falling short financially I'm planning to pack up and get out of Howard County. Cannot afford it and I'm making more than $80K.

Factor in real estate taxes, high energy bills, food prices are probably higher than you are used to, state taxes aren't cheap, etc.

Probably won't be long and she'll have to go to work, but unless she can make decent wages the cost of child care doesn't justify it (I speak from personal experience on this one.)

I'd look at it more before jumping into it. The transit subsidy is hardly worth the hours you'll spend commuting.

Previous post mentioned a hard ceiling, which is REAL. So don't count of substantial increases to come your way.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Warner Robins, GA
919 posts, read 2,345,841 times
Reputation: 446
Quote:
Originally Posted by trickymost View Post
Couldn't say it better.

Sometimes I look at my paycheck and think I'm blessed for what I earn. Other times, I look at my generally frugal lifestyle and scratch my head wondering why it doesn't go far in DC metro when you have a wife and 2 kids.

It leads me to believe a lot of people are living way beyond their means because everyone can't be a 2 lawyer household, and if you're married with 2 kids, you need your spouse to earn at least 60-70k to even justify work after daycare/work/additional taxes/commuting costs.

OP - if you can support a family of 4 on 80k, please PM me once you move and get settled because I'd like a few pointers.
It is like this in a lot of places in MD... It frustrated the crap out of me that I had lived in MD my whole life and when I moved out at 18 I couldn't even get by... MD is for rich people... I felt like I did everything I could at that age, I had a job as a software developer for a defense contractor... After a few years I was just sick of skating by with nothing so I moved to FL and now I live comfortably...

It is a shame that people have to get forced out of where they grew up because they can't afford to live there...
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