Almost Debt Free to Nearly $ 1 Million Debt: Why We Moved to Nashville


    We just finished our dream home a few years ago. My business was thriving, and that enabled my wife and I to set a 3-year goal that sounded more like a fairy tale – to pay off our mortgage.

    We had about $ 450,000 in our house, but we only had about $ 250,000 to pay off. We were already ahead of the curve compared to most, but it paid off before my oldest son started high school was hard to accept.

    In our case, it wasn’t just a possibility. It became a reality …

    Well, until God gave us the push to sell our dream home, uproot our family, and move out of the state.

    And that’s exactly what we did; We sold our home to start a new life in Nashville, Tennessee.

    But getting there was not easy and we encountered a lot of bumps. When we started thinking about moving to Nashville, we quickly realized that buying a similar home in such a booming area would easily cost us 3x or 4x more. That seems crazy when I think about it – the fact that with nearly a million dollars in mortgage debt, we went from a comfy financial situation to a new reality.

    The thing is, our move to Tennessee now makes so much sense to me. We were happy where we were, but something had to change in order for us to grow and become the families we should be.

    5 Reasons We Go From Almost Debt Free To Almost A Million Dollar In Debt

    Why did we move? And why did we so willingly take on so much debt? Indeed, there are a number of reasons, and few of them have anything to do with money.

    Reason # 1: We were 2.5 hours from the nearest airport

    The first reason we thought about moving has to do with convenience. Our home in Illinois was definitely wonderful and it was great to live near my wife, but we were so far from an airport and it became a huge hassle – especially with kids.

    Imagine going on vacation and having to drive 2.5 hours to get to the airport before you can leave. Since you have to be at the airport two hours earlier, this means that we pack the children and the car almost 5 hours before departure. Because of this, early morning flights were virtually impossible and the whole process turned into a stressful mess.

    We also started thinking about the future. Would our children want to visit us if it was so troublesome to come home to us?

    We wanted to live in a place that our children could easily reach, no matter where they live as adults. This place isn’t in the middle of Illinois, and that has become more apparent over the years.

    It’s funny; I still remember the first time I drove to the airport from our new home in Tennessee. It took me about 45 minutes to get from my TSA security driveway at Nashville International Airport and I loved it!

    Reason # 2: We lived in a dying area

    Our finances were great when we lived in Illinois, but that didn’t change the fact that we lived in an area with fewer opportunities. The Illinois job market seemed to get worse year by year, and taxes were starting to go insane.

    In fact, the property taxes we paid in Illinois were twice as much than what we pay in Tennessee for a house that costs 4x as much!

    That doesn’t make sense, but that’s just one example of Illinois making decisions that stifle economic growth.

    We were also concerned about the future job market for our children and what their options would be if we stayed in the area. When we first started looking to move locations, it didn’t hurt that Tennessee didn’t have state income tax either.

    At the end of the day, we lived in what seemed like moving backwards. We wanted more than that, and we knew that staying here wouldn’t make things any better in Illinois.

    Reason # 3: We needed access to healthcare professionals

    Another reason we left Illinois is because of the health and access to medical care we urgently needed at the time. I’ve talked about this quite a lot in the past, but my youngest son has an attachment disorder that has made our family life challenging to say the least.

    In Illinois, we tried working with some health care providers before we realized they didn’t really have the kind of specialists we needed. In order to provide proper help to our family, we had to live near a larger hospital system with many more resources.

    Our move gave us access to so many professionals who had experience with the type of problem we were facing and that alone made the money we spent well worth it.

    Reason # 4: I was ready to transform my business

    Around the time we were moving, I was also trying to find out who I was – at least in a business sense. I’d always been a financial advisor and built a successful financial planning practice in Illinois. In the meantime, I’d blogged and started an online business, and I was starting to make a living much more online than me as a financial planner.

    For a while I tried to have the best of both worlds. I hired financial planners who could be in the office every day, which gave me the opportunity to work remotely on my practice – at least that’s how it should work.

    The thing is, I was so close to financial practice that I kept putting out fires or was asked to meet with clients who didn’t want to speak to my staff. I remember very well when one day a longtime customer insisted on meeting me on a day I didn’t feel it and it ruined my whole day.

    I was frustrated because I didn’t would like to More to be a financial planner, but I didn’t seem to be getting away.

    I remember venting my wife that day when she said something that surprised me.

    “Then why don’t you sell it?” She said.

    Little did I know she would even consider selling the practice, and that’s exactly what I needed to hear right now. Her words gave me the freedom to let go, and that’s exactly what I did after we moved.

    Until then, however, I felt that I needed some distance from the practice and this old part of my life. I was ready to move on, both physically and mentally, and exercise made me do both.

    Reason # 5: We wanted to give our kids more opportunities

    The final reason we pulled ties was because our Illinois city was basically dying. As most people know, the exact opposite of where we live now is. Indeed, Nashville, Tennessee is booming!

    We have access to so many more options than if we stayed in Illinois – some small and some large.

    For example, one of my 6th grade sons was able to join the golf team, something that had never been seen when we were in Illinois because there was no team. He loves golf and it has been a blessing for him to work on his game and get involved in a school sport and I am so grateful that I could give him this opportunity.

    We’ve also been able to connect with more entrepreneurs with whom we have things in common, sometimes in the craziest way. For example, I have a really good friend named David Molnar who is a photographer. I met him through a personal finance blogger friend I already had, and I also knew David was friends with Josh Ax, the founder of and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition.

    Josh was someone I wanted to meet because he had a career similar to mine. While originally a chiropractor, he eventually gave up his practice to work on his online business.

    I thought I would meet him sometime since he also lived in Nashville, but lo and behold, we discovered that our new neighbor was the COO of Ancient Nutrition – one of his companies!

    It’s just crazy how many entrepreneurs still live in this area. There are so many people I can connect with and learn from and I definitely missed that.

    Another fun fact: Dan from the country duo Dan + Shay was my neighbor for a while and lived with his family only a few doors away. We made friends with his family and even went on vacation with them.

    Basically none of these things could have happened in Illinois.

    The bottom line

    If you think it sounds crazy taking on nearly $ 1 million in debt for a big move, I totally understand. But when I add up all of the blessings we received in return, I feel confident that moving was one of the smartest decisions we have ever made.

    We listened to the nudge God gave us and put our fears aside to move on to something new – something better. We learned that sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone to get what you really want. And I’ve learned again and again that you often have to go without good in order to get something great!

    If I look around our Nashville home and our kids that are really thriving, I wouldn’t change anything.

    I may have a house payment now, but I have so much more.


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