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    • Persephone_Mulberry
    • By Persephone_Mulberry 15th May 17, 6:31 PM
    • 105Posts
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    Husband is depressed and it is destroying our finances
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 6:31 PM
    Husband is depressed and it is destroying our finances 15th May 17 at 6:31 PM
    For over a year now (with one month exception) my husband has been off with depression. He is working to deal with it but it's just destroying our finances. No matter how much we cut back it's impossible to compensate for a 600 loss of earnings every month.

    I've been pondering with the idea of selling up and moving somewhere cheaper. We could live on the profits for a fair while and I hope it would give him space to recover and time to find a new job.

    We would however be moving to parts unknown, and would need to do it soon as our child is due to start school in September...

    Does it sound like a reasonable or really stupid idea?
Page 1
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th May 17, 6:53 PM
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    • #2
    • 15th May 17, 6:53 PM
    • #2
    • 15th May 17, 6:53 PM
    Is there any particular reason for his depression? Moving away from somewhere familiar with all the stress that moving entails does not sound appealing to someone with depression I would have thought unless he is unhappy in the house, with the area or so on. I hear you on the finance being difficult with his loss of income. Do you qualify for any benefits and if you have debt and presumably a mortgage have you tried to restructure these over a longer period to get the payments lower? Moving in itself costs money too. Is he still employed?
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    • Persephone_Mulberry
    • By Persephone_Mulberry 16th May 17, 6:59 AM
    • 105 Posts
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    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 6:59 AM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 6:59 AM
    We don't particularly enjoy living where we are living nor he his job - I actually have hopes that living near the sea would be good for him.
    Unfortunately not re benefits bar stat sick pay. The mortgage, I've been trying to hold out on restructuring as it's just over 23 years as it is and with both of us at 40, it sounds like it would cause us trouble when older to still have it :-/

    The moving isn't too bad re costs as the difference between where we live and where I am looking (Isle of Wight) is huge.

    He is still employed but I do think it's a problem in itself, he finds it a stressful environment and after so long off gets very anxious about going. He has a very useful job though where you can find employment most places.
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 16th May 17, 7:22 AM
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    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:22 AM
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:22 AM
    If you do move, make sure you both get a job first, go somewhere its economically active. Coastal areas are notorious for poor jobs and often minimum wage and seasonal.

    Look beyond the allure before making a radical decision.
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 16th May 17, 1:38 PM
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    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 1:38 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 1:38 PM
    I wouldn't want to send any child of mine to school on the Isle of White, bearing in mind what the former boss of Ofstead had to say about the island...
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 16th May 17, 2:21 PM
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    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 2:21 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 2:21 PM
    Could your partner request a part-time contract to help him get back into work and stay well? I appreciate this may not help your finances but it's better to be managing (emotionally) part time than being off sick long term. If you both feel he needs a different job you don't need to relocate in order to pursue this.

    If debts are causing your financial strains you may need a debt solution or if it is a big mortgage you might still need to downsize.

    Do you have family and friends where you live now? It is quite unlikely that moving will mean that your husband does not suffer with depression anymore (no matter how much you hope that would be the case) but you and he won't have a support network in a new town and if your little one has a granny/grandad, other relatives they spend time with they will miss them.

    Moving to a new area is tough at the best of times so I don't think it is a decision you should make at the moment when your husband is unwell. If you would both like to live by the sea why not agree to look at it when you are both well and coming from a place of emotional strength. That way you will know you are not moving to get away from problems that will very likely move with you.

    • MrsPorridge
    • By MrsPorridge 16th May 17, 2:47 PM
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    • #7
    • 16th May 17, 2:47 PM
    • #7
    • 16th May 17, 2:47 PM
    As one who lives by the sea and in a fairly remote area - just be careful it's wonderful in the summer with lots of people around, but in the winter it's dead - lots of the shops close, there are second homes which are empty and it's a long drive to go to the shop. I absolutely love it, but that's my choice. But for some people it would be difficult to adjust to.
    Getting back on Track
    • LabRatty
    • By LabRatty 16th May 17, 6:41 PM
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    • #8
    • 16th May 17, 6:41 PM
    • #8
    • 16th May 17, 6:41 PM
    Hi Persephone,
    A few thoughts -
    1. A year is a long time to be off. You say he is working to deal with the depression, but a year in, can you see any improvement? If not, suggest he reviews the strategy/medication/approach he is taking. The longer he is off work, the more difficult it becomes to return. Never underestimate the power of habit in shaping our behaviour - so easy to fall into and so hard to break. Agree that a phased return might be a way forward that benefits both parties. Could you get a referral for CBT or similar to address this specific issue?
    2. You say that his job is useful and transferable, but also that it is a stressful environment for him. Why would it be better in a new area where he also has to settle into a new set-up, which is itself stressful? I think it's a big ask to expect a new working environment to improve his depression; you may be better addressing the current work situation and looking at moving a little further down the line when he can cope with the job he already has. This is also better from the point of view of being able to get good references and start a new job in a better mental state.
    3. We have family members who relocated to the IoW about two years ago. They have just sold up and returned, at a loss. Visiting is expensive, employment opportunities very limited. If you want the coast, agree with the OP who thinks economic activity is important and would suggest a port town/city with wider year-round job opportunities, eg Southampton or other??
    4. With a depressive OH and a small child, you need to make sure you yourself are as well supported as possible. Do you have a supportive wider family? Are you near them? Would it be helpful if you were?

    These are just the first things that come to mind. What does your OH think about a move? Is he even in a place to be able to consider it at the moment? I can see why the idea is attractive, but please research it as much as possible and avoid the trap of seeing it as a panacea.

    All the best.
    Save In 2018 #109
    • Rainbowgirl84
    • By Rainbowgirl84 16th May 17, 7:00 PM
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    • #9
    • 16th May 17, 7:00 PM
    • #9
    • 16th May 17, 7:00 PM
    I wouldn't want to send any child of mine to school on the Isle of White, bearing in mind what the former boss of Ofstead had to say about the island...
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    It's the Isle of Wight and Ofsted. Should people avoid where you were educated?
    • Persephone_Mulberry
    • By Persephone_Mulberry 16th May 17, 7:48 PM
    • 105 Posts
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    Thanks for the replies!

    Re job, he's been trying for a phased return but still having a v hard time. He's Less depressed but quite anxious as well now. I definitely agree re CBT.

    New work environment theory is based on hos current workplace being fairly toxic, and it being possible to get similar jobs in smaller happier places. I again do agree it would be much better to do so once he's been able to face his current job but it's really starting to feel like we're running out of time and ability to absorb this loss of income.

    I agree that the worry of the economy there is definitely a big deal.

    We have no support network where we are now, nor really one anywhere bar Perhaps one in Hertfordshire - but that's also pretty expensive.

    Ah I don't know. I know if he's not reliably better and working by December and if nothing has changed, we will lose our house as I will be going onto basic maternity leave (conceived rather inadvertently in his good two months earlier this year). So - it feels like doing something now that frees up equity will be a good idea. But I really really don't know what. Our mortgage is only 150k and our house is pretty much one of the cheapest you can get in our bit of Surrey.
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 16th May 17, 8:37 PM
    • 131 Posts
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    What a tough situation to be in.

    Have you been to CAB to see what benefits he might be entitled to? I take it he has actually been signed off by a doctor (sorry if I've missed this).

    Is it mostly work that leads to his depression? Do you think if he quit and got a really simple part-time job close to home (just to bring in a few pounds) it might help his recovery? Also I'm wondering how he would cope if he were the stay at home parent and you go back to work after little one is born? I appreciate it's far from ideal but worth considering?

    I think you need to think of every option before you sell up, especially if you're in a high demand area like Surrey. If you step off the ladder there, it will be very hard to get back. Could you speak to your mortgage people about payment holidays considering the circumstances? Might be helpful to do this after CAB when you have a bit more information.

    Finally, have you actually had this conversation with him, or does it put too much pressure on him? And have you spoke with him about the status of his illness, and how he feels his recovery is going (or not)?

    Ada xx
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 16th May 17, 8:44 PM
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    I was born and raised in a seaside town. Out of everyone who I grew up with and who I went to school with almost everyone, myself included, have left. Those who remain are on the bones of their backsides in very poor paying jobs struggling to make ends meet.

    Seaside resorts tend to be in the rear-end of nowhere with very poor major road network access and as a result very little in the way of decent work as companies aren't interested in being there unless they're orientated around tourism. Even jobs you think would pay well, say plumbers etc, don't because people in the local area are skint.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 17th May 17, 9:47 AM
    • 2,671 Posts
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    It's the Isle of Wight and Ofsted. Should people avoid where you were educated?
    Originally posted by Rainbowgirl84
    They can if they want to, but I know where I'd avoid more. The fact of the matter is that the OP says the the Isle of Wight is pretty cheap compared to where she is now.

    That story illustrates why it's cheap.
    Last edited by ReadingTim; 17-05-2017 at 10:26 AM.
    • nkkingston
    • By nkkingston 17th May 17, 3:48 PM
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    Oof, Surrey! The good news if you can move pretty much anywhere in the country and it'll be cheaper, short of London. You wouldn't believe what my parents got in Cornwall for selling their house in Surrey. Of course, that was part of their retirement planning - there's not a lot of work in Cornwall and what there is is very seasonal, so probably won't suit a young family. The North could work, though - you could buy yourself some financial breathing space, the cost of living is cheaper, and there's a lot more work in the cities up here than in the South West. And we have some gorgeous coastlines...

    I am very pro moving out of Surrey, as you can tell! However, that doesn't mean it's the right solution for you, or it might be the right solution but at the wrong time. Moving is hard, and making new friends is even harder as an adult, but if there's somewhere with a built in support system you can make things easier on yourselves. Where have your friends from school / university ended up? You might be surprised at how keen people will be to reconnect, and at the very least they'll be able to share information about what their areas are like so you can make informed decisions. You also have the advantage of soon-to-be-school-age kids, so you can connect with other parents.

    Your husband needs to find a different job if he's at a toxic workplace; all the phased returning in the world won't help if the environment is actively damaging the people in it. I definitely agree with talking to him about how he feels his recovery is going, and discuss his options moving forwards. It can be hard to imagine changing jobs when you're depressed - you assume everyone else feels about you the same way you do, and no one would hire you - but taking a break to be a stay at home dad, or moving into an entirely different sector for a bit could help remind him that work doesn't have to be a stressful and grim experience.
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    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 17th May 17, 4:10 PM
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    On the question of moving costs:
    Legal fees (typically anywhere from 795 upwards, plus VAT) - per property bought/sold
    Stamp Duty - google for the HMRC online calculator and remember you can't add Stamp duty to a mortgage, you'd need to take it out of equity.
    land registry fees - dependant on property value but likely to be 135 upwards
    Searches - anything from 250 upwards depending on what's needed
    other oddments - land reg & bankruptcy searches, cost for information packs if your existing property is leasehold, notice fees if what you buy is leasehold.
    Removal costs - expensive for Island moves as you'll get charged ferry costs for the removal truck (both ways) and probably a couple of nights accommodation for the chaps doing it, too.

    Not saying "Don't" but just furnishing you wish some rough figures that might help inform the decision. I'd certainly ensure that OH has a job lined up and ready to go when you get there - otherwise you could really be in problems.

    I sympathise with him as it's vile being in an unpleasant working environment. Has he had all relevant discussions with his HR department so they are aware that work is a factor in his absence? You said his work is relatively easy to come by - can he make steps to research companies he might find better to work for an start job hunting with them sooner rather than later?
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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 17th May 17, 5:13 PM
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    The depression sounds like the cause of your troubles but what is the cause of the depression? A year is a long time to be signed off. Moving will cost money and potentially be very unsettling and your husband might still be depressed afterwards anyway.
    Does your husband talk freely about his illness? Can you make some other changes? If its his job could he leave and find another job? Has he tried to change his diet / exercise or is there a family issue ? Is he medicated? The reason I ask is I'm not sure moving would help that much, you would still be taking your problems with you. Better to find the cause of the depression and get your husbands health on track. A depressed person is not in the best frame of mind to make critical decisions such as moving to a new area, or worse, he might go along with what you suggest because he lacks energy or motivation to do otherwise and then end up regretting it. He might also feel inadequate for 'causing' your financial issues so reassure him you are not angry and encourage him to do what makes him happy. Getting your 'permission' to leave his job might really help. As a man he probably feels a duty to provide and doesn't want to let you or the kids down even if he hates his job.
    • DrWatson1
    • By DrWatson1 19th May 17, 7:15 AM
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    Tough spot. The only practical advice I could offer is that moving will probably not help, and may well exacerbate your problems. Moving house is a stressful experience, and could therefore make your husband's depression worse.

    You and your husband probably need to speak to your GP about alternative treatments, such as CBT which can help to treat the root cause of the problem, which pills obviously do not. Getting some exercise, particularly in green space, has also been proven to be as effective as anti-depressants and CBT in treating depression.

    Finally, it also sounds like work may be a key factor. There is no point doing a job you hate if it makes you miserable, so examining every other option here should also be a priority.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 19th May 17, 7:30 AM
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    Don't just assume you'll easily be able to get a school place for your child at a convenient local school if you move...
    School places for September have already been allocated and good schools will be fully subscribed with waiting lists and induction will be starting in the next few weeks.
    Last edited by jackieblack; 19-05-2017 at 7:33 AM.
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    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 19th May 17, 7:53 AM
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    It's the Isle of Wight and Ofsted. Should people avoid where you were educated?
    Originally posted by Rainbowgirl84
    Probably a victim of spelling autocorrect on a device
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 7:58 AM
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    The Isle of Wight might look lovely on paper, or in the summer, but to live/work there it doesn't have a good name.

    There are few jobs and you're "trapped" on the Isle, unable to leave without paying HUGE ferry fees ... and limited in where you can look for work or what you can buy.

    If you read more about living there you see people struggling and moaning - and they don't have much choice because it's an island. They can't "go another couple of miles" in either direction to find the houses, shops, jobs they want/need, they're imprisoned. Especially without spare money to splash about ... without spare money you can't just get on that ferry for XYZ reason on a whim.
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