Im Taking A Year-long Assignment in China (I Think)
In December I decided to take an opportunity to possibly spend up to a year in China for a project I am now working on. As if my life wasn't crazy enough trying to get married I had to throw another major wrinkle into it.
I first went to China back in early 2003. I was awe struck at the amazing growth and energy I saw every where I looked (I recognized the growth explosion that was going on, but failed to adjust my investments to take advantage of it). Ever since my 1st trip over to China I have always said I would love an opportunity to immerse myself in the other side of the world -especially if someone else was going to pay for it!
I recently wrapped up my participation in a 2 year development program at my employer. Early on in my career planning discussions a potential opportunity emerged to work on a project that could require an assignment to China. After briefly discussing with my fiancee, I jumped on the opportunity.
Is It Definite?
Heck no. I have learned (a bit through the hard way) this stuff isn't reality until I'm on a plane for good. Trying to manage the personal aspects and the work aspects has been a tremendous challenge for me already. Dates are constantly changing, future work priorities are murky, and my fiancee and I have been trying to plan our future (nearly impossible to do when you don't know much about whats coming).
Its also become clearly apparent to my fiancee and I that we came to a quick agreement that I should chase this opportunity without fully reflecting on the long-term impacts on us. I believe we thought we would just manage as best we could; worst case we would be together every couple of months. Now that we have digested this a bit more, we are currently spending time reflecting together how we go forward with this (if at all).
Regular readers may have noticed its already February and I haven't created my 2007 financial goals. I've been holding off, hoping to get a better idea of what 2007 will bring - unfortunately I am no closer off. I need to establish something in the next couple of weeks.
Ignoring the relationship finances for a moment, the assignment provides a ripe opportunity to save additional earned income. My employer would basically cover living expenses and I could rent out my primary residence so in theory I could save significantly more of my take home pay than I do today. There is also the potential to save extra unspent allowance dollars provided by my employer, but this doesn't look to be a significant amount.
What makes this more complicated is my fiancee. Today our finances are completely seperate. While we have talked at high levels about handling finances in the future, we are still a long way off from co-mingling our income and expenses just yet.
However, what happens if we decide she should take a leave of absence or even quit her job so that we can be together while I am on assignment? Or even still, what happens if I decide to leave my job because we feel its too important to stay together during this critical time of our relationship and my finance decides she cannot come with me to China? Regardless, big changes with big financial impacts are coming.
However, at this point financial planning is on the backburner for us. We are just trying to establish what the best plan is for us, and then we can examine the financial impacts. Lets face it, some things are just more important than money ;-).
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