Q: My partner and I are really struggling with some major financial decisions and we would appreciate your advice.
We have three young children, and I have only been working on and off casually while having them. I'm a teacher who is fairly high on the pay scale, and my partner makes a comparable wage. We both have KiwiSaver.
I was lucky enough to inherit some money and put it towards a rental house when I was 21. We also bought our home together. Recently we sold the rental to buy some land. The plan was always to get a mortgage to build a new home on the land and then keep our current home as a rental.
Recently we have been wondering if we should sell our home and rent somewhere until the new house is built. Then we wouldn't need to get a mortgage, or we could get a smaller mortgage.
It would take all immediate pressure off us: I wouldn't have to find a permanent job and compromise on my flexibility while the kids are young; we could compromise less on our build; and we would still have money left over to invest and maybe even go on holiday.
But would we be squandering our lucky breaks for fear of having to tighten our belts for the next 10 years?
I'm torn between wanting to enjoy the kids while they're young and wanting to help them financially when they're young adults.
A: My vote is for you to sell your home and free yourself up to spend more time with the children.
It's not as if you'll be left in a bad situation. You'll still have your home, with just a small mortgage, if any — which puts you way ahead of many young families. And given that you can earn good money, you'll be able to get back into your career and do some serious saving once the kids get older.
Picture yourselves at 80. Can you really imagine saying, "I wish we had worked harder when the kids were