Not sure if this place is correct for this post, but thought I would throw it out to you all. I am curious on all of your opinions.
My wife and I really want a pool, and nice backyard. We work very hard for our money, and want to enjoy life with our family as much as we can when not at the office. We are very conservative with our finances. We for the most part go without unless we can pay for things in cash. We own a business that allows us to draw a good yearly salary. The business had been around for over 30 years before we took over, so its a stable place in the medical field. We put away as much as allowed for retirement, and pay an additional $20k a year on our mortgage. Other than the loan on the business, and my wife's med school loan, we have no other debts. Our goal was to save enough cash, in addition to our other yearly savings and spending, to buy the backyard of our dreams. We planned on being able to have the money to move ahead in 5-10 years.
A few weeks back a former employer of mine called me to let me know that they planned on distributing to me in whole a stock option plan (ESOP). Mind you none of this money came from my wages, all of it was a benefit for being a good employee for many years. I never thought I would see it truth be told, nor did my financial planner. Now, I can roll this ESOP into a 401k or IRA plan, or I could withdraw it and pay taxes and penalties as someone would for an early 401k withdraw. I would still be leftover with enough to pay for 80% of the pool and yard cost. I could kick in the rest myself. Now here is the real question. Invest it, or put it towards the pool? I know it is very financially irresponsible to pay the penalty and taxes. However, I never figured this money would come, nor did I figure it in any party of our financial planning. I see it almost as a bonus. Someone giving me a gift. Like taking the lump sum on a lottery win after taxes. No loans needed to pay back, and going this route would free up my wife and I from having to save for the next 5 - 10 years makes this desirable. This would also allow us to put that money we were saving towards whatever comes up. I realize that I would miss out on potential earnings from the stock, but we are still saving and putting away.
I am sure my CPA and financial advisor will object highly to this, but what are your thoughts?