Author Topic: Becoming a professional student?  (Read 10153 times)

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2388
  • Location: NZ
Becoming a professional student?
« on: April 25, 2012, 09:54:58 PM »
Anyone out there done this.

In my country once you hit a certain age, you become eligible to receive a student allowance.

Has anyone out there gone through this process - tertiary study without the intention of ever working in the traditional workforce ever again?

On the numbers side it should be enough to provide for my family for 8 years without dipping into retirement savings.

Monthly figures are:
$1,473 Student Allowance after tax, (maximum of 4 years per person)
$680 Family tax credit (2 children)

$2153 Sub total

$866 per month additional income you can earn before the above benefits get reduced. If both my wife and I did some part time work we can actually double this before effecting the above.

$3019 Total per month

Which is not far off my current take home pay (less pre and post tax retirement savings).

Currently our monthly costs range between $2,000 and $3,000.

Also has anyone studied while having children? I'd be interested in opinions on how well that went.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2388
  • Location: NZ
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 03:05:09 AM »
I foolishly forgot to include the course expenses, which ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per year.

Of which can either be paid in cash, or put on a student loan a 0% interest.

shedinator

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Eudora, KS
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 06:11:32 AM »
Wow. I want to move to wherever it is that you live. We don't have those benefits in the US, as far as I'm aware. "Professional Student" is generally a term reserved for sarcastic statements. In fact, the government just sent me a lovely little letter telling me that if I choose to continue going to school, they won't be subsidizing any more of my loans (or those of any other graduate student).

catalana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Location: UK
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 06:33:16 AM »
Not done it, been part of discussion about this.

Check:
- That you can get onto a course
- That you will not trigger repayment at some point
- That support is not conditional upon passing each year, OR be certain that you can get through each year
- That you can meet attendance requirements without incurring childcare costs
- That you don't lose other social security benefits as a result
- That it is not impacted if your spouse continues to earn a wage
- That once you start a course your funding will continue even if the government change the system in the meantime

Good luck!  Pick something that fascinates you, otherwise it could be worse than having a job you don't like.....


arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28059
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2012, 07:40:36 AM »
While the idea sounds appealing at first, I fear for the day when you HAVE to go to school and then it suddenly becomes work and it's a grind that you don't want to do. I'd rather work at a higher-paying job for a while, hit FI, and then have going to school be a small part of my post-FIRE activities.

Doing that indefinitely sounds no more appealing to me than working indefinitely. At that point the school becomes work, plus then you apparently have some part-time work on top of it.

Maybe as a minor transition for a year or two into FIRE, but I couldn't see doing it for much longer than that if I needed to rely on the income. I could see doing it if it was by choice.

Just my thoughts.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 08:31:39 AM »
On top of the issues brought up by arebelspy, I'd also feel like a bit of a leech on society.  Hardworking taxpayers in your country would be funding your choice to go to school without much benefit to society.  (I'm not saying none, but I assume the program is in place to help provide a highly educated work force, not fund professional students who intend to never use that knowledge in the workforce?)  You didn't ask about this consideration so I hesitated to even bring it up, if you are comfortable with this aspect and don't want to discuss it that's fine.

Sparky

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 09:31:38 AM »
On top of the issues brought up by arebelspy, I'd also feel like a bit of a leech on society.  Hardworking taxpayers in your country would be funding your choice to go to school without much benefit to society. 

Another way you can look at it is you have payed your dues and taxes up into this point and its time to take out what you've put in. This is how I look at it when I use a government service, including when I go onto unemployment.


arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28059
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 10:57:33 AM »
On top of the issues brought up by arebelspy, I'd also feel like a bit of a leech on society.  Hardworking taxpayers in your country would be funding your choice to go to school without much benefit to society. 

Another way you can look at it is you have payed your dues and taxes up into this point and its time to take out what you've put in. This is how I look at it when I use a government service, including when I go onto unemployment.

I would say the same thing when utilizing services in the manner they're intended to be used, such as your example of unemployment.

Taking advantage of something in a way that most people would disagree with and in a way that it wasn't intended to be used is unethical, however.  That may or may not be the case here, but it certainly is different from utilizing something the way it was intended, as James points out.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

ErikZ

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 02:51:28 PM »
You're becoming completely dependent on the government. Which means, this will last as long as the Government allows it to last.

Or to be more specific, one day you'll get a letter saying that they won't pay for you to go to school anymore, and they want you to repay the money.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2388
  • Location: NZ
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2012, 03:29:00 PM »
Thanks for the reply guys. I'll try and address as many comments as possible in one hit.

Quote
I want to move to wherever it is that you live. We don't have those benefits in the US, as far as I'm aware.

Yes it's a lovely country to live in, but not without it's costs. I pay approx 30% tax vs about 5% (after all the tax deductions you can make) for people in a similar income bracket in the USA.

Quote
That you will not trigger repayment at some point

It's an allowance, not a loan so no repayment at any point.

Quote
That support is not conditional upon passing each year

It is conditional on passing (or passign at least a certain percentage of courses) each year - which I'm fine with.

Quote
That you can meet attendance requirements without incurring childcare costs

No problem, the other partner will do the child care thing while the other one studies

Quote
That it is not impacted if your spouse continues to earn a wage

It is, but the expectation is my spouse wouldn't work while I'm studying.

Quote
Pick something that fascinates you, otherwise it could be worse than having a job you don't like.....

Very true. Either thinking Architecture or Building/Engineering Trades (so I can grow my moustache), or both.

Quote
I'd also feel like a bit of a leech on society.

Thanks for bringing this up. It does pose a moral dilemma.

Quote
Or to be more specific, one day you'll get a letter saying that they won't pay for you to go to school anymore, and they want you to repay the money.

Thankfully they can't request repayment. But yes it could stop quite suddenly. Although the currently allotted amount if for 200 weeks funding (or approx 4 years).

This isn't something I will be doing tomorrow. I'm trying to get together a 7 to 10 year retirement plan. When the day of leaving my job comes, and I have this nervous twitch in the back of my head saying "you don't have enough money to retire now", when actually I do. Becoming a professional student would allow me to leave the work force and keep paying the bills without touching the stash, allowing for another 4 to 8 years of capital gains which by that time should be more than enough to retire on.

The reduced hours and long holiday would let em spend a lot of time with my kids and the allowance to earn some money I the side would mena I could put a bit of effort into my own business ideas.

Chair-Force

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • Mil-Spec Minded
Re: Becoming a professional student?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 10:45:22 AM »
I'm kind of doing the same thing come the Fall semester. I'll get $1750'ish (tax free) a month from the VA via the Post-9/11 GI Bill, some various other stipends which were part of my military enlistment contract and unemployment benefits since I'll be without a job (i'm Air National Guard) when I get back from this shithole. I plan on replacing the unemployment benefits with a part-time gig (i'm not a total govt freeloader ;p) when I find something that will fit into my schedule. I'll be 29 years old when I start and haven't been unemployed since I was 17 so I guess I'm basically becoming a professional student.

I'm paying off my vehicle when I return so my expenses, give or take a few hundred a month, will be around $1k. So I should be fine.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 10:47:15 AM by Chair-Force »