Author Topic: Benefits and stability vs happiness  (Read 2010 times)

OvertheRainbow

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Benefits and stability vs happiness
« on: December 25, 2015, 10:08:50 PM »
Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I just started learning about MMM! (So please be gentle. :) )

I am in a dilemma, and I know this may sound premature. Some background:

I am a young early/mid twenty-something who graduated a year ago and received a full-time job with the state with great benefits. I don't care for my job. I have been on a very stressful unit for almost eight months. It is wearing on me and I find myself growing more pessimistic about my job and field. I have tried to transfer to my dream specialty but have been told that I need more experience (while others with no experience keep getting hired!). I have been working for this same state institution for over four years and will be fully vested in August. HOWEVER...

Just a couple of days ago, I received a voice message from another facility to which I applied. It is in my dream specialty. The problem? It doesn't have the great state pension/contributions and the benefits are not as good. The health insurance is okay and the 401k has a pitiful match (half of every dollar up to 3% of wages). Although I haven't interviewed for the job yet, I know there is a strong possibility that I could get it.

I have maxed out my 2015 Roth IRA at Vanguard and will max out 2016 next month (grand total principle will be 11,000...I just started in November). It is a Target retirement fund (though I plan on adding Wellington and Wellesey into the accounts). I have over 17k at 80% fully vested at my current job and another 20k in a savings and 2.6k in checkings. I just opened a brokerage account at Vanguard but I am clueless. No debt though!

I know it is MMM's philosophy to not be tied down to a job one doesn't like. I don't *hate* my job, but I have found a passion that I can make some very good money in. I know that it is early and I haven't even interviewed, but if you were in my situation, would you stay in the state job for its security or for a job that you really love but doesn't offer great retirement? If I stay with the state, I could retire at 55 with a great pension. But here is the thing...I am young and 55 is thirty-one years away!

With the possible new job, I would get the experience I need to get into the grad school program I want. After grad school, my earnings will nearly double. At the state job, I would get the money for grad school, but not the experience I need to get into grad school. For the new job, it is the opposite and I would need to go into some debt for it.

So what should I do if I am offered the job? I hope to retire at 55, but I don't want to stay in a dead-end job to get there! 

StartingEarly

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Re: Benefits and stability vs happiness
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2015, 11:09:48 PM »
We need more information. I am confused why you would go into debt for the other job unless you expect it to be an unpaid internship. With this being Mr. Money Mustache I am sure we will be able to help you live on whatever salary you make as long as it isn't below the poverty line.

JJNL

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Re: Benefits and stability vs happiness
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 12:14:42 AM »
Since you're such an early starter with the whole MMM thing, why work until 55 at either job? I'd say that probably isn't going to be necessary. And why does taking the job you really want mean you will get into debt for grad school? Can't you save up enough for grad school while working, maybe in combination with some scholarships?

Anyway: since you're only just getting started, chances are you will spend the next 10 years working. I would prefer spending that time in a job I actually liked a lot and upping my saving savvy over being stuck in a job I feel 'meh' about just for the pension. Also: you don't know how robust that state pension is going to turn out to be by the time you retire. I hate to scare you, but there are quite a few American governments who have been downright stupid about ensuring they have enough money to fulfill their pension obligations in the long run and are now forced to either slash pensions or go bankrupt (Detroit comes to mind).

deborah

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Re: Benefits and stability vs happiness
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 01:15:35 AM »
Is OP saying that her current job will pay for the graduate studies, but provides no relevant work experience, so it would be difficult to get into the course, while the prospective job does provide relevant work experience but doesn't pay for the graduate studies? It this why the prospective job would put her in debt?

OvertheRainbow

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Re: Benefits and stability vs happiness
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2015, 03:04:10 AM »
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies.

StartingEarly, it wouldn't be an unpaid internship. It would be a full-time job with a 403b and higher salary (most likely). But the health insurance and retirement isn't the best, and unlike the state job, they won't pay 100% for graduate school (they offer only a little bit of tuition reimbursement). I could try to cash flow the school, but that may be extremely difficult with how expensive the program is!

JJNL, I know MMM made it possible to be able to quit work at 30, but given that I want to go to grad school and only have one income to save and am just starting out, I don't know how realistic it would be for me to retire before 55 (which seems young in comparison to most retirees!). I also want to travel the world and have a few kids, and both are expensive. I think I have found a compromise: I have a field that I am passionate about and that it won't feel like "work" to me but not work until 65 either. 55 seems more realistic given my goals in life. Plus, I don't make a lot of money either (I am a nurse) and I have found something I enjoy (neonatal nursing!).

As far as the pension...you make a great point. I am currently in a member directed account and I was thinking of switching over to the pension. It seems to be stable...for now. But a lot can happen in thirty plus years.

Deborah- I tried to get into the specialty unit, but was unable to transfer. Now they are telling me that I need X amount of years of experience and overall don't seem interested in even giving me a chance. In order to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, I need two years of experience in neonatal nursing. The new job I am interviewing for seems promising and will give me the necessary experience to advance my education. But it offers very little tuition reimbursement.

Emg03063

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Re: Benefits and stability vs happiness
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2015, 03:32:52 AM »
Go for the interview.  When you get an offer, that's your starting point for negotiation to discuss these issues.