Author Topic: Chasing a Dream, Flushing some Cash  (Read 2483 times)

ToughMother

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Chasing a Dream, Flushing some Cash
« on: March 13, 2016, 04:30:09 PM »
Hey Fellow/ette Mustachians:

Here's the back-story:  Was a faculty member way back when, got meningitis, was out of the workforce for about 10 years relearning to read and walk, back to the workforce at a non-profit (just getting my foot in the door), missed higher ed so found a gig there and quickly moved up (dean for the last 4 years), and now am a finalist for a faculty position again (yes, I missed it and applied for a job).

So, $-wise, I'd be taking a 50%-ish cut to go back to faculty life after being a dean. For the last year, my current gig has been brutal and the idea of letting it go makes me feel lighter.  Meanwhile, I've picked up an adjunct teaching gig and have been enjoying that so a full-time prof gig sounds good at this point (minus the $$$$).

Because of my illness and long recovery, I'm a lot older than all you early retirees (52), but I've been saving like crazy the last few years to make up for the years of no earnings (good news: didn't go into debt despite mega-illness expenses and no income).  My question is really, do I suck it up for another 4.5 years in my current position, sock away as much $ as possible, and then move to being an adjunct faculty member OR do I take the full-time faculty gig with the reduced salary and just work longer? Shorter/miserable or longer/less stress?

Here's the money stats:

spending: about $35-40K/year for everything.  Could cut that back about $5K, but looking at a different housing situation so that might be a wash.  Let's just call it $35-40K
current salary: $93K plus current adjunct teaching: $7.5K
future salary: $50 K plus any adjunct teaching/other gigs in summer (already lined up $8K for next year).
dividends: about $6.5K annually that is reinvested

savings/retirement:
investment: $113K
457: $51K
TIAA: $227K
IRA: $9.7K
Roth: $36K
savings for house: $30K
emergency fund: $5K
travel fund: $5K
pension fund: $44k (I tend not to include in my totals this since I'm hoping to collect the pension.  I'm 5.5 years in, if leave before 10, get this money else, get pension - new job is still in the system, so still on track to get pension, about $14K annual at the 10 year mark)
SS: the state does NOT put into social security and having any pension will reduce my SS payouts (windfall provision).  In short, I should only get a couple hundred bucks from SS per month.
current house value???? 230k? minus realtor/closing fees, minus a subsidy that I received from the state: $200k?

Debt:
mortgage: $174K remaining @ 5.375%
Looking at buying a different (not bigger) house.  Mortgage might be bigger, but rate would be lower, so a wash in terms of the monthly payment. Wouldn't affect annual expenses ($35-40K)

I *think* I can last longer as a faculty member than in my current dean gig, but who really knows?  I know I'm really burnt out on my current gig and I know I have plenty more savings to go, but that would plummet with the faculty gig.

What would you do?  What are your considerations?  Anything else I should think about?  NB: I'm a finalist for the position -- don't know if I'm first choice yet and this all might be moot, but need to prepare in case it isn't.

Copious thanks!

So, do I chase the faculty gig dream (I'm should know in the next week or two) or do I slog out my current gig for another 4.5 years.  I might not have enough retirement $ at that time, but then I would shift to doing PT adjunct teaching until I did have enough.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and considerations! Also let me know if you need more data to comment.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 05:33:43 PM by ToughMother »

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Chasing a Dream, Flushing some Cash
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 07:42:06 PM »
This type of decision can only be made by one person: you! Unlike some of the easy math questions, there is no forumula that we can just apply and give you an answer. You spelled out the key question which is "longer, happier work" vs "shorter, miserable work".

That being said, it sounds to me like you've already decided that the faculty job would be better.


mozar

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Re: Chasing a Dream, Flushing some Cash
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2016, 09:24:44 PM »
Can you get tenure with the faculty position?
I would wait and see if you get it, then see how you feel.

dess1313

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Re: Chasing a Dream, Flushing some Cash
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 04:36:51 AM »
Hey Fellow/ette Mustachians:

Here's the back-story:  Was a faculty member way back when, got meningitis, was out of the workforce for about 10 years relearning to read and walk, back to the workforce at a non-profit (just getting my foot in the door), missed higher ed so found a gig there and quickly moved up (dean for the last 4 years), and now am a finalist for a faculty position again (yes, I missed it and applied for a job).

So, $-wise, I'd be taking a 50%-ish cut to go back to faculty life after being a dean. For the last year, my current gig has been brutal and the idea of letting it go makes me feel lighter.  Meanwhile, I've picked up an adjunct teaching gig and have been enjoying that so a full-time prof gig sounds good at this point (minus the $$$$).


first you will have to win the position, but stress is a killer.  do you really want to dread going to work for the next 4-5 years or would you rather enjoy what you do?
Your side gig may be more expandable which means that you could close the $ gap between the two

Only you can really decide.